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A Hoppin' Overview of Universal Orlando Resort Events in 2024

Universal Orlando Special Events 2022 - PinterestWhen 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. If scary isn't your style, you'll find other year-round, family-friendly Universal Orlando 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!

We wanted to provide you this complete guide to Universal Orlando events in 2024 and beyond 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. You'll also find all of the Universal Orlando 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 events, but we'll be adding them to this page as soon as they become available!

Complete Guide to Universal Orlando Resort Events in 2024 and Beyond

FEBRUARY - MAY

Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval (Universal Studios Florida) — Feb. 3 to April 7, 2024

Universal Orlando Special Events - Jester Float

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! (In 2024, we've rocked out to Walker Hayes, The All-American Rejects and Ava Max! Leap and I have truly been living our best lives.) There is always plenty of Cajun food and drinks to fill you up, as well as tons of international offerings so you can taste how countries and cultures around the world celebrate the Carnaval season. Check out our tips for Mardi Gras at Universal Studios for more deets!

Mardi Gras at Universal Studios is included with regular park admission. See all of the partying for yourself!

Butterbeer Season — March 15 to April 30, 2024

Universal Orlando Special Events - Butterbeer Cart

If you frequently don a foam mustache in the parks, listen up: Butterbeer Season is arriving at Universal Orlando! During this festive period, wizards and witches will be able to try delectable Butterbeer-flavored treats, such as an ice lolly and caramels, in addition to the traditional items served daily. Additionally, for a limited time, you'll be able to purchase a cold or frozen Butterbeer in a special collectible silver stein. Cheers!

JUNE - AUGUST

Fourth of July Celebration (Universal Studios Florida) — July 4, 2024

Universal Orlando Events - Fourth of July

Fourth of July is always a hoppening time at Universal Studios Florida! Frogs can enjoy a high-energy band, live DJ, meet and greets with beloved characters (including characters from "Despicable Me," "Madagascar" and "SpongeBob Squarepants") and patriotic-themed performers and stilt walkers. The celebration culminates with a special fireworks display that frogs can view from anywhere in the park. All holiday activities are typically included with admission to Universal Studios. We can't wait to be back this year!

SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER

Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Studios Florida) — Select Nights in September and October

Halloween Horror Nights 2023 - Oddfellow

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 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 is the movie set-quality haunted houses themed around popular TV shows, classic and current films and sometimes even video games or music videos.

This event is not intended for children and is a separately-ticketed event. In fact, you'll probably need our Halloween Horror Nights guide just to make it through the night. Prepare yourself for Halloween Horror Nights with walkthroughs of some of the haunted houses on our YouTube channel.

Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle — September and October

Universal Orlando Events - Dark Arts

The Dark Arts of Hogwarts Castle projection show made its first (dark) mark in 2019 and plots a vengeful return to Universal Islands of Adventure every year. As darkness falls, Death Eaters (followers of the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort), infiltrate the streets of Hogsmeade as green light and fog permeate the village, right before the images of dark creatures and Voldemort himself cloak the castle walls. The show runs on select nights from dusk until the park closes.

NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER

Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort — November to December

Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure)

Universal Orlando Events - Celestina Warbeck

Holiday wishes do come true! Muggles can 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.

Universal Orlando Events - Christmas at Hogwarts

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.

Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's (Universal Studios Florida) 

Cap each night off at Universal Studios Florida during the holiday season with Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's as larger-than-life balloons and floats fill with favorite Illumination and DreamWorks Animation characters. During the parade, guests will see the Minions, Shrek, "Madagascar" characters and more. Santa also attends so he can light up the New York Christmas tree!

Grinchmas (Universal Islands of Adventure) 

Universal Orlando Events - Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular

For those of you who love the Grinch, there is no finer time to visit Universal 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 — who host an annual concert on select nights at Universal Studios Florida. Guests can also get up close and personal with the Grinch himself for pictures or autographs at Honk Honkers. The Grinch and Friends Character Breakfast also returned for 2023 in a brand-new location.

JANUARY

Rock the Universe (Universal Studios Florida) — Jan. 24 to 25, 2025

A separately ticketed special event, Rock the Universe is Florida's biggest Christian music festival. Universal Studios Florida closes at 6 p.m. for the event, but guests with concert tickets can enter the park starting at 4 p.m.

