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A Hoppin' Overview of Universal Orlando Resort Events in 2023

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 2023 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 2023 and Beyond


Rock the Universe (Universal Studios Florida) — Jan. 27 to 28, 2023

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 are able to enter the park starting at 4 p.m. On Jan. 27, check out performances from Skillet, Tauren Wells, Bethel Music, Rend Collective, Evan Craft and Katy Nichole. On Jan. 28, you can rock out to music from Zach Williams, Matthew West, Dante Bowe, Anne Wilson, We Are Messengers and Cain.


Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval (Universal Studios Florida) — Feb. 4 to April 16, 2023

Universal Orlando Events - Mardi Gras

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 2022, we rocked out to Sugar Ray and Styx! Leap and I were truly living our best lives.) There is always plenty of Cajun food and drinks to fill you up. 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!


Fourth of July Celebration (Universal Studios Florida) — July 4, 2023

Universal Orlando Special Events 2022 - Fourth of July Celebration

Fourth of July festivities at Universal Studios Florida returned in 2022 and we couldn't have been hoppier! Frogs enjoyed a high-energy band, live DJ, meet and greets with beloved characters and patriotic-themed performers and stilt walkers. The celebration culminated with a special fireworks display that frogs could view from anywhere in the park. All holiday activities were included with admission to Universal Studios. We can't wait to be back next year!


Halloween Horror Nights 31 (Universal Studios Florida) — September to October

Universal Orlando Events - Pumpkin Lord Icon

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. Tickets are currently on sale, and we highly recommend buying tickets in advance. Save some green on a single-night dated ticket by purchasing through Undercover Tourist!

Prepare yourself for Halloween Horror Nights with walkthroughs of some of the haunted houses on our YouTube channel. Check out our favorite house of this year's event below!

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 plotted a vengeful return to Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2021 and 2022. 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.


Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort — November and December

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

Universal Orlando Events - Celestina Warbeck

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.

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's 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'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 — 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 came back last year for the first time since 2019!

Are you planning on hopping to Universal Orlando Resort this year? Which Universal Orlando events in 2023 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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1451–1500 of 1524 comments
Jun 25, 2019 at 1:53 a.m. brenda king Says...

Can't wait to visit during the holidays!

Jun 25, 2019 at 1:34 a.m. Gail Crawford Says...

I like the discount tickets

Jun 25, 2019 at 12:32 a.m. Lela Danow Says...

Got friends visiting in September and would love to go with them!

Jun 25, 2019 at 12:26 a.m. Delilah Says...

Excited to take my granddaughter to Universal Orlando in the next couple of years!!

Jun 25, 2019 at 12:26 a.m. NDA Says...

Very much looking to my Orlando vacation in September!

Jun 25, 2019 at 12:25 a.m. umkizay Says...

So much great information!!!

Jun 25, 2019 at 12:21 a.m. Leigh Law Says...

Such awesome info! Didn't know about the special events, specifically Grinchmas! I'm already thinking how to make that happen!

Jun 24, 2019 at 11:58 p.m. Janeen Says...

Sounds like you put together wonderful memories to cherish would absolutely love to experience them

Jun 24, 2019 at 11:56 p.m. Janeen Perutis Says...

Sounds lovely me you put together wonderful memories would love to experience them

Jun 24, 2019 at 11:41 p.m. Meghann B Says...

Love what Universal has to offer and would like to visit with my family!

Jun 24, 2019 at 11:31 p.m. Stephy G Says...

We LOVE Universal! We went there for the 1st time about 4 years ago!! I think it's about time to go back ???? Our kids are now 5, 7 and 13 ???????????? This would be an amazing opportunity!!

Jun 24, 2019 at 11 p.m. MaryAnn Lau Says...

Bummer that celebration of Harry Potter not happening this year.

Jun 24, 2019 at 10:49 p.m. Natalie Natalie Says...

Halloween Horror nights is the event that i would love to attend. I love all things scary.

Jun 24, 2019 at 10:44 p.m. Carla Williams Says...

I would love to go during Christmas and take my grandsons. We went one year in April when my daughter was little and she loved it. Would love to take the grandsons now.

Jun 24, 2019 at 10:39 p.m. Tina Mitchell Says...

I definitely want to see the Holiday festival, I just know the holiday lights will make universal studio magical

Jun 24, 2019 at 10:37 p.m. Elizabeth F Says...

Looks amazing!

Jun 24, 2019 at 10:36 p.m. Shannon Ament Says...

Dreaming of bringing my two sons one day!

