Extend Your Holiday Cheer at Universal Studios

11:22 AM

Sad because the excitement of the holidays is over? Well now you don't have to be! Extend your holiday cheer with a trip to Universal Studios and ring in the new year with tons of fun holiday activities for the whole family to enjoy. From a song filled rendition of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" to the jaw dropping full sized floats in the Macy's Holiday Parade, there is plenty of holiday fun waiting around every corner.

{A Morning in the Parks}

We were lucky enough to get a chance to experience all of the holiday offerings at Universal Studios. You may recall my review of the Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel and how they went the extra mile to bring the holidays to life. One of the benefits of staying at an on-site hotel was getting into Islands of Adventure an hour early to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is how we began our morning. We then headed to Seuss Landing to enjoy a few of the rides and the festive decorations there. The whole park was decked out for the holidays. After some Seuss fun, we decided to walk on over to Universal Studios.

Here is where I admit that I had never set foot in Universal Studios before this day. I had taken the boys to Islands of Adventure this summer, but we had never made it over to Universal Studios itself. I didn't know what to expect, but I was pretty impressed. Because a lot of the rides are simulators, we were able to take all of the boys on most of them without worry of them being to harsh or scary. They could simply close their eyes and a lot of the scare factor was gone.

Again, there were decorations everywhere and festive music playing all around. After an afternoon in the park, we walked back over to Islands of Adventure where we met up with the other bloggers and the ever wonderful Lindsey to start our evening of holiday fun!

{Let the Holiday Fun Begin}

First up, we were on our way to Seuss Landing again for Grinchmas! We had great seats for a showing of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." This is my all time favorite Christmas story and I know it entirely by heart. Seeing it brought to life right before our eyes with live actors was a real treat. There is even a special surprise at one point in the show that Florida natives like myself will definitely not want to miss! The singing was great and I love that they stuck to the original story as closely as possible, including a cute little pup that played Max perfectly.

After the show, we were given the opportunity to meet the Grinch and the boys absolutely loved it. Jase my youngest was a bit of a ham and had a little bit of banter with the big green man himself.

Once we had our fill of the Grinch, we walked over and had a delicious diner dinner and decorated Christmas cookies. The boys were in sugar heaven and had a blast getting to decorate their very own gingerbread men. Unfortunately, I am not much of a baker, so store bought decorating is about as good as it gets here most Christmases.

Stuffed and high on sugar, we headed with the kids off to our seats for the Macy's Holiday Parade. The whole night seemed to be one big flow of holiday magic. The boys were in a trace from all the holiday magic around them and as a parent, it was a blast to watch their eyes light up. The parade started after a short wait the parade began. It was filled with massive balloons that are brought in from the actual Thanksgiving Day Parade, elaborately decorated floats full of favorite characters and plenty of performers who stopped by to say high to the kids. There were also marching bands and baton twirlers from different schools spread throughout the parade, which was a great touch. At the end, a float carrying Santa himself stopped right in front of us and Santa gave the orders for the massive tree to be lit. Magically, it was and confetti rained down on the street!

A stroll through the Holiday Village was next. It is filled with wonderful craft and art wares, unique gift ideas, carnival types games for the kids to play and a few booths were delicious holiday treats could be purchased. We got a little wrapped up in the village and were late joining the rest of the group, but arrived just in time for the start of the the Mannheim Steamroller concert. We have all hear their music over the radio at one point or another, but let me tell you, there is nothing like experiencing them in person. The music is so beautiful and is guaranteed to put even the Grinchiest person in the holiday mood!

Experiencing the holidays at Universal Studios was a real treat for the whole family and if you are looking for a last minute vacation idea for the end of this year, there is still time to get in on the holiday fun until January 1st. Of course, you can always start planning early for next year too and have the whole year ahead to think about all the fun you and your family will have at Universal Studios!

*My family and I were invited to discover the holidays at Universal Studios, but the words, opinions and thoughts above are entirely my own.

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  1. what fun. Looks like your family had a wonderful time

  2. I've never been to Universal but have always wanted to go...your post has me moving it up on the list of 'must see' places :)

  3. I must say that we have taken my daughter to Disney the last 2 years but have never step foot in universal studios. We said next time we go we will have to try that theme park. Disney is a great place to enjoy with families. I have been told that the macy parade was a must see event. By the looks of your photos i can tell you all had a blast. I think we are going to keep this in are calendar for the next time we plan our trip to Disney.

  4. Oh my gosh, that looks like SO much fun. I've never been down there at holiday time, but wow, that would be a blast!



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