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  • Writer's pictureBayLeigh Routt

Celebrate the Holidays At Universal Orlando Resort

The holidays are full of excitement and fun! I believe the most magical place to celebrate the holidays is at Universal Orlando Resort. I mean, where else can you scream on a roller coaster, have breakfast with the Grinch, and get ready to go back to Hogwarts? From City Walk and restaurants to the hotels and the parks, Universal Orlando Resort completely transforms for the holidays. Christmas & Holidays at Universal Orlando is truly an incredible and magical experience and I hope you're able to see it for yourself!

This year the holiday celebration takes place from November 12, 2022 to January 1, 2023. There are many opportunities to commemorate many holiday traditions. The entire resort is transformed with decorations and amazing traditions. For example, this year guests can enjoy live performances of Mannheim Steamroller on the Music Plaza Stage December 3, 4, 10, and 11 at 7pm. This is just a small part. Here are 7 ways you can celebrate Christmas & Holidays at Universal Orlando:

1. Admire Universal's Holiday Parade Featuring Macy's

One of my favorite holiday traditions is cozying up on my couch every year to watch the Macy's parade. Did you know you can also catch the larger-than-life balloons of Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s? You can get up close and personal with the balloons on the streets of Universal Studios Florida. The parade happens most nights during the holidays, but not every night so be sure to check Universal's event calendar.

2. Enjoy the Holidays in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is truly magical during the holidays. With gorgeous decorations and tasty treats, you feel like you're a witch or wizard enjoying the holiday break with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. While sipping on a hot Butterbeer, you can marvel at the beautiful decorations that fill the stores and streets of Hogsmeade Village and Diagon Alley. At Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure, you can watch The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle—a dazzling lights show happening most nights beginning at dusk.

When you're wandering Diagon Alley, be sure to pause and catch a performance by Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees! Known as the Singing Sorceress in the Wizarding World, Celestina Warbeck performs four of her greatest hits from her Christmas album titled Nothin’ Like a Holiday Spell. The music is calypso-inspired, which is a style of Jamaican dance music that became very popular in the 1940s and 1950s .Calypso is characterized by highly rhythmic and harmonic vocals. It combines Jamaican mento with Caribbean calypso and American jazz, rhythm, and blues.

3. Taste Special Food & Drinks

Throughout Universal Orlando Resort, many of the restaurants and hotels are offering special holiday themed treats. For example, Voodoo Doughnuts in City Walk has a special gingerbread man donut for this season. Please check the Universal Orlando Resort website or official app for all of the holiday happenings at all eight hotels. As always, please consult with your server and the chef if you have any allergies or special dietary needs.

4. Celebrate Grinchmas in Seuss Landing

Grinchmas is a spectacular and exciting way to celebrate the holidays, especially for kids or anyone who loves the classic Dr. Seuss books. This time of year Seuss Landing is full of nostalgia as it totally transforms into Who-ville with decorates galore. Get in the holiday spirit by meeting the Who's and enjoying a snarky—I mean heartybreakfast with the man himself: the Grinch! Breakfast with the Grinch comes with a musical show as well. It's typically something you must reserve a head of time, so be sure to check the Universal Orlando Resort website or official app for more details.

5. Enjoy the Holidays at a Universal Hotel

There are many opportunities for hotel guests to celebrate the holidays whether it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, or New Year's. All eight hotels host a Hanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony every night of Hanukah. Many hotels also have a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony the first time the tree is lit. Some hotels also have a special Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner buffet!

Many of the hotels also host New Year's Eve celebrations and have special breakfast or dinner buffets. At Portofino Bay, guests can enjoy the Holiday Harbor Nights on the Harbor Piazza (separately ticketed event, ages 21+ only with valid photo ID). Please check the Universal Orlando Resort website or official app for all of the holiday happenings at all eight hotels.

6. Visit the Universal Tribute Store

In recent years, the Universal Tribute Store has quickly become a popular staple for each major event and every season throughout the year. The tribute store changes and offers guests something new each summer, Mardi Gras, Halloween Horror Nights, and Christmas. This year's Holiday Tribute Store is inspired by a Macy's-like department store. There are four rooms—which you could consider "floors" like the store—that are themed after “New York Holiday,” “Wizarding World Christmas” “Whoville,” and “Earl’s North of the Border.”

7. Find Earl the Squirrel

Earl the Squirrel is a popular character at Universal Orlando during the holidays. Although Earl the Squirrel is a celebrity now, his beginnings are fairly recent. Like most folklore stories or legends, it's not certain when the story of Earl the Squirrel first began, but many agree it started in 2015 right before the holidays. Since then, Earl the Squirrel has been hiding in the treescausing mayhem with the string of lights. His notoriety has skyrocketed over the years and he's loved today by many Universal fans.

He's definitely a trickster, and you've got to keep an eye out for him in the numerous Christmas trees throughout the resort.. He is hidden in the decorated Christmas trees throughout the park and you can play a scavenger hunt game to find him! To play, you can purchase the Holiday Tree Hunt brochure and receive a special Holiday ornament. Restrictions Apply; please check the Universal Orlando Resort website or official app for terms and conditions.


Visit the Universal Orlando Resort website or official app to learn more.


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