You are in the OI Universal Center ARCHIVE
This page is retired.
The 2012 holiday season is upon us! Keep reading below to learn all about “holiday cheer you’ll only find here” at Universal Orlando.
OI subscribers, remember that you can ask us any vacation planning question you’d like in the OI Forum — so if you have a question about this event that is not answered in the information below, head on over to our forum and give us an opportunity to answer it for you!
This page presents an overview of the holiday festivities at Universal. Use the links to delve deeper into our information and media.
Universal Studios Florida
Macy’s Holiday Parade
The big event at Universal Studios Florida in December is the Macy’s Holiday Parade. Many of the actual props and balloons used in the New York Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are shipped down to Universal Orlando for this event. The Macy’s Holiday Parade is notable too because, unlike the Mardi Gras parade which only happens once a week in the spring, this parade runs every evening at 5:00pm December 1 – 25, at 8:00pm December 26 – 31, then one more time at 5:00pm on January 1, 2013.
To learn more about this parade, including where the best spot is to watch it, visit our dedicated page for the Macy’s Holiday Parade 2012.
Mannheim Steamroller 2012 holiday concerts
Mannheim Steamroller, the biggest selling Christmas artist of all time, is returning to the Universal Music Plaza stage for the 2012 holiday season!
This year Mannheim Steamroller is playing more live shows than they ever have before. See them live on the following dates: December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23. Performances began at 6:00pm. (Hint: To get the best viewing spot, skip the parade.) Like Universal’s Mardi Gras, these concerts are included with admission to Universal Studios Florida.
Check out our HD video from last year’s performance:
Additional holiday celebrations at Universal Studios Florida
A Barney Holiday
Join Barney and his friends for a magical sing-along, clap-along show at A Day In The Park With Barney. This show runs multiple times each day — check your in-park map for times.
The Blues Brothers Holiday Show
Jake and Elwood perform festive favorites like “Santa Claus is Coming To Town,” “Blue Christmas,” and more with snow on Delancey Street at the end of each show. This show runs multiple times each day — check your in-park map for times.
What about the Superstar Parade & Cinematic Spectacular?
The Superstar Parade will continue to run daily at 2:00pm December 1 – 25, at 5:00pm December 26 – 31, then one more time at 2:00pm on January 1, 2013.
The Cinematic Spectacular lagoon show will also continue to run throughout December (excluding December 5th). It is scheduled at park closing. You can see the operating hours for Universal Studios Florida on our crowd calendar.
Islands of Adventure
As you probably already know, Universal’s Islands of Adventure has a whole island dedicated to the famous children’s author Dr. Seuss: Seuss Landing!
It makes a perfect setting for Grinchmas with a whole cast full of Whoville Who residents and the Grinch Who Stole Christmas as the star! Here’s a video of some of the sights around Seuss Landing shot last year, followed by a photo gallery:
Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular
In addition to the frantic fun around Seuss Landing, there is also a seasonal stage production called the Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular:
Sample Wholiday Spectacular schedule: 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm. Check your in-park map for the times on the day you are visiting.
Visit our dedicated page to the Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular to view our tips and photo gallery.
Character Breakfast with the Grinch & Friends
Get even more up close and personal with your favorite Dr. Seuss characters at The Grinch & Friends Character Breakfast.
Select dates: December 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
Times: 8:00am, 9:00am, or 10:00am.
Children (ages 3-9): $14.85 plus tax & gratuity, per person.
Adults: $21.95 plus tax & gratuity, per person.
Reservations highly recommended. Please call 407-224-7554.
Where can I meet Santa?
Good question. There traditionally are no Santa meet-and-greets inside the Universal Orlando theme parks. You can see Santa in the Macy’s Holiday Parade, as you see in the photo below, but you will not be able to get a picture with your child on his lap. The only Santa meet-and-greets at Universal Orlando happen at the on-site hotels.
The most visits occur at Hard Rock Hotel, where Santa visits The Kitchen Restaurant Fridays in December through the 21st. Then, on December 24, Santa will also make visits during the HRH’s Christmas Eve buffet from 6:00 – 7:00pm. (You can view the Christmas Eve Buffet menu or make reservations.)
Then, on December 25, Santa will also be making appearances at Royal Pacific Resort’s Islands Dining Room for their Christmas Day Buffet. The buffet is scheduled from 11:00am to 8:00pm, with no specific times listed for Santa. (You can view the Christmas Day Buffet menu or make reservations.)
And that’s it. By the way, Portofino Bay Hotel’s Trattoria del Porto is also having a Christmas Day Buffet, but for some reason the hotel has not confirmed that Santa will be visiting during the meal scheduled from 11:00am to 7:00pm. (You can view the Christmas Day Buffet menu or make reservations.)
Premier/Preferred Passholder holiday benefits
Superstar Character Breakfast Specials
Preferred Passholders receive 10% discount and Premier Passholders receive 15% off the regular price of breakfast. Guests get a choice of scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, fluffy pancakes, fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, muffins, croissants and more. December 2, 6 – 31 with seatings from 9:00am – 11:30am. Make Annual Passholder reservations by calling 407-224-7554.
Special Viewing for Macy’s Holiday Parade
Annual Passholders enjoy special viewing privileges at this seasonal show in USF. (Check the park guidemap for show times. First come, first served). Macy’s Holiday Parade viewing is in front of the NYC Public Library from December 1 to January 1.
Special Viewing for Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular
Annual Passholders may also enjoy special viewing privileges for Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular. The exclusive viewing area is located across from Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue from December 1 to January 1.
Discounts on Grinch Character Breakfast
Preferred Passholders receive 10% discount and Premier Passholders receive 15% off the regular price of breakfast. The discount is available on all dates (see right). Make Annual Passholder reservations by calling 407-224-7554.
Macy’s Holiday Parade Ornament Offer
Power, Premier & Preferred passholders receive an exclusive Macy’s Holiday Parade ornament when they spend $35 on theme park merchandise between December 1 and January 1. Receipts can be shown at the Universal Studios Store in Universal Studios or the Port of Entry Christmas Shoppe in Islands of Adventure. Special Note: Ornament may be purchased separately for $10.95 +tax. WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.
Early Park Admission
Preferred & Premier Passholders receive Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter December 1 – 23. To learn everything this is to know about Early Park Admission at WWoHP, click here.