The holiday bustle has begun at Universal Orlando with Thanksgiving break crowds, new holiday offerings, and peak season pricing. This week we cover the debut and widespread praise of the new Christmas offerings and answer another question pulled from the Mail Bag. Oh, and I hope you remembered to set the oven to the new temperature for the turkey.
Weekly Crowd Levels
Thanksgiving break is over and we are entering the quiet period before the Christmas vacation rush. Now is a great time to visit the parks as queue wait times are low, parks are not crowded, weather is pleasant, and Christmas events are running.
Detailed crowd level information can be found here.
Park Hours and Admission
CityWalk is open until 2 am with free self parking starting after 6 pm.
Single-day park tickets will be at Anytime pricing Saturday and Sunday. 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 $174 per child (plus tax).
Single-day park tickets will be at Value pricing Monday through Friday. 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).
Volcano Bay tickets are at Anytime pricing at $67 per adult and $62 per child (plus tax).
This week’s mail was delivered to my parents’ house in Columbus, Ohio, lets open it up…
With Tchoup Chop closing, what’s your pick for a great meal at Universal? And what do you think will replace Tchoup Chop? – Laurel
*Grips my heart* Too soon, Laurel, too soon.
Tchoup Chop is close to my heart; it was one of the first restaurants at Universal I took my parents to. I’m kicking myself for not going one last time this past trip before it closes December 31st.
I have two unique dinner suggestions for replacing Tchoup Chop. First is Emeril’s Orlando in CityWalk, the sister restaurant to Tchoup Chop. Emeril’s Orlando offers similar dishes in a large glass-walled restaurant in the middle of CityWalk, perfect for people watching. The next suggestion is slightly different. Unlike Tchoup Chop it offers small plates, Caribbean influenced, and self seating: Strongwater Tavern, a tapas and rum lounge at Sapphire Falls Resort. I think both are great options.
As for what will replace Tchoup Chop? I have no idea yet, but I feel Universal and Loews will take the concept in house. The two will open another high-end South-Pacific-Islands-themed restaurant in that location. I just hope they keep the Mai Tais and the amazing reflecting pool.
Weekly Highlights & Notable News
Christmas has come to the Wizarding World with critical acclaim. Check out these two videos: a preview of the new shows in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s is a brand new parade that builds on the prior holiday parade with new floats, balloons, music, and costumes. Check out a preview below.
Blue Man Group is offering a chance to purchase discounted tickets November 1st through January 1st starting at $49.
Blue Man Group is performing a special autism-friendly show for individuals and families on December 9th at 6:00 pm. The show has been 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 show. Tickets are a reduced $39 with $5 going to Autism Speaks.
That is all for this week. See you next week and make sure to leave a question below for the Mail Bag!