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New Year’s Eve 2018 – complete insider’s guide

Are you ready to ring in the new year at Universal Studios Hollywood?

On this page, we’ll discuss all the festivities that are happening at both Universal’s theme park and at CityWalk. Be prepared to party like it’s 1999!

Updated: May 3, 2018

EVE 12.31.18 at Universal Studios Hollywood

While we may not have very much information on 2018’s event just yet, we still have all of last year’s details present, which we’re providing to you now in order togive you an idea of what to expect this New Year’s.

EVE is an all-new holiday celebration. Taking its name from its counterpart over at Universal Orlando Resort, which is situated at CityWalk Orlando, the West Coast event occurs inside of Universal Studios Hollywood only.

Here is a quick rundown of what you need to know for EVE 12.31.17:

  • Runs from 9:00 pm to 12:00 am (park closes at 1:00 am)
  • Included in general theme park admission
  • Three live DJ party areas
  • Special drinks and food available for sale
  • Three synchronized fireworks displays, with multiple viewing areas from around the park
  • Grinchmas and The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle will continue to be held until EVE begins.
  • Special New Year’s Eve-themed merchandise
  • It is strongly recommended to purchase tickets online beforehand, as they may sell out

You may have additional questions about EVE, but don’t you worry – scroll down below for all the details so you can get ready to celebrate Hollywood’s biggest New Year’s Eve event!

Admission to EVE 2018

Admission to EVE 2018 is not included in your daytime ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood. With that said, however, Universal is selling special tickets for those annual pass holders who wish to attend but who have blackout dates in effect for December 31.

Entertainment at EVE

There are three live-entertainment party areas scattered throughout Universal Studios Hollywood, with each featuring a different type of music:

  • Simpsons Plaza – electronic dance music
  • Lower Lot – Latin favorites
  • Universal Plaza – pop/rock/hip hop

Once you’ve danced your fill, you’ll be ready for the grand finale – which is, of course, fireworks. At 12:00 am, there will be three synchronized displays, which should create one epic way to rock in 2018. There will be multiple viewing areas for the fireworks show all around the park:

  • Universal Plaza
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Lower Lot
  • Simpsons Plaza

Guests with Universal Express passes will have access to reserved fireworks viewing areas at all viewing areas except for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Food and drinks at EVE

Many of the park’s restaurants will remain open during the event. In addition, there will be a selection of special desserts that will only be available starting at 9:00 pm, when EVE officially kicks off. Look for carts and restaurants all around the park to find the desserts.

Alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, champagne, etc.) will also be available exclusively during the celebration, though a valid ID will, of course, be required to purchase these. And, yes, guests will able to walk freely around Universal Studios Hollywood with their drinks.

Attractions at EVE

Most attractions will be open until 1:00 am, but please note that certain rides and shows will close early. Since there’s more of the latter than the former, let’s just go quickly over those right now:

NOTE: Despite Universal advertising that Grinchmas and The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle will have extended hours, this is not the case, as you can see above – both will conclude early to accommodate EVE.

New Year’s Eve celebrations at Universal CityWalk

CityWalk isn’t participating in the EVE event, but certain entertainment venues will host their own separate New Year’s Eve events.  Let’s run them down, shall we?

Howl at the Moon

Guests are able to book a New Year’s Eve package, which includes food, drinks, and live entertainment.

  • General admission: $25. Includes guaranteed entry
  • Just Dance: $70 (early bird pricing), $85 (after December 15). Includes guaranteed entry, premium open bar from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am, and champagne toast at midnight. (Entry starting at 9:00 pm)
  • Big Shot Patio!: $100 (early bird pricing), $115 (after December 15). Includes guaranteed reserved patio seating, two drink tickets from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, premium open bar from 8:00 pm to 1:00 am, buffet from Buca di Beppo from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and champagne toast at midnight. (Must arrive by 9:00 pm)
  • Champagne Supernova: $130 (early bird pricing), $145 (after December 15). Includes guaranteed reserved seating and all benefits from the Big Shot Patio! package. (Must arrive by 9:00pm)

Click here for reservations.

(Howl at the Moon is located on top of Tony Roma’s, adjacent to Johnny Rockets and the Jurassic Parking garage.)

Hard Rock Cafe

Starting at 9:00 pm, inside of the cafe, there will be a DJ for all guests to dance the night away (well, until 12:00 am). There is no cover charge, and the restaurant opens at 11:00 am for regular business.

(Hard Rock Cafe is located by the Universal Cinema, adjacent to the ET and Curious George parking garages.)

Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville

Margaritaville is celebrating the New Year with food, live entertainment, and a livestream of Jimmy Buffet’s performance from Nashville. Along the way, there will be “Who’s to Blame” margaritas, tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, and a Caribben-themed dinner buffet and party favors.

The event runs from 8:30 pm through 2:00 am on New Year’s Eve. Tickets are $79 – up until December 30, when they jump up to $99. Purchase them here.

(Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville is located at the east end of CityWalk, adjacent to Buca di Beppo and the Curious George parking garage.)

I want to learn more about New Year’s Eve at Universal Studios Hollywood!

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