Winter Wonderland in Central Park is a float from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The float has also went under the names of Christmas in Central Park, or simply Winter Wonderland or Central Park.
History with the Macy's Parade
In 2008, the magicians and artisans at the Macy's Parade Studio produced a gorgeously-detailed float based on the iconic Gothic Bridge located in Central Park. The float features vintage streetlights, illuminated Christmas trees and fresh fallen snow. The float's frozen pond, made with a special glycerin mixture, serves as a skating rink that comes to life with dazzling ice skaters.
During its inaugural appearance in the 2008 Parade, Kermit the Frog made a special appearance on the float, sitting on a snow-covered log. That same year, members of Camp Broadway served as the float's escorts.
In 2009, the float's sponsor was handed from Macy's to Delta Air Lines, which had then been a Parade sponsor for over five years. The log from the previous year was also removed, and a sign bearing the Delta logo was added on both sides of the float. The float's escort costumes would also be updated, with actors dressed in Victorian-style winter apparel. The float would remain under the Delta Air Lines branding over eight consecutive appearances, and was soon labeled a modern Parade staple.
The float was briefly retired after the 2016 Parade, and was absent for the following two years. In 2019, the float returned to the Parade stripped of its Delta Air Lines branding, and Macy's would once again sponsor the float. However, Delta Air Lines will retain its sponsorship for the float in the re-imagined 2020 Parade, due to the absence of the Macy's Singing Christmas Tree float which it previously sponsored.
Starting in 2014, the float would be one of few units selected that would travel south for the holidays to appear in the Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Orlando Resort. Characters that have appeared on the float have included SpongeBob SquarePants, the Minions, and Shrek and Princess Fiona. The float was retired after the 2016 run of the Parade, when it was retired alongside everything else in order to make room for the refurbishment of the Parade, which would later be renamed to Universal's Holiday Parade Featuring Macy's.
Listed below are the guest stars that have appeared and/or performed on the float, alongside the respective songs which they sang during the NBC Parade telecast.
- 2008 - Kermit the Frog and Camp Broadway; sang "I Believe"
- 2009 - Emily Hughes and Andrea Bocelli; sang "White Christmas"
- 2010 - Ann Hampton Calloway and the Young People's Chorus of New York City; sang "Yes Virginia"
- 2011 - Straight No Chaser; sang "This Christmas"
- 2012 - Mannheim Steamroller; performed "The First Noel"
- 2013 - Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings; sang "Ain't No Chimneys In The Projects"
- 2014 - Renee Fleming; sang "Winter Wonderland"
- 2015 - Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo; sang "One December Night"
- 2016 - Brett Eldredge; sang "Let it Snow"
- 2019 - Lea Michele; sang "Christmas in New York" with choreography by the Manhattan Youth Ballet
- 2020 - The New York City Ballet