Universal Orlando Resort Preview – Week of November 18

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Hello everyone, it’s my favorite time of the year: Thanksgiving! My turkey is purchased and I’ve assembled a spreadsheet of the start times and temperatures for each dish. At Universal Orlando it’s full steam ahead to Christmas as their holiday entertainment begins this Saturday, November 18th.

Weekly Crowd Levels

With Thanksgiving this week groups are traveling on vacation to Orlando. Monday, Tuesday, and Friday are the busiest days with this coming weekend being the lightest on crowds. Saturday begins Universal’s new Christmas offerings, so expect locals to come out to see the new shows and parade. Additionally our own math wizard Fred Hazelton crunched the numbers and found that crowd levels at the Orlando parks are larger than normal for November.

Detailed crowd level information can be found here.

Weekly Weather Report

Much warmer than Ohio

Weekly Park Hours & Admission

CityWalk closes at 2:00 am and the parking garages are free after 6:00 pm.

Single-day park tickets will be at Value pricing Saturday only. One-day base tickets to Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure will run you $110 per adult, and $105 per child (plus tax). 2-Park 1-Day tickets are $165 per adult and $160 per child (plus tax).

Single-day park tickets will be at Anytime pricing Sunday through Friday. One-day base tickets to Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure will run you $124 per adult, and $119 per child (plus tax). 2-Park 1-Day tickets are $179 per adult and $1174 per child (plus tax).

Volcano Bay tickets are at Anytime pricing at $67 per adult, and $62 per child (plus tax).


Mail Bag

Hi everyone, my name is Joe and I’m your new Universal Orlando beat writer. I have been a theme park fan since birth and made frequent family trips to parks in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Orlando. Outside of TouringPlans I also host and produce a semi-frequent PG-13 rated podcast on Parkscope.

Many guests are new to Universal Orlando and have questions and others are long time fans looking for new recommendations. In this new Mail Bag segment I’ll offer information and my advice to all your questions!

The inaugural question comes from my editor and new boss, Julia:

With the holidays coming up, I’ve heard that Universal is doing some sort of Harry Potter Christmas event? Is this something like Halloween Horror nights that is offered only on some nights? Do I need a special ticket to get in? How many days do you think I should budget for seeing it?

Great question, and timely!

Universal Orlando previously offered only two daytime Christmas experiences in the parks: Universal Studios Florida’s Macy’s Holiday Parade and Island’s of Adventure’s Grinchmas. Starting Saturday, November 18th, Universal is debuting a new holiday nighttime spectacular, revamped holiday parade, and new shows in addition to the returning Grinchmas. Good news is it’s all included in your normal ticket.

The Wizarding World, The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts nighttime show uses projection mapping to “magically” wrap Hogwarts in Christmas decorations. Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are receiving new Potter-themed Christmas decorations around the lands. The Frog Choir in Hogsmeade and Celestina Warbeck in Diagon Alley have brand new holiday shows with newly created songs just for Christmas.

The old Macy’s Holiday Parade is now upgraded to Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s. The classic Macy’s balloons are returning along with new Universal Orlando exclusive balloons and floats from the Minions, Madagascar, and Shrek movies.

The new holiday offerings can be experienced in a normal touring day, with only Grinchmas  requiring you to line up 30-45 minutes prior to show time. Universal Orlando’s holiday celebrations run November 18th through January 6th, every day. Leave questions for the next mail bag in the comments section below!

Notable Highlights

Blue Man Group is offering discounted tickets November 1st through January 1st starting at $49. I have seen this show several times and highly recommend it.

Blue Man Group is performing a special autism-friendly show for individuals and families on December 9th at 6:00 pm. The show is modified to reduce noise, light levels, and the Blue Man reduce their interactions with the audience. Calming environments in the lobby and sound reducing headphones or earplugs will be provided. AutismAtTheParks wrote a glowing review of the modified showTickets are a reduced $39 with $5 going to Autism Speaks.

This past Saturday the one man blogging machine and two time Run Disney medal winner Derek Burgan wrote a Saturday Six article on reasons why we love Seuss Landing in Islands of Adventure.

That’s all for this week. See you next week, and in the meantime, send along those questions and comments below!

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Joseph Matt

Avid amusement park and video game fan. Enjoys picking up rare beers at breweries, exploring cities, cooking, and sports.

2 thoughts on “Universal Orlando Resort Preview – Week of November 18

  • November 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Whoops, I think you meant 18th to 24th for the title on the Universal Crowd Level chart. It says 18th to 14th?

    • November 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      You’re right, my apologies. I’ll update.


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