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A ~Froggy~ Festive Guide to Christmas at Universal Orlando Resort

by Mommy Frog on November 16, 2021 3957 Orlando

Universal Orlando Christmas - PinterestWhat better way to bring together minions, ogres, toys and more than during Christmas at Universal Orlando Resort? Even the Grinch can't resist the cheer. After all, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year (right?!)! During the holiday season, Grinchmas and Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter spread holiday cheer throughout Seuss Landing, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Much of the main entertainment returns year after year, but we always notice new details in the decor to keep things fresh.

Last year, with COVID-19 health and safety measures in place, things were modified slightly to account for limited capacity and social distancing. (If you're interested to learn the precautions in place at Universal Orlando right now, hop over to our full reopening guide for more details.) Among the modified holiday offerings was Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's, which turned into a walk-through experience in 2020 rather than a full parade. We're hoppy to report that the parade and all of the normal Universal Orlando holiday offerings came back this year! It is truly a season to celebrate.

The Universal Orlando Christmas events are included with regular Universal Orlando admission. A lot hoppens around the resort, so click one of the links below to skip to that section or read the entire article if you're as thorough as Santa checking his list twice.

Christmas in The Wizarding World | Holiday Events in the Parks | Festive Food | Holidays at the Hotels | New Year's Eve | Which Ticket Should You Get?

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Universal Orlando Christmas - Hogsmeade at Night

You know that feeling you get when you watch a "Harry Potter" movie 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 Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida both feature festive Christmas decorations — including garland and lights — along the buildings and streets of the Wizarding World.

Be sure to take a closer look at the decorations outside of each storefront! For instance, Madam Malkin's in Diagon Alley sports pink ribbon bows that match the color of Hermione's Yule Ball dress in the display window. The London waterfront is also decked out in traditional Christmas lights and garland as if you've magically been transported to the city itself. We highly recommend visiting during the day so you can notice all of the small details and returning at night to see everything lit up!

Universal Orlando Christmas - Celestina Warbeck

Our fellow froggies, the Frog Choir, perform special concerts in Hogsmeade with Christmas songs straight from the spell books, as well as muggle holiday tunes such as "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Inside Diagon Alley, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees get in the holiday spirit with a special show. Listen for four original songs, including the super-catchy "My Baby Gave Me a Hippogriff for Christmas." These shows tend to not draw crowds until they've already started. Every view is good, but even if you only arrive five minutes early, you can still sit down on the ground right next to the stage.

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 Castle" is eight minutes long and 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 Hogwarts students dancing at the Yule Ball, Arthur Weasley's flying Ford Anglia plowing into snowmen and more! Even if you aren't a fan of the usual Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle show, we recommend catching the Christmas show. It's gorgeous and really captures the unique holiday fun that you see in the "Harry Potter" films. We're so hoppy it returned this year!

Universal Orlando Christmas - Magic of Christmas

If you're planning to see all of the holiday festivities in both parks on one day, get a viewing spot for the Holiday Parade in Universal Studios right on the streets of Hollywood! That's where the parade starts, so by the time the last float passes you, you'll have just enough time to speed-hop over and catch the fireworks in Islands of Adventure before the park closes. We arrived at the holding area in Hogsmeade at 6:30 p.m. and caught the show 10 minutes later.

Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s & More Universal Orlando Resort Holiday Festivities

Universal Orlando Christmas - King Julien in the Universal's Holiday ParadeThe highlight of Christmas at Universal Orlando (for us, at least!) is Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's. You can catch some of your favorite Universal characters making holiday mischief, including the minions, Shrek and more. And of course, jolly ol' Santa typically makes an appearance at the parade's finale to light up the Christmas tree. The parade begins at 5:30 p.m. nightly, except for Dec. 2 when it will begin at 5 p.m.

If you want a prime spot for Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's 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 usually across the street from the tree next to The Mummy ride. From this spot, you can watch as Santa lights the tree. However this year, we grabbed a table outside of Mel's Drive-In facing TRANSFORMERS and Battery Park 45 minutes before the parade started. It's at the very end of the parade route so while the first float will take about half an hour to reach you, it's a great place to sit down and relax if you want to rest your feet after a long day!

