Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort are a must do if you love the theme parks and want to enjoy the holiday season with your family. We loved all the special events at holiday decorations at the parks and the resorts.
As part of our Christmas Countdown this year we added a visit to see the Universal Orlando Christmas activities. We purchased annual passes during our visit over the summer and planned a quick weekend getaway for the holidays.
I was so excited to see the holiday parade and Seuss Landing all decorated for the holidays. I knew it would be incredible, but I didn’t realize how many fun activities they had at the parks.
Universal Orlando Christmas Details
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. The holiday events at Universal Orlando run from November- January 5th. A few of the special events end before the January 5th date and I have noted that below.
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.
Universal Studios Holidays
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.
Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s
This was one of the things I was most looking forward to during our visit. Our annual passes have black out dates so we only had one day to enjoy Universal Studios and I made a point of staying for the holiday 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.
The parade ends with Santa and snow!! We live in NY and it is currently snowing as I write this, but there is something so special about seeing Santa in the parade and having it snow at the parks. Check out the video at the end of this post. I included that magical Santa moment and a few highlights from the parade.
Sweets and Sounds Dessert Party
The Sweets and Sounds Dessert Party is a special event that guests can purchase to enjoy unlimited desserts and priority seating for the parade and Mannheim Steamroller concerts. The last day for the party and concerts was December 15, 2019. To learn more about the party check out my friend Christie at Raising Whasians post to see if it is worth it for your visit.
Mannheim Steameroller has free concerts during the holidays for Universal Studios guests. We didn’t see the show because our tickets were blocked for those evenings but if you can add it to your visit it would be a great way to end your evening at the park.
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.
Islands of Adventure Holidays
Islands of Adventure has a few added holiday touches but most are seen in Seuss Landing and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade.
Grinchmas at Universal
Seuss Landing is one of my favorite areas at Islands of Adventure any day of the year. I love it so much and have shared what we love about it in my 12 Things to See at Seuss Landing post, but during the holidays it is even better!
Seuss Landing is transformed into Who-Ville! The lights are bright and festive and everyone is wishing you a Merry Christmas. They also have the can’t miss Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular show that runs at numerous times through the day.
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!
The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast
Join the Grinch and his friends for a special character breakfast offered on weekends up until Christmas. This special character breakfast event is by reservation and is offered between 8:00am-10:00am. Learn more here.
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.
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.
More Universal Orlando Vacation Posts
- Tips for Visiting Universal Orlando from an Annual Pass Holder
- Best Restaurants at Universal Orlando for Families
- Universal Orlando Resort and Theme Park Overview