A Special Holiday Celebration at Universal Studios

Disclosure Macys Parade at Universal Studios Orlando

Macy’s Holiday Parade

Every year our Thanksgiving day includes watching the Macy’s parade and we always wonder what it would be like to watch it live instead of seeing in on the TV.   Giant balloons, festive floats with my kid’s favorite characters, holiday music and high school bands.  All of this combined with the beautiful holiday decorations and lights that decked all of the park making it a holiday wonderland. Many of the actual props and balloons used in the New York Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are shipped down to Universal Orlando for this event and my children where just thrilled they where looking at the same exact ballons that where used in New York City.

Macys Parade at Universal Studios Orlando

The Macy’s Holiday Parade runs every evening at 5:00pm or 8:00pm depending on park hours from December 7th until January 4th.  Besides the giant balloons it features marching bands, clowns, and an appearance from Santa himself! Afterwards, enjoy the spectacular tree lighting ceremony with music and a dazzling display of lights!  You can even sign up to become a volunteer balloon handlers and take part in the parade. Registration opens two hours before parade time in Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone. The only requirements are that you must be 48 inches or taller, and you must be wearing closed-toe shoes. You will be provided Coordinating jump suits and gloves are provided.

Macys Parade at Universal Studios Orlando


More Holiday Activities at Universal Studios

Mannheim Steamroller

Mannheim Steamroller, the biggest selling Christmas artist of all time, s playing holiday concerts at Universal Studios Florida on select days.  Although we where not lucky enough to catch this it is a concert you won’t want to miss so mark your calendars as they will be performing on the following dates: December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 & 22. Performances begin at 6:00pm.

A Barney Holiday

This is the ideal holiday celebration for the little ones. Join Barney and his friends for a magical sing-along, clap-along show at A Day In The Park With Barney. This show runs multiple times each day.

The Blues Brothers Holiday Show

Jake and Elwood perform festive favorites like “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”, “Blue Christmas”, and more with snow on Delancey Street at the end of each show. This was a lot of fun and even though se are not too familiar with the blues brothers we all thoroughly enjoyed it. The performances are scheduled multiple times each day — check your in-park map for times.

You can find out more about the holiday events at Universal Studios Florida and performances by visiting the Universal Studios website, like Universal Studios on Facebook and follow @UniversalORL on twitter to stay up to date with their latest holiday news.

Follow 365 Things to Do In Southwest Florida on Facebook for the best travel ideas, events and attractions for the whole family.


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About the author

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Paula is a freelance writer, translator & marketer. She started her writing & publishing career as the editor of Bebé y Mamá, the first parenting magazine in Guatemala. She is the founder of www.GrowingUpBilingual.com and www.365thingsswfl.com and writes articles in Spanish and English for both magazines and the web on subjects ranging from travel and food to parenting and bilingualism. She enjoys traveling, good food and is always in search of new things to do and in Southwest Florida.


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  1. Nova S

    It is always a great way to spend time with your familiy and to see how kis enjoys such wonderful things just like this.
    Nova S recently posted…Hop and Hop on the SnowMy Profile

  2. Kelli Avery

    How exciting!!! Looks like there was lots of fun to be had and you all enjoyed every minute of it.
    Kelli Avery recently posted…Tasting Room by Lot 18 ~ #WineGetsPersonal ~ Holiday Gifts for Wine Lovers from @TastingRoomComMy Profile

  3. Chubskulit Rose

    Those are humongous holiday decor. I figure this time of the year is the perfect time to go to Disney, not so much hot.
    Chubskulit Rose recently posted…Fun-Cam Moment with my DaughterMy Profile

  4. Becky Lyons Borgia

    We love visiting theme parks, especially during off peak times. It’s one of the perks of homeschooling. Looks like a fun time! I am jealous as I have not been to Universal Studio’s since Harry Potter came in!
    Becky Lyons Borgia recently posted…Fructose Overload InfographicMy Profile

  5. Jessica Harlow

    What great photos! This would be an amazing way to celebrate the holidays…although it would be so hard for me to imagine the holiday season with no snow and palm trees! lol
    Jessica Harlow recently posted…$1/2 ANY Gorton’s Seafood Items!My Profile

  6. Curby Aardvark

    I love Universal Studios I was there just this summer and possibly made the greatest memories of my life!

