Holiday festivities begin at Universal Orlando Resort

Special events run through Dec. 31

ORLANDO, Fla. – Universal Orlando Resort is ringing in the season with its incredible lineup of holiday festivities.

Now through Dec. 31, the resort will be a hub of holiday entertainment, merging classic festive traditions with pop culture icons to craft what leaders call a one-of-a-kind holiday experience.

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Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Universal Orlando)

One of the highlights of this holiday season is “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade will be adorned with holiday decorations, lights, garlands, and more. In Hogsmeade, the nighttime spectacle, “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle,” will bring the world of “Harry Potter” to life once again with a stunning projection show, showcasing Christmas moments and holiday spirit.

Guests can also indulge in a popular favorite, hot butter bear, which is served at both The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.

Returning to Hogsmeade, the Frog Choir, made up of Hogwarts students and their croaking frogs, will perform a holiday-themed show. Additionally, in Diagon Alley, guests can enjoy music by Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, a wizarding world sensation.

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s (WKMG)

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s is also returning to the streets of Universal Studios Florida.

The parade will showcase beloved characters from pop culture. With larger-than-life balloons and vibrant holiday floats, guests will be taken on a journey through stories from Illumination’s Despicable Me, DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek, and Madagascar. The parade concludes with a spectacular finale featuring Santa Claus and the lighting of the parks’ 80-foot Christmas tree.

Grinchmas show at Universal Orlando Resort (WKMG)

Over at Universal Islands of Adventure, the holiday spirit continues with Grinchmas.

During select times of the day, the Grinch takes center stage in the live retelling of the Dr. Seuss holiday classic, the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.” Seuss Landing has also transformed into a whimsical wonderland with oversized candy canes, twisty Christmas trees, tinsel ornaments, and more.

Guests can even meet the Grinch for a unique photo opportunity during select times of the day.

Holiday decorations arrive at Universal Orlando (WKMG)

For a delightful breakfast experience, guests can partake in “The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast” at Universal Islands of Adventure. This unique dining experience features appearances by the Grinch and other beloved Dr. Seuss characters.

Mannheim Steamroller, the top-selling holiday artist of all time, will perform live at Universal Studios Florida on Dec. 2, 3, 9, and 10.

Letters to Santa Holiday Shake at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen (Universal Orlando)

This year’s holiday event also has an incredible lineup of food and drinks that guests can indulge in. Guests can enjoy seasonal flavors, including a Holiday Loaded Vegan Sweet Potato, a Turkey Dinner Sandwich, Earl’s Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Acorn Bomb, and Grinch-themed treats like Grinch Cookies, a Grinch Ice Cream Sandwich and a Grinch Hot Chocolate Bomb.

At Universal CityWalk, guests can also enjoy the all-new Letters to Santa Holiday Shake at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen – complete with coquito ice cream, dulce de leche and a chocolate Christmas card.

Earl the Squirrel at Universal Orlando Resort (Universal Orlando)

“I hope when families walk away from this event, they know the bond they have with their family and what it means to share these holiday experiences. I hope they take these experiences home and fill it through the world. We want to be one community, and really embrace everyone and have a peaceful holiday season,” said Lora Sauls, assistant director of creative development and show direction.

For those seeking extra holiday experiences, Universal Orlando will offers a range of add-on options, including the Universal’s Holiday Tour. This guided tour provides special access to holiday entertainment experiences, such as meeting the Grinch and his dog, Max, and enjoying small bites and desserts. It also offers reserved seating at the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular,” a photo opportunity with Santa Claus, and an exclusive after-hours showing of “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.”

Universal’s Holiday Tour is available on select dates from Nov. 19 to Dec. 30, with pricing starting at $79.99 per person, plus tax. It requires separate theme park admission with a 1-Day 2-Park Park-to-Park ticket.

The holiday celebration extends beyond the theme parks. Universal CityWalk offers seasonal food, beverages, and special entertainment. Additionally, all eight Universal Orlando Resort hotels will be decked out with festive décor that enhances each hotel’s unique theme. Special menus, menorah lighting ceremonies, and holiday entertainment are available at the hotels.

Universal Orlando’s Holidays celebration is included with regular admission to the theme parks.

U.S. and Canada residents can take advantage of a special deal offering five days of access to Universal Orlando Resort’s theme parks for the price of a three-day ticket. Guests also have the option to upgrade their ticket to include Universal Volcano Bay.

Annual Passholders will enjoy special privileges during the holiday season, including exclusive access to the Holidays Parade featuring Macy’s and early access to the Holidays Tribute Store.

For more information about Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort, visit

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.