Mega Movie Parade is a collage of Universal’s most beloved cinematic elements

Universal Mega Movie Parade
Universal Mega Movie Parade / Cristine Struble

Visiting Universal Orlando Resort is more than just wizard spells and epic thrill rides. Woven into every experience is a taste of cinematic creativity. From iconic characters that need no introduction to new franchises that appeal to every demographic, those magical movie moments jump off the screen and become part of the real world. With the new Mega Movie Parade, the Universal Creative team has expertly blended the past, present, and future into a celebration of iconic films and characters.

For many theme park guests, watching a parade is part of the pageantry experience. The character meet and greet offers an up close interaction and the immersive queue transports guests into that cinematic experience. With the parade, it is a moment to stop, watch, and take a moment to just enjoy that event.

Over the years, Universal Orlando Resorts has had various parades. The holiday spectacular with a visit from Santa Claus captures the spirit of the season. The Mardi Gras parade has guests raising their hands to capture arms full of beads. During those events, everyone lines the streets to catch a glimpse of the action.

At Universal Studios Orlando, the Superstar Parade had been around for a while. While many guests appreciated the classic cartoon characters waving to fans, the experience had become familiar. In addition, some older guests no longer wanted to explore that pineapple under the sea.

With the new Universal Mega Movie Parade, the later in the day event appeals to a broader audience. The floats span decades of films and capture some of the most iconic moments in cinema history. From needing a bigger boat to calling help to fight that apparition, the imagery instantly connects to certain phrases and moments that everyone remembers.

Jurassic Park scene Universal's Mega Movie Parade
Jurassic Park scene, Universal's Mega Movie Parade / Cristine Struble

During a media event, Michael Aiello Senior Director - Entertainment Creative Development - Universal Destinations and Experiences, shared a few thoughts on the inspiration behind the new Mega Movie Parade. Specifically, he said, “we wanted to create content that offers the full breath of what it means to be Universal Orlando.” It might “put a stake in the ground and say this is who we are now,” but it is more than just a moment in time.

This parade spans decades of film history. It is a “collage of elements.” Aiello believes that it is the “cherry on top” on what has been a summer filled with impressive new content.

Since the Mega Movie Parade serves as the “front door” to the Cinesational, A Symphonic Spectacular, the subtleties within the parade, as well as the many Easter Eggs, will have guests searching for those little clues. For others, the parade is a time to be wowed by the sheer size and drama that the floats, music, and performances offer.

Mega Movie Parade celebrates decades of iconic movie moments

Similar to how a great movie captures viewers’ rapt attention for the total playing time, Universal Orlando’s Mega Movie Parade has guests’ eyes glued to the street for the total duration. From the first musical note to the roar of that Jurassic Park T-Rex, the intricate details, enormity of the floats, and the enthusiasm of the performers has guests wanting to come back another day to watch it all again.

The parade includes both classic movies and newer characters. Even if some younger guests might not understand the complexities of the Back to the Future Flux Capacitator, it does not matter. The music and lively dancing set the tone. In contrast, a parent might not be ready to cut a rug during a disco dance party. The multi-generational parade is vital to giving Universal Orlando that “whoa” moment that every guest seeks.

Ghostbusters Float during Universal's Mega Movie Parade
Ghostbusters Float during Universal's Mega Movie Parade / Cristine Struble

While there are plenty of videos that show the parade in its entirety, it is best not to ruin the experience for people who have not seen it in person. As the first ever drum line hits the beat, the performers unite the various floats through their musical interpretations.  From the tallest parade float ever, Ghostbusters, to new characters not featured before, Jaws portion, the performance is an emphatic statement by the Universal Orlando Creative Team.

One interesting piece is during the start of the parade. After the introduction, the first float is Back to the Future. When asked why this float begins the experience, the show director shared that it was intentional.

Back to the Future float Universal's Mega Movie Parade
Back to the Future float Universal's Mega Movie Parade / Cristine Struble

Specifically, the showrunner said, “we felt it was the right call to have Back to the Future first. It drives home the fact that we are going back in time, revisiting some of our favorite films from childhood. It brings back that nostalgia of being in the theater with our family and friends.”

Also, for theme park guests who are paying attention, the Cinestation nighttime show has a final scene from Back to the Future. Given that Aielo said the parade is a “front door,” the closing moment in the nighttime spectacular seems to complete that moment.

From the visuals to the music to the dancing, the Mega Movie Parade was a gigantic undertaking for the Universal Orlando Creative team and they succeeded in creating a smash hit. What epic sequel could be in the works? Only time will tell.

The Mega Movie Parade runs daily at Universal Studios Orlando. Check with the Universal Orlando Resort app for times or look for updates within the theme park.