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A look at Universal Orlando’s holiday happenings for 2013

by Banks Lee

Macy's Holiday Parade at UOR

From Dec. 7, 2013 through Jan. 4, 2014, families can come face-to-face with The Grinch, watch larger-than-life balloons float through the streets and hear beloved holiday classics with a modern twist during Universal Orlando’s holiday celebrations.

At Islands of Adventure, guests have the chance to see the “Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular,” featuring The Grinch and the Whos from Who-ville, accompanied by an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller. Guests can meet the mean, green one himself and the Who’s daily and, on select dates, enjoy a special breakfast with the characters (for an extra cost).

At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will fill the streets with the same larger-than-life balloons seen in the famous New York City parade. Guests will see holiday characters, fantasy-filled floats and a tree-lighting ceremony with the big man himself, Santa Claus.

This year, there is a brand new addition to the line-up of holiday parade icons. Happy the Hippo, a recreation of a 1940s Macy’s Parade balloon, will make her debut in New York City this Thanksgiving before heading to Orlando to appear in the Macy’s Holiday Parade.

Following the parade, the acclaimed musical group Mannheim Steamroller will take to the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios for six nights this year to perform memorable holiday hits on Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22. All theme park holiday entertainment, including Mannheim Steamroller concerts, is included as part of admission to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

For more information about the holidays at Universal Orlando, or to purchase park tickets, visit UniversalOrlando.com/Holidays.

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