Though I have concerns about their use of the suffix, Universal Orlando declared that the “awesomest celebration” of the season returns this year. This most awesome celebration will present an entire resort-wide 2022 holiday celebration. Universal indicates that this celebration will feature a mix of festivities highlighted by some of pop culture’s most beloved stories and characters. This winter holiday celebration runs from November 12th, 2022, through January 1st, 2023.
Theme park guests can witness a spectacular transformation of Hogwarts castle during “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. They can meet the Grinch during Grinchmas. Guests can enjoy watching larger-than-life balloons and floats take the streets during Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. That describes only a portion of all the fun you can have with the price of admission. Yes, Universal Orlando offers a few upcharge holiday season opportunities, However, most of the holiday festivities come included with admission to the theme parks.
Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure
The spectacularly themed lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will transform into wizarding wonderlands for the Holidays, These areas come complete with festive décor throughout the iconic streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Guests will find themed decorations, garlands, and lights. Guests can also enjoy special holiday-themed presentations from the Frog Choir, comprised of Hogwarts students and their giant croaking frogs, in the Hogsmeade area. Also, guests can enjoy Molly Weasley’s favorite wizarding world singing sensation, Celestina Warbeck, and the Banshees, in Diagon Alley. Celestina and her banshees will probably tell you that “My Baby Gave Me a Hippogriff for Christmas.” Also, do not miss their rendition of “Accio Christmas.”
Both wizarding world areas at Universal Orlando will be decorated for the holiday also. If you look closely, you will see themed decorations that match in some way the shop or attractions nearby.
Each evening will provide the appropriate setting for a magnificent projection show in the Hogsmeade area in Islands of Adventure. You can embrace your holiday spirit and Christmas moments inspired by the beloved “Harry Potter” stories in “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This projection show on Hogwarts Castle draws large crowds due to the high quality of this nighttime event. The large crowds flock to this for good reason—the show is well done.
Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s at Universal Studios Florida
Universal Orlando continues to offer seasonal nighttime parades. If you are a fan of nighttime parades, then the holiday season will be one of the best opportunities to enjoy one. This year, the popular characters from Illumination’s Despicable Me and DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek and Madagascar will star on floats. The holiday parade consists of larger-than-life balloons, dozens of colorful holiday floats, and hundreds of festive performers filling the streets of Universal Studios Florida during Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. If you are looking for Santa Claus, he will make an appearance at the end of the parade. He will also light the gigantic Christmas tree in the New York area as he goes by.
Grinchmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
The Seuss Landing area of Islands of Adventure becomes decorated to full holiday level. The “Whos” love Christmas. However, somebody in that land does not. The nature of Grinchmas comes to life at Universal’s Islands of Adventure with the “Grinchmas Who-holiday Spectacular” – a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic starring, as Universal Orlando calls him, “the maven of mischief” himself, the Grinch.
The Grinchmas gala persists with the wonderfully adorned whimsical yuletide décor. This includes oversized candy canes, twisting Christmas trees, wreaths, and beautiful tinsel ornaments. While strolling the land, guests can enjoy special appearances by the merry Whos from Who-ville as they prepare for their favorite holiday throughout Seuss Landing. A special photo opportunity to meet the mean, green one himself, the Grinch, happens here.
You can also expect to find specially themed food items in Seuss Landing during the holidays. Past examples of this involved a “Roast Beast” Sandwich, Grinch Hot Chocolate Bombs, Grinch Green Sugar Cookies, and a Grinch Ice Cream Sandwich. In Seuss Landing, you can visit Green Eggs and Ham Café for some “Who Hash” (a year-round offering) to round out your Grinchmas dining.
Mannheim Steamroller in Concert at Universal Studios Florida
The best-selling holiday artist of all time, Mannheim Steamroller, returns to Universal Studios Florida theme park to fill the air with the iconic sounds of the season with live performances on December 3, 4, 10 and 11. These concerts happen in the evening near the park closing time. These concerts are held in the Music Plaza Area. They are free with your admission ticket to Universal Studios Florida theme park. Also please note that guests with a seasonal pass (the lowest level of Universal Orlando annual passes) will not be able to enter Universal Studios Florida on concert days.
HOLIDAY TRIBUTE STORE
The yearly tradition of a Holiday Tribute Store returns in 2022. We expect to see plenty of Earl the Squirrel again this year. Last year, guests got to meet Earl the Squirrel in a designated character meet-and-greet area. The Tribute store will feature four highly themed areas with a plethora of holiday merchandise. Of course, there will be treats to enjoy. Many guests think of this as an attraction all on its own.
