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Universal Orlando Resort Unveils Wizarding World Holiday Celebration Plans For 2023

Universal Orlando Resort gets festive for the holidays with Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, Grinchmas, Christmas at Hogwarts Castle and more!

By Tara Bennett
Dancers dancing in the parade at Universal Orlando.

If you're looking for an escape from the cold but still want to revel in all of the holiday bells and whistles as you end your 2023, Universal Orlando Resort is unleashing their festive spirit across the park — including Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure theme parks — starting November 17. Fan-favorite parts of the park like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will have an array of themed events and experiences running daily through Sunday, December 31.

RELATED: Universal Studios Hollywood Rings in the Holidays the Day after Thanksgiving

From beloved ongoing traditions including The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle and Grinchmas, to the New York-style Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s and Mannheim Steamroller concerts on December 2, 3, 9 and 10, Universal Orlando Resort is exploding with holiday fun for the whole family. Plus, special menus will be available at Universal hotels for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, with menorah lighting ceremonies and more.

Universal Studios Florida's Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s

A gingerbread float during a parade at Universal Orlando

Not everyone gets the chance to visit New York City for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is why Universal Studios Florida is reproducing that festive experience inside the park many times during the season for Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. Featuring massive balloons celebrating characters from Illumination’s Despicable Me and DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek and Madagascar, holiday floats and performers, the parade ends with Santa Claus and the lighting of the magnificent 80-foot Christmas tree.

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Islands of Adventure

Harry Potter fans get to celebrate the holidays across both theme parks as Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade transform into a wizarding holiday wonderland. Universal Islands of Adventure plays host to the projection spectacle, The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castlewhich runs daily from dusk until the park closes. Also look out for the musical show starring Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. At Universal Studios Florida, Hogsmeade will be decked out in lights, greenery with plenty of hot Butterbeer to be had. Shop for your friends and family from the new Potter holiday merchandise, wands, or catch The Frog Choir's holiday show. 

Grinchmas 2023 at Universal Islands of Adventure

The Grinch stands with four people around him smiling

At Universal Islands of Adventure, Seuss Landing hosts the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular" which features a live retelling of the Dr. Seuss holiday classic and music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller. You can also get your photo with some resident Whos and The Grinch too. 

There's also The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast which takes place in Confisco Grille on dates from November 17 through December 27. The separately booked event includes a full breakfast and visits by the Grinch and other favorite Dr. Seuss characters.

A Guided Universal Holiday Tour

Mannheim Steamroller perform at Universal Orlando

If you want to bundle all of the fun into one special experience, this year there's the opportunity to separately book a Universal Holiday Tour with VIP access to many of the holiday events. The Tour includes an intimate soiree with Grinch, and his dog, Max, that includes small bites, desserts and non-alcoholic beverages. Then you'll get to meet-and-greet with Santa Claus and a photo opportunity in Universal Studios Florida. Reserved seating at the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular." And a grand finale, after-hours showing of The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Hogsmeade. It will be available on select dates beginning November 19 through December 30, 2023.

Universal Citywalk restaurants and vendors will also have special holiday-themed foods, drinks and events for visitors.

Check out special ticket prices and more details at Universal Orlando Resort!