Superstar Parade Features Gru’s Whole Despicable Me Crew
In 2012 Universal Studios Florida introduced the Disney-like Universal’s Superstar Parade, featuring dancers and performers, four large and elaborate floats inspired by cartoons, and a very mixed bag of street-prowling Universal characters. The featured franchises are Dora the Explorer (with acrobatic monkeys swinging from her float), SpongeBob SquarePants (accompanied by a phalanx of in-line skating fish), E.B. and the Pink Beret bunnies from Hop (a forgettable computer-generated imagery Easter fable), and Gru’s whole Despicable Me crew, from his adopted daughters to the adorable yellow Minions. The parade is not very long, but it stops twice—once in New York near Revenge of the Mummy and again in Hollywood in front of Terminator 2: 3-D—for a highly choreographed ensemble number. Though impressive in its scope and coordination, the performance is well-nigh impossible to take in from any given viewing spot.
The parade, which is marked in the park map, begins at the Esoteric Pictures gate in Hollywood between Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show and Cafe La Bamba. It turns right, then immediately makes a hard left around Mel’s Drive-In, and follows the waterfront past Transformers toward San Francisco. From there it turns left at Louie’s Pizza and proceeds along Fifth Avenue, past Revenge of the Mummy. At the end of Fifth Avenue, the parade takes a left onto 57th Avenue/Plaza of the Stars and heads toward the front of the park, where it makes another left onto Hollywood Boulevard, from whence it disappears backstage through the gate where it entered.
The same floats used in the parade are trotted out individually to the Character Party Zone (located in Hollywood at the corner near Mel’s Drive- In) at scheduled times in the late morning and early afternoon for mini shows and character meet-and-greets. These are a much better opportunity than the parade itself for your kids to get up close and personal with their favorite character.
Best viewing sports for the Superstar Parade
The best viewing spots are along Fifth Avenue, on the front steps of faux buildings in New York. The reserved viewing area for character breakfast ticket holders, along with the wheelchair viewing area, is in front of the Macy’s facade. If you miss part of the parade in the New York area, you can scoot along the waterfront to Mel’s Drive-In and catch it as it comes down Hollywood Boulevard. If, after watching the parade on the New York streets, you plan to leave the park, you can use the same route to access Hollywood Boulevard and the park exit before the parade arrives.
For more information on all happenings at Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure, check out The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando by Seth Kubersky.