  7. Renae C.

    That looks like so much fun! And it also looks MUCH warmer than it is here right now! lol!
    Renae C. recently posted…It was a Gingerbread House Party!My Profile

  8. Ave

    The parade looks like a lot of fun! I would love to visit it one day! Thanks for a great overview!
    Ave recently posted…Christmas Trip Around the WorldMy Profile

  9. GossipMoms (@GossipMoms)

    last time i been there i was pregnant with my oldest, now we have 5 kids all together its about that time to take that trip again
    GossipMoms (@GossipMoms) recently posted…Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union announce engagement- See Her RingMy Profile

  10. Stacie @ The Divine Miss Mommy

    I love Universal! We have never been there during the holidays so we might need to go next year.
    Stacie @ The Divine Miss Mommy recently posted…The 12 Days of @Fiverr – Make Amazing Happen Starting with JUST $5My Profile

  11. jenny at dapperhouse

    I am sitting here with my husband and son and there is truly something for everyone here! My husband has a real thing for the blues brothers. I would be thrilled to see the balloons from the Macy’s Parade and my son would love the Mannheim Steamroller music. SO FUN! (and the weather would be so much better than the -6 we are having here in Chicago)

  12. Jennifer Williams

    I have not been there in years. I really want to go back but have to wait until the holidays are over to get there. It looks like you all had a great time.
    Jennifer Williams recently posted…Running Recap – Running 4 Jaxson 12/23/13My Profile

  13. Karen @TheMissingNiche.com

    Ha ha! My kids would love to volunteer as a balloon handler! What a fun time. Didn’t even know they had this. I suppose every theme park would have one! We may be in Florida next Christmas, this will be something to consider!
    Karen @TheMissingNiche.com recently posted…Parenting is Easy!My Profile

  14. Shannon

    I wish I looked that good in a skirt!
    Shannon recently posted…Elf on a Shelf ~ Day 30My Profile

  15. Lexie Lane

    I love parades. What a nice way to spend Christmas! Beautiful pictures!

  16. Coralie

    That looks like a lot of fun! I wish we lived closer so I could take my family to stuff like that. Thanks for sharing.
    Coralie recently posted…Mary Poppins – A Timeless ClassicMy Profile

  17. katherine

    What a fun trip! I love going to Orlando but haven’t been in years

  18. Eileen

    The pictures are lovely, Paula. It surely must be very exciting to see all those things. Someday I will visit Universal Studios and have the time of my life. Oh, did I tell you that I love parades? 🙂
    Eileen recently posted…“The Twelve Days of Christmas” – UncoveredMy Profile

  19. Fabulous Perks

    Awww! This looks like so much fun. Hopefully my family and I can do this one year. Its definitely on my bucket list
    Fabulous Perks recently posted…Color Block Body Con Dress + Cap Toes Heels (Outfit Of The Night)My Profile

  20. Sheila

    This looks like a fun parade like always. Macy’s always sponsored cool parade. i love the pictures. the tree is amazing
    Sheila recently posted…Our #Christmastree2013 is up nowMy Profile

  21. Cara

    Oh my goodness this looks like so much fun! I absolutely love parades and I’d love to see this one!
    Cara recently posted…Tasty Tuesday #42My Profile

  22. kathy @ countingtoten.com

    Paula…you’re having all the fun!!! I bet Universal is AMAZING during the holidays.

  23. Debi

    How cool. I aw a George balloon back there.
    Debi recently posted…Add the Frozen Family into Your Child’s PlaytimeMy Profile

  24. thesellerfrank

    I like those pictures above, Even though I don’t like to look on actual parades but this one I appreciated the view. Thanks
    thesellerfrank recently posted…Make Money Online With Chitika as Publisher -ReviewMy Profile

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