The holidays are behind us and Spring will be here soon. What a better way to ring in 2020 than at the 25th annual Mardi Gras Celebration at Universal Orlando Resort? Laissez les bon temps rouler every night from February 1 through April 2, 2020!
Enjoy a fun-filled day of theme-park adventures and an evening of delightful festivity. Just as in past years, this family-friendly Mardi Gras soiree will feature mouthwatering, Cajun food plus dazzling nightly parades – and one of the most unforgettable concert lineups ever!
Take a look at this star-studded concert line up! Who are you excited to see? Concerts begin at 8:30 pm on the following nights:
Who doesn’t love a parade?! Watch the confetti and countless beads fly while you enjoy colorful floats and costumes, stilt walkers, and street performers. You won’t want to miss this celebration! TIP: Ask about the kid-friendly special viewing area!!
Vacations with Character® is an #AuthorizedUniversalOrlandoTravelPlanner and #UniversalAuthorizedTicketSeller. We also offer tickets that include EARLY PARK ADMISSION no matter where you stay! We never charge a fee and you’ll never pay more when booking with us. Plus, you’ll receive our tip sheets, a special park map, expert guidance and more!
Universal Orlando is gearing up for a beautiful holiday season! Take a sneak peek at some of the decorations going up around Islands of Adventure and find out why YOU need to vacation in Universal Orlando this holiday season.
There’s so much fun to be had during the holidays at Universal Orlando Resort! Add in fun decor, special attractions and adorable shows, and it’s no wonder why it’s a “must do” for many families each year.
Who doesn’t love the Grinch?! You can catch him in The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular daily. This adorable live performance is a retelling of the classic holiday tale starring The Grinch™. Afterward, you can even meet the maven of mischief himself for an autograph and photos!
The Cat in the Hat attraction is getting in on some holiday action!
If I Ran the Zoo, I’d decorate them too!
If you have never thought about visiting Universal Orlando for the holidays, you should! There’s so much to see…so much to do! Here’s a few more highlights of the seasonal events:
Experience Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ as Diagon Alley™ and Hogsmeade™ are transformed with festive decor and special entertainment. The Frog Choir sings seasonal melodies and there are special treats and drinks to share. Then, at dusk a dazzling projection of holiday spirit, The Magic of Christmas, unfolds on Hogwarts™ Castle.
At the Grinch™ & Friends Character Breakfast, choose from irresistible entrees and get your camera ready. The mischievous Grinch™ himself will make the rounds, stopping to pose for photos and share hilariously snarky small talk. (Separately ticketed experience.)
Merry and Mayhem combine as the Minions join Santa Claus in Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, a favorite treat that also features characters from Madagascar and Shrek. It’s not to be missed!
The best-selling holiday artist of all time also visits Universal Studios as Mannheim Steamroller returns for live performances on select nights and it’s included (yes, you read that right!) with your Universal Studios Florida admission. Concert Dates are Saturday and Sundays: Nov. 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15.
From Thanksgiving to Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s, all the traditional feasts and festivities are happening in the onsite resorts plus a few surprises! Enjoy classic favorites like ornament decorating, and visits with Santa along with tree and menorah lighting ceremonies. You can also take a break from cooking and savor delicious holiday meals at acclaimed restaurants as well as additional activities for the whole family. You might even catch some rockin’ holiday parties!
Create more memorable holiday moments and contact us for a free quote! We offer a best-price guarantee, never charge fees, and our experience is priceless!
Be sure to stay tuned for more info and live updates to come as we get closer to Thanksgiving. We’ll be venturing into the the parks and resorts and we can’t wait to share it with you!
A lot of changes have occurred at Universal Orlando this year and more are coming. Here’s a list of our favorites to share!
1) COMING IN SPRING OF 2020, Universal Studios Florida debuts this new live-action stunt show that will leave audiences wondering, “How on earth did they do that?” Through a cutting-edge fusion of stagecraft and film, you’ll follow hero Jason Bourne across three continents as sinister characters pursue him, hoping to bring him in. Brace yourself for The Bourne Stuntacular! You won’t just watch it – you’ll feel it.
Take a sneak peek at the new attraction entrance…the walls are down!
