Winter is my favorite time of year. Unfortunately, living in Southern California, our winters tend to heat up to a brisk 80 degrees, so it’s only natural we want to search out some snow and reminders of the season that is coming upon us. We visited the Winter Wonderland at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk to help get us in the Christmas spirit.
Entering Universal CityWalk from the Jurassic parking garage, we were greeted by a 50 foot, flocked Christmas tree. Wait until the afternoon if you want to catch a glimpse of Ol’ St. Nick, as he doesn’t arrive until 1:00 pm on weekends (4:00 pm on Fridays).
We quickly scooted through CityWalk, as the kids were in a hurry to get into Universal Studios Hollywood when the gates opened. We walked through at exactly 9:00 am to our first stop….Who-ville! This is a magical section of the park filled with the characters from How The Grinch Stole Christmas. We lined up in the queue to meet the Grinch. The kids had a great time, as the Grinch spent a few minutes talking with them, interacting with them and allowing us to get many photographs.
While standing in line, the kids can fill out a postcard. This is part of the “Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes” campaign. The kids reflected on three good deed that they had done and handed them to the Grinch. In return, he (along with Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children Books) will donate a book to a child in your community on behalf of your child. This is a program through First Book, and a great time to remind your child that the spirit of giving a huge part of Christmas.
Across Who-ville you can also check out cookie decorating and make your own ornaments in their “Trim Up The Tree Lot”. The kids can decorate the trees in the lot, or take them home as a keepsake. Cookies must be purchased, but the ornament craft is free.
Cindy-Lou Who also provides a free storytime on Stage and encourages audience participation. If you take the time to go on the Studio Tour (which I highly recommend), there is a portion where you can see another side of Whoville featuring a dancing Grinch and some other Whoville residents.
The entire park is decked out in holiday cheer, but my favorite tree is the one in Whoville. I wonder where I can pick up a topsy turvy one for our house?
From NOW through New Years Day 2016, Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk will have free concerts, nightly snowfall and special appearances by Santa Claus.
And what’s Christmas without a little Grinch? “Grinchmas” runs this weekend (12/12 and 12/13 and then continues daily from 12/18/15 through 1/3/16).
For more information, please visit the Universal Studios Hollywood website.
Admission to Universal CityWalk is FREE, and Santa Claus will make nightly appearances with special photo ops at 5 Towers Plaza (next to the Jurassic parking structure). Don’t miss out on the free nightly concerts and hourly snowfall every evening!
If you have Front of the Line Passes, note they do not work for photo ops, so arrive early if you want to meet Max and The Grinch as the line can get up to 90 minutes long as the day goes on. Wait times are less than 20 minutes in the first hour of opening.
It’s also a great time of year to consider Universal Studios Hollywood’s Annual Passes — the perfect size to stuff in a stocking!
Heather received free admission to the Media preview day at
Universal Studios Hollywood for editorial purposes. Her opinions are her own.