Ultimate Guide to Christmas at Universal Orlando Resort 2022 (Dinner, Tips, and Crowd)

Can you imagine spending the holidays with the Grinch, wizards in Hogsmeade, and giant parade floats galore? Well that’s what you’ll get when discovering the holiday happenings for Christmas at Universal from November 13, 2021 through January 2, 2022.

The yuletide season is finally here and I am so happy to be able to spend another year with my loved ones.

Just in case you’re visiting central Florida or even if you are a local, I wanted to give you some alternative holiday options for celebrating this festive time of year. 

Grinchmas Universal Orlando

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Celebrating Christmas at Universal Orlando Resort

The magic of the holiday season is in the air and there’s no better place to be than in Orlando. With so many theme parks to choose from, each one has to bring its A-game for the Christmas season.

AND Universal Orlando definitely does that!

Majestic Christmas Tree at Universal Studios Orlando Florida in Central Park

From enjoying fun interactions with one of Dr. Seuss’s classic characters, to the enchanting Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios, there’s something for everyone at this resort.

In this festive guide, we’ll go over:

  • Things to Do for Christmas at the Universal Orlando Resort Theme Parks
  • How to Celebrate the Holidays for FREE at the Universal Orlando Hotels
  • What to Expect During the Holidays at Universal
  • Celebrating New Year’s Eve at Universal Orlando Resort
  • Understanding Just How Crowded it is for Christmas at Universal
  • Tips to Make the Most of Your Day

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3 Things to Do at Islands of Adventure for Christmas

Islands of Adventure was once rumored to be Universal’s answer to Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park.

Port of Christmas Shop at Islands of Adventure
Port of Christmas Shop at Islands of Adventure

This concept has since changed, making Islands of Adventure stand on its own by leading parks in having the top thrill rides.

Christmas at Universal Harry Potter Christmas Ornaments Merchandise

It has enhanced its popularity in the magnificent theming found in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Christmas at Universal Harry Potter Christmas Ornaments Merchandise Hogwarts Houses Holiday Stockings

Islands of Adventure is located in the Universal Orlando Resort and is just a quick ten minute walk from Universal Studios or a short ride on the Hogwarts Express.

When planning out your time at Universal for the holidays, I suggest doing the first part of your day at Islands of Adventure then Universal Studios in the afternoon.

1. Celebrate Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Hogsmeade

Whether you’re a fan of the boy wizard or not, you’ll be engulfed in the holiday magic come to life inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade.

Christmas at Universal Harry Potter Christmas Snowman in front of castle

The village of Hogsmeade is perfectly decorated with charming garland and lights as the students of Hogwarts serenade Muggle guests with classic Christmas carols. You’ll also be able to enjoy seasonal food and drinks while you’re there!

Christmas at Universal Harry Potter Christmas Books and merchandise in Hogsmeade

Be sure to enjoy a hot Butterbeer™ while listening to the holiday tunes from the Frog Choir.

Butterbeer Universal Studios Recipe with hot butterbeer and Hogwarts castle in the background.

To cap off your Harry Potter Christmas, you’ll be treated with a spectacular projection show to showcase the holiday spirit inspired by J.K. Rowling’s stories on the Hogwarts castle.

Hogwarts for Christmas Lights Show in Hogsmeade Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Visit Hogwarts for Christmas and watch the projection whow in Hogsmeade Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando.

Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!

2. Say Hi to the Grinch during Grinchmas

Enjoy Christmas at Universal Orlando by partaking in the holiday season with the Grinch.

Christmas at Universal Grinchmas Seuss Landing Islands of Adventure

Celebrate the Christmas season in Islands of Adventure in Who-ville. The holiday spirit can be felt all across Seuss Landing as all of the Whos come out to partake in the Christmas festivities with you!

Plus, their interactions are top-notch which is something that I truly enjoy during Grinchmas. And the best part about it is that it’s included with your Theme Park Ticket or Annual Pass.

The Grinch performing during Grinchmas at Universal Islands of Adventure
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

You may even be lucky enough to see the Grinch and the characters of Who-ville roaming throughout Seuss Landing in Islands of Adventure.

Don’t forget to watch the retelling of How the Grinch Stole Christmas live on stage at Universal Orlando Resort.

The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular is a special holiday showing of the classic tale How The Grinch Stole Christmas. It features music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller and a score composed by Chip Davis.

Who Holiday Spectacular Show at Grinchmas in Universal Islands of Adventure
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

Hipster Power Tip: If you have reserved seating, you can join the Whovians for an exclusive on-stage Q&A session!

3. Do a Holiday Tour at Universal Orlando Resort

If you’re a fan of doing behind-the-scenes tours at Universal, then you’ll enjoy this popular Christmas experience.

VIP Tour Guide at Universal Studios Florida

According to Universal, The Universal’s Holiday Tour is an exclusive guided tour of Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure available on select dates starting November 21, 2021.

What’s included with the Holiday Tour at Universal Orlando?

  • Enjoy hot cocoa with the Grinch™
  • Meet Santa
  • Reserved seating for Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s and The Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular (plus get an exclusive on-stage holidays Q&A with the Whos)
  • Have an exclusive after-hours showing of The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts™ Castle.

This fun experience starts at $69.99 (plus tax) and separate Park-to-Park admission is required. You can get more information here!

8 Things to Do for Christmas at Universal Studios

If your idea of Christmas is spending time in Central Florida with family at the Universal Orlando Resort, then you’ve chosen the perfect place.

Christmas at Universal with Christmas Tree in Central Park

Among the coasters, magic, and fairy-tales are some of the best holiday happenings right here in the theme park capital of the world. 

Learn how to find your perfect vacation home rental in Orlando by Clicking HERE!

1. Watch the Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s

I’m so happy to announce that the fan-favorite, Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, is back this year!

Universal Holiday Parade with Macy in Universal Studios Florida
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

This is absolutely one of my favorite things to do at Universal Studios for Christmas. Not only is the parade top-notch, you get to feel as if you’re truly in New York watching the actual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Macys Holiday Parade with Large Minion and Teddy Bear Float Overlooking Universal Studios Roller Coasters
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

During this parade, you’ll get to see gigantic balloons floating in the air with characters from Despicable Me, Shrek, and Madagascar. You’ll even get to see the man himself, Santa!

2. Enjoy Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley

Join wizards, witches, and Muggles in the festive streets of Diagon Alley. This can be your own way of having a Harry Potter Christmas at Universal Studios.

Diagon Alley at Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

So, sit back, relax with a hot Butterbeer™ while enjoying the holiday tunes of the famous Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees.

Celestina Warbeck singing Christmas songs in Diagon Alley Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees singing Christmas songs in Diagon Alley Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

Hipster Power Tip: Please remember that you’ll need a Park-to-Park ticket to ride the Hogwarts™ Express and visit both lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ (Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade).

3. Meet Santa Claus

This year you will have the chance to meet Santa Claus with the opportunity of receiving one My Universal Photos digital download.

Santa Claus at Universal Orlando Resort

I believe that every holiday event must give you the opportunity to meet the big guy himself and Universal Orlando delivers on that requirement!

4. Go on a Holiday Christmas Tree Hunt

To celebrate the season, you can go on a holiday tree hunt to search for 15 holiday-themed trees scattered throughout the shops in the theme parks and CityWalk.

Once you completed the hunt and collected your stamps, you’ll be eligible to receive an exclusive Holiday Tree Hunt-branded ornament.

Christmas at Universal Ornaments Merchandise Minions

Unfortunately, this Christmas tree scavenger hunt is not free and you will have to purchase the Holiday Tree Hunt brochure. I still think that it’s a holiday must-do at the Universal Orlando Resort.

5. Visit the Holiday Tribute Store

This year’s Holiday Tribute Store is going to be so AMAZING! There will be rooms dedicated the Grinch’s Lair and the Yule Ball from the Harry Potter films!

Harry Potter Christmas Ornaments Yuleball Gowns
Harry Potter Christmas Ornaments Yule ball Gowns in Diagon Alley

To say that I’m excited for this is an understatement. If you know Universal, then you know that they ALWAYS go all out in their seasonal tribute store.

Macys Holiday Parade at Universal Studios Orlando Florida

So, once you enter into Santa’s workshop AKA the Holiday Tribute Store, be sure to search for Earl the Squirrel, shop your heart out, and feast on the Christmas treats!

Check out the Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store Tour here!

