When it comes to putting on spectacular special events, the Universal Orlando Resort doesn't hold back. The resort is home to one of the nation's premier events with Halloween Horror Nights. But don't fear if you're not into fear (like Lily). Year-round, the resort hosts spectacular events from Mardi Gras to the debut of Christmas at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2017.
Just as we've done for Disney World and Busch Gardens Tampa and Sea World Orlando, we have put together our Complete Guide to Universal Orlando Events, so you can easily see what's going on when you visit. Who knows, maybe you'll decide to visit just so you can attend one of the events! You'll find all of the Universal Orlando events listed on our Crowd Calendar, which is the easiest way to see the best time to visit. Remember that staying on-site at one the hotels is your best way for convenient access to the theme parks.
Note: The Universal Orlando annual events appear in the order that they are held throughout the year. We don't have dates yet for all of the 2017 events, but we'll be adding them to this page as soon as they become available.
Complete Guide To Universal Orlando Events in 2017
A Celebration of Harry Potter™ (Universal Studios Florida® and Universal's Islands of Adventure®) — January 26-28, 2018
Taking place one weekend every January at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure , Universal Orlando’s A Celebration of Harry Potter elevates the fan's experience by hosting panels of celebrity guests, special events and demonstrations.
This year, guests can learn the learn the art of dueling in Paul Harris’s Wand Masterclass, demonstrate their knowledge of Harry Potter film trivia, dance like Beauxbatons and battle like Durmstrang. This year’s exhibitions include the "Harry Potter™: The Exhibition" with prop-maker Pierre Bohanna and "Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter™ exhibit". Guests will also have the chance to immerse themselves directly into the Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them™ world by using Daydream View, Google's brand new VR headset. Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), and Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick/Griphook) are scheduled to be in attendance for the “Behind the Scenes: Harry Potter Film Talent Q&A Session.”
A Celebration of Harry Potter is included with regular park admission.
February - May
Mardi Gras (Universal Studios) — Every Night Feb. 3 - April 7, 2018
Mardi Gras takes place each spring (usually February through March) on select nights at Universal Studios. Universal announced that 2018 will be even longer, extending into April. Highlights of this family-friendly event include the Mardi Gras parade through the park and 12 live concerts, plus authentic New Orleans bands. Make sure to come hungry, because there is plenty of Cajun food and drinks to fill you up! Check out our tips for Mardi Gras at Universal Studios!
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’Briens® - CityWalk’s Mardi Gras headquarters.
See all of the partying for yourself!
Mardi Gras & French Quarter 2018 Full Lineup has not yet been announced.
September - October
Rock the Universe (Universal Studios) — September 8-9
Some of Christian rock's biggest performers take to the stage at Universal Studios. Rock with national acts and performers, along with access to rides such as Revenge of the Mummy and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. This is a separately ticketed event that is not included with regular theme park admission.
- Sept 8 - Chris Tomlin, Lecrae, Kari Jobe, Lauren Daigle, 7eventh Time Down, Social Club Misfits, Steven Malcolm, Hollyn, GAWVI and Kolby Koloff.
- Sept 9 - Casting Crowns, For King & Country, Thousand Foot Krutch, Andy Mineo, Family Force 5, Ryan Stevenson, DJ Promote, For All Seasons, Hannah Kerr and Aaron Cole.
Halloween Horror Nights 27 (Universal Studios) — Select Dates in September—November
- SEPTEMBER 15-17, 21-24, 29-30
- OCTOBER 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-31
- NOV 3-4
Universal Orlando's biggest event of the year is held on select nights every fall at Universal Studios. For horror fans and those of you who just like to be scared, this event is not to be missed. The park is transformed from bubbly theme park into a place of terror, with "scare zones" set up and creatures roaming 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 that are themed around popular TV shows, classic films and some of your favorite video games. The Exorcist was a debuting maze for Halloween Horror Nights 26.
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 month or so before the event begins, and we do recommend buying tickets in advance as some nights do sell out.
Prepare yourself for Halloween Horror Nights with this video.
November - January
Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort — Nov. 18, 2017 to Jan. 8, 2018
NEW - Christmastime at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - ( Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure)
Your holiday wishes do come true! This year, muggles and students will be able to experience Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley trimmed with festive holiday decorations on the buildings and within the shops of the Wizarding World. There will also be holiday-themed food and drinks, as well as entertainment.
The highlight of Christmastime at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be a holiday show taking place on Hogwarts Castle. This new experience will use mapped-projection technology to "cast a spell" onto the castle and feature iconic moments from the films.
NEW - Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's (Universal Studios)
This holiday season, the new Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's will debut at Universal Studios Florida. A re-imagining of the park's long-running Macy's Holiday Parade, this extravaganza will feature Dreamworks favorites such as the Minions, Shrek and Madagascar. Yes, Santa will be there as well. Brand new balloons will also premiere.
Mannheim Steamroller (Universal Studios) — Nov. 18 - 19, 25 - 26, Dec. 2 - 3, 9 - 10, and 16 - 17.
This is a concert of modern Christmas music by one of the best-selling holiday artists of all time! The concert typically takes place on weekends during Holidays at Universal Studios Florida.
Get a sneak peak of Mannheim Steamroller.
Grinchmas (Islands of Adventure)
For those of you Who love the Grinch, there is no finer time to visit Islands of Adventure than December. Seuss Landing is transformed into the wonderful world of Grinchmas with the heartwarming live show,—Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular, featuring some of your favorite Grinch characters and 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! There is also The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast on select mornings guests can purchase. Grinchmas is included with regular park admission.
We wanted to provide you this Complete Guide to Universal Orlando Events in 2017 because of the 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.