Universal Studios Hollywood is once again transformed for the holiday season. First of the holiday fun to take in is Grinchmas. Grinchmas uses the the sights and sounds of the 2000 film Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas to delight kids and adults. Once again, the heart of the Grinchmas event takes place around a gigantic Christmas tree, adorned with ornaments and lights, but there are also several things to do and enjoy setup around the tree. You can eat several holiday treats created for the event – my personal favorite being the “yeti doughnut” – as well as take your picture with Whoville citizens, the Grinch himself, and even the Grinch’s faithful companion: Max. You can also send your loved ones (or even yourself) a holiday card from the Whoville post office! There is also an area where you can customize your own special Grinchmas ornament. Then there is a large assortment of stage shows – from “Story Time with Cindy-Lou” to the Grinchmas tree lighting ceremony in the evening. Overall, Grinchmas is a very fun time for young and old. I also wanted to give a special shout out to the makeup artists behind the makeup of Grinchmas. Their are doing a terrific job in blending the “who” prosthetics on their actors.
Earlier this year, Universal Studios Hollywood unveiled a terrific new holiday idea for 2017 in addition to their venerable Grinchmas event: Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. After not seeing anything happen in that area of the park for Halloween Horror Nights (could we pretty please get Deatheaters next year?), the gates being not so ceremoniously-shut, this was a welcome addition to the park. The decorations hanging about in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are decidedly rustic in nature, with boughs of holly and pine adorning the various shops and buildings of the fictional Hogsmeade village. Additionally, the Hogwarts Choir performs on the small stage with holiday-inspired harmonies – all backed up by their croaking frogs. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the attraction inside Hogwarts Castle, is also there for your riding enjoyment and has never looked better with its higher resolution 2D projection system. The Three Broomsticks has has a holiday makeover as well, offering an array of holiday themed dishes from the wizarding world, so be sure to catch lunch there during your visit. Finally, the highly-fabled hot butterbeer is back!
Of course, you will also be able to enjoy all the rest of the attractions and things that Universal Studios Hollywood has to offer. The studio tour is legendary and, despite its reliance on 3D movie-based experiences, still offers you an amazing view on the studio lot. I love doing stargazing from the tour tram as you never know who you’re going to see while being driven around – especially if you are there during the work week when shows and films are shooting. On the day we visited, which was a Sunday, the backlot was fairly quiet as one would expect, with maintenance workers buzzing about in golf carts. The area of the lot used for The Good Place is still off limits due to shooting, but hopefully they will open it up again soon. That area is a hoot to visit – especially if you are a fan of the show.
Overall, Universal Studios Hollywood has put together a great holiday celebration with Grinchmas and Christmas in the Wizarding World. There are plenty of things to do for both young and old and, after you are done in the park, you can enjoy the Universal City Walk outdoor mall. There you will find a number of interesting shops and restaurants for your holiday shopping pleasure. You can find ticket information and a lot more at the Universal Studios official website.