Is Universal Orlando’s VIP vacation worth a visit?

It’s a vacation to Universal Orlando!

The … the … the … THE GRINCH

The festivities began earlier this month, with decorations around the parks, special entertainment and festive food. There are plenty of things to do to enjoy your Universal holiday with just the usual entrance to the theme park. But if you want a little extra holiday joy, you can add the Universal Holiday Tour! Today we went on the first day of the tour and we are here to tell you everything.

The Universal Holiday Tour takes place on selected dates from From November 21 to January 2 and starts at $ 69.99. You have to do it too have a separate ticket from park to park and reservations for the tour. Therefore, this cost is added to the usual cost of the ticket.

This is a guided tour of both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, so you need your park-to-park ticket! Now, let’s break down everything you can see and do during the tour.

Here we go!


Start by signing up at Universal Studios, near Rip Ride Rockit, on the other side of the lawn in front of the stage.

Register here

There will be a sign so you know where to go!

Ready for holiday fun

Then a team member will guide you to the next place.

Follow the leader

Holiday parade with Macy’s

The tour begins with the VIP viewing of the holiday parade with Macy’s! There is a large viewing area, but we recommend that you sign up early to get the best place possible.

VIP display area

Unfortunately, when we were there, it was very windy, so they couldn’t blow most of the giant balloons over the floats, but we still saw some funny characters dressed up with their holiday gear!

Parade time!

You can see Shrek and Fiona dressed as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus …

And the Dragon!

… Donkey with lots of gifts…

Donkey having fun

… and the Cat in Boots at his best jolly.

Santa Cat in Boots!

Then we saw King Julien Madagascar


… and the penguins …

Watch out for these stealthy penguins

… the girls and Crane of Despicable Me

Despicable Me Float

… And also some Minions…


… and Santa, of course!

Ho Ho Ho

And you can’t forget Macy’s big star balloons.

Macy’s balloon

The spectacular Who-liday Grinchmas

After the parade, we headed to see The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular!

Show time!

As part of the tour, you have a view reserved for the show. It is the first time that the show is performed in this theater, which was formerly where the Blue Man Group performed.


The show is a live account of the history of the Grinch and includes music by Mannheim Steamroller. It’s the story you know and love, with the super funny Mr. Grinch, of course.


Plus, you’ll be able to see a REAL dog playing Max, which is worth the cost of the entire tour, in our humble opinion.

Max !!

The Grinch lives up to his usual traps of stealing Christmas from the Whos.

Always with something …

He disguises himself as Santa Claus so he can disguise himself during his robbery.

You’re a bad guy, Mr. Grinch

And, he has his usual encounter with little Cindy-Lou Who.

There’s nothing to see here, Cindy-Lou

The Grinch also has a meeting with the mayor of Whoville …

Grinch with the mayor

… that looks good!

Oh my!

Then the Grinch and Max return and return Christmas to the Whos.

Christmas is back!

The show ends up singing …

Happy Whos

… and the snow falls on the stage!

It is snowing!

Meeting of Santa Claus

After the show, we met Santa!

Hi, Santa!

Jolly ol ‘St. Nicholas is in the Executive Room of Race Through New York, starring Jimmy Fallon, so there’s a fantastic view from the balcony. There are also lots of Christmas trees here.

So many trees

A Universal photographer takes a picture of you with Santa and then you can talk to him for a moment and tell him what you want for Christmas.

Santa Claus

Then Santa Claus gives you an ornament!

Our ornament

Right after, a team member will give you your photos with Santa; it was very fast. And, you can take these photos home as a keepsake.

You will receive the photos immediately

This is the only way to meet Santa at Universal and it is the first time they make a real encounter and greeting with him.

Goodbye, Santa!

After meeting Santa, we also had a few minutes to take some photos of all the empty park decor.

How nice!

The Christmas tree was very beautiful …

Merry Christmas!

… And the decorations in the New York area are stunning.

Very underrated area for holiday decoration

Qui & A

Then we were able to see an exclusive “Who & A” with some of The Whos from The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.

Qui & A

That was super cute! You can send questions when you check in on the tour while you’re waiting for the parade, and ask them at Whos as a talk show.

Just a few who have fun!

It’s a lot of fun if you’re a big fan of the Grinch like us. Otherwise, you may not like it as much.

Those who surely love the holidays

Encounter with the Grinch

After that, we met the same Grinch at the McGurkus Cafe Stoo-Pendous Circus in Islands of Adventure.

Let’s meet the Grinch, shall we?

The interior is all decorated for the holidays!

She looks beautiful

Here you can get sugar cookies …


… and there is a hot cocoa bar which is all you can enjoy included in the tour price.

Cocoa bar

And, the cookies are very festive!

Very beautiful!

While he’s here, the Grinch will be walking around and you can get to know each other and take pictures with him.

He looks alarmed

I’m sure you’re having a good time walking!

Just hot

Of course, we had to take some selfies.

Such a silly guy

In addition, we also had some great photos of the Grinch, for your visual pleasure.

What’s up, Grinch?

We are not entirely sure what is going on here!

Oh my!

But he seems to be having fun …

We are a little scared

…may be.

Christmas magic show at Hogwarts Castle

To end the night and the tour, you you will be able to see an exclusive performance outside the hours of Christmas magic at the Hogwarts Castle show. Yes! You can watch the show after the regular guests have left the park.


Before the show, you have about 30 minutes to explore Hogsmeade: the shops and Hog’s Head are open if you want to buy anything!

The shops are open!

And the holiday decor here is absolutely beautiful.

Does it get prettier?

We want to celebrate Christmas at Hogwarts every day, please.

Hogwarts Express

Magic points also work during this time if you have an interactive desire that you would like to use!

So handsome!

Then, it was time for the private viewing of the show. The magic of Christmas at Hogwarts.


The projections in the castle are so impressive. You will see characters you know in the area where the Great Hall is …

… snowmen…

Can you see them?

… a Christmas tree …

Look at these colors!

… an entire section of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes …

Do you see Easter eggs?

… and NEU!

It’s snowing!

Then there are a few fireworks to end the show.


We appreciate the beauty of Hogwarts for a second!


That’s all on the tour! Overall, we think the Universal Holiday Tour is a lot of fun. You can do many things you can’t do with a normal park ticket. Plus, it’s much less expensive than Disney World’s Very Merriest After Hours event (though it’s important to note that it includes entry to the Magic Kingdom). If you’re looking for a way to get the most out of your vacation while you’re at Universal, we definitely recommend the tour! Stay tuned to AllEars for more Universal news and updates.

Click here to see why we like your Universal Orlando vacation

Are you going on the Universal Holiday Tour this year? Let us know in the comments!

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