The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

How Universal Orlando Resort Is Celebrating the Holidays This Year

Universal Orlando Resort is a favorite spot for many to celebrate the holidays. And even though the traditional holiday celebrations might look a little different this year, there’s still plenty of fun to be had. Both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure are getting in on the festive fun. If you’re planning a trip to Universal Orlando Resort for the holiday season, here are the best ways to experience the parks’ holiday cheer.

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of  Adventure

Inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, guests will find both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade have been decorated for the holiday season with sparkling lights and strands of garlands. And of course Hogwarts Castle is always in full holiday spirit this time of year as well. 

As you walk through the lands, you’ll be able to listen to the carols from the Frog Choir made up of Hogwarts students and their froggy friends. You might also spot Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees singing a few holiday tunes. Seasonal treats will return to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the fan-favorite hot Butterbeer, which can be found throughout the Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. 

Catch a Glimpse of The Grinch at Seuss Landing

At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you might spot The Grinch this time of year while walking through Seuss Landing. Be sure to have your cameras ready because you never know when or where the mean green one (or any other favorite characters) will pop up. 

Universal’s Holiday Experience Featuring Macy’s Balloons

New this year at Universal Studios Florida, your entire family will have the chance to get up close to the balloons and floats that typically glide by along Universal’s Holiday Parade route. You’ll be able to check out floats and balloons inspired by the holidays, like reindeers and the Nutcracker, plus characters like the Minions from Despicable Me and the penguins from Madagascar. Your path through a holiday wonderland concludes with none other than Santa Claus and the chance to take a photo with the man of the hour. (Socially distanced, of course.)

Holiday Tribute Store

Another new thing this year is a Tribute Store, typically only seen during Halloween Horror Nights, dedicated to the holidays at Universal Studios Florida. The store is located in the New York area of the park, and features four immersive rooms. Each room is stocked with merchandise and seasonal treats to swipe up faster than the Grinch. 

Holiday Tree Hunt

One activity the whole family can get in on is the Holiday Tree Hunt, which takes you through both theme parks and Universal CityWalk to search for 16 themed trees. Once you fill out all the stamps on your map, you can turn the map in for a prize. (Spoiler: It’s a Universal Holiday Tree Hunt ornament.)

Holiday Treat Trail

If you’ve ever wanted to snack your way around Universal Orlando Resort, this is your chance to do it officially with the Holiday Treat Trail. Anyone can grab a complimentary guide that outlines all of the yummy items across the parks. Those who try all of the qualifying items all get a special sweet treat! This snacking adventure is likely going to be easier as a family or with a group of friends who love food just as much as you. 

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Megan duBois
Megan duBois is a freelance writer who covers theme parks, cruising, food and drink, and family travel. Her work has appeared on Buzzfeed, Popsugar, Insider, Orbitz, The Daily Meal, Family Vacation Critic, TravelPulse, and more. Megan has been quoted as an expert and thought leader on theme parks for Forbes and other outlets. Follow her on Instagram @MinglingwithMickey and Twitter @Megand513 for theme park travel tips and tricks, and email her at megand513 [at] gmail [dot] com for story ideas.