It is important for guests visiting Universal Orlando Resort to know which rides and attractions are closed for refurbishment or for another reason to avoid disappointment. It can be difficult to keep up to date with the changing schedules so we are collating the current list of refurbishments planned for Universal Orlando Resort during December and beyond.
Last month, we saw the reopening of a popular water ride after its annual refurbishment. We also saw work continuing to be done on the former KidZone area which is now confirmed as becoming Dreamworks land in 2024. As a result of this, The E.T Adventure continues to have a temporary entrance.
This month, the popular Hogwarts Express sees a short temporary closure at both Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure and a nighttime show remains paused at Universal's Islands of Adventure. We are including dates where possible for refurbishments and closures but these are subject to change. We will keep you informed of any changes on our news and Facebook page.
1. Hogwarts Express (Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure)
Dates: 10–16 December 2023
The Hogwarts Express has now appeared on the official Universal website refurbishment list for both Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure for a short downtime 10–16 December 2023. We assume as it is planned in the diary that it is for scheduled maintenance and should reopen as expected.
Since the Hogwarts Express was closed back in January when the pull cable snapped and Universal had to wait for a replacement part, the attraction appears to have been running smoothly which has been great to see. We will update you with further news if this scheduled downtime is extended but that currently isn't expected to be the case so guests can assume that the Hogwarts Express will reopen on December 17.
2. Jurassic Park River Adventure (Universal's Islands of Adventure)
Dates: 8 January–1 February 2024
Universal has announced that Jurassic Park River Adventure will close for its annual refurbishment 8 January–1 February 2024. It is usual for Universal to systematically work through the refurbishment of its water rides at the beginning of the year.
3. Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges (Universal's Islands of Adventure)
Dates: 5 February–8 March 2024
Universal has now confirmed the annual refurbishment schedule for Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges which is currently set to take place at the usual time towards the beginning of the year between 5 February–8 March 2024.
Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges is a popular river rapids ride like none before when you travel along with Popeye into the depths of cartoon adventure. Tangled octopii, leaky pipes, and a few surprising twists await those brave enough to face the rapids.
4. Nighttime Lights At Hogwarts Castle (Universal's Islands of Adventure)
Dates: Now - TBC
The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle are still currently listed as "temporarily closed" on the official Universal Orlando website.
Usually, on selected nights, against the backdrop of Hogwarts, projections celebrate the four houses through lights and music. We are currently unsure when this nighttime offering will return but will update you when further details are announced. We will update you when this becomes available again.
5. Dark Arts At Hogwarts Castle (Universal's Islands of Adventure)
Dates: Select nights in Fall
Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle continues to state on the official Universal Orlando website that it will be performed "Select Nights in Fall".
Located in Hogsmeade in Universal's Islands of Adventure, Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle combines lights and music in an exciting spectacle where images of Death Eaters and Dementors alongside Lord Voldemort cloak the stone walls of Hogwarts Castle as darkness falls.