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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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Jul 4, 2019 at 6:01 p.m. L Says...

Wish I could go...

Jul 4, 2019 at 5:36 p.m. ELISHA R Says...

I would love to visit the Stranger Things Attraction as well as the Harry Potter Attraction! Never been to universal before but these are my top two to visit!

Jul 4, 2019 at 5:28 p.m. Aidan C. Says...

I'd love to go back!

Jul 4, 2019 at 4:53 p.m. Chelsea Tyler Says...

I'm super excited to visit the Harry Potter section of Islands of Adventure!

Jul 4, 2019 at 4:51 p.m. Millie Hutchinson Says...

Great post!

Jul 4, 2019 at 4:08 p.m. Canice Davidson Says...

Great info?

Jul 4, 2019 at 3:56 p.m. Trina Says...

We never been to Universal! Hopefully we will get a chance to go during one of these events.

Jul 4, 2019 at 3:33 p.m. Stacy Reedal Says...

Halloween horror or Grichmas sound amazing and truly unique compared to all of the other amusement parks! Thanks for sharing this information!

Jul 4, 2019 at 3:20 p.m. Samantha Williams Says...

WooHoo Can’t wait to use all the great info for planning our next vacay!!

Jul 4, 2019 at 3:16 p.m. Esteban Collado Says...

Love the Frog. Wish I could enjoy the discounts more often ????

Jul 4, 2019 at 3:15 p.m. Sam C. Says...

I have never been to Universal, but I hope to go in 2020!

Jul 4, 2019 at 2:53 p.m. Jennifer Says...

Can't wait to visit!!

Jul 4, 2019 at 2:41 p.m. Mildred LamarCollado Says...

Always buy tickets to parks w the Froggy ????

Love ❤️

Jul 4, 2019 at 2:41 p.m. Jennifer Says...

Halloween Horror Nights is the best ????????

Jul 4, 2019 at 2:15 p.m. Mor Haggiag Says...

Looks AMAZING!!! My kids will love it!

Jul 4, 2019 at 2:08 p.m. Candice Says...

Next time in FL, we will definitely check out Universal for the Harry Potter experiences

Jul 4, 2019 at 2:08 p.m. Joy Marish Says...

Very Helpful . I would love to win ! I've never been to Florida .

Jul 4, 2019 at 2:06 p.m. Nicole B Says...


Jul 4, 2019 at 2:01 p.m. JOYCE TKACS Says...

Universal is now our park of choice.

Jul 4, 2019 at 1:58 p.m. Jodi Strock Says...

Pick me, Pick me!

Jul 4, 2019 at 1:56 p.m. Dominique S Says...

Super helpful! Thank you

Jul 4, 2019 at 1:22 p.m. Nia B. Says...

Thanks for all of the great information!!! Can't wait to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!

Jul 4, 2019 at 1:18 p.m. KellyP Says...

Can’t wait to visit soon!

Jul 4, 2019 at 1:02 p.m. Colleen Dorval Says...

Always great info from the Frog Family:)

Jul 4, 2019 at 12:27 p.m. Crystal Blevins Says...

Great information and love universal!

Jul 4, 2019 at 12:26 p.m. Dale Mayer Says...

I love Universal, and I’m hoping to win a trip for my family!

Jul 4, 2019 at 10:52 a.m. Chris B Says...

Can't wait for my first visit

Jul 4, 2019 at 9:06 a.m. ANDREA Says...

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Jul 4, 2019 at 8:14 a.m. Mtkerraprn Says...

We use Undercover Tourist for all of our Orlando vacation planning.

Jul 4, 2019 at 7:11 a.m. Erica R Allen Says...

I cant wait to go to Universal

Jul 4, 2019 at 5:40 a.m. Tammy Johnson Says...

So many great tips! Excited to try them out!!

Jul 4, 2019 at 5:28 a.m. Cassandra Francis Says...

Love all the info! Undercover Tourist is my go to for trip planning!

Jul 4, 2019 at 4:56 a.m. Cathleen C Says...

Well, this is a wonderful opportunity for a family to have fun, no matter what time of year! Thank you for the chance!

Jul 4, 2019 at 4:35 a.m. Nicole S. Berry Says...

How exciting!!

Jul 4, 2019 at 3:41 a.m. Morgan warren Says...

Absolutely love going in January!!

Jul 4, 2019 at 3:35 a.m. Megan Says...

Your advice and maps with numbered stops were so helpful at Disney and Universal. I’d love to go back during one of the holidays you described above.

Jul 4, 2019 at 3:26 a.m. Lana Elmore Says...

We used Undercover Tourist for our tickets on our last Disney and Universal vacation. They were great!

Jul 4, 2019 at 3:01 a.m. blong Says...

Hope to get there someday!

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Jul 4, 2019 at 2:45 a.m. Marilyn Says...

I would love to take my grandchild there.

Jul 4, 2019 at 2:39 a.m. Maritza Says...

Hope to win

Jul 4, 2019 at 2:27 a.m. Jessica Says...

Your tips are great when planning trips!

Jul 4, 2019 at 2:26 a.m. Kim Says...

Can’t wait to go back to universal and take my kids for first time.

Jul 4, 2019 at 2:06 a.m. Paceyswife Says...

Best memories we have made as a family at Zuni!

Jul 4, 2019 at 1:48 a.m. Erica Brock Says...

Grinchmas sounds very fun!!!

Jul 4, 2019 at 1:41 a.m. Rhiannon Leigh Says...

I can't wait to visit!

Jul 4, 2019 at 1:23 a.m. Mel Says...

Universal studios rocks

Jul 4, 2019 at 1:21 a.m. Rose K Says...

Wonderful site! Thank you!

Jul 4, 2019 at 1:03 a.m. Allyson Brand Says...

I love this froggy family! Best tips and tricks for visiting the parks along with the best deals! My family has been using their services since 2012 and will continue to do so!

Jul 4, 2019 at 12:46 a.m. Jenny33 Says...

Looking forward to my September visit!!!

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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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