Head’s up to all you baby boomers out there: Tonight’s your last chance to catch the “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” during its annual network airing (NBC will be running this Chuck-Jones-produced holiday special this evening starting at 8 p.m. ET/ PT).
Mind you, if you’re just not ready to say “See You Next Year” to Cindy Lou Who – or the cast of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” & “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” for that matter – then you might want to catch a flight to Orlando in the coming week.
You see, now through the end of the year, three of Central Florida’s most popular attractions – SeaWorld Orlando, Gaylord Palms and Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park – are presenting entertainments & experiences that pay tribute to the “Big 3” of animated Christmas specials (i.e., “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” which premiered on NBC back on December 6, 1964; “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which first aired on CBS on December 9, 1965; and “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which premiered on the Tiffany Network on December 18, 1966).
Truth be told, the Universal Orlando Resort has been celebrating Grinchmas – in one form or another – ever since the live-action version of this Dr. Seuss story first bowed in theaters back in November of 2000. But over the past 16 years, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” has transformed from being this relatively small, three-part live street show (that originally used to be presented in & around the Suess Landing section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park) to … Well, a spectacular.
The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, to be precise. An elaborate indoor live stage show featuring music recorded by Mannheim Steamroller that -- at the very height of the season – is presented 6 to 8 times a day.
If -- after attending this 30 minute-long presentation – you find that you’d like a little face-time with the Mean One, you should swing by the Seuss Landing bookstore. Where the Grinch makes regularly scheduled appearances over the course of Holidays at Universal. Or if you’re prefer to have his Hairiness come to you, you can always sign up for a character breakfast at the Circus McGurkus Café Stoo-pendous. Where – along with a heaping plate of Green Eggs & Ham – you can then snag a selfie with this sarcastic Seuss character.
Over at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, they offer a similar sort of experience at their Villa de Flora restaurant. Here, you can dine on “Peanuts” -themed items like Pig Pen’s Dirty Hash Browns & Woodstock’s Granola while walk-around versions of Charlie Brown & Lucy go from table to table.
And loaded up on warm food (especially the hot coffee) might be a very good idea. Especially if you’re planning on visiting ICE! Which – for the 2016 holiday season – celebrates “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” As you walk through this 18,000-square foot indoor winter wonderland (which is kept at a chilly 9 degrees), you’ll see highly detailed recreations of memorable moments from this Emmy Award-winning holiday special. All of which have been hand-carved from 2 million pounds of ice by a team of Chinese artisans who are flown in from the town of Harbin each year to work on this seasonal Central Florida display.
If – on the other hand -- you’d prefer to avoid frostbite while you’re down in Florida, maybe you should consider checking out SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration. Here – along with a lakeside Christmas market and a sea of twinkling trees – you’ll encounter walk-around versions of the characters from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” To be specific, Rudolph, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and the Bumble AKA the Abominable Snow Monster.
Now please keep in mind that these Central Florida theme park entertainments & experiences that celebrate “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas” & “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” are strictly seasonal. And in much the same way that NBC will pack the animated “Grinch” away after it airs tonight so that this Grammy Award-winner can then be rerun on the Peacock Network in 2017, the Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center will all soon be pulling the plug on their holiday programming. With the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular & SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration shutting down on December 31st and ICE! featuring “A Charlie Brown Christmas” melting away on New Year’s Day.
So if you’re a baby boomer who always dreamed of getting his picture taken with the Bumble, now might be a very good time to hitch a ride with Santa & head on down to Orlando to see these seasonal entertainments & experiences before they close in a week or so.
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