Sunday, December 16, 2012

Universal Studios Macy's Holiday Parade


Today we visit 
to check out the

Universal's Home for the Holiday's takes place at Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure from December 1 to January 1.  At Islands of Adventure they have 

which includes the Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular - Experience a live retelling of Dr. Seuss's classic holiday tale starring The Grinch.  There are several shows per day so check the day's map for show times and they recommend that you arrive at least 20 minutes prior to show time.

You can also meet the Grinch and have your photo taken with him or get his autograph.  This is located at Dr. Seuss' All The Books You Can Read Store inside Seuss Landing.  They have a photographer there or you can use your camera but please not that the background is a green screen so you must buy their picture in order to have a background.  We didn't get our picture taken so I didn't note the prices but may return later in the month to get more information on Grinchmas.

Our focus yesterday was the Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Studios.  The parade starts every afternoon at 5:00pm.  It starts next to the Horror Make-up Show building travels down Hollywood, makes a right turn through production central towards New York then travel right in front of Mummy's Revenge and end by Bettlejuice's Graveyard Revue

We arrived about 15 minutes prior to parade time and much of the parade route was already pretty crowded.  We went to the end of the parade route and found a curb side spot that was pretty vacant right by Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue.  So if you don't want to find a spot early, this is a great choice.  There is one drawback which I will share at the end. There is a viewing area for Annual Passholders which is by the Christmas tree and directly in front of  Mummy but the area was pretty full by the time we walked by so I don't know what the procedure is for that area.

So without further delay ... I present the Macy's Holiday Parade

Orlando Police start things off

Coffee High School Marching Band

Macy's Band

Shrek and Fiona

Scooby Doo



Marge and Maggie


Woody Woodpecker

Marilyn Monroe

Santa Claus

Santa Clause

There you have it!  It's a cute parade that is worth checking out.  Now, I mentioned a drawback to being at the end of the parade route.  Towards the end of the parade, we could hear that Santa was coming and then there seemed to be a lighting ceremony at the Christmas tree.  We could not see that from our location.  Once that finished, the music stopped so the remainder of the parade was quiet.  So I would assume that it would be best to find a viewing spot in the New York area  to witness the lighting of the tree.

They also have Mannheim Steamroller performing live on the Music Plaza stage.  Concert is select nights at 6:00pm so check their schedule for specifics.  We didn't stay to experience the concert so I can't comment on that.

 So if you are in the Orlando area in December, go check out Home for the Holidays at Universal Studios.  It's all included in your day's admission to the park so you can enjoy great attractions like Revenge of the Mummy, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Men in Black Alien Attack, The Simpson Ride, ET, and many more... then enjoy a great parade and concert.

Monday, December 3, 2012

DHS Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

So for the month of December, the family and I will be visiting most of the Holiday celebrations at the theme parks.  This past weekend, we visited Disney's Hollywood Studios and the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

Here is a description of the lights from the Disney website;

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights on the Streets of America atDisney's Hollywood Studios theme park is a breathtaking seasonal display featuring millions of glittering lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music.
The lights are so extensive you may find it hard to comprehend their magnitude. Entire buildings are blanketed in sheets of multi-colored lights, and thousands more lights form twirling carousels, heavenly angels, and even Santa and his reindeer. Approximately every 10 minutes, the lights dim and then dramatically spring to life — dynamically choreographed to traditional holiday music. You have to see the effect to believe it!
Some nights, if you truly believe in holiday magic, the show is capped off with an enchanted flurry of snow.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights started modestly in Arkansas as a single home's annual display. Every year, Jennings Osborne and his family set up an elaborate collection of holiday lights and over the years, the collection of lights grew, and grew... and grew! In 1995, the Osborne family decided to share their magic with the world, and Walt Disney World Resort happily offered to become the new permanent home for this exceptional exhibition of holiday cheer.
The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is included with standard admission to Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

I'll let the pictures do all of the talking for this post.....

Here is a video of the lights dancing...

and another one for you to enjoy....

And for those that love character greets, they have Santa Goofy meeting guests

This wonderful display always puts me in the Holiday Spirit.  It reminds me of the time when my children were young and we would drive around the neighborhoods looking at houses all decked out for the holidays.  The music, the "snow", the atmosphere in general is just amazing. 

Have you or your family experienced DHS Osborned Lights?  Did you enjoy it?  What is your favorite part?  Don't be shy - leave me your comments....

Next week, I'll be detailing Busch Garden's Christmas.  It's getting wonderful reviews from those that attended opening weekend so I'm really looking forward to it.