6. Go Christmas Shopping at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

Don’t forget to go Christmas shopping at many of the on-site stores located in the Universal Orlando Resort.

Port of Christmas Shop at Islands of Adventure
Port of Christmas Shop at Islands of Adventure

But if you want to take your holiday gifting up to the next level, then be sure to visit the year-round Christmas shops in both parks: Port of Entry Christmas Shoppe in Islands of Adventure and Park Plaza Holiday Shop in Universal Studios.

7. Eat ALL OF THE Holiday Food at Universal Orlando Resort

Create your own Christmas Food Festival at Universal Orlando by tasting your way around both theme parks and CityWalk!

Harry Potter World Butterbeer
Hot butterbeer…it’s a winner!!!

A few favorites are returning this year, but check out a few items that I’m looking forward to trying below:

  • Nutella Cheesecake Reindeer Pop with smooth Nutella and garnished with candied hazelnuts – available at Croissant Moon Bakery, located at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • “Red Hot” Holiday Shake withRed Hot candies, crushed peppermint and a Christmas tree snack cake milkshake at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen in Universal CityWalk
  • Voodoo Doughnut: This popular Orlando food spot will offer new flavors this year such as the gingerbread cake doughnut, the green-glazed holiday gift doughnut and the marble cake wreath doughnut
  • Hot Chocolate Bomb: Get your hot chocolate bomb ornament that will be filled with marshmallows at TODAY Cafe, located at Universal Studios Florida. You can also try the new Grinch-themed hot chocolate bomb filled with marshmallows and red-candied hearts at Hop on Pop Ice Cream Shop at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Vegan Brownie: You can grab this classic holiday treat in San Francisco at Universal Studios Florida or Croissant Moon Bakery at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Hot Butterbeer: One of the MOST POPULAR treat is available in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter all year long, but it’s waaaaay more special during Christmastime!

8. End Your Day with the Mannheim Steamroller

Be sure to cap your EPIC Universal Orlando day off by watching and listening to the best-selling holiday artist of all time, the Mannheim Steamroller as they bless you with the most amazing holiday sounds of the season!

Universal Orlando Mannheim Steamroller on stage at Universal Studios Florida
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

You can watch the live performances at the Music Plaza Stage on the following nights: December 4, 5, 11 and 12 of 2021.

Recommended: The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide

28 Things to Do for Christmas at Universal Orlando Hotels (AND SOME ARE FREE!)

It doesn’t quite feel like the holidays until you made a trip to the Universal Orlando Resort Hotels at Christmas!

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel Universal Orlando Resort
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

And just like your touring adventure through the Disney Resort hotels, you can do the same at Universal. They decorate all of the resort in holiday décor complete with holiday feasts and activities for you to participate in.

This is a budget friendly way to experience Christmastime at Universal.

The on-site hotels of Universal Orlando Resort will be offering a variety of holiday happenings for the season that are listed below.

Christmas at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is hosting a number of holiday events for all ages to enjoy this year! Let’s go through what you can expect:

Loews Portofino Bay Resort at Christmas Time Universal Orlando Resort
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort
  1. Holiday Harbor Nights on the Harbor Piazza Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: November 26, 2021 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Starts at $75)
  2. Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony in the Lobby: November 28th through December 6, 2021 starting at sundown (FREE)
  3. Holiday Cookies & Beverages in the Lobby: December 20th through December 24, 2021 from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. (FREE)
  4. Kids’ Holiday Crafts & Activities in the Lobby: December 20th to December 24, 2021 from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. (FREE)
  5. Strolling Holiday Carolers in the Lobby (and throughout hotel): December 20th through December 24, 2021 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (FREE)
  6. Christmas Day Buffet in Trattoria del Porto: Saturday, December 25, 2021 from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. ($75 for adults and $25 for children ages 3 – 9). View the menu here.
  7. Christmas Day Menu in Mama Della’s Ristorante: December 25, 2021 from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. ($65 for adults and $20 for children ages 3-9).

