Challenger School

Holiday Cheer at Universal Studios Hollywood

Enjoy your Christmas and New Year at Universal Studios Hollywood.  Opened more than a half century ago in conjunction with the film studio that has produced some of the world’s biggest grossing movies, it combines a backstage studio tour with a theme park.  And, through January 1, you can enjoy Christmas-themed entertainment and décor including “Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter” and “Grinchmas”.

The Harry Potter-themed area of the park includes a Christmas-themed Hogsmeade village, with colorful lights, wreaths and other seasonal décor.  Enjoy an a cappella Frog Choir performance and sample a seasonal Hot Butterbeer.  Stay after dark and enjoy a light projection show around the Hogwarts Castle.  Grinchmas includes a 65-foot tall Grinchmas tree and live performances from the Who-Bee Doo-Wops group.  At night, enjoy a Christmas tree lighting and snowball flurry.  Take your photo with the Grinch and his dog, Max.

In addition to Christmas-themed entertainment, enjoy the many fabulous attractions the park offers.  A staple is the Studio Tour tram ride that takes you on the Universal lot where you’ll see the sets from such movie classics as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 movie Psycho, and physically experience your tram being threatened by a T. rex and King Kong, Jaws, a flash flood and an earthquake.  Another favorite is the motion simulator Simpsons Ride which takes you on a simulated roller coaster combined with a zany film of the Simpsons characters, or the Transformers ride where you can enjoy characters from that franchise.  If you want to ride on a real roller coaster, take a ride on the Revenge of the Mummy or the Flight of the Hippogriff in the Harry Potter section of the park.  If you want something more sedate for smaller children and older folks, try The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash.

New this year is Super Nintendo World with such experiences as the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride, Peach’s Castle and the Mushroom Kingdom.  We ate burgers at the new land’s Toadstool Café and enjoyed character meet and greets.

One suggestion if you can afford a little extra: get the Universal Express ticket option and you’ll find yourself walking onto the attractions.  It allowed us to avoid the lines and hit all the major attractions in a single day.  Head over to the park before the end of the year, and enjoy your day!

About author