Guide to Universal Orlando Holidays & Christmas in The Wizarding World

Holidays at Universal OrlandoWhat better way to bring together minions, ogres, toys and more than holidays at Universal Orlando? Even the Grinch can't resist the cheer. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year (right?!)! You’d think it’d be tough to follow a popular event like Halloween Horror Nights, but the Holidays at Universal doesn’t disappoint. From Grinchmas to Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there’s a lot going on to spread holiday cheer. Best of all, the Holidays at Universal Orlando events are included with regular Universal Orlando admission. If you’re like us and you’re already planning a Christmas vacation at the parks, catch up on highlights from last year and what to expect during this upcoming festive season. Universal Orlando announced the festivities will take place from November 16, 2019 through January 5, 2020!

Christmas in The Wizarding World | Holiday Events in the Parks | Holidays at the Hotels | Which Ticket Should You Get? | Comments

Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Holidays at Universal Orlando - Hogwarts

You know that feeling you get when you watch Harry Potter with your family while drinking hot cocoa on a snowy winter night? That's the feeling you'll get when you see Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Universal Orlando goes all out with the level of detail. Hogsmeade in Universal's Islands of Adventures and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida both typically feature festive Christmas decorations — including garland and lights — along the buildings and streets of the Wizarding World.

Take a look at the decorations from 2018. Outside each of the store fronts, it was as though the shopkeepers decorated the garlands themselves. At Gladrags Wizardwear, for example, the garland was decorated with pink ribbons that looked as if they came from Hermione's dress. There were feathers woven into the garland at Owl Post and what looked like sugary, pastel balls at Honeydukes. 

Holidays at Universal Orlando - Hogsmeade

Our fellow froggies, the Frog Choir, will perform special concerts with Christmas songs straight from the spell books.Inside Diagon Alley, Celestina Warbeck gets in the holiday spirit with her four original songs, including the super catchy "My Baby Gave Me a Hippogriff for Christmas." 

The true showstopper of Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the projection-mapping show on Hogwarts Castle. "The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts" plays intermittently from dusk until park close each night. Muggles and wizards alike will be absolutely dazzled to see the castle come alive! There are breathtaking scenes with fairies creating the Christmas tree, the Weasley twins making mischief and more! Even if you aren't a fan of the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts, we recommend checking these shows out. They're gorgeous and really capture the unique holiday fun you see in the Harry Potter films and books.

The small viewing area can get crowded, especially on weekends and the weeks of the holidays. We recommend watching "The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts" during non-peak times, if possible. No matter which night you're attending, try waiting until a bit later in the evening (about any hour after dusk) to catch the show to avoid those early crowds.

Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s & More Holidays at Universal Orlando Festivities in the Parks

The highlight of the holidays at Universal Orlando (for us, at least!) is Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's. The parade has more than a dozen festive balloons and 15 floats for your enjoyment! You'll catch some of your favorite Universal characters making Christmas mischief, including Minions, Shrek and more! Stay tuned for 2019's showtimes!

Holidays at Universal Orlando - Parade Minions

Of course, jolly ol' Santa typically makes an appearance lighting up the beautiful tree in New York! The floats are as elaborate as ever, so bring a camera and snap as many pictures as you can! Seeing this float with your family is sure to bring the warm fuzzies. After the parade last year, you could stick around to meet the characters who hang out with their floats. We hope we'll be able to do the same again this year!

If you want a front-row spot for Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's right in front of the tree, get in place at least an hour early on busy nights. This is especially true on weekends. Our favorite spot is across the street from the tree next to the Mummy ride. From this spot, you can watch as Santa lights the tree. Your tadpoles will go crazy for this Christmas magic! Beware: TONS OF CONFETTI!

Holidays at Universal Orlando - Santa

Grinchmas at Universal's Islands of Adventure

It wouldn't be the holidays at Universal Orlando without Grinchmas! The green sourpuss himself will be returning to Islands of Adventure for Christmas fun. Watch the green guy bring his signature snark to the Christmas Who-liday Spectacular at Seuss Landing.

Holidays at Universal Orlando - Grinchmas Townsfolk

Last year, Seuss Landing was the most spectacularly-decorated of them all, with so many baubles and tinsel wrapped around just about everything. Don't miss the Lorax while strolling through the truffula trees!

The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular will return to warm our hearts once more. The talented performers bring this Seuss favorite to life through song and dance. Plan to be in line at least 30 minutes ahead of showtime, as you do need to walk a fair distance to the sound stage in which it takes place, even if there aren't huge crowds. Hop tip: Catch the first show of the day as it's likely to be the least crowded.

The show added a few new touches last year that delighted returning fans and pleased new Who-liday fans! While definitely a tadpole-centric show, it is a blast for any fans of the Grinch. (And OMG ... Max is played by an adorable, live dog. What a good boy!)

