Universal Studios Hollywood Grinchmas

Written by Dusty Sage. Posted in Features, Grinchmas, Universal Hollywood

Tagged: ,

Published on December 15, 2016 at 3:00 am with No Comments

Oh Grinchmas tree, oh Grinchmas tree, you are so bright and lovely. Oh Grinchmas tree, oh Grinchmas tree, shine your light and bring us glee.

It’s Grinchmas time in Hollywood as Universal Studios pulls out all the stops to make the season extra merry. We have a number of things to share in this update, including a brand new hot Butterbeer, special holiday offerings, decorations and entertainment aplenty, and more construction in this park that just can’t grow fast enough to meet demand.

Universal Studios Hollywood Grinchmas

Welcome to Universal Studios Hollywood, where you’re the star.

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Action!

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As you enter, the left side of the street is decorated for Christmas.

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There’s construction on the right, the old Sponge Bob shop has been demolished. It’s a pretty big space.

Grinchmas Time

Universal Plaza, the new hub of the park, once again serves as the backdrop for Grinchmas. A massive 60 foot tall Grinchmas tree looms over the area. Grinchmas runs daily beginning December 16 through January 1, 2017.

Throughout the area you can interact with Who-ville citizens. You can even “Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes” by mailing a postcard to the Grinch. In return, Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children’s Books will donate a book to a child in need through First Book.

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There’s even a scavenger hunt you can go on.

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Get in the long line at the “Trim Up The Tree-Lot” to meet the Grinch. He’s VERY popular and this is a very slow moving line. You have been warned.

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Even Max has a meet and greet.

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The Grinchmas tree area offers back to back entertainment. During the day, Cindy-Lou Who reads the Grinch story and Martha May Who-vier and the Who Dolls sing on a stage in front of the tree.

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Martha Mae and the Who-Dolls were a lot of fun and very talented.

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When was the last time you could kick that high?

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In the evening, The Who-liday Singers (a handsome boy-band ensemble) perform a cappella concerts alternating with the lighting of the Grinchmas Tree every half hour.

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Oh no . . . the tree won’t light. Whomever is responsible for that?

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The Grinch of course, I should have known!

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Super Silly Fun Land

Head to the back corner of the Upper Lot, where Despicable Me is located, and you’ll find a little extra Christmas cheer.  The European streets have been decked out and the windows decorated.

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Even Super Silly Funland has holiday decorations.

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Studio Tour Gets Grinchy

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It was a very busy Saturday in the park. The queue for the Studio Tour was filled.

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Popping for the VIP experience gets you a fancy bus, front of line for everything, and a special backstage look at the back lot and sound stages. On a busy day like this, a VIP Tour would be a real treat.

 

Hairspray Live was filmed on the lot last week. It was a big hit and took two full sound stages and outdoor sets to accomplish.

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Enter the lair of Kong.

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Flash floods can happen at any time on a back lot.

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Grinchmas makes its way to the Studio Tour as well. The Whos sing and dance their way through the Whoville set on the backlot.

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It’s Whoville on one side . . .

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. . . and the Bates Motel on the other

 

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The tour ends with The Fast and the Furious 3D extravaganza. While the overall set up was a good idea, there’s something about the CGI and acting that bothers me with this attraction. In time, I hope they upgrade this one.

Back to the Park

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There are extra little touches everywhere at Uni. I particularly like the actors in the windows. It’s all improv, but they are so funny!

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Oh no . . . the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant is melting down!

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This hospital is a great place to have you brains removed.

Something interesting on the way to the Lower Lot. You’ll notice that the far right hand side of the Starway has a construction wall running the entire length. Uni is adding a 4th escalator so they can run 2 up and 2 down at all times.  You can bet they aren’t doing this on a whim, they need extra capacity for future attractions on the lower lot.

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Long line at the Three Broomsticks. Wizarding World was packed to the gills on Saturday.

