Universal Orlando at Christmas 2020: Dates, Harry Potter, Tips, Decorations, and More!

The holidays at Universal Orlando offers plenty to see and do in terms of entertainment, activities, and seasonal decor. Experience an Universal Orlando Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, meet the Grinch during the celebration in Whoville, and enjoy the Universal Holiday parade.

Universal Orlando focuses their Christmas time festivities in two main themes: the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Grinchmas. Along with these two main themes, you can also see holiday decor throughout the park from the festive decorations to characters wearing Santa hats! Seasonal food is also in abundance, especially in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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This is the best way to save and guarantee the best experience during your visit to Universal Orlando during Christmas! Read our full guide to Christmas at Walt Disney World here.

Universal Orlando 2020 Holiday SeasonA family enjoys their hot beverages as they take in the Holiday Sights at Universal Studios Orlando.

This year's holiday season runs from November 14th- January 3rd. The holidays will look a bit different but the good news is that Universal Orlando has managed to keep most of their usual holiday celebrations with the exception of the Hogwarts holiday nighttime show and the Macy's Parade. Harry Potter fans will also be relieved to know that the Frog Choir and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees will still be peforming!

Here are the modified experiences you can expect along with the traditional offerings:

Universal’s Holiday Experience featuring Macy’s Balloons

The Macy's Parade has been modified to a walk-through experience where guests can get closer than ever to Macy's balloons and the colorful Christmas floats. Santa will also be present to pose for photos.

Universal’s Holiday Character Celebration

The holiday characters will be present as usual but in the same modified physical distancing manner we've seen so far this year with characters set up on stages at a distance. Guests can expect to see the Minions, the Grinch, characters from Shrek, and Madagascar.

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry PotterFamily of four walks through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter during snowfall

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter takes place for Universal Orlando Christmas is decked out to its full holiday best and definitely should make the top of your list!

The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle in HogsmeadeHogwarst Castle show

This show debuted in 2017 and it's back for the 2020 holiday season at Hosmeade in Universal's Islands of Adventure!

The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle includes lights, music, and projections on the castle of Hogwarts which makes for a stunning display.

Check the entertainment schedule on the Universal Orlando app for daily times or ask the nearest park employee. Typically, the Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle show will begin in the evening and run every 30 minutes until park close. But on nights that the park closes early, there may only be one show. Make sure you find out the time in advance so you don't miss it for your Universal Orlando Christmas!

Holiday Frog Choir in HogsmeadeUniversal Studios christmas: holiday frog choir

Listen to some holiday songs from the choir of Hogwarts students and their croaking frogs at Hosmeade in Universal's lslands of Adventure!

Check the entertainment schedule on the Universal Orlando app for daily times or ask the nearest park employee.

Celestina Warbeck and the BansheesCelestina Warbeck

King's Cross Station in Universal Studios Florida features performances from Molly Weasley's favorite singer- Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. The show features favorites you may reognize right from the pages of Harry Potter including  ‘A Cauldron Full Of Hot, Strong Love', ‘You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart', and ‘You Charmed The Heart Right Out Of Me'.

Check the entertainment schedule on the Universal Orlando app for daily times or ask the nearest park employee.

Universal Orlando Christmas Seasonal FoodClose up of holiday feast food at Universal Studios Hollywood

In the Harry Potter books, Harry and his friends enjoy a grand holiday feast at Hogwarts with all the fixings,

Harry had never in all his life had such a Christmas dinner. A hundred fat, roast turkeys; mountains of roast and boiled potatoes; platters of chipolatas; tureens of buttered peas, silver boats of thick, rich gravy and cranberry sauce — and stacks of wizard crackers every few feet along the table…

The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade at Universal's Islands of Adventure offers a full holiday feast as a nod towards the Christmas dinner feast held at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series. The 2017 Holiday Feast included a few courses such as butternut squash soup, beef wellington, oven roast turkey, sweet potato, dried cherries, and winter vegetables. We expect the 2020 offering of a traditional English dinner to be just as delicious!

You can also find a variety of holiday sweets and seasonal drinks, such as warm butterbeer, around the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Christmas time.

Holiday Shopping at Universal Orlando ChristmasHarry Potter holiday ornament

Picture via Los Angeles Daily NewsHogsmeade and Diagon Alley offer a variety of amazing shops straight out of the pages of the Harry Potter series. You can expect these stores to put out all the stops when it comes to serving your holiday shopping needs.

The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular at Universal's Islands of Adventure

Universal's Islands of Adventure also holds a celebration of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas in Seuss Landing with popular characters from the movie ready to share their Wholiday with your family for your Universal Orlando Christmas.

The Who-tacular festivities with The Grinch, Max and all of Who-ville takes place November 17th – January 6th.

Meet the Grinch in Seuss LandingGrinch with his hands reaching out

Meet Grinch and Max in Seuss Landing and snap a picture with this dynamic duo.