Are you planning on hopping to Universal Orlando Resort this year? Which Universal Orlando events in 2024 and beyond are you most looking forward to attending? Stop by the comments to tell us below!

Related: Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Survival Guide

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

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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1–50 of 1526 comments
Feb 12, 2024 at 12:50 a.m. Lee Says...

When will the light show be working again?

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Feb 12, 2024 at 9:09 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lee!

At this time, the regular Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle show is still listed under Temporary Attraction Closures on Universal Orlando's website without an expected return date. We hope it returns soon, and we will update our Refurbishments page when we hear of anything official. The Halloween and holiday-themed shows (Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle and The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle), however, have each made recent returns during those respective seasons.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 25, 2023 at 5:41 p.m. Kate Says...

When do all the Xmas celebrations start in universal 2024

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Sep 25, 2023 at 2:04 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kate!

We still don't know exact dates for 2023 or 2024, but the holidays at Universal Orlando usually starts around mid-November (typically the second or third Saturday of the month). Last year, the holiday festivities began Nov. 12, 2022, so we'd anticipate either Nov. 11 or 18, 2023, and either Nov. 9 or 16, 2024. If you wish to plan ahead without knowing exact dates, we would aim for Nov. 16 in case it starts the third Saturday instead of the second Saturday.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 17, 2023 at 12:26 p.m. Satish Says...

How does it look to visit the park on New Years eve? I read the park is opened till 1AM on Dec 31st-Jan1st. Is it fine to go with family? 2 boys 12 and 15 years old. Just want to check if anyone done it and what was the experience like? Is it OK to stay late in the park?

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May 18, 2023 at 1:34 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Satish!

That's correct! Usually, the NYE Celebrations take place at Universal Studios Florida, with park close at 1 a.m. Overall, it is family-friendly! There's live music and DJs, plus special character appearances all night long. At midnight, there is a pyrotechnic display (though because Universal is closely surrounded by residential areas, there are some limitations, so it's a bit of a smaller fireworks display).

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 13, 2022 at 3:25 a.m. Shivanna Says...

I will be going to Universal on November 10th, I saw that the Christmas parades begin on the 12th????. What can I expect on the 10th since the parades etc do not start yet?

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Aug 15, 2022 at 1:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shivanna!

Correct! The official holiday festivities begin Nov. 12, but you may see some decor prior to that date.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 8, 2022 at 12:12 a.m. Corrine Says...

Trying to find out why Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are closing so early on May 11 and 13. Can't seem to find any info. Do you have some inside info?

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Apr 8, 2022 at 8:18 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Corrine!

We're not toadally sure about May 11 — it's most likely a private event. May 13 is a Gradventure night.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Feb 28, 2022 at 7:11 p.m. Carole Says...

I will be heading to Universal for the week of 4-11 thru 4-15. We are staying at the Hard Rock so will have express passes. Will the crowds be super bad you think? I know I heard those dates wont coincide with Florida schools spring break?

Thanks

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Mar 1, 2022 at 9 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carole!

Since schools around the country have varying spring breaks, we anticipate that it will be busy since it's the week leading up to Easter and still falls during the unofficial "spring break season" (which typically ends the week following Easter Sunday). But you are correct that the local public schools will have already been on spring break so it likely won't be peak spring break crowds. We should also note that it's been harder to predict crowds based on past trends in general, now that people are becoming more comfortable with traveling and the pent-up demand is high. Staying at the Hard Rock Hotel and having the Universal Express Unlimited benefit will certainly be beneficial!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 15, 2022 at 8:25 p.m. Nickell Says...

I have a question about Halloween horror nights are they going to bring back all the maze from last year

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Jan 15, 2022 at 2:37 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nickell!

Usually, Universal creates all-new houses each year, so we wouldn't expect any to return. (However, 2021 was an exception because a few of the houses debuted during daytime hours as a surprise in 2020 when the full event was canceled). That said, the same characters and/or storylines can always return with brand-new scares. For instance, Killer Klowns from Outer Space inspired a scare zone in 2018, and the clowns returned with a vengeance for a house of their own in 2019.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 6, 2021 at 11:01 p.m. Kimberly Says...

I just saw a you tube video where they gave out free gift bags for the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and I wanted to know how long they will be doing that for I have planned my trip for Christmas week this year

Reply
Jul 5, 2021 at 6:33 p.m. Kathryn Says...

