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  • Writer's pictureCollin Brazan

What are the differences between Universal's different holiday events?

Updated: May 20

Universal Orlando Resort has made a name for itself with its year-round holiday celebrations, filling its parks with food, live music and more to commemorate some of the best times of the year.

Each event brings new offerings and different decorations to create a vastly different experience each time.

Mardi Gras

Running from Feb. 5 to April 24, 2022, Universal is calling its Mardi Gras celebration the “loudest, wildest blowout this side of the Bayou.”

And it’s right. Outside of going to Louisiana to celebrate the holiday amid its modern day roots, Universal presents one of the most accurate and fully featured events centered around the holiday.

With big-name, live bands, the parks’ largest selection of worldly themed dining booths, a parade (complete with bead-throwing), wandering performers and tons of merchandise, this fully featured event adds additional value in that it costs guests nothing extra to enter the parks.


Universal has become exceptionally famous for Halloween Horror Nights, its transformational, separately ticketed horror event turns the park into a hub for all-things haunted houses. One of the most immersive horror experiences in the United States, visiting during Halloween time is best for those who who prefer the scarier side of the holiday.

Halloween Horror Nights is so transformational that it leaves space for the daytime versions of the parks to just add smaller bits to the theming and celebration. Those who prefer the more standard holiday theme park experience will want to look to the end-year holidays or Mardi Gras, but for those who are looking for something different and scary, there is no better place to visit during the Halloween season than Universal.

Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort

The holidays at Universal follow a similar pattern as Mardi Gras to a slightly smaller scale. Exclusive food, shows and a parade make the parks a vibrant hub for celebrating the holidays.

And for Harry Potter fans, it gets even better. With exclusive food and shows added to the lands (including the famed hot butter beer), no season better embodies what it might feel like to step foot into the Harry Potter books and films. The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle caps it all off with a light show that turns the area’s icon into a brilliant display of holiday cheer that cannot be missed by Harry Potter and holiday fans alike.

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