Holiday Tree Hunt 

Universal Orlando Christmas - Seuss Landing TreeHop along on a holiday-themed scavenger hunt to find 15 decorated holiday trees around Universal CityWalk, Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida! Purchase a Holiday Tree Hunt brochure for $10 from select retailers in order to redeem a special holiday ornament (even if you don't get every single location stamped) from either the Park Plaza Holiday Shop, Port of Entry Christmas Shoppe or Universal Studios Store CityWalk. However, you don't need the brochure if you simply want to see them! Uniquely themed trees can be found in the following locations:

  • Universal Studios Store - Universal Studios Florida
  • Silver Screen Collectibles
  • Five & Dime
  • SpongeBob StorePants
  • MIB Gear
  • San Francisco Candy Factory
  • Islands of Adventure Trading Company
  • Comic Book Store
  • Toon Extra
  • Jurassic Outfitters
  • All Hallows Eve Boutique
  • Cats, Hats and Things
  • Universal Studios Store - Universal CityWalk
  • Universal Legacy Store
  • Toothsome Chocolate Emporium

Universal Orlando Christmas - Santa's WorkshopHoliday Tribute Store

If you're a Halloween fan, you've likely heard of the Tribute Store at Universal Studios Florida, notorious for its spooky-good decor and props. Well, in 2020, the Tribute Store decked its halls for the holidays for the first time, and this year, the Holiday Tribute Store has returned with four festively themed rooms! Enter Santa’s Workshop during the busy season and see who made the Naughty and Nice Lists. Check out what Universal's very own Earl the Squirrel is up to in a delightfully nut-scented Christmas Curios Museum & Emporium. (This room is also where you'll find some festive holiday treats like whoopie pies and gingerbread cookies ... but we can't imagine not being drawn to the fresh-roasted nuts in here.) Pay a visit to the Grinch’s Lair hidden away inside the peaks of Mt. Crumpit. Lastly, dance the night away at the formal wizard winter celebration, the Yule Ball, where you can purchase all of your merry merchandise.

Mannheim Steamroller Concerts

Universal Orlando Christmas - Snowflakes

Mannheim Steamroller has brought the festive sounds of modern Christmas to Universal Studios Florida for 13 years. These concerts usually take place at 7 p.m. on select Saturdays and Sundays at the Music Plaza Stage. While the concerts did not take place in 2020, the band is returning in 2021! The concert dates this year are Dec. 4, 5, 11 and 12.

Arrive early if you want a sit-down spot in front of the stage. However, you can easily hear the music beyond the concert area, so if you're content with catching a few tunes, stroll by when you have time. (Note that Seasonal Passholders are blocked out of Universal Studios Florida on concert dates.)

Grinchmas at Universal's Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando Christmas - Mulberry Street Store

It wouldn't be Christmas at Universal Orlando Resort without Grinchmas! Seuss Landing is the most spectacularly decorated of them all, with so many baubles and tinsel wrapped around just about everything. At night, the two white trees near the entrance of Seuss Landing shine bright in many different colors and animations, including the Grinch and Max the dog, so definitely do not miss those dancing lights before you leave!

Universal Orlando Christmas - Whoville Citizens

The green sourpuss himself is returning to Universal's Islands of Adventure for holiday fun! The green guy brings his signature snark during a special meet and greet at the All The Books You Can Read store. Meanwhile, Whoville citizens are usually out and about, walking through the land on stilts or strolling through The Street of the Lifted Lorax. All of them will hoppily pose for photos with you!

The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular was not on the schedule for 2020 but it's back for 2021! In this whoot of a show, talented performers bring the Seuss favorite to life through song and dance. If you'd like to attend, plan to be in line at least 30 minutes ahead of showtime, even if there aren't huge crowds. You do need to walk a fair distance to the new theater where it will take place (a space that was previously occupied by Blue Man Group). While definitely a tadpole-centric show, it's still a blast for any fans of the Grinch, who spits out hilarious one-liners. (And OMG ... Max is played by an adorable, live dog. What a good boy!)

Mistletoe Pines

Universal Orlando Christmas - Mistletoe Pines

Brand new to Universal Orlando this year is Mistletoe Pines Village, a holiday hub right in the center of CityWalk where you'll find sweets, treats and merch galore! You can even get a caricature drawing done here or purchase a custom photo holiday ornament. We absolutely loved ending our night sitting by the water with a cut of minty fresh Candy Cane Fudge and a cup of delicious Nutty Nog!

