While one may not immediately equate Universal Studios with “Christmas vacation,” Universal Orlando Resort—which includes the theme parks Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay as well as various on-site hotels and the shopping district CityWalk—is pulling out all the stops this year, and it’s well worth the trip. While celebrating the holidays has been a part of Universal Orlando’s programming for years, 2017 marks the debut of not only Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but also an all-new, downright magical Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s.
For Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, both Harry Potter-themed lands—Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios—have been decked out in holiday décor, all in keeping with the fictional Harry Potter universe. Additionally, Hogsmeade plays host to a truly jaw-dropping projection-mapping light show that transforms the stunning Hogwarts castle for seven joyous minutes.
With so much new content on tap to run from November 18th to January 6th for the entirety of Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort, I recently got the chance to preview Universal’s Holidays offerings for 2017 along with a group of other journalists, getting an up-close look at the new installations, parade, and much more. And you know what? It’s kind of great. I can honestly say if you or your family are thinking about venturing to Orlando for a holiday vacation, Universal’s cadre of new Christmas-themed additions—in addition to the attractions that remain there year-round—make it a trip well worth taking.
So below I’ve outlined a few more specific reasons why, if you’re looking to take a family vacation for the holidays, Universal Orlando is a swell choice of destination.