Around the Universe: Universal Orlando News, Dec 13

There are exciting new things happening every day at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida! Join us every week to read about what’s new “Around the Universe.” This week’s Universal Orlando News update features: Holiday and New Year’s Eve activities, military discounts, hot Butterbeer and more!

What’s New This Week?


Universal Orlando Theme Parks

New! Tickets for Universal CityWalk’s New Year’s Eve Celebration on Sale Now: On Dec. 31, 2014, guests can experience non-stop entertainment at EVE, Universal CityWalk’s unparalleled New Year’s celebration. With unique party zones – each featuring their own entertainment and signature drinks, access to six different clubs with live music and unlimited gourmet cuisine, EVE will be theplace to ring in the New Year. Tickets are on-sale now for advance pricing of $99.99 plus tax until Dec. 15. Admission includes access to:

  • Unlimited gourmet cuisine, including jumbo shrimp, roast sirloin, custom desserts and more
  • Six unique outdoor party zones with entertainment and signature drinks
  • Orlando’s largest outdoor dance floor, featuring live music from DJ M-Squared on a 360 degree DJ platform
  • Six Universal CityWalk venues, including: Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Pat O’Brien’s, the groove, Rising Star and Red Coconut Club
  • Midnight champagne toast and pyrotechnics display
  • For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

New! Don’t Miss NBC’s Primetime Musical Event, ‘One Direction: The TV Special': On Tuesday, Dec. 23, NBC joins forces with multi-platinum band One Direction in the primetime musical event “One Direction: The TV Special” (8-9 p.m. ET). NBC’s network special will feature an inside look at the wildly popular band, including a special concert fans experienced at Universal Orlando. The hour-long telecast also shows the boys surprising fans in the parks and interviewing each other aboard one of Universal Orlando’s high-speed roller coasters.


New! Universal Extends Military Discount: Universal Orlando Resort has extended its ticket offer exclusively for active duty and retired members of the military with purchase available now through June 7, 2015. Military personnel can purchase a one-day, park-to-park ticket and receive two complimentary days to experience the extraordinary thrills and heart-warming moments that can only be found at Universal Orlando Resort. Plus, they can also upgrade with a 3-night stay at the brand-new Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort with a discounted vacation package starting at $269 per adult, tax inclusive with valid military identification. Package also includes: 1-Day, Park-to-Park Ticket with 2 Days Free ticket offer, 3-nights stay at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens and access to live entertainment at Universal CityWalk. Special active duty and retired military package rates are also available at Universal Orlando’s additional resort hotels Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, and Hard Rock Hotel.

New! Universal Orlando ResortBegins Serving Hot Butterbeer: Guests have tried it cold, frozen – and even as an ice-cream flavor. Now Universal Orlando Resort offers hot Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Hot Butterbeer is a smooth, hot beverage reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch served year-round with a whipped topping. In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, it will be served at Leaky Cauldron, The Hopping Pot, and The Fountain of Fair Fortune. In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, it will be available at Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head Pub.


Reminder! Nickelodeon’s “Every Witch Way” Weekend This Friday and Saturday:  Universal Orlando Resort will host a fun filled weekend featuring the Nickelodeon hit live action series “EveryWitch Way” on December 12 and 13.Fans of the hit series will be able to enjoy two days of spellbinding activities featuring some of their favorite cast members, including Paola Andino (Emma Alonso), Nick Merico(Daniel Miller), Paris Smith (Maddie Van Pelt) and Rahart Adams (Jax Novoa). Nickelodeon’s “Every Witch Way” Weekend will also give guests the several special experiences.

 Reminder! New Park Plaza Holiday Shop Opens: Universal’s newest merchandise shop features a Christmas or Holiday theme. The store is called Park Plaza Holiday Shop and is now open and offers an assortment of themed decor featuring franchises and characters found at Universal Orlando such as Despicable Me, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Simpsons, Betty Boop, and others. The store is located across from Transformers, near Gramercy Park.

Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular

Reminder! Universal Holiday Events Under Way: Beginning Dec. 6 and running daily through Jan. 3, the Holidays at Universal Orlando features one-of-a-kind traditions. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, families will light up with holiday cheer as Grinchmas comes to life throughout Seuss Landing. Guests can enjoy a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s classic holiday tale, “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular,” featuring the Whos from Who-ville, accompanied by an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests can also meet The Grinch and the Whos and on select dates, enjoy a special breakfast with the characters.  Click here for our VIDEO recap of the Grinchmas festivities.

