November 12th is the official kick-off for holiday celebrations at Universal Orlando in 2022. Holiday offerings encompass every part of Universal, including Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios, and CityWalk. With so much to do at each park, you won’t want to miss any of it. Here are some of the highlights of the holiday celebrations at Universal Orlando this year!
Grinchmas™ at Seuss Landing™
Seuss Landing, the Dr. Seuss-themed land at Islands of Adventure, goes all out for the holiday season. Many of the holiday decorations at Islands of Adventure are concentrated in this area. It truly appears that the Whos of Whoville have taken over, filling every possible place within the land with Christmas decor. Since we all know that every Who down in Whoville likes Christmas a lot, it’s easy to understand why the land is bursting with holiday cheer. You may even spot some Whoville citizens roaming around as they complete their holiday shopping.
The highlight of the Grinchmas celebration is the Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular, a stage show that retells the classic Dr. Seuss tale, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The show features wonderful performances, musical numbers, and a live dog appearance as the Grinch’s sidekick, Max. It runs about a half-hour long and occurs throughout the day during regular park hours.
If you want even more time with the Grinch, check out his special seasonal meet and greet location near the Circus McGurkus Cafe. Or, reserve a table at the Grinch and Friends Character Breakfast, where you’ll dine on a breakfast buffet at Circus McGurkus alongside the Grinch and citizens from Whoville. The Grinch has great interactions with guests, so you want won’t miss this seasonal experience!
Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s
The main holiday event at Universal Studios is the daily holiday parade. The parade makes its way through the streets of Production Central and the New York sections of the park, usually around 5:30 pm. The parade features iconic balloons from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and additional balloons of beloved Universal characters like the Minions. There are also floats featuring characters from Despicable Me, Madagascar, and Shrek. Classic holiday motifs are featured throughout the parade, from toys brought to life to elves and reindeer puppets. Just as in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Universal’s parade ends with an appearance by Santa atop his sleigh waving to the crowds below.
Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™
The holidays may be the most magical time to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios and Hogsmeade™ at Islands of Adventure are filled with wonder and whimsy with decorations that spark magic and joy. You won’t want to miss The Magic Of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle show, which projects moving imagery of how Hogwarts™ students celebrate the holidays onto Hogwarts Castle, complete with a few fireworks. The show runs intermittently from dusk until park closing. In addition, appearances from the Frog Choir and Celestina Warbeck incorporate holiday musical numbers (including some original songs) during their daily performances.
Also, don’t forget to enjoy some hot Butterbeer!
Concerts & Entertainment
Guests visiting Universal Studios during the first two weekends of December (December 3-4 & 10-11) can enjoy an exclusive performance from Mannheim Steamroller, known for their lively renditions of classic Christmas songs. The best part? The concert is included with daily park admission to Universal Studios! We suggest getting your seat at the outdoor Universal Music Plaza Stage early, as this popular concert will fill up fast!
Daily street shows also incorporate holiday themes during this time of year, such as the Blues Brothers® show and Marilyn Monroe & the Diamond Bellas show at Universal Studios.
Mistletoe Pines Village, a unique place for exclusive holiday-themed food, drinks, and merchandise, returns to Universal CityWalk this year. Themed as the downtown district of a village surrounding the fictional Mistletoe Pines National Park, this section of CityWalk is packed with treats like cookie dough Christmas trees, hot chocolate bombs, and praline holiday bars. There is a wide selection of specialty holiday-themed cocktails, as well.
For some extra sweetness, head over to the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. Known for its fantastical desserts and milkshakes, the bakery, bar, and grill offers holiday-themed delights throughout November and December.
Here are some ways to enhance your holiday at Universal:
Universal Holiday Tour
Holiday Tours are a seasonal offering similar to Universal’s group VIP Tours. These tours allow you to enjoy perks like reserved seating for the Grinchmas Holiday Spectacular, an exclusive meet and greet with the Grinch and Max, priority access to one attraction, a photo op with Santa, and after-hours viewing of The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle. You’ll also enjoy a hot cocoa bar and a small-plate buffet featuring chicken and waffles, popcorn shrimp, cookies & milk, and more.
Holiday Tribute Store
Although details haven’t been officially announced yet, tribute stores have become a staple for exclusive merchandise during the various events at Universal, including Mardi Gras and Halloween Horror Nights. Tribute stores usually collect specialty-themed merchandise throughout Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure all in one place. The store has a unique, detailed theme with easter eggs and nods to past and present Universal pictures inside.
You’ll find festive decor throughout Universal’s on-property hotels, with themed trees and events throughout the season. There are also Hanukkah lighting ceremonies at many of the resorts.
Holiday Vacation Planning with Wishing On A Star Travel ®
With magic and wonder at every turn, the holidays are a wonderful time to visit Universal! Holiday festivities run from November 12, 2022, through January 1, 2023. There’s still time to secure your holiday trip for 2022 and 2023! Wishing On A Star Travel ® is a U-Preferred travel agency specializing in Universal and Disney vacation planning. Get a quote to get started. Or call us at 1-888-678-TRIP to speak with one of our agents today!