2) NOW OPEN FOR BOOKING: Running Universal
Running Universal packages are now available to book for Orlando and Hollywood! Get ready to see Universal Orlando Resort like you’ve never experienced it before as Running Universal presents the first ever Epic Character Race 5K and 10K weekend. Join your favorite characters and run through the heart of Universal Orlando Resort. You’ll enjoy special photo ops, take home brag-worthy medals, commemorative swag and a weekend of unforgettable memories. Contact us to book!
3) NOW OPEN: Bigfire Restaurant in CityWalk
Universal Citywalk’s bold new restaurant is now open, adding to the collection of amazing restaurant selections. American fare like steaks and freshwater cuisine are given the fire-kissed treatment. Bigfire is a wonderful addition to the unique and fun venues at CityWalk.
4) NOW OPEN: TODAY Cafe in Universal Studios Florida™
“Introducing the first ever TODAY Cafe at Universal Studios Florida™. NBC’s top-rated morning show is the inspiration for this one of a kind cafe. With its stage lighting and TODAY show segments on the big screen TVs you’ll feel like you’re actually on the TODAY set. One of the standout features of the cafe will be seasonal dishes inspired by a TODAY personality.”
Filled with baked goods, salads, sandwiches and specialty coffees – including a unique blend created specifically for the TODAY Cafe – this is a great place to stop in for a coffee break or grab a snack, lunch or dinner. The TODAY Cafe will make you feel a part of the show’s Studio 1A experience every time you visit.
5) STILL SHOWING: Dark Arts at Hogwarts™ Castle
“As darkness falls at Hogwarts™ castle, Dementors™, Death Eaters™ and other unspeakable creatures cloak the stone walls with sinister images from the darker side of magic. Experience the fire-engulfed army of Inferi, the soul-draining breath of Dementors™ and the haunting image of Lord Voldemort™ as you stare in awe at the castle’s takeover. It’s an ominous new spectacle of light and music at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.” Running for select nights Sept. 14–Nov. 15, this is a show you won’t want to miss!
Voldemort, Death Eaters and other creepy creatures from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are coming your way to bring you the darker side of magic in this nighttime display!
“Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle,” which launched on Saturday at Universal Orlando, is set inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Islands of Adventure theme park. The nighttime display will continue on select nights through November 15.
According to a Universal Orlando news release, “Guests will be asked to summon their inner strength and bravely face the Dark Arts and the visage of the powerful Dark wizard Lord Voldemort, until the Patronus spell — one of the most famous, difficult and powerful defense of the Dark Arts charms in the wizarding world — is cast”.
The show uses high-tech projection mapping and drones to bring the castle — and Harry Potter’s Patronus stag — to life. “Experience the fire-engulfed army of Inferi, the soul-draining breath of Dementors™ and the haunting image of Lord Voldemort™ as you stare in awe at the castle’s takeover. This powerful spectacle is accompanied by an atmospheric musical score created by John Williams.”
If you’re a Potter fan, this is something you won’t want to miss. BUT don’t delay…Universal Orlando’s holiday celebration, which includes the “Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle” show, starts November 16!
In 1999 Universal Orlando opened it’s second theme park, Islands of Adventure, and Seuss Landing was born! Since then, it’s been captivating the hearts and minds of the young and old alike!
Here’s a list of our favorite top 10 things to experience, along with a few secret tips!
1) There are No Straight Lines! Dr. Seuss’s illustrations were known for their curved or slanted lines. The designers at Universal Creative used this inspiration when creating Seuss Landing. Even the trees were brought in from a hurricane-stricken area off the coast, making them as twisted as the rest of this land.
2) See The Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-pendous! Based on the Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Circus, which tells the tale of young Morris McGurk and his dreams of a creating an amazing circus, it’s an interesting place to eat. Don’t forget to look up above and wave to those passing by on the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!™
3) Speaking of the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride…this is one attraction you won’t want to miss! This gentle ride circles around Seuss Landing fifteen feet in the air and lasts around three minutes. The story of The Sneetches is featured in a few audioanimatronic displays as riders glide past in train cars. Keep your camera ready as this attraction offers a bird’s eye view of Seuss Landing and beyond! TIP: There are two separate tracks, so try to ride both!
4) Everyone loves the message of the Lorax and you can take a short walk through the Truffula trees, enjoying little surprises along the path. No trip to Seuss Landing is complete without visiting!