At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will fill the streets every evening with the same larger-than-life balloons seen in Macy’s famous Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. This year, you won’t want to miss the Chloe The Clown “Balloonicle,” a new addition to the parade that combines a towering balloon with a self-powered vehicle that roams the streets of Universal Studios. Guests will also enjoy colorful holiday characters, fantasy-filled floats and a tree-lighting ceremony by Santa Claus.  You can watch our VIDEO highlights of the parade in this post.

This year, the masters of modern Christmas music—Mannheim Steamroller—will return to the stage to spread Christmas cheer. With more than 40 million albums sold worldwide, the acclaimed musical group will take to the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios on select nights to perform their memorable holiday hits. Performance nights are Dec. 6, 7, 14, 15, 20 and 21.


Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

New! Holiday Happenings at On-Site Hotels: Celebrate the holiday season at one of the spectacular on-site hotels at Universal Orlando Resort. Experience holiday festivities at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, or Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort.  You can find something for the whole family including Christmas Eve and Day celebrations, New Year’s Eve dining packages and New Year’s Day fun at each of our resort hotels. You’ll find a uniquely themed, festive holiday atmosphere with great activities including:

  • Hanukkah Candle Lighting
  • Christmas Tree Lighting
  • Cookie decorating
  • Santa visits
  • Storytelling
  • Universal Orlando theme park character visits
  • Holiday “dive-in” movies
  • Special holiday menus & more!

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

New! Velvet Unplugged – Holiday Music with Carl Dixon: On Friday, December 19, 2014, visit the Hard Rock Hotel for Holiday Music with Carl Dixon. $40 for a table for 2, $60 for a table of 4. Table includes: free parking, first round of house drinks, prime viewing. Log onto to purchase tickets. Free standing area, $5 parking.

New! Hanukkah Celebration at Loews Royal Pacific Resort and Cabana Bay Beach Resort: Visit the lobby of each hotel nightly Tuesday, December 16th  through Wednesday, December 24th at sundown for the Hanukkah Celebration ceremony. Check with the Front Desk for nightly times.

New! Holiday Stories with Santa at Cabana Bay Beach Resort: Visit the lobby of Cabana Bay Beach Resort for holiday story readings with Santa: 6:00pm – 7:00pm Saturdays – December 6, 13, 20.

New! Meet Holiday Elves at Cabana Bay Beach Resort: Visit the lobby of Cabana Bay Beach Resort to have a meet and greet with holiday elves 4:00pm – 8:00pm Sundays – December 7, 14, 21.

Universal CityWalk

New! The Cowfish Sushi and Burger Bar Grand Opening: The Cowfish opened its doors at CityWalk in November, but its official Grand Opening was held Dec 10, 2014.  Check out our VIDEO recap of the restaurant by following this link.  The Cowfish is a one-of-a-kind dining experience, thriving on its ability to fuse two niche products seamlessly on the same menu. Fresh, innovative and delicious, the sushi segment of the menu is far beyond what you’re accustomed to. All natural, creative and hearty, the burgers entice with fresh, never frozen, ingredients and bold flavors. Spiked hand-spun milkshakes, premium sakes, craft beers, wine and 10oz exotic martinis round out a huge bar menu that is sure to please. The Cowfish aims to offer something for the entire family. Scrumptious appetizers for sharing, entree-sized salads, homemade desserts and a fun kid’s menu. If you can’t make up your mind, try a bento box to sample a mini-burger along with your choice of sushi roll and three tasty side items!

The Cowfish at Universal Orlando Resort's CityWalk.

New! New Year’s Eve at Universal CityWalk Wednesday, December 31, 2014: The whole year’s been leading up to this: Universal CityWalk’s eye-popping, mind-blowing, jam-packed New Year’s celebration. Enjoy six unique party zones, each with their own signature drinks and entertainment. Plus, explore six awesome CityWalk clubs with live music and unlimited gourmet cuisine. Rock out on Orlando’s biggest and best outdoor dance floor, where DJ M-Squared will be spinning all your favorite tracks all night long. Then top off your night at CityWalk with a midnight champagne toast and a pyrotechnics display. Drink it all in at Eve. This year’s outta here. Ticket info above.

Closures and Refurbishments

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster: 12/2, 12/8, 12/9

Universal Studios

  • Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 12/6, 12/7, 12/13 & 12/14 no shows scheduled
  • Universal’s Superstar Parade: 12/6 no parade scheduled

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About Siera Duiser

Hello, my name is Siera and I am a travel agent with Destinations to Explore. I have always loved to travel and have had the opportunity to travel to thirteen different countries so far. I have also been to many different parts of the United States. I love sharing about the places I have been and the places I would love to see as well as some tips and tricks I have learned along the way.