Universal Studios Hollywood Decks The Halls To Rejoice The Return Of Holiday Favorites

Universal Studios Hollywood decks the halls to rejoice the return of holiday favorites, Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Grinchmas! It's all happening now through January 1, 2023. All of the special holiday festivities are included with the price of admission. Click here to purchase tickets. We have visited Universal Studios every December since 2016 and I am here to share with you why it is my favorite time to visit and why you should go this holiday season! 

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at The Entertainment Capital of L.A. as Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk deck the halls with a wintry calendar of festive holiday experiences and an array of delectable treats that families and friends far and wide can enjoy. 

Make sure you take your photo at the famous Universal Studios globe. You can find this right at the park entrance.

Ready to enter the gates of Universal Studios Hollywood

I highly suggest getting the Universal Express ticket. It is valid for express access to each ride, attraction and seated show. Express access is a separate line with a shorter wait time at each ride, attraction or seated show.

The whimsical spirit of the holidays transforms Universal Studios Hollywood into a winter wonderland bringing merriment and cheer to families and friends this festive season as the theme park ushers in seasonal favorites, Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Grinchmas and so much more.

Families will rejoice at the arrival of Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where the quaint wizarding village of Hogsmeade is transformed to reflect the holiday spirit featuring merry décor and jolly ambiance. Guests can take delight in special holiday a cappella performances from the Hogwarts Frog Choir, stroll through the village shops while sipping a delicious Hot Butterbeer and enjoy savory festive fare at the Three Broomsticks.  Activities also include holiday shopping for exclusive items within the village shops, including personalized ornaments and notebooks.

Don't miss a cappella Frog Choir featuring Hogwarts students who perform their harmonized holiday themed songs.

Beginning at dusk each night, The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle dazzles with stunning imagery and animation as the impressive light projection show illuminates Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, bringing the iconic Hogwarts castle to life and infusing the land with the sounds of an arrangement of music from the Harry Potter film series.

Also in The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, make sure you ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (my favorite ride) and Flight of the Hippogriff. You can also cast spells throughout Hogsmeade. Experience Ollivanders Makers of Fine Wands where you can see a wand choose a wizard. Then cast spells with your own wand throughout Hogsmeade. Wave your wand, recite the spell and watch the magic unfold.

The jolly Grinchmas Who-bilation returns in festive fashion as holiday park-goers will be rockin’ around the topsy-turvy 65 foot tall Grinchmas tree in Universal Plaza, adorned with hundreds of ornaments and thousands of LED lights. A dazzling tree lighting ceremony accompanied by a snowfall flurry takes place every evening, bringing good tidings and season’s greetings as guests celebrate with The Grinch and his faithful dog Max.  A selection of themed Who-tacular sweet treats, including hot cocoa are available for purchase.

This is NEW this year.  There is a Who-Ville School House where Cindy Lou reads How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Kennedy participated with the Who-Ville Welcome Committee Show and got a button!

The first Wholiday Tree Lighting happens at 5:30 pm and then every 30 minutes after that.  We like to see the first tree lighting show.  If you want a front row seat I suggest finding your seat around an hour before the show starts.  I like front row, so the kids can see the entire stage and everything and see the snow!

Right when you walk into Grinchmas make sure you line up to get your photo with the Grinch. It is a must! The line can get long so Blake always waits in line while I take the kids to explore and play all throughout Grinchmas. 

We brought papa and grandma this year for their first Grinchmas experience!  They loved it.

Visit the Who-vile Post Office to write and send a postcard to The Grinch. For every postcard mailed, Universal Studios Hollywood’s Discover a Star Foundation will make a donation to School on Wheels.

Just write your 3 good deeds and mail them in the mailbox.