 

Festive Food & Drinks at the Holidays at Universal Orlando

Drinking Butterbeer is a must-do whenever you visit the Universal parks. While year-round Butterbeer is served cold or frozen, you can get hot Butterbeer during the holiday season! Think more along the lines of hot chocolate (but butterscotch) rather than a carbonated cream soda, which is what the classic, cold Butterbeer tastes like. You can find it inside The Leaky Cauldron, Three Broomsticks, Hog's Head Pub, the Hopping Pot and the Fountain of Fair Fortune.

If you want some quality time with the Grinch, book the Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast on select days. You can read our Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast review for an idea of what to expect.

Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

Holidays at Universal Orlando - Cabana Bay Beach Resort Christmas Tree

Any time of year, we absolutely love staying on-site at Universal's fabulous resort hotels, but especially during the holidays. Expect all six Universal Orlando hotels to be decked out for the holidays and look out for tree and menorah lightings. Plus, enjoy all the trimmings at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve buffets.

Holidays at Universal Orlando - Loews Royal Pacific Resort

If you want to experience the holidays at Universal Orlando during the busiest times, we highly recommend you stay on-site at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal's Hard Rock Hotel and Loews Royal Pacific Resort so you can receive the Unlimited Express benefit for all of your party for your entire length of stay. Watch out for the expected busiest days using our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar. We recommend considering a stay at one of the hotels offering Universal Express (or purchase it separately) the weeks of Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and on weekends. We cannot underestimate this benefit!

If you can't shell out for these hotels, hop to Loews Sapphire Falls, Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Universal's newest hotel, Aventura! While they don't offer Unlimited Express, these hotels (all of Universal's hotels) offer one-hour early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal's Volcano Bay. If you stay on-site, you can get a hop on experiencing the Christmas in the Wizarding World holiday magic! What's even more magical is to book your Universal Orlando hotel room at a discount, so hop to it!

Which Ticket Should You Get During Holidays at Universal Orlando?

Holidays at Universal Orlando - Grinch and Max

With so much hoppening at Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure during the holidays, you may be wondering, "Which ticket should I get?" We're very big fans of the Park-to-Park option. With the two parks so close together, it makes it easy to hop. The Park-to-Park option offers maximum flexibility to enjoy it all. And it's the only way to experience the Hogwarts Express. So if you want to experience Christmas in the Wizarding World at Hogsmeade and then hop right over to extend the merry in Diagon Alley, you'll need the Park-to-Park ticket.

If you need some palm trees and sun with your Christmas vacation, then add on Universal's Volcano Bay water theme park during your visit. Don't let the time of year trick you ... it's still plenty warm in sunny Florida (especially for you snowbirds) and the water is heated.  (Check out all of our discount Universal Orlando ticket options, and don't forget we offer discounts on the Universal Orlando hotels too!)

Ready to visit Universal Orlando this holiday season? Pick the best dates to visit using our Orlando Crowd Calendar. Check out our Orlando planning timeline for a stress-free family vacation to the holidays at Universal Orlando Resort and other destinations. 

Related: Complete Guide to Universal Orlando Events

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
<<  Newer Posts | Older Posts  >>
201–250 of 1397 comments
Nov 30, 2017 at 9:03 p.m. M Sly Says...

I loved Universal when I went a few months ago and I would love to go again, especially for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I think my next visit will have to be during the holidays.

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:58 p.m. AJ Says...

Awesome info

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:56 p.m. Gonzalo Says...

PErfect!!!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:51 p.m. Raegan Knipe Says...

Can’t wait to be here next year for Christmas!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:46 p.m. Felicia Martin Says...

Can't wait to go back to Universal

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:45 p.m. kelseytx Says...

One of these days I'll make it back to UO. Wizarding World looks incredible!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:40 p.m. Jennifer DeGowske Says...

Such an AWESOME site!! I hope to win the contest :)

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:40 p.m. Tibettejo Says...

Can't wait to get to Orlando for our first time ever. So my question is, What is the top #1 Must See and Do thing in Orlando.

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:36 p.m. Michelle Says...

Christmas in the Wizarding World must be magic of Hagrid proportions!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:36 p.m. Grandma#1 Says...

Looks like sooo much fun, we want to go!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:35 p.m. Lisa lL Says...

What an amazing vacation this would be!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:33 p.m. Nancy Raggio Says...

I wish I could go!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:32 p.m. Wendy Says...

Wow! Looks amazing!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:29 p.m. Cait Says...

Looks amazing!!!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:26 p.m. Lani Says...

I have never seen Universal during the Holidays, looks like so much fun!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:25 p.m. Sharon Wachsmann Says...