5) Sneetch Beach is a well-kept, almost hidden secret! Located to the left of the Green Eggs and Ham™ Cafe, this path is hardly utilized and is a cute spot to take a break from the crowds and also a great photo op! TIP: It’s the perfect shortcut when trying to make rope drop for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
6) Character Meet and Greet Photo Ops – Some of the characters you can meet include Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Sam I Am, the Lorax, and the Grinch. TIP: The best time to meet these characters is after a performance of Oh! The Stories You’ll Hear, a musical rendition of the good doctor’s best-loved stories. Be sure to check the mobile app or a times guide for performances.
7) Climb aboard One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish™ and delight in this children’s book come to life. This is a ride that kids (and parents) love! TIP: Listen to the song as you ride to hear whether you should move your fish up, up, up or down, down, down – mess up and you might get wet!
8) Take a spin on Caro-Suess-El™, a Merry-Go-Round From The Mind Of Dr. Seuss. Not only can you climb aboard a creative cast of Dr. Seuss characters, you can make their eyes blink, ears wiggle and heads turn! Did you know: this is the first carousel to allow guests to control some of what their character can do?
9) Climb Into Your Couch Car and Ride Through The Book, The Cat in the Hat! Each scene has been vividly re-created with colorful characters as you twist from room to room. While the mischief mounts inside the house, The Cat in the Hat™, and Thing One™ and Thing Two™ make quite a mess!
10) Pick up a sweet treat inSookers and Sookers Sweet Candy Cookers! Infectious confections tickle your nose from the moment you enter this one-stop-shop for snacks both sweet and savory. It’s a “must do” for my family each time we visit! Peruse a rainbow-colored display of bins brimming with bulk candies, homemade fudge, caramel apples, cotton candy, and the best cookies around. It’s one sweet way to start – or end your day!
New Orleans is known for its parades, food, music, and fun. Experience it all nightly when Universal Mardi Gras returns to Universal Studios Florida from February 1 to April 2 in 2020!
Join in on the fun with the nightly, family-friendly parade and celebrate with performers in colorful costumes. As Mardi Gras floats fill the streets, collect all the beads your heart desires!
Hunkering for a taste of N’awlins? Feast on Cajun specialties and tasty Mardi Gras treats in the French Quarter Courtyard. And, of course, party to the sounds of the Bayou as bands straight from the Big Easy play in the park every day.
As part of the event, and on select nights, you can even enjoy the annual Mardi Gras concert series featuring today’s top artists — and it’s included with your park admission!
A new lagoon show is debuting September 6 to November 2 for select nights at Universal Studios Florida during Halloween Horror Nights 29!
Watch as the lagoon transforms with a spectacle of neon and synth, featuring iconic scenes from top horror films, cult classics and TV shows in “Halloween Marathon of Mayhem”.
Grab a bucket of popcorn and get ready as the lagoon lights up with iconic scenes from Netflix’s Stranger Things, Ghostbusters, Universal Monsters and Killer Klowns from Outer Space. This new show features a blend of fountain-based media, state-of-the-art technologies and special effects in a new way. This is one 80’s nightmare you won’t want to miss!
Halloween Horror Nights has been terrifying Orlando since 1991, when it was known as Universal Studios Fright Nights. In the decades since its inception, it has grown exponentially in scope and popularity. This year, five scare zones are taking over Universal Studios Florida. Plus, fan-favorite Academy of Villains returns with an all-new show.
When you think of Halloween, ghouls, goblins and ghosts walking the streets at night in a yearly and family-friendly ritual come to mind. At Halloween Horror Nights, Universal kicks this traditional holiday up a notch and slaps it with a twisted, sick little spin. This year’s event is no exception, running from Sept. 6 – Nov. 2, there will be 10 haunted houses, 5 scare zones and outrageous shows — all jam packed with terrifying monsters and demented fiends. Here are all the details:
It’s time to brush up on those rules of survival. Based on the hit film and its upcoming sequel, this scare zone puts you in the middle of the United States of Zombieland. The infection has spread and bloodthirsty zombies are everywhere. The most important rule to remember: Always double tap.
