Around the Universe: Universal Orlando News, Dec 26, 2014
December 26, 2014 Destinations

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, live performances at CityWalk and more.

What’s New This Week?


Universal Orlando Theme Parks

New! Universal Orlando Resort is on SnapChat: Are you on Snapchat? Good news, so is Universal Orlando Resort! Yep, we’re snap savvy too and we’ll be sending snapchatters everywhere fun and exclusive stories to connect with us in an entirely new way. Always remember to stay on the lookout for our snaps, doodles and more! Everyone will have a chance to play in our parks from the comfort of their own mobile devices. Never used it before? No problem! Check out these simple steps on how to add us and start snappin’!

Step 1: Log in or sign up with your username and password.

Step 2: Tap the lower right icon on the camera page.

Step 3: Tap the upper right icon.

Step 4: Search UniversalORL and tap the + sign to add UniversalORL to your list!


Reminder! Holidays at Universal in Full Swing: Holiday festivities have officially begun at Universal Orlando Resort, and you won’t want to miss a second of it. And through the magic of time-lapse photography, they have packed every second into the video below! Catch the daily Macy’s Holiday Parade and Mannheim Steamroller concerts (on select nights) in Universal Studios. Or experience the retelling of Dr. Seuss’s classic Christmas tale and more with Grichmas at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Along with festive decorations everywhere, hot cocoa aplenty, and a smile on everyone’s face, it’s one-of-a-kind way to celebrate the season! Click here for our full VIDEO recap of Universal Orlando Holidays.


See highlights of the Macy’s Holiday Parade here:


Reminder! Universal Orlando Resort Begins 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.

Universal Orlando Resort Hotels

Reminder! 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:

  • 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

This will be our newest on-site resort’s very first holiday season with us. And continuing in the retro-inspired spirit so many of our guests have come to love, the entire property is decked-out in glamorous retro Christmas trees and festive décor.


  • Character appearances
  • Holiday dive-in movies
  • Holiday Arts and Crafts | Select dates and times
  • Holiday Story Reading | Select dates and times
  • The Hideaway Bar & Grill’s New Year’s Eve Rooftop Dessert Party | December 31, 10 pm – 12:30 am Ring in 2015 under the stars with live music, desserts, and an open bar. Tickets are $85 for adults and $18 for kids age 3 – 9.
  • Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort’s New Year’s Eve TV Lounge Dessert Party | December 31, 9:30 pm – 12:30 am Featuring music, desserts, and the Countdown in Times Square live via satellite. Tickets are $35 for adults and $18 for kids ages 3 – 9.

Hard Rock Hotel

For those who really aren’t into doing Christmas the traditional way, enjoy delicious food with lots of entertainment including Santa!


Here’s the set list of everything food-related going down at Hard Rock Hotel:

Holidays in The Kitchen | Select nights Now – December 26

  • Fridays – Dinner with entertainment including a magician, visits from Santa and holiday movie screenings.
  • Saturdays – Character dining featuring some of your favorite theme park characters.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays – Kids Can Cook Too!

New Year’s Eve at Hard Rock Hotel | December 31

  • ROCK-in 2015 at Hard Rock Hotel – 5:00 pm – 1:00 am Featuring a holiday buffet, character dining, holiday movies and more. Tickets re $53.25 for adults and $26.63 for children age 3-9.
  • Lobby Party Package | 8:00 pm – 1:00 am Bring in the New Year with live entertainment and a midnight champagne toast.

New Year’s Day Breakfast in The Kitchen | January 1, 7:00 am – 12:00 pm

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel


Enjoy holiday festivities for the entire family at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel including:

  • strolling musicians, and exquisite decorations throughout the resort
  • New Year’s Eve Party in the Piazza | December 31, 8:30 pm – 12:00 am. Gourmet food, complimentary wines, a kid-friendly buffet and live entertainment for the entire family. Tickets are $135 for adults and $35 for children ages 3- 9.
  • Visit the The Thirsty Fish and try a handful of seasonal cocktails including he Italian Poinsettia for some bubbly goodness. Made with Stellina Di Notte Prosecco, Cranberry Juice, and Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur.

Loews Royal Pacific Resort


Celebrate the spirit of the holidays islands-style at Loews Royal Pacific Resort and enjoy:

  • Holiday Activities | Select dates and times December 5 – 31. Enjoy family-friendly fun like ornament, stocking and cookie decorating; holiday storytelling and more.
  • New Year’s Eve Dinner and Dessert Reception | December 31, 5:00 pm – 12:00 am . Featuring a holiday dinner buffet, dessert and live entertainment.
  • New Year’s Day Breakfast | January 1, 8:00 – 11:00 am

Universal CityWalk

New! Twerk the Halls Starring Todrick Halls at Hard Rock Live: Todrick Hall, who recently announced his new MTV reality show “Todrick,” is a brand new kind of star known for his versatility in all areas of the performing arts. Between assisting in the choreography of Beyoncé’s groundbreaking “Blow” music video, writing musical YouTube parodies and masterminding Virgin America’s latest safety video, Todrick is a multifaceted artist and entertainment powerhouse. See his new holiday tour at Hard Rock Live at Universal CityWalk Dec 26, 2014 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $22 in advance, $27 day of show. Doors open at 7:30pm.

New! Classic Albums Live The Eagles “Hotel California” at Hard Rock Live: Classic Albums Live is a group of studio musicians and vocalists that perform the albums LIVE using the instrumentation used on the original recording…cut for cut…note for note. See Classic Albums Live The Eagles “Hotel California” Dec 27, 2014 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of show for reserved seating, and $15 in advance, $20 day of show for general admission. Doors open at 7:00pm.

New! Howie Mandel to Perform at Hard Rock Live: See comedian Howie Mandel perform his newest touring routine at Hard Rock Live at Universal CityWalk January 4, 2015 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $55 First Two Row and Balcony Tables, $45 Reserved Main Floor & Lower Balcony, $40 Reserved Upper Balcony. Doors open at 7:00pm.


Reminder! 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.

Reminder! CowFish Sushi and Burger Bar Now Open: Cowfish opened its doors at CityWalk in November, click here for a full VIDEO tour of the new restaurant. 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!

Cow Fish, Soft opening, city walk, publicity

Closures and Refurbishments

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

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

Universal Studios

  • Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 12/20 & 12/21 no shows scheduled
  • Universal’s Superstar Parade: 12/19 – 12/21 no parades scheduled

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