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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 3, 2019 at 3:17 p.m. Candigirl Says...

Would be so fun to go during the Halloween or Christmas events!

Jul 3, 2019 at 3:15 p.m. Meg Says...

I want to go to the Wizarding World so bad. It looks so fun.

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Jul 3, 2019 at 3:03 p.m. Virginia Says...

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Jul 3, 2019 at 3:01 p.m. WDWGirl24 Says...

Thanks for keeping us up-to-date on the events throughout the year!

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Jul 3, 2019 at 2:56 p.m. Dee2178 Says...

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Jul 3, 2019 at 2:51 p.m. Christy Weems Says...

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Undercover Tourist makes it so much easier to plan.

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Jul 3, 2019 at 2:42 p.m. Teesha Says...

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Jul 3, 2019 at 2:41 p.m. Amber Says...

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Jul 3, 2019 at 2:40 p.m. Tia Says...

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Jul 3, 2019 at 2:40 p.m. Elliot Lavelle Says...

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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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