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Mannheim Steamroller concert kicks off Christmas ... er ... Grinchmas time at Universal Orlando

Mannheim Steamroller concert kicks off Christmas ... er ... Grinchmas time at Universal Orlando

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You'd have to be a Grinch not to have enjoyed this past Saturday night's event at Universal Studios Florida.


Photo by Max Schilling

To help kick off Christmas at Universal Orlando, the resort brought in Mannheim Steamroller to perform two live concerts at that theme park's New York section this Saturday night. What's more, Mannheim Steamroller founder Chip Davis was on hand for this event. His only planned appearance with the group this holiday season.


Chip Davis addresses the crowd at the Mannheim Steamroller concert
Photo by Max Schilling

Speaking from a stage that was decorated with poinsettias and six-foot-tall snowflakes, Davis talked his deep connection to holiday music. He recalled how his mother -- after the very first time Chip performed "Silent Night" -- remarked that "That song must be deep in your subsconsious. You used to hum that same tune when you were a six-month-old."


One of the many soloists who performed at Saturday night's event
Photo by Max Schilling

And clearly there's an audience for Davis' kind of holiday music. Given that -- to date -- Mannheim Steamroller has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.


Copyright 2008 American Gramaphone. All Rights Reserved

Speaking of recordings ... Saturday night's in-park concerts were part of the promotional effort for Mannheim Steamroller's latest album, "Christmasville." Which features much of the music that Chip created for Universal Orlando's original holiday stage show, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."


Chip Davis and the performers all take a bow
Photo by Max Schilling

As part of that evening's concerts, Mannheim Steamroller performed several numbers from Universal's new stage show. The group also rolled out its signature synthesized versions of those classic Christmas carols, "Deck the Halls" and "Silent Night." They even arranged for "snow" to drift down on the audience while Mannheim Steamroller played "Let It Snow."


Photo by Max Schilling

The first concert of the evening was followed by a presentation of Macy's Holiday Parade.


Photo by Max Schilling

As three different marching bands moved through the park, toy soldiers, dancing stars, a large penguin and a huge pirate balloon all floated over the heads of the crowd.


Photo by Max Schilling

In between the balloons and the bands were the usual array of Universal characters: Jimmy Neutron, Woody Woodpecker and Dora the Explorer.


Photo by Max Schilling

The Simpsons followed in a motor home which featured a "Universal Studios or Bust!" sign, while the Scooby Doo gang rolled down the street aboard the Mystery Machine.


Photo by Max Schilling

And rounding out Macy's Holiday Parade (just as he does in NYC's annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade) was Santa Claus. Riding aboard the very last float in the parade, he wished everyone along the parade route a Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday.


Copyright 2008 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

All in all, this past Saturday night's event was a really fun way to kick off the holiday season at Universal Orlando. Macy's Holiday Parade as well as the "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" show runs at that Resort now through January 1st.


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Happy Holidays!

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  • I'd prefer to listen to a Christmas program by C.W. McCall. ;)

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