Here's How to See the Macy's Thanksgiving Balloons Take Flight Even if They're Grounded for Wind on Thursday

Balloon fanatics, hold on tight.

Despite a windy weather forecast for Thanksgiving Day in New York City that has parade fans holding their breath, there is still a chance to watch the parade live — in shorts, no less. (And you have until January 5 to do it!)

According to the National Weather Service, winds of 22 mph with gusts of 39 mph are expected on Thursday, which could mean that the 16 helium-filled balloon characters that traditionally float through Manhattan on the famous parade route might be grounded for safety reasons.

Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's

It would be the first time since 1971 that weather caused the balloons to be grounded, according to the New York Times.

The weather in Orlando on Thursday, however, is predicted to be a balmy 82 degrees and sunny — and at Universal Orlando Resort, a daily holiday parade features iconic Macy’s balloons.

The festive parade, which features more than 30 floats and oversized balloons made by Macy’s Parade Studio, includes renditions of many of the resort’s most popular film characters, including those from Despicable Me (so many Minions), Shrek and Madagascar. 

And for those missing the chillier holiday season weather, a flurry of suds-based “snow” (snoap?) along the route lends a touch of wintry magic.

Universal's Holiday Parade featuring Macy's

The parade is among a variety of holiday offerings at the resort, from live performances by best-selling holiday artist Mannheim Steamroller to the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, a live stage version of Dr. Seuss’s holiday classic.

Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular  at Universal Orlando

Of course, nowhere is more magical during the holidays than the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where the streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley glitter with decorations and the hot Butterbeer flows freely. At nightfall, Christmas moments inspired by J.K. Rowling’s novels come to life in a light show on Hogwarts castle.

The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle

This year, the resort is also adding a holiday tree scavenger hunt throughout three parks — Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure and CityWalk — that challenges guests to locate 14 different themed trees. (Collect stamps of all 14 on a special map and score a free gift!)

Universal Orlando Resort’s Holiday Celebration runs through January 5.

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