Universal Studios or Disney World – Who Puts up a Better Holiday Show?

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While there are many more exciting things happening at Disney World this year, holidays are exquisite across all Disney parks. When thinking about which park to visit, you must weigh the options in either Universal Studios or Disney World.

Both will need your time and money and can be really confusing to choose between. But by the time you finish reading this piece, you’ll know exactly where you’d like to spend your holidays.


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The Christmas vibe at Disney World

The Walt Disney World does its best, especially during the holidays. Therefore, let’s see how Disney prepares for the holidays and just how well they do it. To begin with, there are a lot of things to see at Disney World, especially their Christmas trees.

There are a lot of Christmas trees to see all around, from their resorts and parks all the way to Disney Springs. Some of these trees are huge enough to resemble giants. The four parks have huge Christmas trees, and some hotels do too.

What to expect in Disney Springs?

The Christmas trees set up at Disney Springs are quite huge themselves. Moreover, Disney Springs provides their guests with a special Christmas tree stroll map that charts out all the trees so you can visit all of them.

All over Disney World, there are about twenty trees based on themes taken from Disney characters, rides, movies, etc. If you take a map with stickers, you can win amazing prizes for locating all the trees.

Disney is quite witty when using themes with their Christmas trees. If you observe keenly, you will understand why each tree is themed the way it is and the relevance of its location on the same.


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Where to spot Gingerbread Houses?

Another major decoration that you can find at Disney World is the giant gingerbread houses.

At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, they set up an amazing gingerbread house from which you can purchase candies and sweets. This particular gingerbread house can hold actual people in it. Isn’t that mesmerizing?

Similarly, at the Disney Beach Club Resort, they set up a huge carousel made out of nothing but festive-themed sweets. However, they keep changing the theme each year which builds up the fun behind witnessing it in real life.


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What to expect at EPCOT?

If you visit the American Adventure Pavilion located in EPCOT, you can find another beautiful gingerbread on display.

The display involves the tiny gingerbread models of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

Moreover, you will also find a model of the American Adventure building and the holiday kitchen of the EPCOT Festival of the Holidays.

All this certainly confuses you as to which is better Universal or Disney, isn’t it? Well, don’t be since there is much more to know about both of them.

If you are wondering what the Festival of the Holidays is, we are here to tell you all about it. Every year EPCOT prepares for the Festival of Holidays.

It is a festival celebrated from November 26 and December 30, 2021. The festival revolves around how the world’s various cultures enjoy their holiday season.

At this festival, you’ll find amazing food booths or Holiday Kitchens where festive foods from all over the world and different cultures are available.

You may also participate in the cookie stroll and collect five different cookies from a few of these booths to complete your journey. You can win a free recovery cookie or other available prizes as soon as you have them all.

Selecting which one to visit, Universal Studios or Disney World, will become even more difficult once you know about the other aspects of the food.


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Celebrating holidays at Disney World

At Disney World, the various countries are portrayed at the World Showcase. These are also decorated individually for the holidays. This can help your eyes make the most out of the festive season along with your taste buds and other senses, all thanks to the delicious food and drinks.

For entertainment purposes, beautiful events are arranged where guests can hear tales from storytellers from all over the globe.

They will enthrall you with stories from their countries and share the holiday traditions that are native to them.

Moreover, there is a famous Candlelight procession that takes place. Each year, it happens at the America Garden Theater, which is situated at the American Adventure Pavilion. While celebrity narrators tell you tales, a beautiful choir of skillful singers accompanies them. This helps in making the moment a little more magical.


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Alongside the Festival of Holidays, you can also find amazing festive treats all over Disney World, for example, Christmas drinks and reindeer treats. There is so much delicious food that you are bound to fall in love with something or another during your stay.

The other interesting thing that Disney World puts together, especially for the holidays, is their rides. They convert Jungle Cruise to Jingle Cruise and give a makeover to Living with the land to make it merrier and brighter.

Disadvantages to beware of

Now we will talk about the pitfalls that you can expect here. To begin with, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is one of the only individually ticketed events held on a few nights at the Magic Kingdom.

This has been the norm during the holiday season for years now. However, it was canceled last year, and the same happened this year too.

Nevertheless, there is an After Hours event that has been scheduled. The MVMCP and the Disney Very Merriest After Hours function similarly in terms of tickets.

However, the After Hours tickets are costlier. Sadly this is the only event that can allow you to enjoy the special holiday celebrations in the Magic Kingdom.

Since the After Hours event began, the fireworks, stage show, parade, and several overlay rides have been included. Initially, these were available during general hours in the parks and didn’t require a special ticket.

With that being said, Disney also exercises a lot of selectivities when it comes to decorations. Only some of the few main locations of Disney World parks use proper decorations for the holiday season.

For example, places like the USA and Main Street are well decorated with wreaths, snow, and lights during the holidays. However, in comparison, Fantasyland is barely even lit well.

