Will Universal Orlando’s Holiday Celebrations Outshine Disney This Year?

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At this time, it’s too soon to say, but Universal is making some great strides to compete with Disney’s well established events! Universal Orlando announced some great new additions to this year’s holiday celebrations in a press release today.

Beginning November 18, Universal Orlando Resort will be transformed into a resort-wide Holiday Celebration destination. “Guests of all ages will enjoy a Holiday celebration like no other with more dates than ever before.”

Running from November 18 until January 6, guests will witness the magic of “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” and many Holiday experiences. Last year’s event was from December 3 until January 1, so this year Universal is adding almost 3 full weeks to its calendar.

New Holiday Celebrations this year at Universal Orlando Resort’s Holiday Celebrations

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter courtesy of Universal

This year, for the first time, Christmas is coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Christmas decorations, garlands and lights will be adorned in the streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Additionally, guest will experience special holiday themed food and holiday performances by the Frog Choir, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. Hogwarts castle will be the backdrop to a brand new, state-of-the-art projection mapping and lighting show. Projected directly onto Hogwarts itself, guests will witness incredible Christmas moments bringing the Harry Potter series to life.

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Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s

Macy’s Holiday Parade 2012 at Universal Studios Florida courtesy Orlando Informer

Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s in itself is not new, but this year the parade will feature brand new floats and balloons. More than a dozen new balloons and over 15 floats will be featured exclusively for Universal Orlando. Additionally, the Minions and other favorite characters from Despicable Me, Madagascar and Shrek will be making an appearance. What would a Holiday parade be without the man himself, Santa Claus, who will also be making an appearance.

Additional Holiday Celebrations Include:

Grinchmas – Experience a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic in “The Grinchmas Who-Filiday Spectacular. Additionally, Join the merry Whos from Who-ville as they celebrate the true meaning of the season (and I don’t just mean the presents). Finally, guest can also enjoy a festive breakfast with the Grinch on select dates, priced separately and on sale now

pre The Grinch courtesy of Floridays Resort Orlando

Mannheim Steamroller – A Holiday music, live concert at Universal Studios Florida. Dates include; November 18, 19, 25, 26 and December 2, 3,9,10,16 and 17.

Mannheim Steamroller 2017

Holidays at Universal’s On-Site Hotels– At all 5 On-Site hotels, guest will experience festive decorations and other holiday activities. Activities include tree lightings, menorah lightings and special Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve Buffets.

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EVE at Universal CityWalk – Bring in the New Year at Universal’s CityWalk on the largest dance floor in Orlando. Featuring live entertainment, endless dishes and signature drinks, this event is not to be missed. Tickets for this event will be on sale soon.

Book your Vacation Today

Finally, In order to access these events you will need to have valid theme park admission. Guest can book vacation packages featuring a three-park package with special 3 park – 2 day Park-to-Park ticket with two days free, when booked by November 20,2017. For your convenience and to experience a worry free vacation, contact your local Academy Travel, Inc. Independent Agent or visit them online.

What are you most excited about for this year’s Holiday celebration? Have you been to the Holiday celebrations at Universal Orlando in year’s past? Let us know in the comments below!

[Source: Universal]


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As a kid, I had visited Disney multiple times and it sparked a passion for all things Disney. In 2010, I proposed to my wife in front of Cinderella's Castle an since then it has been a large part of our life. Now as a father and experiencing Disney with my wife through our daughters eyes, our love for Disney has grown tenfold and I can't wait to share my passion and experiences with you.

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