Christmas at the Hard Rock Hotel®

Enjoy the holidays like a rock star this year! Check out all of the holiday events happening at the Hard Rock Hotel below:

Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando Resort
Hard Rock Hotel Photo Cred. Universal Orlando Resort
  1. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Lobby
  2. (with special guest to flip the switch): November 26, 2021 at 6 p.m. (FREE)
  3. Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony in the Lobby: November 28th to December 6, 2021 starting at sundown (FREE)
  4. Christmas Eve Family-style Dinner in The Kitchen: December 24, 2021 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. ($65 per adult and $30 for children ages 3-9). View the menu here.
  5. Christmas Day Brunch in The Kitchen: December 25, 2021 from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. ($60 per adult and $25 for children ages 3 – 9). View the menu here.
  6. Christmas Day Family-style Dinner in The Kitchen: Saturday, December 25, 2021 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. ($75 for adults and $35 for children ages 3 – 9). View the menu here.

Christmas at Loews Royal Pacific Resort

Enjoy the holidays in the South Seas at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Check out this year’s offerings!

Loews Royal Pacific A TOUCH OF THE TROPICS with elaborate landscaping, waterfalls and lagoons. Architecturally influenced by the tropically lush region of the Asia pacific, the Royal Pacific Resort houses nearly 80,000 square feet of meeting and function space, a fitness center, a pool, a business center, retail shops wit location next to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and CityWalk are just a relaxing boat ride away.
Photo Copyright: Universal Orlando.
  1. Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony in the Lobby: November 28th through December 6, 2021 starting at sundown (FREE)
  2. Christmas Day Breakfast Buffet in Jake’s American Bar: December 25, 2021 from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. ($25 for adults and $15 for children ages 3 – 9 with all-you-care-to-enjoy mimosa and Bloody Mary cocktails for just $15 more for adults 21+).
  3. Christmas Day Buffet in Islands Dining Room: December 25, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. ($62 per adult and $30 for children ages 3 – 9. You can add all-you-care-to-enjoy mimosa and Bloody Mary cocktails for just $15 more for adults 21+). View the menu here.

For a no obligation, FREE Universal Vacation Quote, you can fill out the form with The Park Prodigy by Clicking HERE!

Christmas at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Enjoy the holiday season at Universal Orlando in a tropical way at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

Loews Sapphire Falls Water Taxi
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort
  1. Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony in the Lobby: November 28th to December 6, 2021 starting at sundown (FREE)
  2. Christmas Day Breakfast Buffet in Amatista Cookhouse: December 25, 2021 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. ($25 for adults and $15 for children ages 3 – 9. You can add all-you-care-to-enjoy mimosa and Cubanita cocktails for just $15 more for adults 21+).
  3. Christmas Day Buffet in Amatista Cookhouse: December 25, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. ($62 for adults and $30 for children ages 3 – 9. Adults (ages 21+) can add all-you-care-to-enjoy mimosa and Cubanita cocktails for just $15 more) View the menu here.

Christmas at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Enjoy a special holiday dinner at Bayliner Diner with traditional Yuletide favorites including turkey, stuffing, cranberry compote, mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli and biscuits.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort Lobby and Check In Desk

Don’t forget to explore the Cabana Bay Beach Resort and partake in the nostalgic holiday festivities!

  1. Winter Wonderland and Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Lobby: November 26, 2021 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (FREE)
  2. Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony in the Lobby: November 28th to December 6, 2021 starting at sundown. (FREE)
  3. Christmas Day Meal Special in Bayliner Diner: December 25, 2021 from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. ($19.99 for adults and $10.99 for children ages 3 to 9)

Christmas at Universal’s Aventura Hotel

Be sure to hop over to the Aventura Hotel while on your Universal Orlando Resort hopping tour. You’ll enjoy lots of holiday festivities here with deliciously fresh food!

Aventura Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort On-site Hotels
Photo Copyright: Universal Orlando
  1. Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony in the Lobby: November 28th through Monday, December 6, 2021 starting at sundown. (FREE)
  2. Christmas Day Meal Special in Urban Pantry: December 25, 2021 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. ($19.99 for adults and $10.99 for children ages 3 – 9)

Christmas at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites

Time to head over to Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites to bask in the Florida sun while enjoying holiday treats and festivities.

Universal Orlando On-Site Hotels: Surfside Inn and Suites 2 Bedroom Suite
Photo Copyright: Universal Orlando
  1. Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony in the Lobby: November 28th to December 6, 2021 starting at sundown. (FREE)
  2. Christmas Day Meal Special at Beach Break Café: December 25, 2021 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. ($15 for adults and $9 for children ages 3 – 9)

Christmas at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites

Once you’re done exploring the Surfside Inn and Suites, it’s time for you to head over to Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites and partake in their holiday activities.

