Though Disney World is known for pulling out all the stops at Christmas, those looking for an edgier coaster scene might want to check out Universal Studios’ sister park, Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla. The park has been cultivating an alternative audience in recent years with holiday ticket packages, relatively quick lines and the popular Grinchmas — a stage show with a score arranged by Mannheim Steamroller. “When they first opened Seuss Landing in 1999, I fell in love,” said Chris Kraftchick, an Orlando native who represents the Florida Region of American Coaster Enthusiasts. “The icing on the cake was Grinchmas — to have these characters walking around talking to people and telling the stories. They hit a grand slam.” The year they opened the festival, he read the book to his children, Joshua, 8, and Madeline, 12, before they went. When they got to the park, Joshua gasped: “There’s the guy who stole Christmas.” (Guests-in-the-know can even have breakfast with the book’s characters; $19.95 and $13.95 for ages 3 to 9; call 407-224-4012 for reservations.) Adrenaline freaks can also take advantage of the warm weather to hit the park’s impressive coaster lineup. Next door at Universal Studios, floats from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade have been shipped in for a daily parade, which also includes marching bands and a high-kick line. Guests can volunteer to be balloon handlers by signing up between the Jimmy Neutron ride and the Universal Studios Store.
Information courtesy of New York Times