Hear that distant drum beat? It’s the sign the holidays are approaching (or are occurring, Happy Hanukkah) and with it comes cooler weather, increased prices, and terrifying crowds. This week we take a photo tour of the holidays at Universal Orlando, start a new segment “Small Universe”, and preview the week to come.

Weekly Crowd Levels

We’re entering Christmas season at Universal Orlando and the crowd calendar shows to expect long lines and crowded pathways. Make sure to pack your patience.

Detailed crowd level information can be found here.

Weather Report

Winter weather around the United State will affect travel plans, keep an eye out for delayed and canceled flights.

Park Hours and Admission

CityWalk is open until 2 a.m. with free self parking starting after 6:00 p.m.

Single-day park tickets December 16 through 20 are at Value pricing. One-day base tickets to Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure will run you $110 per adult and $105 per child (plus tax). 2-Park 1-Day tickets are $165 per adult and $160 per child (plus tax).

Single-day park tickets December 20 through 21 are at Anytime pricing. One-day base tickets to Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure will run you $124 per adult and $119 per child (plus tax). 2-Park 1-Day tickets are $179 per adult and $174 per child (plus tax).

Volcano Bay tickets are at Anytime pricing at $67 per adult and $62 per child (plus tax).

Small Universe

Here at Touring Plans Industries we aim to constantly innovate our vision using brand synergy and forward facing consumer initiatives. As such the Universal Orlando Weekly Preview is introducing a new segment: Small Universe, a look into my favorite, small items and experiences at the resort.

This week we look at one of my favorite COMBOS: the Large Warm Soft Pretzel and 862 IPA at NBC Grill and Brew in CityWalk.

Does it help if this is literally my beer in the photo?
862 IPA and Pretzel from NBC Grill Brew. Photo from TouringPlans.

Universal means large–the pretzel is over a foot in diameter and is served warm on a hockey stick stand. Jalapeño queso (mild for including jalapeño) and Cleveland’s own Bertman’s Ballpark Mustard (tangy, spicy brown mustard) are provided as dipping sauces. Every time I get the pretzel everyone at the table laughs at its size and then immediately devours it.

862 IPA is the house-made IPA from Florida Beer Company, the same brewery that provides the Wizarding World and Duff Brewery beers in the parks. Why did they name it 862? Project 862 was the code name for NBC Grill Brew during development. The beer is a west coast IPA style, featuring mild notes of hops resin and sweetness.

Weekly Highlights & Notable News

TouringPlans’ Brandon Glover takes us on a photo tour of the Holiday offerings at Universal Orlando.

Blue Man Group is offering a chance to purchase discounted tickets November 1 through January 1, 2018 starting at $49. If the show has piqued interested for you in the past, now is the time to buy tickets.

That is all for this week. See you next week and make sure to leave a question below for the Mail Bag!