Jun 24, 2019 at 10:06 p.m. Don Says...

What a great trip this would be to celebrate the holidays and my wifes and my anniversary.

Jun 24, 2019 at 9:48 p.m. Lisa O. Says...

I'm so excited for this chance. I would love to take my grandson. We've never been to Universal Orlando. My husband and I have seen the Blue Man Group in Las Vegas, so fun, would love to see it again. Thank you for this chance!

Jun 24, 2019 at 9:35 p.m. Michele Says...

Good information!

Jun 24, 2019 at 9:35 p.m. Chris Says...


Jun 24, 2019 at 9:20 p.m. Alexa K Says...

Love universal! Thanks for the chance to win!

Jun 24, 2019 at 9:13 p.m. Mollie Says...

I love getting new information from

Jun 24, 2019 at 9:10 p.m. Christie W Says...

Love universal and looking forward to going back. Thanks for all of the info!

Jun 24, 2019 at 9:05 p.m. Kailyn P. Says...

So many fun activities!!

Jun 24, 2019 at 9 p.m. Sara Alvaro Says...

I'd love to go at Halloween.

Jun 24, 2019 at 8:52 p.m. Katie C. Says...

Hoping the Christmas decor will still be up when we visit in early jan!

Jun 24, 2019 at 8:40 p.m. Christopher Reid Says...

Great Article

Jun 24, 2019 at 8:23 p.m. Bonnie Dillard Says...

Looking forward to my first trip!

Jun 24, 2019 at 7:57 p.m. mathteach08 Says...

I really want to visit!!

Jun 24, 2019 at 6:42 p.m. Jasmine Seivright Says...

We're heading back to Orlando in December. Would love to check out Universal!

Jun 24, 2019 at 6:41 p.m. Sandie R Says...

I don't know if I would rather go during Halloween or Christmas. They both sound amazing!!

Jun 24, 2019 at 1:56 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sandie,

Why not both? ;) Hope you get to visit soon!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jun 24, 2019 at 6:37 p.m. PSB Says...

Would love to visit during the holidays.

Jun 24, 2019 at 6:28 p.m. Deborah McClure Says...

I'm thinking of a November or December visit.

Jun 24, 2019 at 6:26 p.m. shannon zeidan Says...

It has been a while since we went to universal. I really love it there at christmas time. I'm also excited to try the new harry potter ride.

Jun 24, 2019 at 1:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shannon,

You'll love the new ride! Hope you get to visit soon.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jun 24, 2019 at 6:18 p.m. Heidi Ames Says...

One of my favorite places - hoping to visit at Christmas time again this year!

Jun 24, 2019 at 6:07 p.m. Lori Wawrzycki Says...

Would love to go

Jun 24, 2019 at 5:58 p.m. James Huggett Says...

Highly recommend undercover tourist for your tickets!

Jun 24, 2019 at 5:41 p.m. cheryl bastulli Says...

I would Love to visit at Christmas!

Jun 24, 2019 at 5:40 p.m. Isaac Says...

Every season motivates me to visit the themepark once again. I would love to visit during christmas, the vibes the park has during that season make it an unforgetable vacation.

Jun 24, 2019 at 5:27 p.m. Michael DeFren Says...

I would love to go, never been. Thanks for the chance!

Jun 24, 2019 at 5:27 p.m. Denise Cors Says...

Would love to visit in Christmas

Jun 24, 2019 at 5:26 p.m. Rebecca Says...

Want to go back as we are pass holders but being in NY is hard!

Jun 24, 2019 at 5:22 p.m. Erin Paoli Says...

Would love to attend one of these!

Jun 24, 2019 at 5:05 p.m. Karolyn Says...

Do the parks ever max out for special events? If so, how often?

Jun 24, 2019 at 4:58 p.m. Jennifer S. Says...

Thanks for all you do! We’re looking forward to a trip in September, but will NOT be “enjoying” Halloween Horror Nights. I want to be long gone before the scary stuff starts.

Jun 24, 2019 at 4:50 p.m. Hanh Nguyen Says...

Can't wait to go in December!

Jun 24, 2019 at 4:43 p.m. Gracie Says...

Nice to see all this information in one place.

Jun 24, 2019 at 4:43 p.m. Shannon Orton Says...

What day of the week and month is the least busy to go?

Jun 24, 2019 at 12:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shannon,

Generally late January, February and September are some of the best times to visit. For specific dates, check out our Crowd Calendar to see predicted crowd levels.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jun 24, 2019 at 4:42 p.m. Sarah Bellino Says...

This is SO helpful!

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

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