With the 2013 Holiday Season upon us, there are certainly a number of ways you can get into the holiday spirit. If theme parks and family fun are the kind of the things that you like, then you should definitely try to see what Universal Studios Orlando has to offer. We were very fortunate to be invited to the opening of the 2013 holiday celebrations that run now through January 4, 2014. The celebrations take place at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure with each having plenty of things for you to see and do, and unlike some theme park celebrations, they are free with paid admission to the park.
Grinchmas and the “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular”
Seuss Landing in Islands of Adventure has been transformed into Grinchmas for the holiday season. There are festive decorations everywhere you look (see gallery below for some of the images) and the centerpiece of all of the fun is “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular,” a live-action musical version of the Dr. Seuss classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” It’s an excellent show with a great cast starring the Grinch and Whos from Who-ville along with an original score by Mannheim Steamroller. The show is entertaining enough to keep everyone in your group, from the youngest to the oldest, entertained. There are a few things that you should probably note. For starters, “Grinchmas Wholiday Specatactular” has several showtimes that vary daily so check the schedule when you visit the park. Because of the popularity of the show, be sure to get in line 15 minutes or earlier depending on the crowd level. Also, I don’t believe a restroom is available inside the theater, so please keep that in mind. There are a few optional things that you can do as well like meeting the Grinch himself or the Whos and those times also vary depending on the day you visit.
Here is video footage of the “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular” :
We had a chance to do a special meet & greet with the Grinch after his performance! He was simply hilarious! What fun!
Video of the Grinch telling us all goodbye:
On the Universal Studios side, there is the 12th annual Macy’s Holiday Parade which fills the park with the same balloons seen in the famous Thanksgiving parade. This year, there is a special addition to the line-up of holiday balloons in the form of Happy the Hippo, a recreation of a 1940s Macy’s Parade balloon. The new balloon made her debut in New York City before she headed south to Orlando and was made at the request of Universal’s Creative Director, Lora Wallace. If you happen to be at the Parade kick off point located next to Mel’s Drive-In in the Hollywood section, you might get a chance to see a special Happy Hippo show with “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” playing in the background.
Watch Happy the Hippo make her debut in this mini-show:
Following the parade, you can catch a show by Mannheim Steamroller who will take to the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios six nights this year to perform memorable holiday hits. The dates they will be at Universal Studios are Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.
More photos of Universal Studios’ holiday decorations and Macy’s balloons:
Holiday decoration photos taken at Islands of Adventure: