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For the fifth year, Christmas is in full effect at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
Encompassing both Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida, the holiday party has most of the wonderful experiences that muggles and wizards alike have come to know and love over the years.
There are four different parts to Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. A slew of holiday decorations (including individualized decor for each of the wizarding shops) cover both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade from end to end; a inspired drink option (yup – that’s Hot Butterbeer) is on hand; and festive live entertainment gets you in the spirit, with new yuletide performances by the Frog Choir, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, and (occasionally) London’s street buskers. At the end of the evening, The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle projection-mapping show wows guests.
2021’s festivities run from Saturday, November 13, 2021 to Sunday, January 2, 2022.
Christmas in the Wizarding World – Christmas decorations
Christmas in the Wizarding World is magic like no other. During the holiday season, there is a whole bevy of intricately detailed Christmas decorations strung all throughout Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade Village.
What really makes the decor stand out is how the elements of each individual store are incorporated into its holiday accoutrements – Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, for example, features fireworks worked into its garland, while Spindlewarps has a wreath festooned with giant balls of yarn. This makes pausing and examining the decorations absolutely necessary (as well as absolutely fun!), as just a quick glance is likely to miss some pretty sublime theming.
Just to set the stage for you, we have some video walk-throughs of the marvelous sights from previous years – or you can check out 2020’s yuletide decor right here. Trust us when we say you’ve never seen Christmas done quite this way.
Be sure to swipe through our full photo galleries at the bottom of the page for even more seasonal goodness.
Christmas in the Wizarding World – live entertainment
The yuletide season also hosts special holiday versions of both the Celestina Warbeck and Hogwarts Frog Choir shows.
Celestina Warbeck, the Singing Sorceress, serenades guests with the greatest hits from her chart-topping Christmas album, Nothin’ Like a Holiday Spell: the titular “Nothing Like a Holiday Spell,” “A Witch and Wizard’s Wintry Wondrous Land,” “My Baby Gave Me a Hippogriff for Christmas,” and “Accio Christmas” (which is calypso-inspired).
The Frog Choir, over in Hogsmeade, meanwhile, performs the traditional “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” along with the wizarding carols of “Christmas at Hogwarts,” “The Most Magical Yule Ball of All,” and “I Cast a Spell on Father Christmas” (which asks young witches and wizards to “be sure of the incantation before casting a spell”).
Be sure to read our in-depth impressions of Celestina’s and the Frog Choir’s holiday spins in our review.
Christmas in the Wizarding World – holiday foods
For 2017’s inaugural Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, three new festively exclusive dishes were added to the magical menu at The Three Broomsticks and/or The Leaky Cauldron; in the years since, those got replaced by just one special holiday treat. For 2020, however, no new plates were offered at all – instead, guests were content with Hot Butterbeer. Now that the Butterbeer is here to stay, we can’t wait to see what will be offered for 2021.
Christmas in the Wizarding World – The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle
While both Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Hollywood had been enjoying projection-mapping shows revolving around their Hogwarts Castles since early 2017, Orlando had been left out in the cold – until that year’s Christmas, that is. The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle wraps the ancient building in the sights and sounds of the season, including a majestically large Christmas tree, the Hogwarts ghosts singing carols, a recreation of the Yule Ball, and students riding broomsticks and creating snowmen. It’s a beautiful show, and one every bit worth watching.
While it’s true that the yuletide production is not available for the average guest to watch, given social-distancing requirements, Universal is still offering The Magic of Christmas in a limited, premium capacity: all those individuals who take part in Universal’s Holiday Tour will have the ability to catch an exclusive showing. You can find the full details – including how much these add-on tickets cost – over in our full Holidays guide.
(Note that Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts was only the tip of the projection-mapping spear; since its debut in November 2017, Orlando audiences have received The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle in 2018 and Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle in 2019.)
For even more on The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle, be sure to read our in-depth impressions in our review.