Festive Food and Drinks at the Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Christmas - Hot Butterbeer

Drinking Butterbeer is a must-do whenever you visit the Universal parks (did you know there are six different versions?). While you can now get hot Butterbeer year-round, there's no better time to enjoy a delicious cup of it than when the temperature starts dropping. 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 and the Hopping Pot.

Universal Orlando Christmas - Coca Bombs

All around Universal Orlando Resort — and in addition to what you'll find at the Tribute Store and Mistletoe Pines — there are specially-themed holiday food and beverages! Try some gloriously green goodies at the food stand outside the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular and Hop on Pop in Seuss Landing or grab something a little heartier at the food truck in either Production Central or San Francisco. Our favorite food and drinks were tucked away in Battery Park. We loved the Holiday Leftovers Pressed Sandwich on artisan cranberry bread filled with turkey and brie cheese and the Cookies and Milk pictured below (with a cookies-and-cream straw)!

Universal Orlando Christmas - Milk and Cookies

Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

Universal Orlando Christmas - 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 of the 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. The hotels even offer specially ticketed buffets. Some of the hotel holiday celebrations include holiday crafts, parties with face painters and balloon artists and even bowling.

Universal Orlando Christmas - Loews Royal Pacific Resort

If you want to experience the Universal Christmas events during the busiest times, we highly recommend purchasing Universal Express Passes no matter where you stay. You can save money when you purchase this add-on to theme park admission for regular Universal Express (which gives you access one time per participating ride) or Universal Express Unlimited. If you stay on-site at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal's Hard Rock Hotel or Loews Royal Pacific Resort, you'll 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 purchasing Universal Express the week 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 the Universal Express hotels, jump over to Universal's Cabana Bay Beach ResortUniversal's Endless Summer - Surfside Inn and Suites or Universal's Endless Summer - Dockside Inn and Suites. While they don't offer Unlimited Express, these hotels (and all of Universal's hotels) offer one-hour early admission to a select park. If you stay on-site, you can get a hop on experiencing Christmas in the Wizarding World's holiday magic! What's even more magical is to book your Universal Orlando hotel room at a discount, so hop to it!

New Year's Eve at Universal Orlando Resort

If you're looking for something to do when the clock strikes midnight, Universal Orlando usually offers several different ways to ring in the new year.

Over at Universal Studios Florida, we danced the last night of 2019 away at the Music Plaza Stage at the Holiday Parade Character dance party. There was a live band and DJ, along with confetti and pyrotechnics at midnight. We also watched Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration in Central Park, where there was a second character dance party location. At midnight, fireworks, along with a fountain and light special effects, lit up the sky.

In the past, Universal CityWalk hosted its annual EVE event for adult frogs 21 and older. From 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., Leap and I dined, drank and danced as we celebrated the new year. This separately ticketed event included unlimited cuisine, access to five clubs and an outdoor dance floor, one drink ticket and one glass of champagne at midnight.

As of Nov. 2021, there's no word that either of the events will be returning, but we do know that this year, Universal Orlando resorts will offer several special celebrations on Dec. 31. All of the hotels will be offering a special New Year's Eve or New Year's Day meal. Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort will be hosting a New Year's Eve Spectacular that will include face painting, a balloon artist and a live DJ. This event is complimentary for Cabana Bay Beach guests only. Portofino Bay and the Hard Rock Hotel will also be hosting their own parties, starting at 8 p.m. on the Piazza and 6 p.m. in the lobby, respectively.

Which Ticket Should You Get During Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort?

Universal Orlando Christmas - Toys

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's easy to hop back and forth. 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, you'll need to find it poolside this season. Universal's Volcano Bay water theme park is usually open in the winter. Don't let the time of year trick you. It's still plenty warm in sunny Florida (especially for you snowbirds) and the hotel pools are heated. (Check out all of our discount Universal Orlando ticket options, and don't froget, we offer discounts on the Universal Orlando hotels too!)

Ready for Christmas at Universal Orlando Resort 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 during the holidays at Universal Orlando Resort and other destinations. And be sure to add Universal Express Passes onto your tickets to skip the lines!

Related: Complete Guide to Universal Orlando Events

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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3851–3887 of 3887 comments
Nov 20, 2017 at 6:50 p.m. April Herrmann Says...

