Universal Orlando this year is once again offering a particularly unique brand of Christmas time entertainment, combining the festive fun of New York’s famous Macy’s parade with the prank-filled humor of the infamous Grinch. Across both Universal Orlando theme parks, halls are decked and trees are trimmed as Universal prepares to unveil its Christmas offerings for 2012 beginning tomorrow, December 1.
In a special holiday preview event, Universal offered behind-the-scenes access and demonstrations of how their Christmas magic is being conjured up. And it all starts with the ‘three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce’ himself, the Grinch.
The star of Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure, the Grinch has his own take on the world, and in particular on the Christmas celebration. In short, he hates it. Though his heart is destined to grow three sizes, his soul still stinks. But given the opportunity to learn more about this bad banana with a greasy black peel, I chatted with him yesterday, bringing your Inside the Magic Facebook fan questions (and a few of my own) to his attention. Watch below to see what he hilariously had to say…
Video: Interview with the Grinch at Universal Orlando
Oh, that Grinch. Always being so… Grinch-y. Visitors to Islands of Adventure can look forward to seeing him in action in the Grinchmas Musical, performed daily through January 1, 2013, as well as having a chance to meet him.
But there was more exciting entertainment to be found on the Whoville stage for this special preview day, including a holiday Who band playing a familiar Who tune. Of course, the Grinch couldn’t resist stepping in (and on) all the fun…
Video: Live Whoville band with the Grinch
Macy’s Holiday Parade
Though hundreds of thousands tune in to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV each year, far fewer ever get the chance to see it in person along New York’s streets. Universal Orlando makes that a possibility during their Christmas celebration. Featuring towering balloons, many shipped direct from the New York parade, crazy characters, and plenty of floats, Macy’s Holiday Parade embodies the same excited spirit with the backdrop of Universal Studios Florida’s New York facades.
New to the parade this year are “tricaloons,” tandem tricycles pedaled by performers in the front, accompanied by giant “Nutcracker” balloons on the back. Expertly demonstrated in the video below by Macy’s Parade Studio vice president John Piper and nearly crashed by myself, the tricaloons are much harder to drive than they look, but are a fun and fast-moving spectacle. And speaking of spectacles, there are plenty of eye-catching sights throughout the parade, including performers colorfully dressed as candy canes, ornaments, and presents, as well as everyone’s favorite kick line of Santa girls.
Video: Macy’s Holiday Parade demonstrations including new tricaloons
Rounding out this holiday preview, show director Laura Wallace, fresh off of Halloween Horror Nights, offered a summary of what Universal Orlando does to separate its Christmas celebration from the rest.
Video: Interview with Universal Orlando show director Laura Wallace
The holidays at Universal Orlando begin tomorrow, Dec. 1, 2012, and continue daily through Jan. 1, 2013, with all entertainment included with park admission, spread across two theme parks. Grinchmas can be found at Islands of Adventure while Macy’s Holiday Parade can be enjoyed at Universal Studios Florida.
More photos from Christmas 2012 at Universal Orlando: