Headed to Universal Orlando Resort for Christmas this year? Looking for the best things to do at Universal Orlando Resort (UOR) when you visit? From Harry Potter to The Grinch, here’s how to Christmas at Universal Orlando Resort and answers to your top questions.
While many families enjoying staying at home for Christmas, there are probably just as many that love to travel over the holiday. Personally, if I’m traveling, I couldn’t think of a more fun time than visiting an Orlando theme park during Christmastime, and Universal Orlando is offering plenty of holiday fun this year. Here’s what you need to know about Christmas at Universal Orlando Resort, what are the must-dos, and when the fun begins.
When Does Universal Orlando Resort Start Celebrating Christmas?
For 2018, UOR will be offering holiday fun from Saturday, November 17, 2018 through Sunday, January 6, 2019. If you’ve been visiting UOR at Christmas before, you’ll notice the dates are longer for this year.
What’s the Holiday Fun at Wizarding World of Harry Potter?
I know, you probably want to know what’s gong on with Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWOHP) in UOR first, so let’s get straight to it. Here’s the fun broken down into both park areas. Beginning in 2017, UOR started a massive Christmas in both park areas featuring a light show, Christmas, decorations, and holiday-themed live shows. Last year, both WWOHP park areas
As for the ultimate highlight, The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle is the awesome show in Diagon Alley that brings the castle to life with projection mapping.
What Christmas Events Are at Universal Studios Florida?
As UOR is broken up into two theme parks, I’ll break up the holiday fun the same. Here’s what you can expect this year in Universal Studios Florida for Christmas. All events noted are free with theme park admission; check the park times guide for exact times.
Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s
A huge draw (and included in theme park admission), Universal’s holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s is going to be incredible. Featuring 15 giant floats with popular Universal characters, the float details are impeccable. The parade runs every night, either at 5:00pm or 8:00pm, so check the times guide when you visit.
If you’re a fan of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving and Christmas Parades on t.v. every year, you’ll love the giant balloons in this parade. While they don’t look to be as large as the ones in Herald Square, 12 were made exclusively for Universal.
Holiday Shows at Universal Studios Florida
The Blues Brothers Holiday Show – Head to Delancy Street to see Jake and Ellwood perform holiday classics.
A Barney Holiday – Running several times each day, the sing-along show features Barney and Friends.
Marilyn Monroe Holiday Street Show – Marilyn and her pretty friends perform, USO style.
Manheim Steamroller – At Universal Music Plaza, the popular group fills the air with their style of holiday music nightly at 7pm. The shows are not nightly, so please check the times guide and official OUR website for exact dates (they haven’t been released yet. Will update when they are.)
What Christmas Events Are at Islands of Adventure?
At Islands of Adventure, it’s all about the Grinch! Here’s the fun for 2018:
Grinchmass at Seuss Landing
Instead of Christmas, head to Seuss Landing for Grinchmas. Members of Whoville have decked out the area, but the Grinch always puts his cranky, crabby flair on it.
While you won’t be able to meet Santa Claus in either theme park, a fine substitution is a photo opp with the Grinch instead. He’s super popular, so be prepared to wait your turn.
Additional Holiday Events in Seuss Landing
Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular – a cute, holiday-themed live show, tells the tale of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast – At Circus McGurkus Cafe Stoo-pendous, the morning fun features the Grinch and pals. The character breakfast doesn’t take place every morning (dates haven’t been released for 2018 – I’ll add when they are.), so please check the dates and times to see if one aligns with your travel plans.
Prices for 2017 were $34.99 for adults, $20.99 for kids ages nine and under. (Prices haven’t been released for this year.) There is an additional perk to dining, too: the breakfast generally has low crowd levels, so you’ll have plenty of time to chat with the characters and take photos.
Note: You’ll need Islands of Adventure theme park admission to partake in Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast. Annual Passholders get a dining discount on select dates, too.
Special thanks to Lisa O’Driscoll from Fun Money Mom for the gorgeous Hogwarts Castle photos. If you want more tips on celebrating Christmas at Universal Orlando, please head on over to her site.
Where Can We Meet Santa Claus?
Good question. At this time, Santa does not offer meet and greets at wither theme park at UOR. Instead, you’ll have to meet him and his merry gang at the Universal Orlando Resorts.
Here’s the scoop, though: Santa meet and greets are offered on different dates at different resorts. Sometimes it will be his elves; other times it will be Santa and Mrs. Claus. As soon as the official dates and times are released, I’ll add them below.