Universal Studios Hollywood at Christmas: Everything You Need to Know 2023

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 décor.

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 décor 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.

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Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry PotterFamily 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 usually after Thanksgiving throughout the month of December. This area is decked out to its full holiday best and definitely should make the top of your list!

The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts CastleHogwarst Castle show

This show debuted in 2017 and it’s back for the 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. The show begins every night at dusk.

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 ChoirUniversal 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 FoodClose 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 English Holiday Meal this year is roasted turkey, gravy, stuffing, honey glazed carrots, roasted brussels sprouts, pigs in a blanket and cranberry compote.

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

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 HollywoodThe 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 during the holiday season.

Meet the GrinchGrinch 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 CardA 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 ChristmasMartha May performing with the Who-dolls

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 HollywoodMinions 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!

Universal Studios Hollywood Christmas Treat List 2023

Here is the list so far of the holiday treat items you can find at Universal Studios Hollywood for the season!

Savory Food Items

Holiday Popcorn Chicken & Waffle

Roasted Chicken & Brie Croissant

Smoked Brisket Sandwich

Max 22” Hot Dog

Harvest Stew in a Bread Bowl (Vegan)

Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl

English Holiday Meal at Three Broomsticks


Butterscotch Pudding Jar

Black Forest Cake Jar

Gingerbread Who-Ville Tree Cookie

Holiday Minion Sugar Cookie

Snow Globe Cookie

Smores Cupcake

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Cupcake

Mini Donut Cup (Cinnamon Sugar & Pumpkin Spice)

Grinch Donut

Chocolate Wreath Donut

Grinch Funnel Cake

Pumpkin Spice Churro

Grinch Cotton Candy

Beverages (non-alcoholic)

Classic Hot Chocolate

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Smores Hot Chocolate

Grinch’s Heart Lemonade

Alcoholic Beverages 

Winter Mojito

Santa’s Secret Tonic

Mulligan’s Treat

Sleigh Bell Irish Sour

Grinch’s Heart

Fiesta Fizz

Hot Mixed Drinks (alcoholic)

Spiked Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Buttered Rum

Pear Cider

Universal Studios Hollywood Christmas Staff Reviews and Photos

Most of us here at Mickey Visit have enjoyed Universal Studios Hollywood during the holidays! Here’s all our favorite videos and photos from our visits. Hands down, you cannot miss The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Universal Studios: The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle Video 

Live from Wizarding World of Harry Potter Christmas and Universal Studios from 2018!

Photo Tour of Grinchmas and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Here’s some of our favorite photos from the holiday decorations and meet and greets you can enjoy at Universal Studios Hollywood for the holidays!

Don’t miss the Who-ville tree!

You can also meet Max!

Come back at night to see Who-Ville lit up!

You can also meet other Who-Ville characters besides the Grinch.

During the day the area is beautiful.

I appreciated that the treat stand was right next to the Grinch line which was consistently long throughout the day.


Meet the Grinch! Be prepared to devote time for this as his line was long all day.

At night you can see shows and entertainment from popular Who characters.

The Grinchmas tree is massive!

Small touches of holiday decor are in nearly every corner of the park.

You’ll see holiday touches throughout the whole park.

Find some holiday photo ops by the Despicable Me ride.

Some of the window displays feature holiday themes.

Holiday centered photo ops are featured in the park too.

Our favorite minions get some nice Santa hats!

At night the park lights up with holiday lights and projections.

Be sure to look up to see everything.

All the decor here matches beautifully.

Be sure to take time to look in the windows.

The snow capped buildings are more fitting during the holidays.

Don’t miss out on the entertainment!

Plenty of beautiful photos to take in this area.

Small holiday touches are everywhere.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter shines in the holiday season.

And the holiday show cannot be beat!

Hands down my favorite part of Universal Studios Hollywood at Christmas was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! But I did enjoy the Grinchmas celebration much more than I thought I would. The area is themed beautifully and the entire entertainment line up is fun for everyone.

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
  3. When to Visit Disneyland
  4. Top 10 Disneyland Rookie Mistakes
  5. Disneyland Halloween Tips, Tricks, and Hacks
  6. 7 Best Hotels Near Disneyland + Discounts

Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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