I spent most of the 90s visiting Universal Studios Hollywood almost every month. In doing so, I really got to know the tightly packed acreage that made up Southern California’s second most popular themepark. It’s taken some doing, but they’ve finally gotten final approval to go forward with the next stage in the development of Universal Studios.
The first projects of NBCUniversal’s 25-year Evolution Plan with be tied to adding the much anticipated west coast version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The total plan represents a $1.6 billion investment in tourism and production in Southern California. This long-term investment in two industries that are vital to Los Angeles will create more than 30,000 jobs and generate $2 billion of economic activity during operations for the region.Read More »Univeral Studios Hollywood Will Go Forward With Expansion, Harry Potter
The first and last photo of many a guest’s Disneyland visit is taken in front of the world renown Floral Mickey. So popular was the first one, that they’re a common feature of every Magic Kingdom style park. Of course, Mickey has seen a few… Read More »Disneyland’s Floral Mickey Through The Years
Disney Cruise Line has announced new itineraries that include stops in Jamaica for the first time in late 2013. The new seven-night Western Caribbean sailings will embark on the Disney Wonder and call on Falmouth, Jamaica, as well as Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico and… Read More »Disney Cruise Line to Visit Jamaica for First Time
Anyone else noticing a lot more Brazilian tourists at Walt Disney World these days? We certainly have. There’s a good reason for that, not only has the economy of Brazil stabilized producing more disposable income, but the volume of European tourists is down as their… Read More »Brazil a replacement for Euro-Tourism?
Universal Orlando Resort showed a bit of restraint waiting until after Thanksgiving to launch its Christmas celebration. That’s appreciated by us purists, but means you only have a short window of time to get yourself to the resort and enjoy the festivities. For a list of their offerings, read our earlier post.
I recommend arriving early and exploring both parks. They have a lot of decorations up and the Holiday Village has fun games and treats for the whole family. I would have liked to see more entertainment options like they had for Mardi Gras, but there was still plenty to see and the treats all smelled delicious.
This year marks the 10th year the Macy’s Holiday Parade has run through the streets of Universal Studios. In theory these are the floats and balloons from the actual parade in NYC and I think I saw a few (the Polar Bear float and some of the balloon characters), the rest are from past parades. But it is the next best thing to being at the real parade, and it was a balmy 78 degrees instead of 42 degrees.
The highlight of the parade was Santa Claus lighting the Christmas Tree. But you have to be standing near the tree (opposite the Macy’s facade near Revenge of The Mummy).
Also returning is Grinchmas – a fun ‘wholiday’ stage show. The show was moved indoors a few years ago, which means you won’t encounter any weather issues. You will have to leave Suessland in Islands of Adventure and venture to one of the Soundstages, however. I found all of the featured performers to be quite talented. That includes Max the dog. Definitely catch this show when you visit.
Wrapping up the evening on the studios side is a special concert from Mannheim Steamroller. We didn’t stay to see the whole concert, but if you like their music, like I do, it is fun to see it made live and in person.
Please join me below the fold for more photos of our special evening at Universal Orlando Resort for their Christmas celebrations:
Universal Orlando Resort’s Holiday festivities kick off this weekend with holiday entertainment for the entire family. Both parks will have events and decorations meant to keep the spirits bright with holiday offerings running Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 through Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012. Grinchmas, at Islands… Read More »Universal Orlando Holiday Festivities Start This Weekend