Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood
Have you ever taken a vacation for the holidays? Or what about giving the gift of a vacation to your family?
The thing about planning a holiday vacation getaway is that you DO need to plan it, so I thought I would take some time to share with you a bit about the holidays at Universal Studios and how you can start planning ahead for similar adventures if it’s appealing to you!
Giving the gift of travel is such a fun way to avoid acquiring more clutter and instead make unforgettable memories as a family. Whether you want to travel over the holidays or give a trip as a gift, Get Away Today has lots of destinations you’ll love.
Today I want to tell you about holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood and why traveling during the holidays has fast been becoming a favorite with my my family.
First of all, I love (love!!) traveling with my family. It’s become our go-to gift idea and one area that we work hard to set money aside for. We realize that our time with these kids is limited and we love making travel memories together.
Why travel during the holidays?
I’ll be honest, the thought of family travel during the holiday season never really appealed to me until my kids got a bit older. Looking back, I wish I’d considered it more but it just wasn’t on my radar.
I LOVE the holidays and didn’t think I’d enjoy being away from home during “the season”. But I started to realize that sometimes being home during the holidays, ended up just being stressful due to all of the business of the season.
My kids are both in their early teens and I’m cherishing every single minute of family time together. Pair that with the fact that it’s tough to miss school in middle and high school, so the fact that we were able to take advantage of their holiday vacation time was a big bonus for us. Even better, we also scored some amazing flight price drops in December which all added up to me kind of changing my thoughts about the whole traveling during the holidays concept. Turns out, it’s a great time to travel!
We actually flew out to Long Beach for an entire week and spend the first part of the week aboard the Carnival Panorma on a quick cruise to Mexico (more on that soon!) and then came back to a few days of fun at the Sheraton Universal Hotel and Universal Studios Hollywood.
ALL of this and we were back in time to enjoy Christmas at home.
Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood
The cool thing about traveling during the holidays is that you get to enjoy a different look at the holidays For example, December without snow if pretty foreign to my family since we live in Idaho but I have to admit, the warm weather during the holidays in Southern California was an extra bonus. Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it?!
Plus, we used a lot of our tourist time to do some Christmas shopping, another great reason to celebrate the holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood – 2020 Calendar of Events and Dates
You can find the entire lineup of 2020 Universal Studios Hollywood Events on their website, but if you are visiting for the holidays next year, it’s a great time to start planning ahead.
The holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood begin mid-November and conclude in early January. This allows for plenty of time to experience all the holidays have to offer at Universal Studios Hollywood. When they have official dates and more information posted, I’ll be sure to update here.
Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Christmas is a pretty magical time for the witches and wizards of Hogwarts School. They visit with loved ones, exchange gifts and get to take a field trip to the quaint village of Hogsmeade. During the holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood, so can you! In addition to festive decor and music throughout the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, be sure to look for the following during the holidays:
- The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle – After nightfall, Hogwarts Castle serves as the backdrop for a magical light and projection show. The Castle features evergreen enhancements, jolly scenes and holiday music. Be sure to check the app for showtimes.
- Snowfall – Is there anything more festive than snow in California? Like a spell has been cast, snow will fall from the sky around Hogwarts Castle in the evenings.
- Holiday Frog Choir – Straight from the Harry Potter movies, the Frog Choir performs in Universal Studios Hollywood. Holiday-themed songs will certainly get you into the spirit of the season.
- Holiday-Themed Food and Drink – Get cozy with a pint of warm Butterbeer during the holidays at Universal. Or, head to Three Broomsticks and order up a holiday-themed feast of turkey with cranberry sauce and hearty vegetables.
- Holiday-Themed Souvenirs – During the holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood, look for seasonal souvenirs such as tree toppers and ornaments, stockings and even Hogwarts House scarves to keep you warm during winter.
Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood – Grinchmas
The Grinch tries his best to steal Christmas, but he doesn’t succeed at Universal Studios! To celebrate the holidays, all of Whoville will sing and dance around the Christmas tree. The Grinch will make an appearance, but you can rest assured that he won’t make off with the decor or merriment.
- 60-foot Christmas Tree – Every 30 minutes, beginning in the afternoon, there will be a Whoville Christmas tree lighting. Check the Universal Studios app for start times, and be sure to stick around for the falling snow!
- Live Entertainment – Martha May and the Who-Dolls wow guests of Whoville with their holiday tunes.
