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The Holidays Return to Universal Studios Hollywood!

Everything isn’t back to normal in the world, but we have one thing to celebrate. This year the holidays have returned to Universal Studios Hollywood, and Vital Thrills (me, in particular) got to check it all out!

The place was packed, and yes, they were checking vaccination cards/recent negative Covid tests. In fact, there was a man ahead of us who forgot his card. The employees rushed to get him a rapid result test so he could join his family. It was pretty great and super fast!

The Holidays Return to Universal Studios Hollywood!

Returning this year are Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Grinchmas. Let’s start with Harry Potter.

My boyfriend and I hit the Wizarding World and stopped in the Three Broomsticks for a hot and cold Butterbeer. The line was long, but it moved really fast! It was delicious, because of course it was, and everyone seemed to be following all the rules, including the one about masks at all times in the park, inside or outside.

Universal Studios Hollywood
My better half enjoying a butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks

While we waited for the evening light show at Hogwarts, we headed over to Whoville to check out the tree and the events. I would recommend getting there pretty early because there is a line to get close. You can absolutely watch from the outskirts, which we did later in the evening. The light shows start at dusk and play several times.

Yours truly at the Grimchmas tree

Here is the info on Whoville’s Christmas celebration: The jolly Grinchmas Who-lebration 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 will take place every evening, bringing good tidings and season’s greetings as guests celebrate with The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and the Who-ville Whos, who will be performing on select nights. A selection of themed Who-tacular sweet treats, including hot cocoa will be available for purchase.

Later in the evening, we headed over for the tree lighting. It was lovely, with a whole stage show (the Whos and the Grinch were wearing masks, by the way), with the Grinch stealing the lights and being convinced to love Christmas and bring them back. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s stunning!

Even cooler were the kids’ faces as they watched in the group I was in. They were singing along and cheering. Special shout out to the security guard who kept ducking under my phone so I could get great pics!

There are photo ops aplenty at Grinchmas. You can shop for fun souvenirs and get your picture taken with the Grinch and his faithful dog Max. (There are also adorable baby Grinch and Max stuffies at some of the stores and they’re really cute!)

We also checked out the first Hogwarts lightshow of the evening. Here is the info for you:

Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood
Pre-show Hogwarts

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. 

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.

I have to say, it’s hard to put into words what Universal Studios Hollywood does with the Hogwarts light show. It’s one of the loveliest things ever! From the tree all lit up and projected onto the castle, to the dozens of owls flying across the castle to the snow and broom flying, it’s hard to call it just a lightshow. It all looks 3D.

Honestly, it has to be seen to be believed. It truly is the best light show I’ve ever seen. It’s pretty magical for the average person, let alone a huge fan of the series and a diehard Ravenclaw. I may have bought myself an owl stuffy. I am not 12. I do not care. I love him and I’ve named him Archie.

Be sure to check out the videos below and click here to purchase tickets. The events at Universal Studios Hollywood run from Friday, November 26 through Sunday, January 2, 2022.

Are you guys going to check it out? I 100% recommend going if you feel safe. Let us know in the comments or tweet us @vitalthrillscom.


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