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).
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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.
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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.
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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
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.
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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 for the year.
This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Friday, December 23, 2016