When do you think universal will release their blockout dates for 2022?

Reply
Jun 23, 2021 at 2:19 p.m. Dawn Says...

Any news on July 4th plans ? We are going that week and hoping they are doing something.

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Jun 23, 2021 at 9:35 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dawn!

We haven't heard of any official Fourth of July plans yet, but we'll keep you updated in case we do!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 14, 2021 at 10:03 p.m. Faith Fowlet Says...

How do I get tickets for Rock the Universe?

Reply
Jun 14, 2021 at 5:09 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Faith!

We still don't know any details about Rock the Universe in 2022 yet, but keep this guide bookmarked — we'll be sure to update once we know more!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 5, 2021 at 1:33 p.m. Jennifer Trujillo Says...

Why can i not purchase tickets on December 31st? This date is blocked out.

Reply
May 5, 2021 at 1:10 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer!

We were just able to book for that date, so we recommend trying again. If you continue to run into trouble, call us at 1-800-846-1302 with any questions.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Nov 15, 2020 at 12:46 a.m. ANDRIA JAYNE Aspinwall Says...

Hi, we have booked for November 21 and are doing universal, discovery cove SeaWorld, bush gardens and aquatica, and was wondering would we need to book the days, hoping by then it will be better. Thankyou

Reply
Nov 17, 2020 at 10:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Andria!

We'd book your reservation ASAP for Discovery Cove, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens as things are filling up quickly for the holiday season :) Have fun!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jul 27, 2020 at 5:31 p.m. Sharon Coulton Says...

My family and I had to reschedue our holiday and coming to Orlando 19th April 2021 for 21 days and have Universal 3 park Explorer tickets. Do we need to pre book the dates we wish to visit the parks like we have had to do with Disney.

Reply
Jul 27, 2020 at 12:46 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sharon!

No reservation is necessary to enter Universal Orlando at this time. Have a great trip!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Feb 18, 2020 at 11:05 p.m. Chris Halle Says...

We’ll be coming to Universal for the 1st time Tuesday March 2nd. Is any thing good happening on that date also we would like to see 2 parks there. Pricing please? Not sure to buy online or at the gate.

Reply
Feb 23, 2020 at 10:18 p.m. Angela Steward Says...

Awesome! Universal is Me and My sons FAVORITE theme park! You will not be disappointed! We have been going almost every year for the past 15 years and it never gets old! We will actually be there the first week in March too!!! Have an awesome time!!!

Reply
Feb 21, 2020 at 12:18 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chris!

Mardi Gras will be going on at that time! You can find all of our Universal Orlando Resort tickets and pricing here; we'd recommend a 2-day park-to-park ticket so that you're able to hop back and forth between the parks :) Have a great trip!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 9, 2020 at 4:15 a.m. Ryan Salter Says...

Have you heard anything if they have a celebration planned for the 10th anniversary of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

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Jan 13, 2020 at 9:17 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ryan!

We haven't just yet, unfortunately ... we definitely have our fingers and toes crossed! If we hear anything, we'll be sure to update you!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dec 28, 2019 at 8:45 p.m. Sara Smith Says...

Why are early 2019 events posted still? You had my hopes up that Steve Miller Band would be performing while I was going to be vacationing. Very disappointing.

Reply
Dec 30, 2019 at 8:04 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sara!

Since 2020's Mardi Gras lineup hasn't been announced just yet, we left 2019's lineup up under "2019 Lineup" so that others who haven't attended before might get a sense for the artists available at Mardi Gras in previous years. We'll be sure to update accordingly once 2020's lineup is announced!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 26, 2019 at 12:32 a.m. Andrea Says...

Have you heard any rumblings about the Harry Potter Celebration for 2020?

Reply
Aug 26, 2019 at 11:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Andrea,

As far as official confirmation goes, we have not heard one way or the other (haven't heard any rumblings either). But unfortunately, its return seems unlikely — Rock the Universe is confirmed for the last weekend of January, which is when A Celebration of Harry Potter usually takes place. However, if we hear anything different, we'll update here!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Aug 23, 2019 at 6:06 p.m. Anthony Says...

We will be there from November 8th through November 11th. It looks like this is in between Halloween and Christmas shows. Will there be any nighttime shows on our visit?

Reply
Aug 27, 2019 at 10:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anthony!