Rob Zombie Hellbilly Deluxe
You know his music, now it’s time to live it. Step into the heavy metal horror of Rob Zombie’s music and imagery in this pulse-pounding scare zone. From otherworldly beings to brutal maniacs, you’ll come face-to-face with his twisted creations as the music cranks to a frenzy.
An 80s-inspired arcade has taken over Avenue of the Stars. At first glance, you may think it’s a party. However, you quickly learn that “Game Over” means a permanent end for you. A gang of neon slashers are out to play and this is one game you won’t want to lose.
Beauty is pain. Literally. In the streets of Hollywood, your flesh becomes the canvas as blade-wielding artists slice up willing participants into horrific living works of art. Here, going under the knife takes on a whole other meaning.
We’re all familiar with the brutal Viking warriors. It’s terrifying enough thinking about facing them alive. Now picture facing them as the undead. They have risen and laid siege to Central Park with an onslaught of gore. Blood lust never dies.
Academy of Villains
Academy of Villains returns in an epic experiment of mind and body. Man’s true nature is dragged out into the dark, Gothic streets of anarchy. This wickedly talented group of artists is back for an all-new performance featuring a killer mix of visionary dance and extraordinary theatrics.
You’ve got the scare zone details, now read up on the haunted houses that have been announced if you haven’t already:
– Netflix’s Stranger Things Returns to Halloween Horror Nights in All-New Haunted House Experience
– Enter an Arena of Gore with Nightingales: Blood Pit at Halloween Horror Nights
– Face the Biggest Names in Horror, Universal Monsters, at Halloween Horror Nights
– Descend Into Terror in Depths of Fear at Halloween Horror Nights
– Face the Brutal Beasts of Yeti: Terror of the Yukon at Halloween Horror Nights
– Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters is Coming to Halloween Horror Nights in an All-New Haunted House
– MGM Pictures’ Killer Klowns From Outer Space Has Landed at Halloween Horror Nights
– Jordan Peele’s Blockbuster Hit ‘Us’ Comes to Life in Terrifying New Haunted House at Halloween Horror Nights
– New Graveyard Games Haunted House Awakens at Halloween Horror Nights
If you haven’t already read our previous blog for 5 tips for the Ultimate Halloween Horror Nights experience, click here!
Are you ready for the ULTIMATE Halloween Horror Nights experience? We have some top tips to help ensure you come back terrified…and ready to start planning your thrilling adventure for next year!
1) Start by Picking the Right Horror Experience
Single Night Tickets
These passes give you full access to all the terrors Halloween Horror Nights has to offer for ONE event night. Tickets are date based and prices vary depending on the tier selected. TIP: Weeknights are usually less busy than weekend nights (and less expensive). Higher tiers are projected to be busier than lower tiered event nights. This may help you decide which event night is best for you.
Frequent Fear Passes – with so many houses and scare zones to experience, is one night really enough horror? Sink your teeth into multiple nights of wicked scares, so you can become one with the terror of Halloween Horror Nights. There are a few different passes to choose from:
• Rush of Fear Pass: This pass lets you frequent the HHN event as much as you like during all September event nights.
• Frequent Fear Pass: This pass provides access to all Sunday – Thursday event nights, plus the first weekend and the last Friday event night.
• Frequent Fear Plus Pass: This pass allows the same access as the Frequent Fear, with the added bonus of every Friday night as well, giving you unlimited access to Halloween Horror Nights on Sunday – Friday event nights plus the first two nights and last Saturday.
2) Book aHalloween Horror Nights Vacation Package for the Ultimate Experience
Stay where you scream — and rest in peace! The resorts at Universal are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G., comfortable, and relaxing. A package offers the best way to experience Halloween Horror Nights and when you stay at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel, you receive special perks, not to mention it’s quick and easy to jump back to your room after a long night of terror. There are many options to choose from, but don’t worry, as Authorized Universal Orlando Travel Professionals, we are specially trained to help you customize the perfect stay for your needs — all at no cost to you!
3)Enhance the Horror with Express Pass
Get right to the thrills, scares and terror by adding on the Express Pass option to your HHN ticket. This optional upgrade allows you to skip the regular wait lines, which can be very long, at all the houses, letting you see and do more. HHN Express Passes are are valid one time per house and also work one time for each participating attraction that will remain open for the event.