Going to Universal during the holidays would be amazing! I know I would not like the crowds, but it wold be worth it for the lights and decorations.

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 6:46 p.m. Gibelle Says...

How I wish I could go to the parks every single holiday season. Its so beautiful

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Nov 20, 2017 at 6:26 p.m. Debbie Says...

Looks like a lot of cool stuff to do at Universal for the holidays.

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 6:10 p.m. Bren Says...

I'm definitely going to have to check out the holiday season at Universal at some point. Looks awesome!

Thanks!

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 5:58 p.m. drmoe21 Says...

looks like a wonderful vacay

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 5:52 p.m. LoisF Says...

Love every park!

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Nov 20, 2017 at 5:43 p.m. Cheryl from Boston Says...

Never been to Universal, just the 4 Disney Parks. Would love to see this in person with my family.

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Nov 20, 2017 at 5:42 p.m. Dawn Says...

This would be so much fun. We've never vacationed there before.

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 5:39 p.m. Mabel Says...

Going next week during the week. Will the parade be happening?

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Nov 20, 2017 at 1:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mabel,

Yes! The parade will be happening.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 5:35 p.m. Brock Says...

Wish I could visit this Christmastime, but I will be there next year.

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 5:27 p.m. Lisa Says...

Love Universal and Islands of Adventure!!! Can't wait

to go again!

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 5:24 p.m. Michelle D. Says...

This guide is so useful. I so want to take my kids there for the holidays!

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 5:22 p.m. Mary Says...

Arriving End of February...

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 5:22 p.m. Loc V. Says...

It all looks so festive. My son would love it!

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Nov 20, 2017 at 5:20 p.m. Nancy Says...

Is it busier at Christmas time or at European Holiday/Easter Break?

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 5:16 p.m. Paige Ryan Says...

Very helpful information

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 5:12 p.m. Dianna Jennings Says...

This would be the greatest gift to not only my 8 year old son, but also MYSELF! We love all things Disney! Thank you for this awesome chance to win. We love you guys!

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 4:03 p.m. Lorena Says...

This all looks so amazing! I'd love to go soon.

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 3:09 p.m. JAMIE L TABOR Says...

MY SON WOULD GEEK OUT!

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Nov 6, 2017 at 1:17 p.m. Lisa Says...

Hi,

Do you know if there is anyway to see the Grinch at universal, we're flying out 2nd Jan-16th Jan... I think Grinchmas breakfast is finished by then, but really want to meet the Grinch! Thanks.

Reply
Nov 6, 2017 at 8:37 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lisa,

Grichmas at Universal's Islands of Adventure ends Jan. 6. Be sure to stop by for a photo during your visit!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 29, 2017 at 2:59 a.m. Melissa Bishop Says...

Do you know if there will be extended hours during Christmas at Universal? Mainly wanting to know about Christmas eve. Thanks!

Reply
Oct 29, 2017 at 8:41 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Melissa,

We have not heard if there will be extended hours for Universal. We'll update our Crowd Calendar if things change.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 24, 2017 at 11:47 a.m. Mel Says...

Hi

Will all the celebrations continue into January? We’d really like to see the Grinch and Who-Ville show but don’t arrive until after Christmas.

Thanks

PS if you buy a 2 day ticket is there a length of time the second day has to be used by?

Reply
Oct 24, 2017 at 4:11 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mel,

The Holiday activities at Universal Orlando end Jan. 8. As for the 2-day ticket, it depends on which 2-day ticket. For example, our Universal 2-Day Park-to-Park Ticket is valid for any two (2) calendar days during a seven (7) consecutive calendar day period which includes the first day the ticket is activated. Check out each of the tickets to see the different options.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 27, 2017 at 2:27 p.m. Ashley Says...

Hi! We are planning to go to Universal/IOA on 11/28 and 11/29. Will all of the Holiday décor and parades be occurring on these days? Are there extended park hours during the holidays or will all of the parades take place before 7pm when the parks close?

Reply
Sep 27, 2017 at 3:51 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ashley,

We expect that all the holiday decorations and entertainment will be up and running by then! There should be extended hours as well!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 28, 2016 at 12:45 a.m. Phil Goldwasser Says...

I love your planning guides! Would your one day Universal guide be basically the same during Christmas week, or would we need to adjust it a bit?