Publicity Dockside Inn and Suites First Look. Universal Orlando Resort Hotels
Photo Copyright: Universal Orlando
  1. Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony in the Lobby: November 28th through December 6, 2021 starting at sundown. (FREE)
  2. Christmas Day Meal Special at Dockside’s Pier 8 Market: December 25, 2021 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. ($15 for adults and $9 for children ages 3 – 9)

Be sure to make your reservations in advanced on OpenTable or call 407-503-DINE (3463).

15 Things to do for New Year’s Eve at Universal Orlando Resort 2021

If you haven’t thought about celebrating New Year’s Eve at Universal, then you should highly consider it. The atmosphere inside CityWalk is electric as the countdown gets you ready to ring in the new year.

New Years Eve Party 2021 for 2022 at Universal Orlando Resort

Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Universal Orlando Resort

  1. Party on the Piazza at Loews Portofino Bay Resort
  2. Eat Your Way Through the New Year’s Eve Prix Fixe Menu in Mama Della’s Ristorante at Loews Portofino Bay Resort
  3. Enjoy a New Year’s Eve Buffet in The Kitchen
  4. (with ROCK-in 2022! New Year’s Eve Lobby Party) at Hard Rock Hotel
  5. ROCK-in 2022! New Year’s Eve Lobby Party at Hard Rock Hotel
  6. Relax to a New Year’s Day Acoustic Brunch at Hard Rock Hotel
  7. Enjoy a New Year’s Eve Buffet in Islands Dining Room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort
  8. Have a New Year’s Day Breakfast Buffet in Islands Dining Room at Loews Royal Pacific Resort
  9. Indulge Yourself in a New Year’s Eve Buffet in Amatista Cookhouse at Loews Sapphire Falls
  10. Party at the New Year’s Eve Celebration in Strong Water Tavern at Loews Sapphire Falls
  11. Enjoy the New Year’s Day Breakfast Buffet in Amatista Cookhouse at Loews Sapphire Falls
  12. Celebrate with a New Year’s Eve Party Spectacular in Bayliner Diner(Exclusive event for guests staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort only)
  13. Party at Aventura’s New Year’s Eve Celebration
  14. Have a New Year’s Eve Meal Special at Beach Break Café at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites
  15. Enjoy a New Year’s Eve Meal Special at Dockside’s Pier 8 Market at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites

EVE at Universal CityWalk

The good thing about Universal is that they have events for people of all ages to enjoy from family-friendly festivities at Universal Studios Florida to a posh party for guests 21 and up at EVE at Universal CityWalk.

New Years Eve Party at Universal CityWalk log EVE
Photo Credit: Universal Orlando

However, it looks like this year’s event will be cancelled due to the pandemic. I will do my best to keep you updated if anything changes.

You can get more information on Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort, here.

Ready to start planning your next Universal Orlando vacation? Listen to the latest podcast episode on Apple or on your non-Apple device now!

8 Easy Tips for Doing Christmas at Universal Orlando Resort

Now that you know EVERYTHING that you can do this year to celebrate the holidays at Universal Orlando Resort, let’s go through a few tips to make the most of your Universal Orlando Vacation.

Seuss Landing Entrance at Christmastime

1. Map Out Day Before You Get to Universal

Mapping out your day is a good way to make sure you’re able to enjoy each must do item. Route your path around the parks in advance by viewing the map on the Universal Orlando app.

Also, plan a route of attack and know what rides and attractions you want to experience. You can get your Universal Itinerary for adults here!

2. Choose One Universal Orlando Park and Start Early

Christmas Day at Universal is going to be super crowded. This will make you so frustrated on your solo Universal trip and if you’re with a large group, you guys may become snappy with each other.

Port of Christmas Shop at Islands of Adventure
Port of Christmas Shop at Islands of Adventure

So, sticking to one park and getting there right before the gates open is a must on Christmas day.

It is also very common to see theme parks reach full capacity on major holidays like Christmas. I recommend to stay in the park all day, because even if you leave for a break there’s a chance you may not be able to get back in.

