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Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events

by Mommy Frog on April 1, 2024 Los Angeles

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Most theme parks have special events and seasonal celebrations throughout the year. Some take place during regular park hours and are included in the cost of admission, while others are separately ticketed after-hours events — Universal Studios Hollywood has both types! Let's hop to it and break down the popular Universal Studios Hollywood events and (as well as what hoppens during peak seasons). Some events take place every year and other celebrations may occur just this year. Also, spring and summer 2024 are a special time for Universal Studios Hollywood as the park celebrates 60 years of the World Famous Studio Tour!

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Tree Lighting

Overview of Universal Studios Hollywood Events

Whether you enjoy being chased by monsters, meeting the Grinch, sipping hot Butterbeer with a holiday meal or dancing under fireworks, there are a few Universal Studios Hollywood events for which you might want to time your visit while they occur. Keep hopping back as more events — such as Running Universal or other fun celebrations and events — may be announced.

Lunar New Year

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Hello Kitty at Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year brings some special decor, food and beverage options to the park from late January through February. You can purchase Lunar New Year merchandise in the gift shops. Celebrate by taking a photo with characters — such as Hello Kitty — dressed in their Lunar New Year best.

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - hollywood and dine

Enjoy the cherry blossom decor during Lunar New Year.

Spring Break

Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Butterbeer

Spring break is a popular time to visit Universal Studios. From March 15 to April 30, Universal Studios is hosting its first ever Butterbeer Season! Get ready to try delectable new treats, including a Butterbeer-flavored ice lolly, in addition to the traditional items served at the park daily. Additionally, for a limited time only during this festive period, cold and frozen Butterbeer will be available for purchase in a special collectible silver stein.

That's not all, though ... on March 29, 2024, Universal Studios opened Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream counter inside Honeydukes! Prepare to taste 10 decadent and savory soft serve ice cream flavors — Butterbeer, Banana, Chocolate, Mint, Orange, Vanilla, Toffee Nut, Granny Smith Apple, Pistachio and Toffee Apple — available in a cup or waffle cone.

Spring Break is also a time of new attraction openings and increased entertainment. In 2024, Super Nintendo World celebrated being open for one year. This land was an instant smash in 2023 (and we're not talking about bricks) and is still drawing crowds, especially during school breaks. Definitely take advantage of Early Access at this time to get into the park an hour early to access Super Nintendo World with short lines.

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Early Access sign photo

It's important to know that the last two weeks of March through the first two weeks of April generally see larger crowds and often the return of longer hours and nighttime entertainment. Catch a showing of the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle show during select days of spring break. (The show is not announced yet for 2024, but it often returns for spring break.)

Grad Bash

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Grad Bash Photo Op

Grad Bashes are separately ticketed events that occur after hours for graduating seniors. These events with DJ dance parties are organized through schools, and they take place on select nights in May and June. They should not affect your daytime visit as they hoppen after the park is closed. You may see stages, photo ops and decor set up for the events.

  • 2024 Grad Bash Dates: May 10, 23, 24, 29, 31 and June 7, 2024

The park closes by 8 p.m. on Grad Bash nights (check the calendar for actual operating hours). Attendees can enter the park at 8 p.m., and the party starts at 9 p.m.

Studio Tour's 60th Anniversary

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Glamor Tram and tour stop

There's a big celebration running from spring into summer. From April 26 through Aug. 11, 2024, Universal Studios Hollywood is celebrating 60 years of the Studio Tour. To celebrate, the park sells special food and must-have merch (such as that Glamor Tram popcorn bucket), but the big deal is the tour itself.

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Glamor Tram popcorn bucket

The Studio Tour's 60th-anniversary celebration treats guests to the unique opportunity to step off the tram and onto a legendary movie set. Some of the trams are in the style of a 1964 vintage Glamor Tram. The stop provides photo opportunities, including a giant King Kong backdrop and the theme park’s original hanging "Jaws" shark. Plus, guests can take photos with the Psycho House. Iconic props are making their way to the tour such as a Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur display used to promote "Jurassic World" and a scaled replica of the iconic Hollywood Sign (with which guests can take photos and selfies)! The “Earthquake—The Big One” attraction on the tour has been fully refurbished.

