Universal Orlando Resort, Fla. – Merry, mischief, and thrills all combine as Universal Orlando Resort unwraps its annual Holidays celebration beginning November 17. It’s a holiday celebration unlike any other where guests can do everything from sipping hot Butterbeer as they look in awe watching  “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle”, to meeting that mean, green guy himself! No, I’m not talking about the Incredible Hulk, this time of year the popular green guy is The Grinch.

But there is so much more. On New Year’s Eve this year – families can ring in 2019 at a-rockin‘ New Year’s Eve celebration at Universal Studios Florida, while adults 21 and up can enjoy the upscale EVE celebration at Universal CityWalk.

We have all the details on this year’s Universal Holiday Celebration, and all the ways guests can elevate their holidays at Universal Orlando Resort.

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

One of my favorite places to be in IOA is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and during the holidays is no exception. For the Holidays, Hogwarts is transformed into a wizarding wonderland, and as night falls, guests will revel in a dazzling projection of holiday spirit as Christmas moments inspired by the Wizarding World come to life on the castle for “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.”

All throughout both Harry Potter themed lands guest can enjoy holiday-themed decorations, garlands, and lights throughout the streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. You can also enjoy one of the special holiday-themed performances by the Frog Choir – comprised of Hogwarts students and their giant croaking frogs – and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, one of the wizarding world’s most popular singing sensations.

There will also be seasonal food and beverages – including hot Butterbeer.


Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s at Universal Studios Florida

If you always wanted to experience the thrills of a Macy’s parade, Universal Studios has you covered, and with way warmer temperatures. 

Merry and mayhem combine as Santa Claus, the Minions and other beloved characters from Illumination’s Despicable Me, Shrek and Madagascar take the streets for Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s – including more than 30 larger-than-life balloons and floats, hundreds of performers and more.  

Guests may also get the opportunity to dance and interact with some of the characters during special appearances prior to the parade.

Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

See the maven of mischief himself during Grinchmas at Universal Orlando. Guests can enjoy “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular” – a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic starring the mean, green one – and special appearances by the merry Whos from Who-ville throughout Seuss Landing.  Guests may also join the Grinch and his friends at Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous for a separately ticketed breakfast on select dates (tickets for this festive breakfast are now available).

Mannheim Steamroller at Universal Studios Florida

The best-selling holiday artist of all time, Mannheim Steamroller, returns to Universal Studios Florida to fill the air with the sounds of the season. Guests can take in live concerts at the Music Plaza Stage on the following nights: Nov. 17, 18, 24, 25 and Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16.

Offers to Experience Universal Orlando’s Holidays Celebration

Guests can also take advantage of the Holiday Stay and Play Package, which gives guests $100 in savings on travel from Nov. 17 through Jan. 6 and the opportunity to revel in the holiday celebrations at Universal’s on-site hotels, which include seasonal decorations, festive tree and menorah lightings, kid-friendly holiday activities, visits with Santa, buffet feasts for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and more. We always love taking advantage of the perks that come with staying on property.

The package not only includes five-night hotel accommodations but also base admission to all three theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort – including Universal’s Volcano Bay.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations at Universal Orlando

Guests can ring in 2019 with style at Universal Orlando with various New Year’s Eve celebrations that offer something for everyone.

Universal Studios Florida will host its biggest New Year’s Eve celebration yet – complete with rockin’ party zones at the Music Plaza Stage and Central Park areas of the park, live upbeat music, appearances by some of the guests’ favorite characters, party favors, confetti and – of course – pyrotechnics.  It’s fun for the entire family and it’s included with theme park admission, or with a Preferred or Premier Annual Pass.

Guests 21 and up can enjoy the ultimate upscale party at EVE at Universal CityWalk, where they get access to six CityWalk clubs with live bands and DJs, unlimited gourmet cuisine, and the chance to dance all night long on Orlando’s largest outdoor dance floor featuring award-winning DJ M-Squared. And once the clock strikes midnight, guests will enjoy a Champagne toast and pyrotechnics display. EVE tickets are on sale now and there is a $30 discount if purchased before Dec. 15. Guests must be 21 and up to attend.

Some of Universal Orlando’s on-site hotels will also join in the New Year’s Eve fun, with entertainment, midnight toasts and more. Highlights include a “ROCK-in!” New Year event at the Hard Rock Hotel, featuring a balloon drop and live countdown from Times Square via satellite, and Jake’s “Best of 2018” Beer Dinner at Loews Royal Pacific Resort.

For more information on Holidays and New Year’s Eve offerings at Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.UniversalOrlando.com/holidays.

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For over thirty years I have been exploring Theme Parks, Attractions, Local Establishments and Events around the Sunshine state. As a photographer, plant-based foodie, pop-culture lover, and tech geek I love to share my personal experiences, the latest industry news, and some tips through my articles and photographs.

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