Universal Orlando’s annual seasonal celebrations have returned with all the trimmings, and this year the signature Seuss stage show has a colorful new home. Today we’re taking you inside the former Blue Man Group theater to see how the 2021 Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular has settled into its new digs.
After scaling back and socially distancing its Christmas offerings in 2020, the holidays have come back in full force at Universal Orlando for 2021. That includes the long-running Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s at Universal Studios Florida, which is also hosting an upgraded Holiday Tribute Store this year.
In addition, both parks are again marking Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with Yuletide decorations in both Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
However, the big news this year is that the 2021 Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular was relocated from its traditional soundstage to the Sharp Aquos Theatre adjacent to CityWalk, better known as the former Orlando home of the Blue Man Group.
The building, which sits in between Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, closed with the rest of Universal Orlando at the start of the pandemic, but it had remained shuttered even after the rest of the resort was revived. Now, the venue previously occupied by bald blue men has been taken over by one big green creature.
Even though the theater’s entrance is closer to Universal Studios Florida, you’ll want to enter through Islands of Adventure. Say hello to the wandering Whos as you walk through Seuss Landing to the entryway near Circus McGurkus!
After a short walk through backstage areas, you’ll arrive in the theater’s courtyard.
If you opt for Universal’s VIP Holiday tour, an exclusive queue grants you priority access to the show.
Otherwise, arrive early and be prepared to wait a bit for this popular performance, especially if you want your pick of prime seats.
While waiting, you can avail yourself of refreshments and restrooms (which still sport slime-green tile from this building’s origins as Nickelodeon Studios).
Fortunately, no matter which seat you select, it will be far more comfortable than the butt-numbing bleachers Grinchmas guests were tortured with when the show was in a soundstage. The shift to soft padded theater seats with reasonable armrests is enough of an upgrade alone for us to rate 2021’s Who-liday Spectacular a half-star higher than before.
Beyond the better seating, there aren’t too many significant changes to the show itself. The script is essentially the same as before; although the storybook set and some stage blocking have been adapted to the space, the comic choreography is still as charming as ever.
The musical score recorded by Mannheim Steamroller sounds better than ever over the venue’s impressive sound system, and the set designers have even managed to bring the finale’s snowfall inside the theater.
Perhaps best of all, Max, the Grinch’s dog, is back, once again portrayed by a live canine whose unpredictable attention span may add a whole new layer of entertainment to the production.
Here’s your chance to enjoy the 2021 Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular without leaving your lair on Mt. Crumpet, thanks to our complete recording of the show:
For comparison’s sake, here’s an archival recording of the same show in 2019, prior to its relocation from the soundstage:
Finally, if you want a souvenir of your 2021 Grinchmas experience, stop in at the Mulberry Street Store…
…or check out the interactive Grinch photo op inside All The Books You Can Read Bookstore.
For all there is to see and do at Universal Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.