Visitng Universal Orlando in December

Our family has been a Disney family since our first family visit in 2000. Walt Disney World was our vacation destination. Once we moved down here we were excited to give Universal Orlando a try. The family got season passes for Christmas last year and we have been enjoying the parks ever since.

I enjoy how Universal offers some nice seasonal activities taking place at the parks. In fact, on our last couple of visits, we hardly did any rides, we just enjoyed the holiday decorations and entertainment.

We came to check out the Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal. We had a great view of the parade while enjoying the beautiful backdrop of the park Christmas tree. It was a nice parade and it was fun watching the little ones light up as the characters, floats and Santa passed by.
Universal Studios Orlando Macy's Parade
You'll find various Macy balloons scattered about the park. These larger than life characters create a festive atmosphere inside the theme park.

Universal Orlando Macy's Christmas decorations
Once the parade was over we were ready for some bites. One of my favorite spots to grab a drink & some eats is over on the waterfront at Chez Alcatraz. I was worried they would be closed after the parade since they are an outdoor bar. They were closing up shop as we walked up, but some "suits" were there and said "no problem" my husband, daughter & I then bellied up to the bar. We ordered a couple of drinks, a flatbread, sandwich & some chips. We had fabulous service and had a fun time watching the game on their new TV's. Funny thing was after we sat down about thirty other folks came over for drinks & eats as well.
Universal Orlando
The Warf
Universal Orlando

Red & Blue Chips
Once we were fueled up we took a stroll through the park and enjoyed the sights.
Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando
We then headed over to Islands of Adventure and checked out the holiday decorations over there ending with a Butterbeer at Hog's Head Pub. It was nice because while we were riding High in The Sky the fireworks for Cinematic Spectacular were going off, making for a beautiful sight.
Island's of Adventure at Universal Orlando

Island's of Adventure at Universal Orlando

Island's of Adventure at Universal Orlando
Our next visit to Universal Orlando was for Christmas Eve. We didn't have family in town and the kids wanted to go shopping for gifts. There are a number of shops in CityWalk that my teens love including the newly opened PIQ. While the kids went shopping for each other my husband and I took in the view and enjoyed a craft beer from one of the new waterfront kiosks.
Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk
Terrapin Rye Pale Ale
Once presents were bought and hunger started to kick in we took the boat over to the Hard Rock Hotel. My husband & I have a favorite getaway spot we enjoy while the kids are riding rides at the park. We love stopping by the Velvet Bar located off the lobby of the Hard Rock Hotel. You will find a daily happy hour from 5pm-7pm with $5.75 Specialty Cocktails. The Lounge also has a small menu great for bites to go with your drinks. Though the lounge is just for guests 21 and over they will serve you in the hotel lobby. Our family found a nice spot to set up shop and kick back while we waited for dinner and drinks. The best part was the hotel was showing Christmas movies in the lobby, so we were able to sit back and enjoy Elf while we waited for our wings, salad, pizza & burger.
The Hard Rock Hotel Orlando

The Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
Cotton Candy Martini
To cap off our night we headed to Universal to take a quick spin on Revenge of the Mummy and finally check out the Magic Show. My kids thought this show was cool & they wanted to buy a couple of the magic tricks for sale.

We missed out on seeing the Grinch, but all in all, we had a wonderful Christmas Eve at Universal.
Universal Orlando