I always buy our Disneyworld tickets here. Love this site!!!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:23 p.m. Darlene Lardiere-Grison Says...

I would love to visit Universal at Christmas time....The parade, characters, and now Hogwarts. Fun for the entire family.

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:23 p.m. jrapoport Says...

Magical!!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:18 p.m. Jill Says...

My kids would love to visit the Harry Potter activities.

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:17 p.m. Tricia Says...

Awesome!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:14 p.m. Stephanie Jobe Moore Says...

I've never been to Universal Studios. Looks like so much fun!!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:14 p.m. Robert gwiazdzinski Says...

Great contest

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:10 p.m. noelle1017 Says...

Love Wizarding World of Harry Potter - can stay there forever!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:08 p.m. Lisa Says...

LOVE UNIVERSAL!! It's like stepping into a world of make believe!!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:05 p.m. DR Says...

Looks AMAZING!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:04 p.m. Trina Mickle Says...

I just saw Disneyland decorated for the holidays for the first time and would love to see universal studios decorated too!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:04 p.m. BruHow Says...

Oh Yes!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 8:02 p.m. Mackella Rohan Says...

Can't wait until my 2018 holiday visit.

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:58 p.m. Taryn M Says...

One of these days I'll make it to Orlando for the Christmas season! Until then I'm dreaming of September when I finally come back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! <3

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:58 p.m. Jason Saba Says...

Always great deals at undercover tourist!!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:58 p.m. Susan G Says...

I would love to see this one of these years. It looks amazing

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:57 p.m. Sabrina Sibert Says...

Very exciting

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:56 p.m. Popsdad Says...

Very nice!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:56 p.m. Lisa Says...

So excited to go to Universal for the first time this year. The kids don't know they are getting tickets for Christmas!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:55 p.m. Computeacher Says...

I would love to win the trip as the theme parks are too expensive.

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:54 p.m. Elizabeth Rios Says...

I would love to take my fiancé for the first time!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:53 p.m. MicheleG Says...

Spectacular!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:53 p.m. Angela Kay Ice Says...

would love to see

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:53 p.m. Virginia Says...

Great tip on where to wait to watch the parade!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:52 p.m. Kimmy220 Says...

One of my bucket list items is to go to Disney World during Halloween and Christmas!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:51 p.m. laurie k Says...

Universal what a blast it would be to spend the holidays in the sunshine with my family !!!!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:50 p.m. Sallymama34 Says...

We would love to take our 9 year old, Harry Potter-loving daughter and her 3 sisters one day soon!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:50 p.m. Ginna Says...

Looks like fun! Love all the decorations.

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:50 p.m. DiasneyDay Says...

Best place to buy tots is from the Frog! Awesome

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:48 p.m. Catherine Chung Says...

This would be an amazing trip!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:47 p.m. Ginna Says...

Looks like fun! Love all the decorations.

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:45 p.m. Christine Baldwin Says...

Loved Universal at Christmas!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:44 p.m. DAWN OLSON Says...

Can't wait to go back! My kiddos are going through withdrawals! lol

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:40 p.m. Susan Says...

Be there in two weeks!

Reply
Nov 30, 2017 at 7:40 p.m. Melanie Says...

Great article. Would love one on things to do in Orlando at Christmas that AREN'T in the parks.

Reply
Leave a comment
Name is required. Email is required. Please input a comment.
About Us
About Undercover Tourist

Undercover Tourist is the leading supplier of online discount tickets to Orlando, Florida-area attractions, including Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando ResortTM, SeaWorld® Orlando, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and more.

Sign up for our newsletter!
Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address
Now Offering
donaldduck

disneyland® resort california

Theme Park Tickets!
footer grass

Contact:  1 (800) 846-1302 (USA)  |  1 (386) 239-8624 (Worldwide)

Sign up for Our Newsletter Let's Plan a Better Family Vacation

monthly news, planning tips and special deals

Please enter your Name
Please enter your Email address

Contact Us

Send Feedback

Or call 1 (800) 846-1302 (USA)

1 (386) 239-8624 (Worldwide)


©2000–2019 Undercover Tourist. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions
As to Disney photos, logos, properties: ©Disney
lilypad
Newsletter logo

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

monthly news, planning tips and special deals from the Frog Family

Please enter your Name Please enter your Email address
×

Thank you for joining our email list!

Joined email list logo

You should be receiving your first email soon!
Thanks for being a part of the family.

×

Create An Account

In order to save your favorite items, you'll need to create an account.
Already have one? Sign in.

An Undercover Tourist account allows you to:

Join The Frog Family
No thanks ×
Planning an upcoming vacation?

Sign up to receive our newsletter with free printable park plans, FastPass+ recommendations and more!

Error. Please try again.


Nope, I'm not going on a trip.