Universal Studio’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter areas are magical all year round. The vibrant and immersive Harry Potter theming makes it feel like you’re really exploring Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, complete with the wizards’ unique culture. However, the wizarding immersion becomes even more magical during the winter holiday season, as the wizards and witches celebrate the holidays in their own unique ways.
Whether you’re a longtime fan of the Harry Potter series or just enjoy celebrating Christmas, the Wizarding World’s wintertime festivities are a special experience you won’t want to miss. Here are some of the many fun things you can experience this holiday season!
It’s not uncommon for parks to spruce up their scenery with Christmas decorations during the holiday, and you can find Christmas-themed decorations all about Universal Studios during the winter. Even the London waterfront area gets some special holiday treatment with Christmas lights. However, the Wizarding World goes a step further with the holiday decorations, with artfully placed decorations that highlight the individual shops and locales of the Harry Potter universe.
Take, for example, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. Said to be founded by notorious pranksters Fred and George Weasley, the store sells various fun items for practical jokes. So it’s only natural that during the winter holidays, the brothers adorn their Christmas wreath with firecrackers. Similarly, Madam Malkin’s Robes for all Occasions features an arched wreath with pink ribbons, matching Hermione’s dress from the Yule Ball. These stylistic choices make it seem as if the wizard and witch proprietors are personally making the decorative decisions.
Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle
Nighttime light shows are another fun holiday tradition, and what better site for a light spectacular that Hogwarts itself? The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle engulfs the magic school in bright colorful projections that show images of movie scenes, snowmen, falling snow, and much more. To further add to the merry mood, the show features music and singing to accompany the delightful imagery. To top it all off, Magic of Christmas closes with amazing fireworks.
Not only is the lightshow amazing, but it captures the magical spirit of Hogwarts and Harry Potter with nostalgic callbacks to the books and movies. At the start of the show, Hogwarts’ eccentric ghosts come out and sing haunting renditions of classic Christmas carols. Later on, the projection show even replays the famous Yule Ball. All of these fun displays, projected marvelously on the castle, make this event a great nightly finale for your Wizarding World experience at Christmas. This year, you can catch this show as part of the Holiday VIP Tour at Universal.
Universal spices up several of the Wizarding World’s regular musical performances to fit the holiday mood. For instance, you should check out the jovial and amusing holiday version of the Frog Choir, performed by singers from the four Hogwarts houses. Each of the four choir singers (Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin) brings along their own humongous frog partner to accompany them in their songs. While the show happens through the year, things get interesting in the winter, as these talented singers get into the holiday spirit.
For the Christmastime version of the Frog Choir, the acapella group performs special seasonal melodies. In addition to “Muggle” Christmas tunes like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, they also sing traditional wizarding songs like “Christmas at Hogwarts”. The show takes place at Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure throughout the day, so be sure to stop by. Incidentally, this location (the same stage for the Triwizard Spirit Rally) is also a great place to view the Magic of Christmas light show.
Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees
Over in Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida, the regularly occurring Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees show also gets a holiday upgrade for Christmas. Celestina (Molly Weasley’s favorite singer) performs concerts throughout the year, but her Christmas concerts are extra special, particularly since Molly would listen to her songs every Christmas.
Celestina Warbeck’s holiday songs, which are accompanied by a team of talented Broadway singers, include unique tunes such as “My Baby Gave Me a Hippogriﬀ for Christmas” and “Nothing Like a Holiday Spell” that you won’t get a chance to hear the rest of the year. This unique collection of groovy and magical songs makes seeing Celestina perform during the holidays well worth it.
The Harry Potter verse is known for its unique kinds of foods, and Universal adds its own holiday twists to some of these delicacies for Christmas. Fans especially enjoy the hot butterbeer drink served seasonally in the winter. Not only is butterbeer a notable part of wizarding culture in the Harry Potter series, but it’s a great drink in its own right. Universal actually offers multiple kinds of butterbeer throughout the year, from ice cream to fudge to “potted”. If you want to savor the hot butterbeer drink, though, you’ll need to come around the holidays.
Hot butterbeer tastes like a wonderful mix of butterscotch with hot chocolate – perfect for sipping on those cold winter days. Hogsmeade typically sells the hot butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head Pub, while Diagon Alley offers the drink at the Leaky Cauldron and the Hopping Pot. You can also find hot butterbeer at street cart vendors. The Wizarding World also usually offers other seasonal dishes like the holiday turkey plate – big enough to serve two people. So don’t forget to check out the restaurants for more holiday treats.
In addition to adding Christmas themes to their storefront appearances, the many Wizarding World shops offer seasonal merchandise to usher in the holidays, from ornaments to stocking holders to character-themed snow globes. These Harry Potter-themed items make for great Christmas gifts and keepsakes. You can order many of these items online, but it’s also fun to buy them at the stores as you tour through the Wizarding World.
With all these fun events in store at the Wizarding World for Christmas, Universal ensures that whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or just love the holidays, you’ll have a magical experience at the parks. So if you’re looking for a great holiday vacation, then book a trip to Universal’s Wizarding World today.
Harry Potter fans, what wizarding holiday tradition is your favorite? Please feel free to share them in the comment section.