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Universal Studios Hollywood becomes magical at Christmastime. If you’re looking for a special holiday experience in southern california this year, look no further than Grinchmas and all the holiday celebrations at Universal Studios Hollywood (and universal citywalk ).
Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood
Spending a day or two at Universal Studios Hollywood during the Christmas season will put you in the mood for holiday cheer and is the perfect way to kick off your holiday festivities. Seasonal décor is throughout the park. The front archway twinkles with colorful Christmas bulbs. You’ll also spot white twinkle lights on the park’s palm trees. Not only will you enjoy festive decorations adorning the park’s walkways and rides, but you’ll also see characters in charming Santa Claus hats or Christmas sweaters. If you run into a minion, beware their holiday mischief.
As you walk through the park, you’ll see holiday ornaments and bows. The park even decorated with a dusting of snow for a traditional holiday experience. There are themed Christmas trees around the park. Keep an eye out for a dinosaur, a tall christmas tree themed to minions and Seuss-ian tree.
Park Holiday Entertainment
Throughout the day, you’ll have the chance to watch a variety of holiday performances. Martha May Who-vier in addition to the Who-dolls offer up a song and dance number. Cindy Lou Who also reads a daily story time of “How the grinch stole christmas”, this is SURE to be a hit with young visitors (and grown ups too). You can take a moment to meet her after she completes the story.
The Rides at Universal Studios
When visiting Universal Studios Hollywood at Christmastime, you’ll also get to ride the park’s unique rides.
If you haven’t been to Universal Hollywood since before the pandemic, you’ll want to make it a priority to ride the park’s new ride, which is The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! You’ll also want to ride Jurassic World. The park made some new and exciting changes to the popular dinosaur ride.
At the park, be sure to experience attractions like Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Revenge of the Mummy and the World-Famous Studio Tour. Universal Studios is also known for its unique shows. Take some time to see WaterWorld, Universal’s Animal Actors and the Special Effects Show.
Give your heart the chance to grow three sizes and head to the grinchmas celebrations . You’ll have fun with the Grinch, his faithful dog Max and the Who-ville residents (there are some great photo opportunities too!) . The Grinch is popular these days, and he usually likes to chat, so try to visit him early because the line to see him will get longer during the day.
If you’re at Grinchmas at the right time, you’ll get to see the incredible lighting of the park’s unique Dr. Seuss inspired Christmas tree. Participate in the music celebration and let yourself be wowed by the lights.
One of the memorable things that you can do during Grinchmas is to send the Grinch a postcard. If you send him one that promises good deeds, then the park will donate a book to a child in need from the Seuss family.
To find Grinchmas Universal Studios Hollywood, walk straight when you enter the park and Grinchmas will be on the left (you'll see the Grinch tree and decorations). It’s the perfect holiday experience for little and big kids.
A Harry Potter World Christmas
Spending Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. The park decorates the land in traditional holiday decorations. There is also holiday wizarding entertainment, food and merchandise.
This year, Universal has added the magic of nightly snow in Hogsmeade. For snowfall times, take a look at the Universal Studios website. You can also ask an employee to avoid missing this incredible seasonal presentation.
Don’t miss The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle holiday show. The park started the show in 2017, and it features music, lights and projections on the Hogwarts castle. You can see the impressive light projection show each night starting at dusk. It runs every 30 minutes until the park closes and is a totally unique way to appreciate the iconic hogwarts™ castle. If the park closes early, then there might be just one show, so make plans to see it before your arrival date.
If you love the Harry Potter movies, you’ll want to take the time to listen to the hogwarts frog choir . The Hogwarts student choir and their croaking frogs sing holiday tunes including the ones that you’ve heard in the movies. Check the park’s app for the entertainment schedule or ask an employee about the holiday frog choir performances when you get to the park. There are also some REALLY amazing exclusive items in the village shops so be sure that you leave time for holiday shopping (there are great gift options for fans of the harry potter film series ).
Food and Merchandise
If you love the Harry Potter books, your stomach probably growled when you reached the part in the books about the Christmas dinner at Hogwarts. When you visit Universal Studios Hollywood at Christmas, you’ll be able to eat such a meal yourself at the Three Broomsticks. The restaurant serves a full holiday feast in honor of the one in the books (and some other fun seasonal foods ). It typically features courses like butternut squash soup, oven roasted turkey, beef wellington, dried cherries and winter vegetables. The Three Broomsticks offers traditional English cuisine. You can get menu items like bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie and of course, you can order some delicious hot butterbeer™.
Around the park, you’ll come across other holiday treats. Purchase a sugar cookie shaped like a minion wearing a Santa Claus hat, a Christmas tree or a snow globe. You can also get tasty beverages like hot buttered rum, hot pear cider and peppermint hot chocolate. Be sure to try warm and cold butterbeer to determine your favorite.
To create an immersive holiday experience, the park offers additional seasonal food and merchandise. For instance, you can snack on pumpkin spice cupcakes and Max’s hot dog.
If you want to purchase holiday merchandise for Christmas, Universal Studios Hollywood is selling a Simpsons themed ornament, one shaped like butterbeer and a Christmas Minion popcorn bucket.
While in Universal Studios Hollywood, you may have the chance to take pictures with transformers like Optimus Prime, Megatron and Bumblebee. You may even run into the Simpsons and the characters from Shrek. Universal also features characters like Scooby-Doo and Shaggy. The park offers the Raptor Encounter and a picture taking opportunity with Curious George.
Meeting the characters and taking pictures with them is a great way to take a piece of the park home with you.
Tips for Maximizing Your Park Visit During the Holidays
Be sure to check the park hours before you get there. If you go on a weekend, you’ll get the chance to see all of the park’s holiday evening entertainment. Get to the park early and plan to stay until closing to enjoy as much as possible.
Peek at the Alerts section of the Universal app once you arrive. This will show you when the showtimes are scheduled to begin. Also, look at the Grinchmas signs when you enter the area. They will tell you when the tree lighting is supposed to begin and the story time hours. If you are in the park when there are several Hogwarts Castle shows, plan to see a later one. That way, the crowd will be lighter.
If you’re traveling to visit the park, book a hotel that’s close to Universal Studios. This will make it quick and easy for you to get to the park. Plan to spend some time on CityWalk. There’s musical entertainment on the walk and Voodoo Doughnuts. The donut shop makes holiday treats.
The store window of Saul & Sons New York Deli features Hanukkah décor while the walk displays 200,000 choreographed LED Christmas lights. Be sure to bring a jacket or your Hogwarts robe. Even if it’s a warm day, the park will cool down when the sun sets.
Visit Universal Studios Hollywood at Christmas
At Universal Studios Hollywood, Christmas time starts toward the end of November and lasts until the first of January. Spending a day or two at Hogsmeade or Grinchmas Universal Studios Hollywood is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.