Holidays at Universal Orlando Guide (Updated 2021)

Celebrating the holidays at Universal Orlando is a great way to enhance your holiday season. With holiday themed shows, treats and activities, Christmas at Universal is one of our favorite times to visit.

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Christmas at Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and the Universal Orlando resorts is a festive time to plan your Universal Orlando vacation.

There is a special feeling when you walk through the parks lit up with holiday lights.

I remember our first Universal parade and when the snow started to fall at the end of the show we were all smiling from ear to ear.

Throughout the parks you will find holiday décor and special events to enjoy together. They feature some of your favorite Universal Orlando characters, as well as special holiday themed shows and treats at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Entrance of Universal Studios for Christmas.
Universal Studios Christmas decorations at the entrance.

Holidays at Universal Orlando

The holidays have taken over Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and the Universal Orlando resorts making the parks a great place to celebrate the season with your family.

2021 Holidays at Universal Orlando

  • Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s (Universal Studios)
  • Grinchmas (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)
  • Grinch Who-liday Spectacular (Islands of Adventure)
  • Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle (Projection show at Islands of Adventure)
  • Holiday Tribute Store (Universal Studios)
  • Holiday Tree Hunt (Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s CityWalk)
  • Festive Décor throughout the park and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Mistletoe Pines-Treat and Merchandise area in CityWalk. The roasted nuts were delicious!

When do the Holidays at Universal Orlando start?

The holiday events at Universal Orlando run from November 13, 2021 – January 2, 2022.

Where do I buy tickets for Holidays at Universal Orlando?

You do not need special tickets for the Christmas at Universal Orlando events. All the activities are included with your theme park ticket.

I always recommend purchasing your tickets before you arrive at the parks. This will save you time and often money! Our discount ticket partner is Get Away Today.

Check out their prices for Universal Orlando tickets.

Is Universal Orlando crowded on Christmas Day?

The holidays are always a busy time to visit the theme parks. Christmas Day will get busy! You can enjoy the holiday events at Universal before and after Christmas Day but expect large crowds as you get closer to the holidays.

Evenings tend to be busier during Christmastime because people want to experience the parade, nightly Hogwarts show, and Seuss Landing Who-ville.

christmas at universal studios parade.
Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s is a must see for your day at Universal Studios at Christmastime.

Universal Studios has added holiday touches all through the park. The streets are lined with lights and wreaths, the parade is a must see, and the gigantic Christmas tree offers a great place to take a holiday family photo.

It is important to note that the parade and holiday areas are typically the most crowded and face coverings are not required inside the park. Keep this in mind when considering your comfort level during your visit.

Harry Potter World at Christmas

Harry Potter Christmas is celebrated in both of the Universal parks. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade receive the holiday treatment.

Christmas at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley

London and Diagon Alley are decorated for the season. You can enjoy a hot Butterbeer while enjoying a seasonal show from Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. Diagon Alley is located at Universal Studios.

Christmas at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade

Enjoy Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with a seasonal Frog Choir show and decorations throughout. At dusk the Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts will be shown nightly on the castle until park close.

christmas at universal orlando diagon alley.
Exploring the Holidays at Universal’s Diagon Alley

Universal Grinchmas

All the Grinchmas activities and shows are located at Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure.

Seuss Landing is one of my favorite areas at Islands of Adventure any day of the year. I love it so much and visiting for the holidays does not disappoint.

Seuss Landing is transformed into Who-Ville! The lights are bright and festive and everyone is wishing you a Merry Christmas.

The Grinch and The Who’s will be walking around entertaining guests and providing opportunities for photo ops.

Seuss Landing during the Holidays at Universal.
Seuss Landing during the Holidays.

The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular is back for the 2021 holidays at Universal!!

Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular gets incredibly busy and I suggest arriving at least 20 minutes before the show to get a seat. They are seating people in the old Blue Man Group theater.

We saw the first show of the day and I was happy we did because it only got busier. The show is worth it with songs and an outstanding Grinch who made us laugh and have so much fun.

Admission to Grinch Who-liday Spectacular is included with your daily admission.

Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular
Grinchmas Who-Liday Spectacular at Islands of Adventure.

I highly recommend visiting Seuss Landing at night and during the day. If you can only do it once try to visit at night. You will find it much busier with crowds, but it is glowing with lights and makes it feel like Christmas.

We were also very excited to see that Green Eggs and Ham was open to offer seasonal food and treats themed to the beloved Who characters.

We tried most everything on the menu and it was great! My pick would be green eggs and ham served over tater tots with cheese. It was delicious!

Green Eggs and Ham at Islands of Adventure.
Green Eggs and Ham at Islands of Adventure.

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s

The Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s is back for the 2021 season. On our first visit to Universal Studios for the holidays I was really looking forward to the Macy’s Balloon parade.

The Universal Studios Holiday parade features Macy’s themed balloons just like the Thanksgiving parade. We have never seen the NYC parade, other than on TV, so this was a special treat.

You can see your favorite characters as giant holiday balloons and can’t help but smile. They have the Minions, Madagascar characters, traditional Macy’s balloons, and Santa.

christmas at universal studios parade.

Christmas at Universal Orlando Resorts

Guests staying on-site at the Universal Orlando resorts will find the lobby decorated and special activities for the holidays. At the Hard Rock Hotel guests will have special holiday meals and Christmas tree and Menorah Lighting.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort will have a Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl. Endless Summer-Surfside and Endless Summer-Dockside will have special holiday meals too.

Learn more about each resort here.

christmas at universal orlando cabana bay.

Holiday Tree Hunt at Universal Orlando

The Holiday Tree Hunt at the Universal Orlando resort was a fun surprise when we arrived at the park. It is a holiday tree scavenger hunt located through out Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Universal CityWalk. The cost is $9.99 and guests receive an ornament at the completion of the scavenger hunt.

Holiday tree hunt at universal orlando
The ornaments show you all the stops along the Holiday Tree Hunt at Universal Orlando.

As you explore the parks you will stop in multiple shop locations searching for the Christmas trees. Once you find it you take your card up to the counter and receive a stamp.

When all stamps have been collected you visit the Park Plaza Holiday Shop at Universal Studios or the Port of Entry Christmas Shoppe at Islands of Adventure to collect your festive holiday gift.

I really loved doing this! It was easy to include the stops into our visit around the park and was so much fun! You do not have to complete the entire scavenger hunt to pick up your ornament.

Universal’s Holiday Tribute Store

Universal had great success with a Halloween store and they are doing it again with a Holiday Tribute store. This will include special teats and holiday themed merchandise.

There will be immersive holiday rooms including a Dr. Seuss The Grinch room. There will also be a Yule Ball holiday room to explore. Walking through these rooms were so much fun. It really gets you in the holiday spirit.

Holidays at Universal: Mistletoe Pines at CityWalk

Guests can purchase treats through CityWalk at Mistletoe Pines. They have giant gingerbread cookies, roasted nuts, and many more delicious options.

We picked up roasted nuts to snack on while we waited for the Holiday parade at Universal Studios.

Holidays at Universal Orlando Vlog

The holidays at Universal are really well done and a great holiday activity for families. We can’t wait to visit again!

Read Next: 70 Things You Must Do at Universal Orlando Resort

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guide to christmas at universal orlando.

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