There are several annual special events that take place at Universal Orlando Resort. Here is an overview of the major ones to help as you plan ‘When to Visit.’
(The events are listed in the order that they begin throughout the year.)
February – April
Mardi Gras (Universal Studios)
Mardi Gras takes place each spring on select nights at Universal Studios. In 2012, Mardi Gras event dates are Feb. 11, 18, 19 & 25; March 3, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 & 31; April 7 &14. Highlights of the special event include the Mardi Gras parade through the park and the live concerts featuring musical artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Plain White T’s, Cyndi Lauper and KC & The Sunshine Band. There is also musical entertainment by bands direct from New Orleans as well as plenty of authentic Cajun food. Mardi Gras at Universal Studios is included with regular theme park admission.
(Read more about Mardi Gras at Universal Studios here.)
(Watch a video of the 2011 Mardi Gras parade.)
June – July
Summer Concert Series (Universal Studios)
Universal Studios’ Summer Concert Series takes place on select Saturday nights every summer. Last year, musical guests such as Nelly, Drake, Boys Like Girls, Trey Songz and Train performed live on the Music Plaza Stage. Concerts during the series are included with regular admission to Universal Studios.
2012 Dates: June 9, 16, 23, 30; July 7, 14
Rock the Universe (Universal Studios)
Rock the Universe is a weekend-long special event usually held in September at Universal Studios. It will take place on Sept. 7 & 8, 2012. Rock the Universe brings some of the biggest names in Christian rock to Universal Studios. It is a separately ticketed event and is not included with regular theme park admission.
September – October
Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Studios)
Halloween Horror Nights is a special event held on select nights every fall at Universal Studios. The event features “scare zones,” haunted houses and live entertainment. It is not intended for children and is an intense experience. Halloween Horror Nights is not included with regular theme park admission. Tickets go on sale a month or so before the event begins.
(Read tips for attending Halloween Horror Nights (blog) here.)
December – January
Macy’s Holiday Parade (Universal Studios)
Macy’s Holiday Parade takes place each winter at Universal Studios. The event usually begins the first week of December and ends on December 31. Macy’s Holiday Parade features floats and balloons direct from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. There are also live concerts by award-winning Christmas artist Mannheim Steamroller on weekend nights during Holidays at Universal Studios. Macy’s Holiday Parade is included with regular admission to Universal Studios.
December – January
Grinchmas (Islands of Adventure)
Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure takes place each winter at Islands of Adventure. Seuss Landing is transformed into the wonderful world of Grinchmas with the heartwarming live version of the How the Grinch Stole Christmas and even visits by The Grinch himself. Grinchmas is included with regular admission to Islands of Adventure.