If you love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but don’t like to be surprised by which 70-foot-long cartoon character is about to fly over your head, then today’s your lucky day!
Collected below for your consideration is a full list of every balloon, float, and balloon/float combo currently expected to make an appearance on the big day.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Balloons, 2023
As always, the parade begins with a collection of Opening Macy’s Stars, with more festive five-point beauties scattered along the route.
As fun as stars are, and as much as we all love the Macy’s logo, the folks in charge of this year’s parade have elected to include 24 other balloons as well. Beagle Scout Snoopy and Woodstock join the proceedings, as do classic cultural icons like Smokey the Bear, the Sinclair’s Dino, and Ronald McDonald. Cartoon characters stretching all the way back to the days of yore of the 1990s, like a larger-than-usual Spongebob Squarepants, and Gary, Pikachu, and Eevee, and Dragon Ball Z’s Goku will tower over the crowds. In a move that may strike New Yorkers who lived through the Mr. Stay-Puft catastrophe of 1984 as particularly insensitive, a monstrous Pillsbury Doughboy balloon will make its way through Manhattan.
Then, there are the more contemporary offerings: Balloons based on Grogu from The Mandalorian, Bluey from Bluey, Po from Kung Fu Panda, and Stuart the Minion from the Despicable Me series. At least one giant inflatable Paw Patrol official will be in attendance, as will Blue Cat and Chugs, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Red Titan from Ryan’s World, and Uncle Dan from Illumination’s upcoming family animated feature, Migration. Another new addition, Leo the iguana from Netflix’s brand-new Adam Sandler cartoon, will stretch 73 feet across as he dares Al Roker and Hoda Kotb not to make a contrived Godzilla reference. Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece rounds out the list of movie and television characters, with a fully puppeteered TipToe the Macy’s Ad Campaign Goat balloon thrown in for good measure.
Finally, and most importantly, a small and plucky contingent of public domain balloons will putty in the parade’s cracks, featuring Ice Cream Cone, Pumpkins, Snow Crystal Ornaments, and every kid’s favorite, Acorn.
BEAGLE SCOUT SNOOPY
Blue Cat & Chugs
Diary Of A Wimpy Kid®
Ice Cream Cone
KUNG FU PANDA’S PO
Monkey D. Luffy
Opening Macy’s Stars
PIKACHU & EEVEE
RED TITAN FROM RYAN’S WORLD
Snow Crystal Ornaments
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS & GARY
STUART THE MINION
THE PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Floats, 2023
Do you like parade floats, which should logically really be what we call balloons? Well you’re in luck. The 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features just north of 30 of the things, including a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem display and a float titled “Rocking Lobster,” which is, empirically, an oversized lobster with rocking horse bits on the bottom. The B-52s are owed compensation.
Regular viewers of the Parade will recognize old favorites like the McDonald’s “Big Red Shoe Car,” and perennial classic “1-2-3 Sesame Street,” loaded to capacity with Children’s Television Workshop characters singing seasonal songs. At least two truck-sized turkeys – “Tom Turkey” and “Big Turkey Spectacular,” will be in attendance, reminding viewers of the kaiju horrors that await this country if we ever skip a Thanksgiving and allow turkeys to grow to their full size. The full list of floats is as follows:
1-2-3 SESAME STREET®
Big City Cheer
BIG RED SHOE CAR®
BIG TURKEY SPECTACULAR
BIRDS OF A FEATHER STREAM TOGETHER
Colossal Wave of Wonder
DECK THE HALLS
FANTASY CHOCOLATE FACTORY
GEOFFREY’S DAZZLING DANCE PARTY
Good Burger Mobile
HARVEST IN THE VALLEY
HEARTWARMING HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN
Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree
Magic Meets the Sea
Palace of Sweets
People of the First Light
PINKFONG BABY SHARK
THE DELICIOUSLY DELECTABLE WORLD OF WONKA
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Float/Balloon Mashups, 2023
And that’s not all! If you love the idea of getting parade balloon chocolate all over parade float peanut butter, then you’re in luck. This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features a half dozen Balloonicles – abominable balloon/parade float hybrids designed to delight and confuse.
A full one-third of these peculiarities, “Tough Guy” and “Bulldog,” feature oversized cartoon scofflaws on the backs of bicycles being piloted by Keystone Cop-style escaped convicts. Two more, “Mouse King” and “Nutcracker,” see characters from the beloved E.T.A. Hoffman story and sometimes-inspiration for Disney box office disaster, also being escorted through town on the backs of bikes. A fifth sees a trio of inflatable dinosaurs scooting through the city, while the sixth, “Go Bowling,” is a giant, 12-foot bowling ball and a series of 16-foot-tall pins, rolling frictionlessly across the pavement.
It’s a dream. No really, I had a dream like that once after I ate a whole pizza.