When it comes to putting on spectacular events, Universal Orlando Resort doesn't hold back. Universal Studios Florida has long been home to one of the nation's premier events — Halloween Horror Nights — which is returning in 2020 for its 30th anniversary!
If scary isn't your style, you'll find other year-round, family-friendly Universal Studios Florida events such as Mardi Gras and Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Our Frog Family leaps at the chance to experience as many of the annual events as we can, and we know yours will, too!
You'll find all of the Universal Studios Florida events listed on our Crowd Calendar, which is the easiest way to see the best times to visit. Note: These Universal Orlando Resort events appear in the order that they are held throughout the year. We don't yet have confirmed dates for all of the 2020 events, but we'll be adding them to this page as soon as they become available!
Complete Guide to Universal Orlando Resort Events in 2020
Rock the Universe (Universal Studios) — Jan. 24-25, 2020
A separately ticketed special event, Rock the Universe is Florida's biggest Christian music festival. Universal moved the dates of this event from September to February for 2019, and it will once again return at the beginning of the year in 2020. Universal Studios Florida closes at 6 p.m. for the event, but guests with concert tickets are able to enter the park starting at 4 p.m. The 2020 lineup includes Friday performances from Switchfoot, Newsboys United, Tenth Avenue North, Tauren Wells, Tedashii and The Afters, and Saturday performances from Chris Tomlin, TobyMac, Bethel Music, We Are Messengers, Unspoken and I Am They.
FEBRUARY - MAY
Running Universal (Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure) — Feb. 1-2, 2020
Lace up your running shoes! Universal Orlando Resort is hosting its first-ever Epic Character Race 5K and 10K weekend. You'll get to run through the theme parks, meet your favorite characters along the way and earn a toadally awesome medal. The 5K race takes place on Feb. 1, and the 10K hoppens the very next morning. Online registration is currently open.
Mardi Gras (Universal Studios Florida) — Every Night from Feb. 1 - April 2, 2020
This Universal Orlando rite of passage takes place each spring on select dates at Universal Studios. Highlights of this family-friendly event include the Mardi Gras parade through the park and live concerts. With flashy floats created by Kern Studios, the company that has created Mardi Gras floats in New Orleans since 1947, this event is as authentic as it gets (while still remaining kid-friendly)! You can check out authentic New Orleans bands. Plus, there are Universal Studios concerts from big names in rock, pop, country and more! There are always plenty of Cajun food and drinks to fill you up, too. Check out our tips for Mardi Gras at Universal Studios so you can start planning for next year's event.
Mardi Gras 2020 Lineup
Feb. 1: The Roots
Feb. 8: Karol G
Feb. 15: Bell Biv DeVoe
Feb. 16: +Live+
Feb. 22: Kool & the Gang
Feb. 29: TLC
March 7: REO Speedwagon
March 8: Dustin Lynch
March 13: Luis Fonsi
March 14: The All-American Rejects
March 15: Diana Ross
March 20: Chris Young
March 21: Earth, Wind & Fire
March 22: Marshmello
March 28: Why Don't We
March 29: Gavin DeGraw
Mardi Gras at Universal Studios is included with regular park admission. After the fun in the park is done, head over to Universal CityWalk, where the party continues at seven venues, including Pat O’Brien's, CityWalk’s Mardi Gras headquarters.
See all of the partying for yourself!
JUNE - AUGUST
Fourth of July Celebration (Universal Studios Florida) — Select Days During the Week of July 4, 2020
We celebrated Fourth of July at Universal Studios Florida last year with our favorite Universal characters. Festivities kicked off at the Music Plaza at 5 p.m. with DJ M-Squared spinning top tunes and live music from Raydio. Characters and stilt walkers joined the dance party and showed off their moves. The pyrotechnics display took place over the Music Plaza once the sun went down. We even got food and drinks delivered right to us on the lawn from the Classic Monster Cafe across the way! We ended the night by watching Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration in Central Park.
SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER
Halloween Horror Nights 30 (Universal Studios Florida) — Select Nights from Sept. 10 - Oct. 31, 2020
The biggest Universal Studios Florida event of the year is held on select nights every fall. For horror fans, and those of you who just like to be scared, Halloween Horror Nights 2020 is not to be missed! The park is transformed from a bubbly theme park into a place of terror. "Scare zones" are set up while creatures roam about. Think you're safe? Ha! You might just find a zombie breathing down your neck. The big lure of the night are the movie set-quality haunted houses themed around popular TV shows, classic and current films and sometimes even video games.
This event is not intended for children and is a separately ticketed event. In fact, you'll probably need our Halloween Horror Nights survival guide just to make it through the night. Tickets go on sale a few months before the event begins, and we highly recommend buying tickets in advance!
Prepare yourself for Halloween Horror Nights 2020 with this video of the 2019 event.
NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER
Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort — Nov. 2020 to Dec. 2020
Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure)
Holiday wishes do come true! Muggles are able to experience Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley trimmed with festive holiday decorations. Even the shops of the Wizarding World are trimmed! There are holiday-themed food and drinks, as well as entertainment.
The highlight of Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a holiday show taking place on Hogwarts Castle. This incredible experience uses mapped-projection technology to "cast a spell" onto the castle and features iconic moments from the films. Check out our video of the magical show!
Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's (Universal Studios Florida)
Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's debuted at Universal Studios Florida in 2017 and should return again in 2020. A re-imagining of the park's long-running Macy's Holiday Parade, this extravaganza features Dreamworks favorites. During the parade, guests see the Minions, Shrek, "Madagascar" characters and more. Santa also attends so he can light up the New York Christmas tree!
Grinchmas (Universal's Islands of Adventure)
For those of you Who love the Grinch, there is no finer time to visit Universal's Islands of Adventure than during Grinchmas. Seuss Landing is transformed into the wonderful world of Grinchmas with the heartwarming live show, "Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular." The show features some of your favorite Grinch characters. It's also set to music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller.
Guests can get up close and personal with the Grinch himself for pictures or autographs. You can even have breakfast with him! The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast occurs on select mornings and is a dining experience that requires a reservation booked in advance. Grinchmas, however, is included with regular park admission.
EVE (Universal CityWalk)
This separately ticketed event is designed for the adult froggies, specifically 21 and up. If you're looking to ring in 2021 with some dining, drinking and dancing, celebrate New Year's Eve at Universal CityWalk. It includes gourmet cuisine, live bands and DJs, along with access to five clubs and an outdoor dance floor. When the clock strikes midnight, the party shortly pauses for a champagne toast and fireworks.
We wanted to provide you this complete guide to Universal Orlando Events in 2020 because the Universal Studios concerts, parties, festivals and events are some of the best reasons to visit! You will find more resources and tips for planning your Universal Orlando Resort trip inside our Orlando Planning Guide.
Are you planning on hopping to Universal Orlando Resort this year? Which Universal Studios Florida events in 2020 are you most looking forward to attending? What about Universal's Islands of Adventure? Be sure to stop by the comments to tell us below!
Related: Guide to Halloween Horror Nights