Although Universal Studios Hollywood is in the thick of its annual Halloween Horror Nights, the park has announced less scary and more heartwarming plans for the 2017 holiday season.
Both Universal Studios and Universal CityWalk will be transformed into a magical wonderland the day after Thanksgiving when “Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will open to the public on Friday, Nov. 24, and run through Sunday, Jan. 7. The experience will include the nightly illumination of Hogwarts Castle where colorful images will dance across the castle in tandem to musical arrangements from the Harry Potter films. The yuletide season will also be celebrated in Hogsmeade Village, which will be completely decked out for the holiday as each of the individual store fronts will be themed. The a cappella Frog Choir, featuring students from Hogwarts, will clear their throats and perform all-new holiday-themed songs.
Each of the two popular Southern California theme parks has its signature rides attractions, and even the cultures are different. Scott Craven and Paige Schwahn/The Republic
Guests will also be able to purchase exclusive merchandise, including custom-made Christmas ornaments created for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There will be a variety of decorative Hogwarts castle snow globes, crest and mascot ornaments representing each of the houses, unique tree toppers and house pennant garland. Even the food will be holiday-themed, including the seasonal return of hot Butterbeer.
The Grinch will be back in action along with his trusty dog Max and a roster of Who-ville Whos within the park as Grinchmas takes place on weekends on Saturday, Dec. 2- Sunday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 9-Sunday, Dec.10 and daily from Friday, Dec. 15 through Sunday, Dec. 31. Martha May Who-vier and the Who Dolls will take center stage as they perform around a 60-foot-tall Grinchmas tree and there will be Who-liday singers, a boy band ensemble, performing a cappella concerts featuring a mix of pop and rock Christmas favorites. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and the Super Silly Fun Land will include a merry crew of Minions who will bring some mischievous Christmas cheer.
Wizard robes are in fashion, wands actually work and the snow never melts in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. Paige Schwahn/The Republic Wochit
Out at Universal CityWalk in the 5 Towers Plaza, a 40-foot Christmas tree will be covered with 200,000 LED icicle lights that are choreographed with holiday-themed music. Santa Claus will also make nightly appearances and pose for photos in the area as well. Universal CityWalk will also host free performances in the 5 Towers plaza and theme its dancing water fountains for the holidays with special projections and red and green LED lighting. The seasonal transformation takes place at CityWalk beginning Friday, Nov. 24 and runs through Sunday, Dec. 23.
The holiday activities are included with the price of Universal Studios Hollywood theme park admission. More information, including park hours, which vary by day, can be found at UniversalStudiosHollywood.com.