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Macy’s Holiday Parade Universal

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Over ninety years ago, the Macy’s chain of department stores accidentally began the holiday spectacular of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Today, approximately 3.5 million people line the streets of Manhattan, New York every year on Thanksgiving Day to watch and cheer over 10k parade participants and magnificent floats! In 2001, Macy’s Studios partnered with Universal Orlando to create the Macy’s Holiday Parade Universal.

15th Anniversary

Larger- than-life balloons and beautiful Christmas floats from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade are delivered from New York to Universal Studios Florida each holiday season. The Universal Parade is celebrating its 15th Anniversary in 2016 and includes the same traditions of clowns, dancers, marching bands and balloon handlers with the crowning moment of Santa’s appearance on the iconic Macy’s float.

The Universal Touch

Universal has added additional featured balloons like Turkey Balloonicle that towers over the crowd with a self-powered vehicle and Holiday Lights Balloon that dazzles while floating through the air.  Santa stops the parade with a traditional tree lighting ceremony with the famous New York City Rockettes and if you are near the Christmas Tree, snatch a photo opportunity as the Rockettes and other characters stay behind.

When does the parade start?

The parade kicks off with a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. from December 3, 2016 – December 18, 2016 and begins at 8:00 p.m. from December 19, 2016 – January 1, 2017.

Sharing the Excitement

The Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal would not be complete without marching bands, dance teams, and performance groups! Students have a wonderful opportunity to showcase their hard work and be rewarded with a chance to parade a mile through Universal Studios Florida amongst the famous balloons and floats from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Is there time to play?

One of the great benefits of being in the Macy’s Holiday Parade Universal is that there is still plenty of time to play as the route does not take an entire day! Sip on a delicious butter beer, walk through Diagon Alley, or take the train from platform 9. Universal Studios provides an unbelievably fun playground for your performing student group.

Who can perform?

Student performance groups of forty or more can apply to participate by submitting a non-returnable DVD or link to your most recent performance featuring the uniform that would be worn during the parade. There is no application fee.

What to wear?

Uniforms are required for every performance and subject to approval. Jeans and t-shirts are not permitted.


Following acceptance, a performance date will be agreed upon and four weeks prior to your arrival, you will receive an itinerary. A stage technical chart will also be sent two weeks prior to the performance date to assess your entertainment needs.

Rest and Relax

Universal has several on site hotels featuring great locations, holiday buffets, visits from Santa, and other special character experiences. In addition to being located within walking distance of Universal City Walk, you get early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Guests of preferred or premier hotels also receive Universal Express, which allows cardholders to skip ride lines and enjoy priority seating at select restaurants. Be sure and request Universal Dining Cards to be added to your package which allows the students to eat when and where they wish.

Sign us up!

Call Kaleidoscope Adventures! Kaleidoscope has been traveling across the country every year since 1993 with thousands of students.They can create customized itineraries that include transportation, overnight accommodations, meals, and amazing educational and performance opportunities.

Kaleidoscope is located in the heart of Orlando and they have worked with team Universal for decades. An experienced tour director will know every detail of your itinerary, stay with your group throughout the entire trip, and ensure your spot in the Macy’s Holiday Parade Universal! Kaleidoscope Adventures is synonymous with student group travel and take the time to plan every element of your exciting adventure! 1-800-774-7337.

One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books. J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Why Kaleidoscope Adventures?

As a leader in the student travel industry for 30+ years, Kaleidoscope Adventures exceeds expectations for student and performance group travel.

We’ll work with you to plan an exceptional travel experience and provide impeccable customer service from start to finish

Learn More

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