It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We all know Disney puts on one heck of a show during the holidays, but I am here to tell you about the Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort.

I feel that the Holidays at Universal Orlando get overshadowed, and it’s about time they get the love they deserve. And truth be told, I LOVE Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party over at the Magic Kingdom, but there is just something about Universal that makes it a little more magical.

From November 16 – January 5, Universal is inviting you to “put a little mischief in your merry.” Both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure will offer festive activities and shows for the whole family.

Let’s start with Universal Studios. Here, you’ll find the streets decorated in holiday garb. London and Diagon alley will be decked out with festive decor and brilliant lighting, and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees will have special holiday performances.

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s will hit the streets nightly featuring appearances by (but not limited to) your favorite mischievous friends the Minions, Madagascar characters, Shrek and of course, Santa! Each character will have their own float and own music as they go by.

This parade is probably my favorite parade… ever. The floats are spectacular, the music is amazing (it’s made me cry) and it’s just so perfect. The best part of Universal’s parade route? You can watch it TWICE in one sitting! If you find yourself wanting more than just one go around a night, sit over by the Pantages theater!

The highlight of the night for Universal Studios is none other than Mannheim Steamroller, who are known for putting a twist on your favorite holiday songs. You can catch their performances (included with park admission!) at the Music Plaza Stage, Saturdays and Sundays during the event.

Let’s move on over to Islands of Adventure where you will find two of the best shows around during the holidays. Hogsmeade will be transformed with festive decor and lights, and the nighttime projection show, The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts, will light up the night on Hogwarts Castle. So, make sure you grab yourself a cup of Hot Butterbeer (so good!) and grab your spot for this amazing nighttime show.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The one thing I want everyone to experience this year is The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular. This show is one for the whole family. It’s a live musical telling of the story we all love so much during the holidays, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The actors are amazing, the set is fantastic and the show is definitely top-notch.

If you’re not a show person, then at least take a stroll through Suess Landing and see the fun who-like holiday decorations. You will be able to interact with Who’s and maybe even the Grinch himself. If you do run into him, make sure to bring him an onion. He will be forever grateful.

Universal is also known to offer some great holiday treats and special food items. Keep a lookout for what they may be offering in both the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and throughout the parks. All I know is, it’s usually pretty tasty!

If you find yourself wanting to get into the Christmas Spirit, definitely find your way over to Universal Orlando Resort and experience everything they have to offer!

Happy holidays!

Jess Mack

Jess is an adventure-seeking, theme park loving, star gazing, geek from New Jersey who moved to Florida to never be bored. She is constantly outside, and you can usually find her at Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando when she’s not working.