In 2018, both Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure celebrate Christmas with a number of special parades and shows including a New York style Macy’s Holiday Parade between November 17 and January 6, 2019.
New for 2017 is the new “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” at both Hogsmeade™ and Diagon Alley™, with special treats, garlands, decorations, lights and live entertainment.
Both the Frog Choir at Hogsmeade and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees perform new Christmas material.
The Hogwarts castle is transformed by a new 7 minute projection show using 24 hidden projectors and featuring a soundtrack performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. The show runs multiple times each evening.
At Universal Studios, between November 17, 2018 and January 6, 2019 you can see “Universal’s Holiday Parade featurig Macy’s” with some of the signature giant inflatable characters and floats from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. In 2018 you will also see some of the Minions plus Gru and family from Despicable Me plus characters from Madagascar and Shrek.
The parade sets off around dusk with marching bands from around the country plus toy soldiers, stilt walkers, clowns, snowmen, elves and of course, Santa Claus. It finishes outside the facade of Macy’s Herald Square where the tree lighting ceremony takes place.
One of the big differences from 2017 onwards is that the cleverly illuminated floats are now self-propelled rather than being pulled by pick-up trucks and with a new soundtrack.
There is also the “Star Toons Holiday Show” where characters dance to holiday hits in a live show, the sing-along “Barney’s Holiday Show” and the “Blues Brothers Holiday Show” with snow on Delancey Street at the end of each show.
On select nights, Mannheim Steamroller are in concert at 7 p.m. which is free with a regular admission ticket.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
The story of the Grinch is brought to life at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular”.
In the evening there is a Seussian-tree lighting ceremony and a musical show telling the tale of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.
Visit Seuss Landing which is transformed into the festive town of Whoville and meet the Grinch himself.
If you want to meet the Grinch then there is The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast. Prices for adults are $34.99 and $20.99 for children (both excluding tax). Note that the character breakfast is on selected dates only - November 17 - 18, 21 - 25, 30, December 1 - 2, 6 - 9 , 13 - 16 and 23 - 25 between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. Reservations are recommended as some dates sell out fast.