Do you want to celebrate Christmas at Universal Orlando? This year will be a little different than previous years, but guests can still celebrate the holidays at the Universal Orlando resort with special events, activities, and treats.
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The holidays at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are a great time to visit the Universal Orlando theme parks.
Throughout the parks you will find holiday decor and special events to enjoy together featuring some of your favorite Universal Orlando characters.
2020 has brought some changes to the holidays at Universal Orlando but they have managed to create some really fun ways to enjoy the theme parks during the holidays.
Christmas 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.
Seuss Landing is one of my favorite places to visit at Islands of Adventure and expect it to be transformmed to Who-Ville with The Grinch making an appearance.
When do the Holidays at Universal Orlando start?
The holiday events at Universal Orlando run from November 14, 2020- January 3rd 2021.
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.
Before you arrive at the park you should purchase your tickets ahead of time. 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.
Universal has implemented COVID-19 safety precautions and may limit admittance if the parks reach capacity. Learn more here.
What does Universal Orlando do for Christmas?
Universal Orlando celebrates the holidays at their theme parks as well as their resorts. We stayed at Cabana Bay Beach Resort and enjoyed decorations throughout the lobby.
The 2020 Holidays at Universal will include:
- Universal’s Holiday Character Celebration (Universal Studios)
- Universal’s Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons (Universal Studios)
- The Grinch™ & The Whos‘ (Universal’s 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 (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure)
- Holiday Treat Trail
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.
Christmas at Universal Studios: Holiday Character Celebration
Universal’s Holiday Character Celebration will include a holiday theme character parade. These parades will have Despicable Me, Madagascar, and more characters and feature a holiday show. After the show guests can take socially-distanced pictures.
Christmas at Universal Studios: Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons
This year the Macy’s parade is being replaced with the Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons.
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. As you see all your favorite characters as giant holiday balloons you can’t help but smile.
This year they have had to cancel the parade but in it’s place have added a walk-through experience where you’ll get close to the Christmas balloons and floats. I think this will be a great alternative to the parade and think guests will love this up close view of the holiday floats.
Santa will also be there to greet guests with socially distanced photo opportunities.
Christmas at Universal Studios: 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.
Christmas at Universal Studios: 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 also be 4 immersive holiday rooms including a Dr. Seuss The Grinch room. We are waiting on the three other rooms to be announced and will update soon.
Related Post: Universal Studios One Day Itinerary
Christmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure has a few added holiday touches but most are seen in Seuss Landing and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade. Read our full Islands of Adventure Itinerary to help plan your visit.
Christmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure: The Grinch
Seuss Landing is one of my favorite areas at Islands of Adventure any day of the year. I love it so much and couldn’t wait to visit for the holidays.
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 socially distanced photo ops.
In 2019 they had a can’t miss Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular show that runs at numerous times through the day. This has not been included in 2020 but I wanted to keep it here for it’s hopeful return in 2021.
Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular gets incredibly busy and I suggest arriving at least 20 minutes before the show to get a seat. We saw the first show of the day and I was happy we did because it only got busier. The show is worth it though with songs and an outstanding Grinch who made us laugh and have so much fun.
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!
Christmas at Universal Orlando: 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.
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.
The kids received a Minions ornament for participating. We had a lot of fun and I loved seeing the themed Christmas trees throughout the parks. The scavenger hunt is free but you will need a park to park ticket if you plan to do it in one day.
I really loved doing this! It was easy to include the stops into our visit around the park and was so much fun!
Christmas at Universal: 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 Hogarts castle will have a holiday projection show that runs continuously until the park closes.
When planning your visit we suggest checking out the discount tickets from Get Away Today! They offer great deals and are our partner in discount theme park tickets! Check out prices here!
Holidays at Universal: Holiday Treat Trail
Guests can purchase treats through CityWalk, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure at 5 spots on the Holiday Treat Trail and get a complimentary sixth treat!
Pick up your brochures at the following locations:
- Universal Studios: TODAY Cafe, Production Central Cart (Music Plaza), Louie’s Fruit Stand, Men In Black Icee Cart, Silver Screen Coke®
- Islands of Adventure: Marvel Popcorn Cart, Port of Entry Slush Cart, Port of Entry Fruit Cart, The Watering Hole
- Universal’s CityWalk: Voodoo Doughnut
Qualitfiying Treats and Locations:
- Pumpkin Spice Churro: Production Central Cart (Universal Studios)
- Holiday Wreath Cake (TODAY Café, Universal Studios)
- Red Holiday Popcorn (Marvel Popcorn Cart, Islands of Adventure)
- Holiday Ornament Doughnut (Universal’s CityWalk)
- Cinnamon Coke (Port of Entry Slush Cart, Fruit Cart at Islands of Adventure or Louie’s Fruit Cart, Men in Black ICEE Cart at Universal Studios)
Christmas at Universal Orlando: Universal Resorts for the Holidays
We stayed at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort for this visit and it had the prettiest Christmas tree decorations. During the weekends they have visits from Santa in the lobby. Cabana Bay is a great resort to stay at year round. Learn more about it in our post: Why Your Family Will Love Universal’s Cabana Bay.
Holidays at Universal Orlando Vlog
I loved that the holidays at Universal took you from your resort to the parks. It was a wonderful way to enjoy the holiday season and spend time together as a family.