Universal Studios Hollywood at Christmas: Everything You Need to Know 2018

Updated 11/6/18. This holiday season, spend a day enjoying a Harry Potter or Grinch filled Universal Studios Christmas. The holidays at Universal Studios offers plenty to see and do in terms of entertainment, activities, and seasonal decor.

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Universal Studios Hollywood focuses their Christmas time festivities in two main themes: the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Grinchmas. Along with these two main themes, you can also see holiday decor throughout the park from the festive decorations to characters wearing Santa hats! Seasonal food is also in abundance, especially in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Need a refresher on everything Universal Studios Hollywood has to offer? Make sure to check out our full guide with tips on how to get discount tickets, what rides are offered, and a complete touring strategy.

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Family of four walks through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter during snowfall

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter takes place for Universal Studios Christmas from November 17th- January 6th. This area is decked out to its full holiday best and definitely should make the top of your list!

Universal Studios Christmas: Nightly Snowfall

This year you can now experience nightly snowfall in Hogsmeade for the first time! You can check the website for Universal Studios Christmas to check the times or you can ask the nearest park employee to ensure you don’t miss this new seasonal display.

The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle

Hogwarst Castle show

This show debuted in 2017 and it’s back for the 2018 holiday season at Universal Studios Hollywood! The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle includes lights, music, and projections on the castle of Hogwarts which makes for a stunning display.

Check the entertainment schedule on the Universal Studios app for daily times or ask the nearest park employee. Typically, the Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle show will begin in the evening and run every 30 minutes until park close. But on nights that the park closes early, there may only be one show. Make sure you find out the time in advance so you don’t miss it!

Holiday Frog Choir

Universal Studios christmas: holiday frog choir

Listen to some holiday songs from the choir of Hogwarts students and their croaking frogs! Check the entertainment schedule on the Universal Studios app for daily times or ask the nearest park employee.

Universal Studios Christmas Seasonal Food

Close up of holiday feast food at Universal Studios Hollywood

In the Harry Potter books, Harry and his friends enjoy a grand holiday feast at Hogwarts with all the fixings,

Harry had never in all his life had such a Christmas dinner. A hundred fat, roast turkeys; mountains of roast and boiled potatoes; platters of chipolatas; tureens of buttered peas, silver boats of thick, rich gravy and cranberry sauce — and stacks of wizard crackers every few feet along the table…

The Three Broomsticks offers a full holiday feast as a nod towards the Christmas dinner feast held at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series. The 2017 Holiday Feast included a few courses such as butternut squash soup, beef wellington, oven roast turkey, sweet potato, dried cherries, and winter vegetables. We expect the 2018 offering of a traditional English dinner to be just as delicious!

You can also find a variety of holiday sweets and seasonal drinks, such as warm butterbeer, around the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Christmas time.

Holiday Shopping at Universal Studios Christmas

Harry Potter holiday ornament

Picture via Los Angeles Daily News

Hogsmeade offers a variety of amazing shops straight out of the pages of the Harry Potter series. You can expect these stores to put out all the stops when it comes to serving your holiday shopping needs.

Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood

The Grinch and Max in front of the Christmas tree

Universal Studios also holds a celebration of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas with popular characters from the movie ready to share their Wholiday with your family. The Who-tacular festivities with The Grinch, Max and all of Who-ville takes place December 1, 2, 8, 9 and 14 – 30.

Meet the Grinch

Grinch with his hands reaching out

Meet Grinch and Max in front of the Whoville Christmas tree and snap a picture with this dynamic duo. There are also ornaments and cookies to decorate while you wait to meet the Grinch! You can also enjoy a daily lighting of the 60 feet Seussian tree along with further photo opportunities.

Send the Grinch a Post Card

A boy handing the Grinch a post card

One of the most heartwarming parts of Grinchmas at Universal Studios is the Send a Grinch a Post Card. If you send the Grinch a postcard promising three good deeds, a book will be donated to a child in need courtesy of the Seuss family. Now that’s showing some real Whoville spirit!

Whoville Entertainment during Universal Studios Christmas

Martha May performing with the Who-dolls

See a festive performance from Martha May Who-vier and the Who-dolls throughout the day which is sure to get you into the holiday Whoville spirit.

You can also listen to Cindy Lou Who read the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas and meet her afterwards during this Universal Studios Christmas celebration.

And wandering around the Whoville tree you can find other Whoville citizens singing, dancing, and greeting guests.

Check the Universal Studios app to see the current entertainment times for the day during your visit.

Christmas at Universal Studios Hollywood

Minions holiday decor

Between Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Grinchmas, there will be plenty of holiday entertainment to keep you busy.

Throughout the park you will notice seasonal holiday decor, characters such as the beloved Minions in Christmas hats and festive outfits, and a variety of Christmas treats and souvenirs.

When it comes to tips for navigating Universal Studios Hollywood during this busy time of year, we don’t vary too much from our usual strategy.

But we do have some additional tips and tricks to keep in mind for this busy holiday season:

  1. Arrive early- at least 30 minutes before the park opens. Not as many people do this at Universal Studios as they do at Disneyland, you will be one of the first ones in if you come early!
  2. If you have the extra funds and want to cut ahead the crowds, consider purchasing a Front of the Line pass so you can get to the front of the lines quicker.
  3. Plan ahead– know the park hours, entertainment schedule, and want you want to do first.
  4. If meeting the Grinch is at the top of your list, go there in the morning before the lines get long in the afternoon.
  5. When there are more than one Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle show, see the later timed one for lower crowd levels.
  6. Stay until the park closes– especially if you only have one day to spend.
  7. If Santa is on your list, save him for after the park closes or another day since he’s only found in City Walk.
  8. Consider staying at an Universal hotel to get early entry into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  9. Dress in layers– it can get chilly once the sun goes down!
  10. And don’t miss out on trying some warm holiday Butterbeer!

Plan your Universal Studios Hollywood trip now!

Now that you know how to make your Universal Studios Hollywood trip a memorable one, it’s the perfect time to book your tickets. Don’t forget to sign up for our Universal Studios discount newsletter so you have access to deals from our travel partners offered exclusively to our subscribers!

Dive deeper into our other Southern California travel articles:

  1. Find Discount Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets
  2. Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios Hollywood 2018
  3. When to Visit Disneyland 2018
  4. Top 10 Disneyland Rookie Mistakes
  5. Disneyland Halloween 2018 Tips, Tricks, and Hacks
  6. 7 Best Hotels Near Disneyland + Discounts

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