ADDITIONAL SHOWS IN UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA THEME PARK
Several aspects of operations receive a slight adjustment during the holidays. However, two shows become entirely holiday themed. “The Blues Brothers Holiday Show” takes over the Delancey Street area. Jake and Elwood perform festive favorite songs with their unique charm. You will hear some Christmas classics. You will also hear a song about being a “snowman” that will sound like a song James Brown made famous. This show finishes with the Orlando version of snow falling. The holiday version of the Blues Brothers party is a fan favorite.
Marilyn & the (Holiday) Diamond Bellas
Marilyn and her Diamond Bellas change their routine into a holiday version. The group of ladies enter to “film” a musical sequence for an upcoming picture. This festive edition looks like the standard one but with full winter holiday lyrics. The outfits for the Diamond Bella look like they belong performing at a Christmas gala. In a curious twist, Marilyn “sings” the holiday classic “Santa Baby.” Usually, the ladies stick around after the show for photos also.
SEASONAL FOOD AND BEVERAGE OFFERINGS
Though, as of the time of writing, Universal Orlando has not announced any specific details, we expect plenty of distinctive food/beverage options for the holiday season of 2022. In the past, food trucks and designated food areas have been set up at Universal Studios Florida theme park offering some savory and sweet options. Based on previous years, we expect seasonal sandwiches, hot chocolate, eggnogs, sausage & peppers (even a vegan version), macaroni & cheese, and holiday cookies. Over in CityWalk, we will see plenty of holiday decorations and food/beverage offerings. Last year we got a special themed area serving holiday beverages in a classic old-school tradition.
Resort hotels should not be overlooked. Each one will offer unique holiday treats, events, and other special celebrations. At the hotels, the season continues with festive décor that complements each hotel’s theme, holiday feasts, and special activities filled with holiday cheer for the whole family. Universal hotel guests can enjoy special menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holidays. Other events like menorah lighting ceremonies and holiday crafts for kids will happen. Plus, select hotels offer additional holiday entertainment that includes Christmas tree lighting, strolling carolers, and more. The holiday celebration can keep going as a part of your vacation staying at one of the fabulous Universal Orlando Resort hotels
SPECIAL PAID EVENTS
Though almost everything involved with the holidays at Universal Orlando comes with the price of admission. Universal Orlando brought back two special upcharge events this year. As Universal Orlando stated, “Universal Orlando Resort guests can take the merriment of the destination’s Holidays celebration to the next level with additional festive experiences select dates from November 12 through January 1, 2023.” Guests may embark on an exclusive directed tour of this year’s holiday offerings during Universal’s Holiday Tour. Also, guests can encounter the mean, green one himself, the Grinch, while enjoying a delicious breakfast during the popular Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast. This character breakfast returns this year after being absent in 2020 and 2019.
Universal’s Holiday Tour
On select evenings, guests can enjoy a guided tour filled with unique experiences and special access to the beloved holiday entertainment taking place across Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Guests get to meet the Grinch, and his faithful dog, Max, while enjoying a delicious hot cocoa bar with small bites and desserts at Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-pendous in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Holiday tour participants receive special access to reserved seating at the “Grinchmas Who-holiday Spectacular” – a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Each guest receives a meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with Santa Claus in Universal Studios Florida also. You get one digital copy of this character interaction included with your tour.
Each tour completes the night with an after-hours viewing of “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” – a stunning projection of holiday spirit and Christmas moments inspired by the beloved “Harry Potter” stories brought to life on the majestic Hogwarts castle. This tour is available on select dates beginning November 13 through January 1, 2023. This may be booked by contacting your Pixie, right here. The pricing starts at $79.99 (plus tax) and separate theme park admission with park-to-park access is required. However, Annual and Seasonal Passholders receive a $10 discount per ticket. Standard blackout dates apply to passholders.
The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
The popular dining experience, The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast, returns this year for Universal Orlando’s Holidays celebration – allowing guests to start their day with a delicious breakfast and appearances by some of their favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including the Grinch. Guests also receive access to one digital download photo as a keepsake from their encounter with the Grinch. Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast takes place in Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-pendous in Universal’s Islands of Adventure on select dates from November 12 through December 29, 2022, and can be booked by visiting Universal Family Vacations.
The cost for this breakfast is $41.99 (plus tax) for adults and $26.99 (plus tax) for children. Theme park admission to Islands of Adventure is not included with this breakfast. Also, you must purchase that separately.
This holiday season may be the perfect time for you to visit Universal Orlando. Right now, guests can take advantage of incredible offers to experience all the fun, including getting four days of theme park thrills for the price of a two-day ticket with the “Buy 2 Days, Get 2 Days Free” offer or saving 30% on a special vacation package that includes five-night accommodations at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort or Universal’s Aventura Hotel, five days of access to Universal Orlando’s theme parks and exclusive hotel benefits. Your travel advisor can point you in the right direction for a fabulous Universal Orlando holiday-themed vacation.