Make sure you pick up some Who-Bilicious Treats

There are so many amazing attractions and rides at Universal Studios Hollywood like Transformers The Ride 3D, Revenge Of The Mummy, Jurassic World The Ride (I suggest you wear a poncho unless you want to get wet), Universal Animal Actors, Water World, Special Effects Show, The Simpsons Ride, and so much more! Make sure you visit with all the characters too! That is our favorite part!!

In Springfield you can enter the world of The Simpsons like never before and visit downtown Springfield. Enjoy a Genuine Clown Endorsed Meal at Krusty Burger, grab a Homer sized helping of donuts at Lard Lad and imbibe at Moe's Tavern. You can also meet your favorite Simpsons characters in Springfield. My personal favorite place to eat in Springfield is Luigi's! We also love Bumblebee Man's Taco Truck.

Spirited holiday décor and festive whimsy also permeate throughout the theme park, bringing a crew of very merry and mischievous Minions to Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Super Silly Fun Land to gleefully spread Christmas cheer to visitors of all ages.  There is so much to ride, play and eat in Silly Fun Land.

I loved this Minion Christmas tree and the Minion Cafe is a great place to eat. The Minion Cafe is so bright and fun! You can find grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken, nachos, salads, desserts and more.

Every time we visit Carter makes us check on the progress of Super Nintendo World. He literally can't wait. We are beyond excited about the new Super Mario World coming to Universal Studios Hollywood on the lower lot. They have started construction and we cannot wait!  It will open early 2023.

At Universal CityWalk and in Universal Studios Hollywood there are several stores for Super Nintendo World.  Of course Carter came home with a few things.

Don't miss The Secret Life Of Pets: Off The Leash. It is adorable. We are huge fans of both the movies and we love the ride. Get ready to take a stroll along the cleverly themed Pets Place which will bring you in front of Katie’s NYC apartment building where the innovative The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash ride resides. This all-new tech-savvy adventure inspired by Illumination’s blockbuster The Secret Life of Pets films, answers the question, “What are your pets really doing when you’re not at home?” This impressive new ride combines 64 technologically-advanced animated figures with hyper-realistic media and projection mapping designed to take guests on a journey to meet some of their favorite Illumination characters from the movies, including Max, Snowball, Gidget, Chloe and Duke, along with a host of other animal friends, who have all been transformed and transported into the live-action world. From blinking eyes to eyebrow movements, from head tilts to head nods, from moving mouths to smiles, from ear curls to lip curls, from full torso twists to physically walking, the depth of mobility and function programmed within each of these loveable characters creates an experience unlike any other theme park ride. 

 You can watch a video of the ride here.

They decorated the entire NYC area leading up the ride and it is beyond festive and adorable. We loved it. So many great photo spots.

Make sure you take the time to explore Universal CityWalk. There is so much to see and do. You can eat, shop, explore, play and so much more! There is even a movie theater. You could spend all day just exploring Universal CityWalk. Click here for a list of restaurants and shops.

All of this holiday fun at Universal Studios Hollywood is included in the price of theme park admission. Make sure you download the official park app. Navigate the theme park and Universal CityWalk with interactive maps, wait times, show times and more all in the palm of your hand.

Here are a list of ride:

The Studio Tour (Upper Lot)
Flight of the Hippogriff (Upper Lot)
Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey (Upper Lot)
Dreamworks Theater Featuring Kung Fu Panda (Upper Lot)
Jurassic World The Ride (Lower Lot)
Revenge of the Mummy The Ride (Lower Lot)
Silly Swirly Fun Ride (Upper Lot)
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem (Upper Lot)
The Secret Life Of Pets: Off The Leash (Upper Lot)
The Simpsons Ride (Upper Lot)
Transformers The Ride 3D (Lower Lot)

Here are a list of shows:

Universal's Animal Actors (Upper Lot
Water World (Upper Lot)
Special Effects Show (Upper Lot)

We absolutely love Universal Studios Hollywood.  If you are planning on visiting and have questions about the park, rides, attractions, food, etc.  Please do not hesitate to reach out.  

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