Christmas at Universal Studios Hollywood
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Although we’ve visited Universal Orlando Resort several times (it’s one of our favorites – read more here and here), we had not yet visited Universal Studios Hollywood. During our Thanksgiving trip, we decided to spend our last day in Southern California hanging out with the Grinch in Who-ville for the holidays.Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood

It turns out that Christmas at Universal Studios Hollywood was just as fun as we’d imagined! From the festive decorations all over the park to the special appearances from all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, it was a trip to remember, and we think it’s worth a visit for any family. Come check out all the fun!

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Spending Christmas at Universal Studios Hollywood

Exploring Who-ville and the Who-tacular Grinchmas Celebration

Grinchmas Universal Studios HollywoodWho-ville was spilling over with holiday cheer, and it was fun to just wander around enjoying the lights and festivities. Be sure to check the park schedules for special shows and appearances by your favorite characters including Max the dog. Throughout the day, enjoy special performances, and in the evening enjoy a fun tree lighting ceremony, along with a photo opportunity with the Grinch himself.

Photos with Max at Universal's Grinchmas
Photo ops with Max the dog at Universal’s Grinchmas

All around Who-ville you can find fun shopping and good things to eat like a “roast beast” sandwich and Who-hash. With the entire park dressed up for the holidays, it’s hard not to have fun – even for the Grinch-iest among you.Who-ville at Universal Studios Hollywood Grinchmas

Enjoy the rides – especially The World-Famous Studio Tour

Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood
Studio Tour – Universal Studios Hollywood

Since we’ve ridden most of Universal’s rides before in Orlando (many are the same, like Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Flight of the Hippogriff), we focused on those that are unique to the Hollywood park, which means riding the Studio Tour. This ride takes about an hour and is the first ride we did in the park.

The ride is an open tram ride that takes you past the back lots and and sound stages that make up Universal Studios Hollywood. It was fun to see some of Universal’s production projects and also the historical sets and back lots from some hit movies and television shows. The tour is led by a knowledgeable guide who narrates and points out fun facts as you go along.Studio Tour Universal Studios Hollywood

The ride also includes some 3-D portions like King Kong and Fast and the Furious that put you right in the middle of the action. We all enjoyed the tour and recommend you take it on your visit to the park. Be sure to get there early as it’s one of the most popular rides in the park.

Other rides at Universal Studios Hollywood

Jurassic World - one of the best attractions at Universal Studios HollywoodAnother attraction that we were looking forward to is the new Jurassic World – The Ride which just opened. We love the version in Orlando, but this one has been revamped with all new effects and surprises. Definitely don’t miss it! Other rides unique to Hollywood are the WaterWorld stunt show and DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda if you’re interested.The Simpsons Ride - best rides in Universal Studios Hollywood

Other favorites of ours are Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (although it can give us motion sickness) and Revenge of the Mummy. We also enjoyed the Special Effects show for the first time, which is a cool look into how Hollywood stunt actors pull off all their amazing effects. Plus, it’s a chance to sit down and rest a bit.

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Christmas Universal Studios Hollywood
Christmas in Hogsmeade

No trip to Universal Studios would be complete without visiting the Wizarding World, and during the holidays, it’s as magical as ever. We loved the decorations adorning the shops in Hogsmeade, and the warm Butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks was just what we needed to stay warm on a chilly evening. We also love visiting Honeydukes for a sweet treat, and popping into Ollivander’s Wand Shop to see if maybe one of the kids might be chosen to participate (hasn’t happened yet though!).

Hogwarts Universal Studios Hollywood
Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The holidays are a great time to visit because the park transforms Hogwarts Castle into a Christmas wonderland that will cast a spell on you. The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle lights up the Castle with with an amazing laser light show with a holiday soundtrack and fireworks that is sure to bring a smile to your face. Be sure to check the schedule and stick around in the evening to experience this fun show.Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood

Don’t forget CityWalk Holidays

CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood
CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood

CityWalk Universal Studios Hollywood

CityWalk isn’t immune to the holiday cheer either, so be sure to spend some time in the shops or find a place to grab a bite to eat. We’ve always found the food at the Universal parks to be excellent, so have at it. We like the Mexican dishes at Antojitos Cocina Mexicana, and their street tacos are delicious.

Spending the Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood – Before you go

Holidays at Universal Studios HollywoodWhat are the hours at Universal Studios Hollywood?
The park opens at 9:00 a.m. and closing hours vary. Be sure to check the calendar here before you visit.

When is Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood?
Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood runs through December 29th.

Where can I buy Universal Studios Hollywood discount tickets?
We purchased our tickets from Undercover Tourist which come will save you a little money over admission at the gate. If you’re looking for discounts to Universal Studios Hollywood, give them a try. Universal also ran a special where you could purchase two days for the price of one which was convenient. You may also purchase tickets at Universal Studios Hollywood from the ticket office or online directly from Universal.

Are there hotels near Universal Studios Hollywood California?
Yes – the Hilton Universal City is just across the street from the main entrance. You can read TripAdvisor reviews here.

Check here for the latest prices.

Have you visited Universal Studios Hollywood during the holidays?

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