Summer

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Water Play Area

Summer is peak season at Universal Studios Hollywood. That means long hours, Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle (or the Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle) and finding ways to cool off. Summer crowds typically fill the park from mid-June through mid-August. You'll want to purchase tickets early and get Early Access tickets if Super Nintendo World is a priority. It's a great time to get Universal Express or take a VIP Tour to skip the lines. A perk of the VIP Experience is that it allows you to skip the line for the highly popular Mario Kart: Bowser's Challenge. That ride is not included with Universal Express at this time.

Bring swimsuits and water shoes for the tadpoles to splash in the water at Super Silly Fun Land. Keep an eye on Virtual Lines for Secret Life of Pets and Super Nintendo World. Sit in the soak zone for WaterWorld. We have hot tips to beat the heat and summer crowds at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Water World plane

Here are a few Universal Studios Hollywood events hoppening this summer.

LA Pride Night — Sat. June 8, 2024

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Pride Jerseys

This separately ticketed event takes place after the park closes. Daytime guests will see Pride merchandise for sale and stages set up. Some attractions, such as Mario Kart can cut the line early (about 30 minutes before the park closes). LA Pride Night attendees can enjoy bars, live DJs, musical guests and drag show performances as well as food and beverages. Pride Nite includes access to Super Nintendo World and Universal character meet-and-greets, and photo ops.

The ticket includes park entry as early as 4 p.m., followed by exclusive extended park hours from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.!

The VIP – Universal Express ticket option includes earlier access to the park at 2:00 p.m., plus Universal Express access to the park’s attractions, premium viewing areas at the main stage and exclusive access to the LA Pride VIP Lounge.

Fourth of July

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Fourth of July fireworks

If you hoppen to be visiting the park on Independence Day, catch a spectacular fireworks display (accompanied by Universal Studios-themed music and patriotic tunes) at 9 p.m. You can also enjoy live music and themed décor. It's all included in your theme park admission.

Halloween Horror Nights

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Death Eater at HHN

From mid-September through Halloween, Universal has a separately ticketed nighttime event that will terrify even the bravest visitors. We have separate posts on Halloween Horror Nights and survival tips. Enter the park to the unleashing of monsters, encounter themed mazes, scare zones and a Terror Tram that takes you down to encounter more than just psychos in the Backlot. Death Eaters patrol the Wizarding World and duel with guests. You can catch a breather by enjoying music, special drinks and themed food.

Holiday Season at Universal Studios Hollywood

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Grinch sticks out his tongue

Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, a lot is hoppening at Universal Studios, and it's all included in your Universal Studios ticket. The park and CityWalk are decorated with a bunch of garland, lights and trees. Characters are in their holiday and winter best. You can enjoy special entertainment, seasonal characters and celebrations. You can get all the festive details in our guide to Christmas at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Here are three events that fall during the holidays at Universal Studios:

Grinchmas

Meet the Grinch, Max and all the Whos, including Cindy Lou Who, during Grinchmas. You can eat special treats, watch special entertainment and experience a Seussian tree lighting with snowfall. It's one of our favorite Universal Studios Hollywood events, for sure!

Christmas in the Wizarding World

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - frog choir

 

Step into Hogsmeade to the sights of festive holiday décor with glimmering lights, wreaths, trees, garland and the largest ball of mistletoe you’ve ever seen. Each shop is decorated with its own holiday-themed garland! Watch The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle and the Holiday Frog Choir. You can also do some holiday shopping for the wannabe wizards and witches in your family.

Our Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood Events - Holiday dinnerWarm up with hot Butterbeer and the English Holiday Meal with juicy turkey, gravy, sourdough stuffing, carrots, Brussels sprouts, bacon-wrapped sausage and cranberry sauce at the Three Broomsticks. It's quite tasty!

EVE 

Ring in the new year on Dec. 31 at EVE, the New Year's Eve party. Enjoy multiple party areas with music, dancing, drinks and souvenirs. The midnight countdown is celebrated with fireworks. Winter snowfall and confetti bursts add excitement to designated areas. The festivities are included in your theme park ticket, and the park stays open until 2 a.m. The New Year's party festivities kick off at 9 p.m.

Which Universal Studios Hollywood Events are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below. Don't froget that you can save big on Universal Studios Hollywood tickets, Universal Express, VIP Experiences and Halloween Horror Nights when you purchase authorized discount tickets and book nearby hotels with Undercover Tourist!

Related: Best Times to Visit Universal Studios Hollywood

Related: Universal Studios Hollywood Tips to Maximize Your Time

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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