Did You Know Universal Orlando Has Its Own “3 o’clock” Parade?
One of the many things Disney is famous for is their parades. Guests will save a spot on the street for a long as 3 hours before just so they can get prime viewing. They’re so popular that there is even an ongoing joke of the question “What time is the 3 o’clock parade?” And at one point, all four Walt Disney World parks had their own parade. Unfortunately, all but the Magic Kingdom’s have been taken away. Now, if you head on up the street to Universal Orlando, seeing a parade there might not even strike you as an idea. Universal is mostly known for its thrill rides and some of its special events, such as Halloween Horror Nights. But did you know they have a regular daily parade as well? In fact, they also have two special parades as well, one for Mardi Gras and the other during their Grinchmas celebration, the Macy’s Day Parade, a mini version of the famous parade in NYC. Both of these are very popular among Guests, but their daily parade is a little more low key. So much so that you’ll forget its even a thing if you don’t make a note of it on your itinerary. However, if you have children, it’s definitely one you won’t want to miss!
Universal’s Superstar Parade stars your favorite Universal and Nickelodeon animated characters! You’ll get to see characters from Despicable Me, Spongebob, Dora the Explorer, and even Universal’s Hop. (Yes, it’s a live action, but he’s still computer animation.) One of the reasons you may not even realize a parade is coming at Universal is, unlike Disney, they don’t set up any rope barriers. (Edit: It has been brought to my attention there are areas which are roped off for Guests. However, where I was standing, I didn’t notice any, so perhaps they’re set up in the busier areas of the parade route.) The parade is much more low-key and easily accessible since large droves of people don’t camp out spots for it.
First in the parade are the Minions, one of the most popular accidents to ever come from a film. The original idea for them in Despicable Me was to just be regular people assistants, but Illumination Entertainment who made the film didn’t have it in their budget at the time, so they cut them down in size and changed them to yellow to save money, and voila! The lovable Minions were born!
Next up is Spongebob and his friends. Undeniably popular among children and even young adults, he is a must see for families! It’s a surprise the children’s area hasn’t been transformed into Bikini Bottom.
After Spongebob are the characters from Hop, Universal’s 2011 movie about the Easter Bunny’s son who heads to Hollywood to become a rock star. The movie wasn’t wildly successful but I imagine since Universal spent the money on this intricate float, they plan to get their monies worth out of it!
And finally, Dora and friends bring up the rear of the parade. This float provides fun acrobatics with monkeys. If you have a chance, be sure to catch a mini show of these fun characters which come out and perform right in front of the Horror Make-Up Show theater!
Unlike Disney, which operates on a rigorous and consistent schedule, the Superstar Parade changes its time weekly. For example, this current week, the parade performs at 5pm but next week it changes to 8pm. So when you enter the park, be sure to grab a map which will have the most current show times on it!