ORLANDO, Fla. – If you have never visited Universal Orlando Resort for the holidays, you're missing out.
The resort has a number of seasonal events that will turn any Grinch into Santa's No. 1 elf. There are mouthwatering holiday treats, music and stunning shows at your favorite attractions.
We're breaking down some of our favorites that you have to check out.
Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's:
Topping the list is the holiday parade that marches through the streets of Universal Studios. The parade brings out some favorite and familiar characters who we have all come to love-- from Shrek, Fiona and Donkey to the mischievous Minions.
The parade also features a number of balloons that fly over your head, and don't forget Santa Claus! Did we mention that the same parade floats and balloons are designed by the same people who put on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City? You know you're getting a quality parade.
*Tip: Stand in the streets of New York near the large Christmas tree in Universal Studios. It may snow!
- Nov. 19 and Dec. 4: 5:15 p.m.
- Nov. 16 - 18, Nov. 20 - Dec. 3, Dec. 5 - 24 and Dec. 31- Jan. 5: 5:30 p.m.
- Dec. 25 - 30: 8 p.m.
Food & drinks:
Universal officials have announced festive food and beverage options for guests to enjoy this year. Here are just a few you should try at the theme parks and Universal CityWalk.
- Grinchmas chocolate cupcakes
- Located in Suess Landing at Universal's Islands of Adventure
- Voodoo Doughnut's stuffed Santa suit doughnut set -- Located in CityWalk.
- Doughnuts are dipped in vanilla frosting. Universal says one donut is filled with Bavarian and white chocolate topped with coconut. The other donut is filled with peppermint chocolate cream.
- Holiday cocktails at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure -- apple pie on the rocks, apple cider Irish mule, cranberry margarita and more.
- The non-alcoholic drinks include the frozen eggnog and frozen candy cane. The drinks are located at the Production Central Veranda and Gramercy Pizza in Universal Studios.
- Guests visiting Dec. 22 - 30 can enjoy the Festive Flavors Holiday Buffet at Universal Studios.
The dinner, which includes specialty desserts and sparkling wine, is $64.99 plus tax for adults and $44.00 for kids ages 3 to 9. The dinner also includes special seating for Universal's Holiday Parade and Universal's Cinematic Celebration. Click here for tickets and other holiday dining options, including a breakfast with the Grinch.
Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:
No need to cast a charm for this one. The holidays are perfect in the Wizarding World.
Archways in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade are decked in holiday decor and twinkling lights. At nightfall, Hogwarts Castle comes alive in the holiday spectacular "The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle." As family members walk around the land, they can also sip on a seasonal favorite, hot butterbeer.
In Diagon Alley, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees serenades guests with special holiday tunes fit for the occasion.
Suess Landing has been transformed into Whoville, the home of the Whos.
Now is the time to get up close with the mean one himself: the Grinch. During select times, guests can meet the mean one, and even see him in the "Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular," a live retelling of the classic tale featuring music by Mannheim Steamroller.
- Nov. 16, Nov. 23 - Nov. 30, Dec. 14 - Dec. 29: 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Nov. 17 - Nov. 22; Dec. 1 - Dec. 13; Dec. 30 - Jan. 5: 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:45 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 5:45 p.m.
These four things are only the beginning of what Universal Orlando has to offer this holiday season.
Click here for tickets and hotel accommodations.