That's correct. However, Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration runs on select nights. Right now, it’s not showing dates in Nov. but keep checking the schedule of events to see if any dates pop up during your trip!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 4:53 a.m. ev mabrouk Says...

love universal

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 4:30 a.m. Manthark Says...

We would love to check out universal, minions are a big hit in our house!

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 3:48 a.m. RLK Says...

I can't wait to bring my grand kids back to a park.

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 3:31 a.m. AS Says...

I would so love to visit any of these parks!

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 3:12 a.m. Cassandra D Says...

I really like the different events.

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 3:03 a.m. KC Says...

My little sister passed away in Feb. She loved theme parks so much. I wish I had brought her to Universal for the Harry Potter Christmas celebration.

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 2:44 a.m. Newbie@47 Says...

Thanks for the info

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 2:39 a.m. Lawrence Alworth Says...

Universal has alot of good activities

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 2:34 a.m. Virginia Alworth Says...

So great to know what's going on at Universal

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 2:25 a.m. Vanessa Garza Says...

Can’t wait to finally take my kids. Enter to win

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 2:20 a.m. Jen W Says...

My kids and I are dying to go to Universal! We really hope to someday soon. ????Thank you for the tips!

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 2:12 a.m. Sokha Nop Says...

The best one out there

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 1:31 a.m. Deanna Says...

Grateful for the information!

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 12:55 a.m. Jocelyn C. Says...

Thanks for the info!

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 12:12 a.m. Megan h Says...

Universal has so many events planned out. I would love to see it for Christmas ????

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 12:04 a.m. Bridget Says...

Can’t wait to visit again!! Favorite place on earth ????

Reply
Jul 8, 2019 at 12:03 a.m. Elizabeth Miller Says...

What I would not give to be at pretty much any of the events but the Christmas looks amazing. My daughter has been wanting to go to Universal for 3 years now and we keep trying but something has got in the way each year. At turning 14 the end of this month, I have to make it happen soon so she can have all the memories of it.

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 11:49 p.m. brandy trover Says...

I would love to do all three parks! Wow amazing

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 11:39 p.m. Delores Harris Says...

So much info to wade through, you have it laid out for ease of use. thanks

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 11:28 p.m. Jose Vasquez Says...

Ive been wanting to go to universal for a long time now, I cant wait to visit!

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 11:25 p.m. Latosha Foreman Says...

I love undercover tourist

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 11:03 p.m. Katie Greve Says...

So much fun! Can’t wait to go!

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 10:55 p.m. Elizabeth Parks Scott Says...

Thanks! Wondering if a 4 and 6 year old boy can accomplish a park hopper at Universal and Islands of adventure. Im also thinking they are too young for Volcano Bay?

Reply
Jul 10, 2019 at 8:27 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Elizabeth!

It really depends on what you're going for (hitting all attractions? Just the big ticket attractions?) and the time of year (you can see more about crowd expectations here). If it’s slow season or you have Express Passes, you could probably get all your high priority attractions done. But if you want to see and do everything and it’s busy (without Express Passes), it might be tougher. We'd instead recommend doing one park one day and the other the next if that's the case. Most attractions at Volcano Bay have height requirements of 42 or 48 inches, so that’s something to keep in mind if your tadpole is not tall enough.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 10:37 p.m. Elizabeth Guillen Says...

I hope to visit one day!

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 10:04 p.m. donna porter Says...

I have not been to Orlando in over 20 years. I had so much fun but I must say that Universal Studios and Sea World were the best that I visited. I would love to take my hubby on a wonderful vacation to Orlando. He is 58 and never been to Orlando and I know he would love all the attractions!

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 8:36 p.m. Kelly Says...

Great things to add to our to do list for our honeymoon vacay!

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 8:07 p.m. Sarah Says...

We just went to universal for my 30th birthday! We loved it and hope to take the kids soon!

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 7:57 p.m. Lisa Haye Says...

Wow...I LOVE the information about Mardi Gras in Universal Studios!! Sounds like fun! :)

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 7:21 p.m. Lanell Says...

Would love to take a family vacation to Universal!

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 6:50 p.m. Tiffany M Says...

Fingers crossed! I’ve been dying to go!

Reply
Jul 7, 2019 at 6:48 p.m. Andrew Logan Says...

Travelling March next year. What’s the best thing to do with a 6 year old

Reply
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