This uneven distribution of decoration can feel like a half-hearted effort on the part of the guests. Even the dream lights are not put up on Cinderella castle.

Generally, the castle is adorned with many lights that make it shimmer brightly throughout the holiday season. This year though, the lack of lights is making it look dull and sad, especially because it is one of the most attractive decorations in Disney World.

Universal Studios Holiday Celebrations

Although people pay little heed to the amenities available at Universal Studios or Disney World, they should really pay a lot more attention to know the difference.

Compared to Disney World, Universal Orlando does quite much during the holiday celebrations.

The first thing you will come across is the mini Macy’s Day Christmas Parade that goes through Universal Studios. This parade is immensely loved by all and has giant balloons and all the characters that come in their proper Christmas outfits.

Just like Disney World, Universal Orlando also sets up huge Christmas trees and sets up holiday-themed decorations in their hotels. However, the best portion of their decorations can be typically seen at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

During the holiday season, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter becomes extremely magical and fun to be at.

It is decorated with garlands and beautiful lights that are different on each building and store. Both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley get wonderfully decorated, but it is only in Hogsmeade that you’ll be able to see permanent snow on their rooftops.

Both the decorations and the snow can give you such a combined feeling of happiness and awe that you’ll almost feel like a real-life Hogwarts student who is visiting Hogsmeade during the holiday season.

This can be your ultimate moment of marvel, especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan. Moreover, this should be one of the key points to keep in mind while deciding whether to visit Universal Studios or Disney World.


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Wizarding World of Harry Potter

At the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, several special events happen exclusively for holidays.

For example, Celestina Warbeck enhances her usual show at Diagon Alley and gives it a festive mood by putting on different outfits.

In Hogsmeade, the Hogwarts Frog Choir arranges a special show for the holidays. At night, you’ll be able to witness the magical light show that is projected on the Hogwarts castle.

To make the entire experience more magical, sip on some warm butterbeer while you watch it. You will definitely feel like the entire magical world of Harry Potter is coming alive.

The Seuss Landing in the Islands of Adventure

The Seuss Landing in the Islands of Adventure can be another amazing place to see during the holiday season.

The entire theme of the place is based on Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The unconventional architecture of the place can help you better tune into the holiday feeling.

Moreover, you can also meet the Grinch himself. He’s as much of a holiday icon as Frosty and Rudolph. The best part of this place is the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.

It is a show where the Grinch tales comes with some amazing music. You’ll also be able to enjoy a real dog enacting the role of Max. This will definitely be a wholesome experience.

Universal Studios or Disney World

While making the call as to which is better, Universal Orlando or Disney World, you should know that as compared to Disney World, Universal Orlando puts a lot of effort into setting up the holiday mood.

They decorate far more places which really makes it better. The other enjoyable part about here is their Holiday Tribute Store. Here you will be able to purchase special holiday-themed merchandise.

There are several rooms at the store. The decoration is so nice that it stands out as an attraction in itself.

The rooms include an area that features the Grinch’s Lair, Earl the Squirrel, and the Yule Ball from the Harry Potter movies. The snacks available here have holiday themes and are absolutely delicious.

Just like Disney World, at Universal Orlando, you’ll be able to go for Christmas tree hunting as well.

Simply purchase a tree hunting map and go on to find the holiday trees through the parks in the Universal Citywalk.

Once you hunt them down, you can win yourself a piece of special holiday jewelry. The best part about this place is that you don’t need to avail yourself of separate tickets to enjoy the events.

Universal Studios holiday season pricing

You can enjoy everything the place offers with a regular park admission ticket. However, if you want to enjoy more, you can easily opt for the Universal Holiday Tour (which begins from 69.99 dollars). This guided tour only happens on specific dates throughout Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios.

On this trip, you’ll get to meet the Grinch and Santa Claus. You will also be able to get yourself a reserved spot at Universal’s Holiday Parade. This parade specially features Macy and The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular.

Additionally, you can also get an on-stage holiday Q&A with the Whos. Eventually, conclude your evening with the after-hours show of the Magic of Christmas presented at the Hogwarts Castle. You will need to have park-to-park hopping tickets and special reservations for this tour.

Universal Studios or Disney World – which one is better?

Ultimately the best question arises as to which is better Universal or Disney? Well, the answer is pretty simple. If you want a unique yet mesmerizing experience, you can blindly opt for Universal Orlando.

The activities are unparalleled, and the magic of Harry Potter will definitely be immensely attractive, especially if you’re a fan.

On the other hand, you can opt for Disney World to experience snow on Main Street and the beautiful trees and other decorations that Disney adorns during the holiday season.

Another advantage of Disney World is that they have some amazing food, especially at the EPCOT Festival of the Holidays.

Whichever you choose to visit, Disney or Universal, make sure to enjoy yourself the most and have fun. That is all that the holiday season is for.

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