Check the entertainment schedule on the Universal Orlando app for daily times or ask the nearest park employee.

Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular during Universal Orlando ChristmasSeuss landing holiday decor

Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular at Islands of Adventure is the main show for entertainment during Grinchmas. The show stars the Grinch in the telling of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The show also features the spirited cast of Who-ville citizens and music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller. Make sure to get there early so you can get good seats- seats are first come, first serve. And no, you can't use your Express Pass here to get seats!

Check the entertainment schedule on the Universal Orlando app for daily times or ask the nearest park employee.

The Grinch and Friends Character Breakfast

You can also enjoy a mischievous breakfast with the Grinch himself during your Universal Orlando Christmas experience! As you eat, the Grinch will come around stealing bacon (sassy Grinch) and posing for photos.

This breakfast requires advance reservations and tends to sell out quickly. Make your reservation here. 

Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s at Universal Studios FloridaMinion float during the holiday parade

Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's is a must see for your Universal Orlando Christmas. The parade features favorites such as the Minions, Santa Clause, characters from Madagascar and Shrek.

Check the entertainment schedule on the Universal Orlando app for daily times or ask the nearest park employee.

Mannheim Steamroller at Universal Studios FloridaUniversal Orlando Christmas: Mannheim Steamroller

Mannheim Steamroller, the best-selling holiday artist of all time, visits Universal Studios Florida for live performances.

No announcements have yet been made about 2020 performances.

Check the entertainment schedule on the Universal Orlando app for daily times or ask the nearest park employee.

Christmas Time at Universal OrlandoMinions holiday decor

Between Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Universal Holiday Parade, and Grinchmas, there will be plenty of holiday entertainment to keep you busy.

Throughout the parks you will notice seasonal holiday decor, characters such as the beloved Minions in Christmas hats and festive outfits, and a variety of Christmas treats and souvenirs.

Since this time of year tends to be crowded, we have some additional tips and tricks to keep in mind for this holiday season as you enjoy your Universal Orlando Christmas:

  1. Arrive early- at least 30 minutes before the park opens. Not as many people do this at Universal Orlando as they do at Walt Disney World, you will be one of the first ones in if you come early!
  2. If you have the extra funds and want to cut ahead the crowds, consider purchasing an Express Pass so you can get to the front of the lines quicker.
  3. Plan ahead– know the park hours, entertainment schedule, and want you want to do first.
  4. If meeting the Grinch is at the top of your list, go there in the morning before the lines get long in the afternoon.
  5. When there are more than one Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle show, see the later timed one for lower crowd levels.
  6. Stay until the park closes– especially if you only have one day to spend.
  7. Consider staying at an Universal hotel to get early entry.
  8. Get spots early for the Universal Holiday Parade and the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.
  9. Dress in layers– it can get chilly once the sun goes down!
  10. And don't miss out on trying some warm holiday Butterbeer!

New Years at Universal OrlandoImage result for New Years at Universal Orlando

Each Universal Orlando park offers a New Years Eve celebration for guests to enjoy after the holidays!

New Year’s Eve in Universal Studios FloridaUniversal Orlando's Cinematic Celebration™ lights up the night sky at Universal Studios Florida™.

Universal Studios Florida has live music, party zones, character meet and greets, pyrotechnics, confetti, and party favors.

New Year’s Eve at the Music Plaza Stage

  • Holiday Parade Character Dance Party
  • Live Band and DJ
  • Pyrotechnics and Confetti Midnight Moment

New Year’s Eve in Central Park

  • Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration
  • Character Dance Party
  • Live DJ
  • Pyrotechnics, Fountain and Light Midnight Moment

EVE at Universal CityWalkPeople in a crowd raise their glasses in a champagne toast at Universal Orlando's New Year's Eve event.

EVE, is an electrifying New Year’s Eve celebration at Universal CityWalk with signature drinks. Guests can enjoy five incredible CityWalk clubs with live music and gourmet cuisine. Guests can also party on Orlando’s biggest outdoor dance floor. (Separately ticketed event. 21+ only.)

New Year’s Eve at Our Hotels

Universal Orlando hotels offer New Years Eve activities offer special New Year’s Eve dinners and buffets along with live entertainment, midnight toasts and family activities.

Plan Your Universal Orlando Vacation Today!

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3 comments add yours

  1. This site was last updated 2/6/2020. I am trying to determine if Universal begins their Christmas season 11/16/2020. Some of the above information references 2019. I can’t tell which is Christmas 2019 and Christmas 2020. I am only interested in the upcoming Christmas, not last year’s.
    Thanks for your help.

    • Universal Orlando hasn’t released their dates for 2020 yet- we will update the guide with the dates once they release them. Usually the dates are pretty close from year to year so you could look at 2019’s dates to get an idea for this year!

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