PHOTOS: Universal unveils Harry Potter Christmas show, updated Macy's parade

By Ashley Carter, Attractions Insider
Last Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017, 6:32 PM EST

Christmas has arrived at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, bringing warm Butterbeer, live entertainment and a new projection show.

  • Universal previewed its Christmas attractions Thursday
  • New this year: The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts
  • Also, new updates to the Macy's Parade

The holiday festivities kick off Saturday. However, Universal shared a preview of what it has in store on Thursday.

The streets of Hogsmeade (in Islands of Adventure) and Diagon Alley (Universal Studios Florida) are decorated with Christmas decorations, garland, wreaths and lights. The idea behind the decor is that the shopkeepers have created them and added their own personal touches. For example, there are gum drops in the garland outside Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop.

Universal is offering an entertainment-filled event that includes live performances from Celestine Warbeck and the Banshees and the Frog Choir.

In Diagon Alley, Celestina sings new songs, including “Accio Christmas” and “My Baby Gave Me a Hippogriff for Christmas,” with her typical diva flair. Over in Hogsmeade, the harmonizing Frog Choir sings “I Cast a Spell on Father Christmas.”

The highlight of the Harry Potter holiday offerings, however, is the The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts, a new projection show that wraps the castle with holiday-themed moments inspired by Harry Potter franchise.

It features ghostly images dancing across the castle walls, snowmen, floating lanterns and students flying on brooms.

The enchanted flying car also makes an appearance.

Popular characters like Hermoine and Ron also make an appearance in silhouettes during a Yule Ball dance scene. The animation is inspired by “The Tale of the Three Brothers” from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.”

Hardcore Harry Potter fans will appreciate the attention of detail.

Universal spent a year and a half creating the projection show, which features a score that’s a completely new arrangement.

It’s something Universal has wanted to do since The Wizarding World opened in 2010, according to Michael Aiello, creative director.

“It’s why Hogsmeade is snow-covered to begin with,” Aiello said.

The show, which is about eight minutes long, runs every 20 minutes or so once the sun sets. Although that number could change, Universal said.

“There’s an immense responsibility to maintain this world,” Aiello said.

Other holiday offerings at Universal include a revamped Universal’s Holidays Parade featuring Macy’s.

The floats are new and bigger. The balloons are too. Guests will see some of their favorite characters from “Despicable Me,” “Shrek,” “Madagascar.” Santa Claus also makes an appearance.

Grinchmas also returns for another year.

The holidays officially kick off at Universal Orlando on Saturday and runs through Jan. 6.


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