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Something fun and new . . . and hot . . . at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter . . . HOT BUTTERBEER!!! And it’s really, REALLY good!  Creamy, delicious, buttery goodness. Like a Butterbeer flavored hot chocolate. But you can only find it at the Hogshead Tavern and Three Broomsticks.

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What’s your favorite? Hot, Cold, or Frozen?

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Through the end of the season, you can enjoy a special Holiday Feast at the Three Broomsticks. The feast starts with a first course of Butternut squash soup. The main course is a combination of Beef Wellington served with a tarragon aioli sauce & oven roast turkey served with gravy, sage stuffing, roast sweet potato, dried cherries with winter vegetables. The restaurant also offers a Honey Ale marinated chicken breast sandwich with melted cheddar cheese, Applewood bacon, roasted roma tomatoes, lettuce, and béarnaise sauce on a toasted brioche bun. And for dessert, you can try the “Eton Mess,” a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, broken meringue, and whipped heavy cream.

Universal-Holiday Feast at Three Broomsticks - WWoHP at USH

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The park stayed busy until late into the evening.

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By popular demand, the exhibit “From Coraline to Kubo: A Magical LAIKA Experience” will return from December 21, 2016 to January 15, 2017 in the park’s Globe Theatre.

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Citywalk

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The cinema at Universal Studios Citywalk has received a big upgrade:

Universal City, California, December 13, 2016 – Universal CityWalk unwraps a multi-million dollar renovation of its AMC Theatre to create an all-new state-of-the-art Universal Cinema, debuting just in time for the holidays and offering movie-goers a chance to catch the latest seasonal blockbusters from the comfort of deluxe, recliner seating.

AMC-Universal-Citywalk

For film buffs, CityWalk has long been the epicenter for fans seeking an environment that matches the excitement of their favorite blockbuster movies. As part of if its bold revitalization, CityWalk now elevates the movie-going experience to new heights as the 18-screen and IMAX AMC Theatre updates with the most technologically advanced sight and sound achievements. A complete remodel of the split level structure includes the installation of deluxe recliner seats in 18 theatres—the equivalent of those found in Hollywood screening rooms—making every seat, the best seat in the house.

Each redesigned theatre has been fully upgraded with Christie RGB Laser projection, Dolby Atmos immersive surround sound and equipped with Christie Vive speakers for optimal audio performance. The installation of new, state-of-the art screens, perforated to enable 360 degree audio, complement the overall enhancements.

The recent upgrade to the IMAX theatre features next-generation 4K laser projection and 12-channel sound systems designed to enhance the entire movie-going experience and provide audiences with sharper, brighter, clearer and more vivid digital images than ever.

The Director’s Lounge Cocktail Bar—an all-new dedicated and stylish second level retreat, flanked by the upper level theatres—adds a charismatic new dimension to the space as it blends high-tech elegance with chic sophistication for casual pre- and post- movie-going fun. Beverages served at the Lounge can also be taken into the second level theatres.

Additionally, movie-goers can enjoy $5 Movie General Parking with the purchase of a movie ticket.

A beautiful 40-foot tall Christmas tree is located in the “5 Towers” plaza, just in front of the AMC theater. Santa Claus will make nightly appearances during the season.

 

 

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Universal Studios Hollywood feels like a brand new park to me. While the classic Studio Tour remains, the rest of the park looks and feels nothing like the park I knew just 15 years ago. The transformation has been absolutely stunning. And there’s a lot more to come.

Happy Holidays folks!

About Dusty Sage

Dusty is the founder and CEO of MiceChat.com. When he's not visiting theme parks and writing, editing or speaking about Disney and theme parks worldwide, Dusty stays busy as the Executive Director of both the Walt Disney Birthplace AND the Dick Van Dyke Foundation. He also runs O-Zell Soda (the company originally operated by Walt Disney's father and at which Walt once worked). If you've got news or photos to share with the MiceChat community, or would like to book Dusty for an upcoming event, please contact [email protected]

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