4) Add on a Tour
If you’re looking for the the ultimate chilling experience, you’ll want to book an R.I.P. tour to ensure you are completely immersed in every horrific moment awaiting you at Halloween Horror Nights. Non-Private R.I.P. Tours include:
• Exclusive VIP entry gate to Universal Studios Florida for the Halloween Horror Nights event
• Commemorative R.I.P. Tour credential with lanyard
• Access to exclusive cash bar locations upon check-in and during the tour. Must be 21 or over with valid photo ID to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages.
• Priority VIP entry to all haunted houses (one entry per house, subject to itinerary and event hours) while on tour with the R.I.P. Tour Guide
• Universal Express Unlimited ride access to participating regular theme park attractions, with the R.I.P. Tour credential, for the date of their tour (park hours permitting, excludes Halloween Horror Nights haunted houses)
• Complimentary standard valet parking (1 vehicle, subject to availability)
• Reserved seating at select event show(s) at the conclusion of the tour
• Available for parties up to 6. Parties of 7 or more will need to book a Private R.I.P. Tour (and private tours are also available for any group size – just contact us for details).
Take a look behind the screams (scenes) with a daytime V.I.P. walking tour. It’s a lights-on look during the Unmasking the Horror tour at either three or six haunted houses (depending on which tour you choose). Tours include a unique Unmasking the Horror Token, and the chance to photograph select rooms in select houses.
Please note: Valid Halloween Horror Nights Admission Ticket is still required AND must be valid for the same calendar day as the R.I.P Tour ticket.
5) Book a Dining Experience
If you dare, join in on a frightening feast at Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe where you’ll be entertained as you dine on delicacies dug up from the local graveyard. It’s a great opportunity to include a meal prior to the event start while giving you access to photo ops . Your meal includes an all-you-care-to-eat themed dinner buffet, one (1) nonalcoholic beverage and a digital download of a photo taken with a character during the dining experience. Advance reservations and separate event admission are required.
*If you love Halloween, trust me when I say you’re bound to have a terrifyingly good time and Vacations with Character® would love to help you make this an event to remember! Contact one of our Expert Travel Agents to help you book the perfect experience and receive our exclusive Halloween Horror Nights tip sheet, Universal Orlando Guide, and more! Our services are always free for our clients but our experience and expertise are priceless.
*Please note: due to the graphic nature of this event, it is not recommended for children under the age of 13.
Although not all of the details were revealed in yesterday’s big announcement from Universal Orlando Resort, the first look certainly makes us believe Epic Universe will live up to it’s bold moniker:
Mark Woodbury, Vice Chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts and President of Universal Creative, beautifully sums up what we have to look forward to in the future as a fourth park is added to this already amazing playground:
“Universal’s Epic Universe will offer an entirely new level of experiences that will forever redefine theme park entertainment. Guests will venture beyond their wildest imagination, traveling into beloved stories and through vibrant lands on adventures where the journey is as astounding as the destination. The new location will feature a theme park, an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. Ultimately, this expansion will create more space and freedom to let loose and create lasting memories with the people you love.“
That certainly sounds “epic” to us!
Here’s a peek of the concept art shared at yesterday’s announcement:
In looking at what’s being presented so far, it’s clear to see some amazing details such as the classic, arched entrance (similar to Universal Studios), new coaster, what appears to be an amphitheater, and yet-to-be named lands or areas. The large building is also indicative of an attraction the likes and size of Forbidden Journey or similar dark rides…how exciting! It’s also hard not to miss the beautiful resort hotel that will surely provide guests with easy access to this new park as well as amazing views. Last but not least, who could miss the fireworks! Is this a hint at a new nighttime offering?
The new location for Universal’s Epic Universe is said to be a quick ride from the current parks and resorts. Permits suggest new roads with special lanes for buses are in the works as well to make for a seamless journey for all guests:
Although it will be years before Epic Universe comes to fruition, this is VERY exciting news and we are looking forward to sharing all the updates and details with you in the future, so stay tuned!
And as they say, “time flies when you’re having fun”, so as we wait for this new addition, there’s never been a better time to visit Universal Orlando Resort’s 3 current, A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. theme parks. We have a few special offers to help save you money — money you can spend on other things like Butterbeer, a wand like Harry Potter’s, or to put in your piggy bank for your next vacation!