Reply
Dec 8, 2016 at 3:39 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Phil,

You would need to do quite a bit of adjusting because the parks are very, very crowded at this time. I would honestly make a list of each family member's top priority (or two), arrive ahead of official opening, hit the most crowded rides first thing. You can see the list of when to visit each of the rides on our Orlando iPhone app or on the general guide for the parks.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 27, 2016 at 5:48 p.m. MM Says...

Hello, Is Christmas Day and Universal as bad as Christmas Day at Disney's MK?

Reply
Nov 28, 2016 at 12:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi MM,

Yes, it is. Looks for a holiday survival guide pegged to Universal Orlando from us soon!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 1, 2017 at 6:20 a.m. Louise beastall Says...

Hi we have just booked 19 December

2017 Orlando 9 nights Xmas and Naples 4 nights new year. Have you any advice on parks and survival guides etc. Also anything on new year in Naples

Thank you

Reply
Feb 1, 2017 at 8:17 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Louise,

How fun! Our Crowd Calendar will give you ideas on which parks to visit, and avoid, during your trip. Use our Park Planners to arrange your days when you're there.

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 14, 2016 at 12:31 a.m. Katie Says...

Where can we find information on the citywalk pass for NYE FOR 2016?

Reply
Nov 22, 2016 at 7:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Katie,

You'll find details here.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 31, 2016 at 3:50 p.m. E.W. Says...

Hi.. I just wanted to know if you have any idea as to when the Christmas decorations start to appear in the Universal/Islands parks this year (2016)....Thank you

Reply
Nov 8, 2016 at 2:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

The decorations should all be in place by the week of Thanksgiving!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 7, 2017 at 5:56 p.m. Karen Anglin Says...

When will the Christmas decorations be up this year? One of my bucket list items is to see Seuss Landing decorated for Christmas.

Reply
Mar 7, 2017 at 12:12 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Karen,

The Grinchmas decorations at Islands of Adventure start going up the first week of December.

Hoppy Planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Mar 22, 2016 at 4:07 p.m. Melody Says...

We plan on visiting Orlando Dec 27 2016 and I need to plan our days carefully. I want to ensure a Grinchmas Character breakfast for my family of 5. Disney books 180 days in advance so how soon will I be able to book the Grinchmas character breakfast for 2016?

Reply
Apr 14, 2016 at 2:14 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Melody,

We don't yet know when these will go on sale, but last year reservations opened up after Halloween Horror Nights.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dec 19, 2015 at 3:22 a.m. norean Says...

will there be any signs of Christmas on January 3, 2016 in the parks or resorts? we will be arriving about 8pm on the 2nd and don,t want to use a park ticket for only a few hours. Does Universal have a twilight pass?

Reply
Dec 21, 2015 at 7:39 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

Unfortunately, Universal does not offer a twilight pass. In case you missed it, we now offer discount E-Tickets for Universal, so that is a straight-to-gate option for you. The parks will still be fully decorated, so enjoy!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dec 7, 2015 at 10:15 p.m. Vern Woodruff Says...

Hi,

We just attended IOA Dec 5 and the Studios on Dec 6 and had a couple of items to add.

For the Grinchmas show, the auditorium has LOTS of seating, so even if you see a line that snakes out to near the Cat in the Hat ride, everyone should be able to see the show. I thought there were a lot of people at the 5:30 pm show we attended, but the theater was not even half full. One note about seating for us was that the Universal attendants guided people to the rows, filling them up from the bottom to the top. So, by being near the back of the line, we actually had a better view of the show than if we had been near the front of the line.

If you want to meet the Grinch, be prepared for a slow-moving line. The Grinch is great fun when you do meet him, but hopefully you are not too "grinchy" yourself if you had to stand in line for 30 - 45 minutes.

Your note about the viewing area for the Macy's parade is correct. That location between the Mummy and what was Twister (construction walls for "Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon" are now up) was perhaps the best location for viewing the parade. We had a spot next to the Straight Outta Food Truck, arriving about 30 minutes before the parade started at 5. However, for taking pictures, I think a location in front of the Mummy or across the street from the Macy's storefront would work out better because you could more easily have either the tree or Macy's storefront in the background behind the balloon. Also, when Santa's float stopped in front of the tree and the Macy's storefront for the tree lighting, we had difficulty seeing Santa or the various dancers that were performing.

