Universal Studios has brought both Grinchmas and Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the fore for this holiday season, both with unique offerings sure to please young and old alike. We started our long day at the park in the morning, with a stop at the Will Call desk to pick up our media tickets. Immediately while approaching the main gate, it was clear that Universal Studios has brought their full decorating and design prowess to bear. Christmas lights, trees, and more adorn every nook and cranny of the park.
One of the areas of the park I always enjoy is the New York area next to the new Kung Fu Panda Adventure attraction. This time of year, the New York area is covered in snow and beautiful lighting which is truly a sight to behold in the evening. The Kung Fu Panda Adventure attraction is also a lot of fun and not to be missed, but I wanted to focus more on the holiday portions of the event for this article. Going to the lower lot, the Jurassic Park ride is still being transformed into the Jurassic World attraction, but you can still enjoy the holiday lighting in that portion of the park as well. The fabled Universal Studios Tour is, as always, outstanding and it’s a pleasure to see the backlot in action – especially if you attend on a weekday. One never knows what movie or celebrity might be filming on the lot at any given time.
Grinchmas itself takes place in the Universal Plaza. There, you’ll find various food vendors, activities, and photo opportunities all arcing around the Grinchmas tree. This tree is enormous and never ceases to amaze – even in daylight. Once night falls, however, you’ll see it burst into a whole new life with amazing lighting effects. Also to be enjoyed throughout the day, there are multiple shows that take place at the base of the Grinchmas tree. For the little ones, be sure to get your photo taken with the Grinch himself! In the evening, you can enjoy the Grinchmas tree lighting ceremony, which is a brief retelling of the Dr. Seuss tale (as portrayed in the Universal Pictures’ film). You can even send a postcard to the Grinch, telling him you’ll do three good deads – whch is great for the kiddies. The Whoville citizens are all in movie quality makeup prosthetics and the makeup artists behind these applications should be very pleased with their edge-blending work.
Traveling farther into the park, we entered the Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter makeover of Hogsmeade. Again, Universal Studios park designers and decorators went above and beyond, managing to perfectly balance beautiful, seasonal decor with something that seems very in-character with the fictional village. At night, you and your group can experience faux snowfall! The Three Broomsticks restaurant has a holiday plate and you can now enjoy a hot version of the popular Butterbeer beverage. The holiday frog choir also has various shows throughout the day where they sing holiday tunes sure to please. The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle is a beautiful nighttime show where precision projector work and practical effects all come together into one eye popping spectacular. Overall, The Christmas in the Wizarding World makeover is outstanding – both in design and fun factor!
Overall, the Universal Studios Grinchmas and Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter events are not to be missed. Grinchmas runs from now until December 30th while the Christmas in the Wizard World makeover runs until January 6th, 2019. You can check out the full website for park hours, ticket information, and more!