- Caroling – Guests of Whoville will have chances to sing holiday-themed songs with the locals.
- Holiday-Themed Treats – During Grinchmas, get a taste of the wholidays with Who-themed and Hanukkah-inspired cookies, Grinchy cupcakes, specialty hot chocolate and eggnog.
Now we visited Universal Studios before Christmas, so all of the festivities were a fun pre-Christmas celebration for us. I also think it would be fantastic to visit AFTER Christmas for New Year’s Eve because they definitely roll out the red carpet for that celebration as well!
Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood – EVE
Welcome a new year during EVE, Universal Studios Hollywood’s New Year’s Eve party. For one night only, you can experience the theme park when the clock strikes midnight and beyond (2am, to be precise). From 8pm – 2am on December 31, enjoy a number of rides and attractions, some of which are listed below.
- Ultimate EVE Package – This add-on (to regular theme park admission) includes valet parking, VIP entrance at 6:00pm, dinner and reserved seating for fireworks. The Ultimate EVE Package also includes Universal Express access for all rides and attractions.
- DJs – Look for music being spun by DJs in Simpsons Plaza, the Lower Lot and Universal Plaza.
- EVE Food and Drink – Although an after-hours event, EVE will feature a number of regular food and restaurant vendors that you can also enjoy during regular theme park admission. In the late-evening, specialty desserts will be available for purchase to celebrate EVE.
*the above info is based on that 2019 party, but from what I hear – New Year’s Eve at Universal Studios is always an all out party!
Universal Studios Hollywood Favorites
And of course, even with the whole holiday happenings, you can still enjoy all of your favorite rides and features. The Simpsons Ride and a visit to Krustyland is a must! Other family favorites include Transformers: The Ride-3D, WaterWorld and if you get a chance (and if you can handle it) make sure to do the Walking Dead Attraction. You’ll want to select age appropriate things of course, but one thing that I love about Universal Studios is that they have something for everyone but seem to have particularly super cool things for the teens.
Animal Actors Show
We never miss a chance to see the Animal Actors Show at Universal Studios. If you have a VIP pass (which I highly recommend!) you’ll be invited to stay after the show to meet the stars!
We are also huge fans of the Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Lot Tour, which takes you through current and past movie lots and sets and definitely something you need to check out if you visit the park.
Jurassic World – The Ride
And of course… if you haven’t yet checked it out, Jurassic World – The Ride is now open at Universal Studios Hollywood and it’s just as amazing as you might imagine.
Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood – Book Now
Of course, you can vacation to Universal Studios Hollywood all year long and it’s never too early to start planning. If you think you’d enjoy spending holiday time in the park in 2020, it’s never too early to start planning that either. In fact, you can plan now and take advantage of the awesome Get Away Today layaway plan to have your trip all paid for by the time the holidays roll around!
For discount Universal Studios Hollywood tickets, visit www.getawaytoday.com or call a travel specialist at 855-GET-AWAY.
They’ll help you get the best deals and can offer advice on hotels near Universal Studios. Plus, mention SheSaved when you book and use code SheSaved for an additional $10 in savings on Southern California vacation packages. Make sure to check out all of our other favorite family travel destinations and ways to save on family travel!
Hotels Close to Universal Studios Hollywood
Just a short walk (literally!) from Universal Studios Hollywood, you’ll find the Sheraton Universal Hotel which is a great choice if you are looking for hotels close to Universal Studios Hollywood! See our room tour of Sheraton Universal hotel to see what these rooms look like!
Sheraton Universal is also one of the hotels that partners with Get Away Today to score you great family vacation rates and packages so visit www.getawaytoday.com or call a travel specialist at 855-GET-AWAY. (and remember! Mention SHESAVED to score an additional $10 in savings!)
The creative and frugal mind behind She Saved for over 12 years now, Keri Lyn shares her adventures in parenting along with her love for family travel, country living and brand marketing. A self-proclaimed “brand loyalist”, Keri Lyn is known for her strong and enthusiastic voice when it comes to the products and brands that she loves. Passionate about family and the challenge of raising good humans (through the teen years, no less!) Keri Lyn has also served as a brand ambassador to many brands including her time as a Hilton Mom Voyage travel writer and currently an O Mag Insider for O, The Oprah Magazine and the 2019 recipient the O-verall Contribution O-ward.