Universal Orlando Adds To Christmas Magic

posted by Alan McBride - 

The Christmas holidays have arrived in central Florida, with a flourish and a blaze of warmth and color.

Universal Orlando Resorts is already creating seasonal "Oooh's" and "Ahhh's" with its offerings.

The resort complex has rolled out a sparkling holiday program that combines guest favorites, such as Grinchmas and live performances from Mannheim Steamroller, as well as offerings that are altogether new.

It all begins with a totally upgraded experience with Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's. 

Self-propelled floats, guided by clever illumination, feature iconic characters from such films as the "Despicable Me," "Madagascar," and "Shrek" series, along with other floats that have a more cozy "retro" feel to them.

More than 100 performers, including dancers and stilt-walkers, are a part of the parade, which culminates with the arrival of Santa. 

And Macy's balloons, in the shapes of various characters or Macy's stars, ride stately in the air above the parade the whole time.

Carefully timed rains of confetti and artificial snow complete the experience.

The item that is most anticipated, however, is another gem in the resort's crown jewel.

Christmas has come to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. 

Park officials say they worked with creative talents, including and especially author J.K. Rowling, to make the event true to the books and the motion pictures.

Guests are surrounded by uniquely themed Christmas decorations, garlands and lights as they walk the streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. All decor has been crafted to suit the shops it adorns.

There is also holiday themed food and holiday performances by the Frog Choir and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. 

With local sunset, however, Universal Orlando unrolls what is bound to be the highlight of Christmas at the Wizarding World.

The park brings state-of-the-art projection mapping and lighting that wraps Hogwarts castle for "The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle."

The projection system "illuminates" Christmas moments inspired by the Harry Potter series. 

Guests will see dancers from the Yule Ball, the flight of  Hedwig the Snowy Owl, and animated snowmen brought to a cheerful and comical life.

The holiday program was unveiled November 18, and it runs daily through January 6 of 2018.

It's a brightly-wrapped holiday package that appears to be a sure-fire thrill for guests, whether they be first-time visitors or returning friends of the parks.

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