Reply
Nov 29, 2015 at 10:22 p.m. Maggieandme Says...

Hi,

Is there any fireworks at Universal on New Year's Eve? We are flying in at 5:30 and would like to eat then do something fun with 2 teen girls. All the things listed seem expensive since we won't get there until late. Would it be worth it? Any suggestions?

Reply
Dec 3, 2015 at 7:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

At Universal Studios, the regular fireworks show Cinematic Spectacular has a special end of the year theme and begins at 11:59 p.m. to ring in the new year. Many of the CityWalk restaurants will be closed for the ticketed NYE event held there. If you want to eat in the park, Finnegan's is always a great choice for a fun time.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 21, 2015 at 9:40 p.m. Sue Watts Says...

How soon before the Macy's Holiday Parade should I pick my spot and sit down? Silly question, but do you use something under your bum for extra padding on the long waits?

Reply
Nov 30, 2015 at 2:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sue,

Some people begin lining up for Macy's hours before, but you should still be able to find a good spot if you find your place by 45 minutes or so before step off. For absolutely prime spots, you'll want to start settling down by around an hour before the parade. As far as bum-padding goes, I don't usually bring anything extra for that purpose, but a sweater or hoodie makes great impromptu cushioning for long waits.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 17, 2015 at 5:39 p.m. Vern Woodruff Says...

My Family would like to attend the Grinch and Friends Character Breakfast. I checked the Universal website and found information on it (as of 11/17/15), but you cannot make a reservation and it says that full 2015 information will be released with the Holidays event content later in the year. Based on previous years, any idea as to when this will become available? After becoming accustomed to Disney publishing dates and times far in advance, it has been quite different planning for Universal when very little is published in advance and is not listed on the website (i.e. which park is available for early entry on a specific day for hotel guests). Thanks!

Reply
Nov 17, 2015 at 3:51 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Vern,

Odd. I called the reservation number at 1-407-224-3663 and was told that reservations are now open for this event! The online reservation system also appeared to work, although the dates available did not match those listed on the site. I would recommend calling them directly to book. As far as Early Park Admission, if you call the hotel you are staying at, they should be able to tell you which park or if both parks are available.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 17, 2015 at 11:30 p.m. Vern Woodruff Says...

Hi Mommy Frog,

Thanks for the quick response and the information! I called the dining reservation number and was able to purchase tickets. The lady I spoke with mentioned that tickets had just become available, so perhaps they are in the reservation system but the Universal web-site has not been updated to reflect that yet. I also called the hotel and found out that Islands of Adventure is the early entry park during our visit.

Reply
Nov 10, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. Nbdr2115 Says...

What time is the Macy's Parade and the Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure? Do the times change?

Reply
Nov 18, 2015 at 3:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

The times do change and Universal doesn't publish these times online, so it's best to check when you get to the park for the Who-Liday Spectacular. As far as the parade, it is usually at 5 p.m. or 8 p.m. depending on when the park closes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 18, 2015 at 3:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

The times do change and Universal doesn't publish these times online, so it's best to check when you get to the park for the Who-Liday Spectacular. As far as the parade, it is usually at 5 p.m. or 8 p.m. depending on when the park closes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 1, 2015 at 1:07 p.m. Nanner Says...

What time does the Mannheim Steamroller concert usually start? We plan to see them in December at Universal.

Reply
Oct 2, 2015 at 2:47 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nanner,

Normally 6 p.m.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jul 14, 2015 at 4:41 p.m. christina Says...

Hi could you tell me what time the macys parade is normally on Christmas day please. Thankyou in advance

Chrissy

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Jul 16, 2015 at 11:20 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chrissy,

The parade historically has run at 5 p.m. or 8 p.m. depending on how late the park is open. I would expect on Christmas Day for this to be later.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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Mar 30, 2015 at 3:25 p.m. denise black Says...

Could u please tell me what entertainment is on in universal stuidoes-island of adventure on 31st December 2015 thanking you x

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Mar 31, 2015 at 7:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Denise,

We expect Grinchmas and the Macy's Holiday Parade on the 31st. Additionally, there is usually a HUGE New Year's Eve celebration at Universal CityWalk that will be a lot of fun for adults!

Mommy Frog

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Nov 21, 2017 at 12:34 a.m. Leah Dalton Says...

Love it

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