3. Get Universal Express Passes Before Arrival

If there’s any day that requires an Express Pass, it is Christmas Day and week at Universal.

On those peak days, it gets extremely hard to do and see each attraction available at the park.

Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Studios with giant toy solider balloon.
Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios

If you’re not into the whole ride thing and you’re just fine doing a ride here-and-there, then pass on the Express Pass and spend that money on some theme park food and merchandise.

4. Stay at a Universal Orlando Resort Hotel

If you can make it work, then I recommend staying at Universal Orlando Resort Hotel during the Christmas holiday. Not only can you enter the parks early, but if you stay in a higher cost resort, you’ll be able to use your room key as an Express Pass.

NikkyJ Christmas at Universal with Gold Ornament

Be sure to play with your budget to see if this tip can work in your favor.

5. Have Christmas Dinner Outside of Peak Times

Consider enjoying your holiday meal before lunchtime or right before the dinner rush. This will allow you to take your time and enjoy the celebrations with your loved ones over a delicious feast.

Mythos Restaurant at Islands of Adventure
Mythos Restaurant at Islands of Adventure

6. Celebrate Christmas at Universal the Day Before or a Week Before

If you can come the week before or a few days after Christmas Day, you’ll be able to do many of the things listed in this guide without the crowd.

Christmas at Universal Harry Potter Christmas Hogsmeade

All that matters is that you’ll be with the ones you love at one of the most enchanted places on Earth. It doesn’t matter what day you celebrate as long as you understand why you’re celebrating.

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7. Go with Good Spirits

This is going to be a busy holiday week at Universal Orlando Resort so be patient and just enjoy the festivities happening around you.

Merry Merry Seuss Landing Entrance at Islands of Adventure

Not many people are able to have a trip for Christmas at Universal so count yourself lucky and have fun.

8. Do a Holiday Resort Tour

You don’t have to only visit the theme parks at Universal to enjoy the holiday spirit. There are seasonal happenings occurring all over the resorts too! You can create your own festive itinerary and check out all of the Christmas decor at each resort.

Loews Portofino Bay Resort at Christmas Time Universal Orlando Resort
Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

Best thing about doing this is that it’s FREE!!! You can start this year and make it a new holiday tradition at Universal Orlando Resort.

What to Know Before Your Universal Orlando Visit

Now you are almost ready for your holiday visit to Universal Orlando. Before you go, I want to answer a few of the most commonly asked questions here at ThemeParkHipster.

Things to do at Universal Orlando

What time does Universal Studios open?

Universal Studios Florida is open 365 days a year from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. in the regular season. However, hours may change based on the busyness of the park.

How much does it cost to go to Universal Studios in Florida?

The cost of admission starts at $125, but I like discounts so I use The Park Prodigy to find cheap Universal Studios tickets.

Hogwarts House Christmas Tree at Universal Orlando Holidays

What should I do first at Universal Studios Orlando?

One of the best Universal Studios Orlando tips that I can give you is to start at Diagon Alley first.

This Harry Potter-inspired area will fill up quickly making the line for the two attractions (Escape from Gringotts and the Ollivanders wand experience) extremely long.

If you’re at Islands of Adventure, then you must experience VelociCoaster or Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure first!

How crowded is Universal Studios at Christmas?

If you go during the first two weeks of December, you can expect a low to moderate crowd level. However, if you want to wait until the week before or week of Christmas, then you’re going be there during the most busiest time of the year.

Believe it or not, many solo travelers and families enjoy visiting both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on Christmas Day as their way of celebrating the holiday. So, please be mindful of that when deciding to go on this holiday.

WATCH NEXT: How to Avoid the Crowd at Universal Studios?

Final Thoughts on Doing Christmas at Universal

I hope this guide for Christmas at Universal Orlando Resort helps you plan out your trip. The holidays at both Universal parks are truly magical during this time of year.

So, don’ worry about trying to do and see everything. Just enjoy your moments exploring the attractions and save the others rides that you may not get to for another Universal visit!

Guide to Christmas at Universal Orlando Florida in Central Park
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Let me know what your favorite holiday event is at Universal Orlando in the comment section below.

If you enjoy this article, then you’ll love these holiday-inspired tips:

Until next time, Merry Christmas Hipsters!

NikkyJ

(Original Date: December 20, 2014/Updated November 12, 2021)

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