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All Universal Orlando Events You Need to Know About in 2024

Throughout the year, guests can experience special events and celebrations like Universal Mardi Gras, Fourth of July, and Holidays all included in your park ticket. Specialty ticketed events include the premier Halloween event – Halloween Horror Nights. We are huge fans of Universal Orlando events and love the seasonal changes the parks bring each year!

This article is your complete guide to all Universal Orlando events, so keep reading if you want to know more.

If you’re in the beginning stages of planning your next theme park vacation and need additional help or are looking for discounted theme park tickets, check out our trusted travel partner The Park Prodigy

Universal Orlando Special Events 2024


Universal Orlando events are special times of the year when Universal transforms either of its theme parks into seasonal celebrations for guests to enjoy. As Passholders, we love to try and sample all of them, whether free of separately ticketed, to keep the year exciting. Specifically, the Universal Holidays which are magical with Grinchmas, the Macy’s Float Parade and more!

What are the Universal Orlando events?

Universal Orlando Events that require a separate ticket

  • Rock the Universe
  • Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Orlando Events included in park admission

  • Fourth of July
  • Universal Mardi Gras
  • Universal Holidays
  • Universal Orlando New Years

Related Post: How to Ride a Mardi Gras Parade Float



Rock the Universe (Universal Studios Florida) — Jan. 26 to 27, 2024

Florida’s premier Christian music festival, Rock the Universe, is a separately ticketed Universal Studios Florida event. Enjoy performances by popular Christian music groups and a night of fun. The park closes at 6 p.m., but concert ticket holders can enter the park starting at 4 p.m. to enjoy rides.

Why We Love It: Rather than just 1 stage, Universal Studios Florida is transformed for Rock the Universe with multiple stages throughout the park and pop-up spots to enjoy various artists during the night.

Related Post: Best Water Parks in Orlando



Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval (Universal Studios Florida) — Feb. 3 to April 7, 2024

Feet don’t fail us now! Immerse yourself in the spirit of Mardi Gras with a lively parade, authentic New Orleans bands, and top-notch concerts at Universal Studios. The Mardi Gras parade runs nightly with concerts from award-winning artists only on select weekend nights. With 20 festive booths, try out festive food and drinks to add to the Mardi Gras atmosphere. The best part is? Mardi Gras is included with regular park admission, making it one of the best Universal events!

One of the most unique theme park experiences takes place during Universal Mardi Gras as well and that is the Mardi Gras Float Riding. Guests can hop aboard a Mardi Gras float and sling beads to guests down below. This makes for a memorable experience and a great time! For more information on float riding, read about it here.

Why We Love It: Mardi Gras at Universal creates such a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Since you don’t have to pay extra to enjoy the festivities, there is no pressure to make sure to see and do absolutely everything. Speaking of paying extra, on select nights you can enjoy a full-blown concert from stars like DJ Kahled, All-American Rejects and Zedd included in your ticket!

Related Post: Why We Love Universal Mardi Gras



Fourth of July Celebration (Universal Studios Florida) — July 4, 2024

Celebrate Independence Day with live entertainment, character meet-and-greets, and a spectacular fireworks display at Universal Studios Florida. All of these festive 4th activities are typically included with park admission. Keep in mind, this is typically a popular time of year to visit so expect high crowds!

Why We Love It: Universal Orlando typically does not have a fireworks display. This is one of the only nights of the year that you can enjoy a fireworks show in the Universal parks!

Related post: Best of Mardi Gras Food & Drink



Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Studios Florida) — Select Nights in September, October, and November

The ultimate Universal Orlando event is the one and only Halloween Horror Nights. This is the premier Halloween event and we can stand by that statement! This is not your typical haunt, HHN is wildly popular and people travel from far and wide to experience it. For a chilling experience, attend Halloween Horror Nights on select fall nights. The park transforms into a realm of horror with themed haunted houses and scare zones. This separately ticketed event is not suitable for children.

Why We Love It: Similar to Mardi Gras atmosphere, nights at Halloween Horror Nights are unmatched. If you are a horror fan, HHN is a must for you. Not only can you experience 10 haunted houses, 5 scare zones, and a show but also enjoy themed food/drink throughout the park.

Related Post: First Timers Guide to Halloween Horror Nights


Universal Holidays (Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure) — November to December

Another event we absolutely love is Universal Holidays! All holiday festivities are included in your park admission ticket. In Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Holiday Parade is a fan favorite. Watch holiday performers and even your favorite character like Shrek in this parade.

Grinchmas at Universal Islands of Adventure adds to the seasonal charm and is a huge draw during the holiday season. A highlight is meeting the one and only – Mr. Grinch! This is a one-of-a-kind experience where you can talk to and interact with The Grinch and he is hysterical.

Don’t forget you can witness the magic of Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with festive decorations, holiday-themed food, and a magical projection show on Hogwarts Castle.

Why We Love It: The holiday season is our absolute favorite so enjoying all of the holiday festivities at Universal Orlando makes our heart so happy! Unlike many other events at Universal Orlando, the holidays are spread out in both parks, CityWalk, and even the Universal Hotels! We always suggest getting the Universal Park-to-Park ticket but during the holidays is even more of a must so you can experience Grinchmas and the Universal Parade in the same day.

Universal Orlando New Year’s Eve 2024 (Universal Studios Florida’s Music Plaza and Universal Islands of Adventure’s Port of Entry)

Ring in the New Year at Universal Orlando! Similar to the Fourth of July celebration, Universal Orlando New Year’s Eve 2024 features DJ dance parties with our favorite Universal characters and an official countdown to 2025.

We will update you right here when full details are released about the 2024 New Year’s Eve Universal Celebration!

Why We Love It: Universal Orlando is known to close their parks early (some days as early as 5 pm!) For New Year’s, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure extend their hours until 1 AM!

Related Post: Best of Universal Holidays

Ready to Embark on a Theme Park Journey?

We hope this guide sprinkles a little extra pixie dust on your plans for Universal Orlando. Our insights come straight from the heart of the parks, where the magic happens every day. We’re thrilled to share our firsthand experiences and tips to help you create unforgettable moments!

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