We kick off a busy week at the Universal Orlando Resort with Christmas celebrations at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. This update will put a spotlight on the current Christmas offerings, and this Thursday we will have a 2nd article about the future of CityWalk with concept art and details on big changes coming to the gateway to the parks.
Christmas is a special time at the Universal Orlando resort with unique experiences you won’t find elsewhere. With the Grinchmas overlay at Islands of Adventure to the world famous Macy’s Holiday Parade and Mannheim Steamroller live at the Studios park.
Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure
Every year at Islands of Adventure, Seuss Landing is transformed into Whoville based on the Dr. Seuss book and movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
The main event of for guests visiting Grinchmas is the stage show “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular,” which is a musical version of the Ron Howard film staring Jim Carey, with great original music by Chip Davis of Mannheim Steamroller.
Grinchmas is fun for young and old! But don’t take our word for it, the Grinch has left a special Christmas message for MiceChatters!
The Grinchmas show is a great stage show, that young and old alike will enjoy and which will get you into the holiday spirit with songs sure to get stuck in your head all day.
As guests enter the park, they are greeted with larger than life balloons from previous years of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. These are terrific photo ops.
Macy’s Holiday Parade
For the past 12 years, Universal Orlando has been partnering with Macy’s to bring their world famous parade to Central Florida following the telecast each year. What people who watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade might not realize is that over the past 12 years the partnership with Universal Orlando has influenced some of the floats that have appeared in the Macy’s Holiday Parade.
This year, a special addition was made to the Holiday Parade that was at the request of Universal’s Creative Director, Lora Wallace, who wanted a Hippopotamus for Christmas. The creative team at Macy’s gladly complied and re-created the beloved Happy Hippo balloon. For guests who are at the Parade kick off point in the park by Mel’s Drive-In in the Hollywood section, they will get a special Happy Hippo show, with the music “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”
The Macy’s Parade
This year’s Macy’s parade kicked off with a giant Santa Balloon and confetti cannons.
The Macy’s Parade is filled with amazing floats and Universal Characters guests will recognize (such as Marilyn Monroe, Minions, Shrek, the Simpsons and more).
And guests will recognize famous balloons from this year’s Macy’s parade as well as previous years. With Polar Bears, giant ornaments, footballs, nutcrackers and more.
This year there are two new balloons, the Happy Hippo which we talked about and a Giant Snowman, that now compliments the tap dancing Snowmen that were introduced last year.
The Finale for the parade always ends with Santa, accompanied by Mrs Clause and Santa’s Helpers a group of Rockette-esque dancers. Santa counts down to the Christmas Tree lighting, complete with confetti, fake snow, dancers, and lively music. The tree is lit and the parade ends with guests getting to interact and meet the dancers and performers from the parade.
This parade should be on everyone’s bucket list this holiday season, and thanks to it traveling to Universal Orlando after it’s one day run in New York every year, it gives hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to see it in person.
Mannheim Steamroller Live
After an incredible parade, on select nights guests can see Mannheim Steamroller perform LIVE in the park at the amphitheater by Rip Ride Rockit. They perform their music with singers who reprise some of the more memorable numbers from the Wholiday Spectacular that guests watched earlier in the day.
After the parade, guests can enjoy fireworks as part of the Cinespectacular.
With both parks offering very different Christmas offerings, it is easy for guests to enjoy two days of holiday cheer.
Let’s keep the adventure going and take a listen to MicePod’s Unofficial Universal Podcast with your hosts Lee, Tracey, Darren and Hunter as they discuss all the latest news, rumors and stories from the Universal Studios parks from around the world.
That wraps up this Christmas update, but we will be back on Thursday with breaking news about CityWalk it’s future and some other great announcements from around the resort!
Are you planning to make the trip to Universal Orlando Grinchmas and Macy’s parade?