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It’s the Grinch’s world at Universal Studios. We’re just living in it.

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The Grinch appears daily at Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood

POV: You’re a Who down in Whoville, and you love Christmas a lot. But there’s an evil green creature living high up on Mount Crumpit, and he’s dead set on ruining the holiday for you. 

What do you do? Pummel him with sugar and holiday cheer until he comes around. It worked on the Grinch, and at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Grinchmas celebration, it worked on me, too. 

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The day after Thanksgiving, Universal Studios kicked off its holiday celebration, which has two parts. Christmas in the Wizarding World changes Hogsmeade into a winter wonderland, complete with a choir of “frogs” singing wizard holiday songs, an English Christmas dinner at Three Broomsticks and a festive nighttime projection show on Hogwarts Castle, complete with fireworks. In a particularly magical touch, it also snows inside the Harry Potter section of the main Universal gift shop.

Grinchmas happens daily at Universal Studios Hollywood until Jan. 1.

Grinchmas happens daily at Universal Studios Hollywood until Jan. 1.

Julie Tremaine

The other celebration centers on a mean, green guy hellbent on ruining the holiday. But just like in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the relentlessly cheery Whos win out in the end. The vibe is upbeat and fun, and even if it is designed mostly for kids, it’s easy to get swept up in the holiday nostalgia. Every year, the “Who-bilation” (Universal’s word, not mine) takes over Universal Plaza, where a topsy-turvy 65-foot-tall Christmas tree towers over the scene. Below, you can meet the Grinch himself, have Cindy-Lou Who read you a story, decorate an ornament to hang on a tree in the plaza or take home, and hear the Who-Bee Doo-Wops sing Seussy songs. 

You can also meet the animal actors who played “Max” in “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and see props, including show cars, from the movie. If you write a postcard to the Grinch and drop it in the Whoville Post Office, Universal makes a donation to School on Wheels, a volunteer organization that provides mentorship and tutoring to unhoused students in Southern California. 

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The Grinch’s reluctant acceptance of the Holiday Cheermeister Award results in the Whoville Christmas tree lighting up, and snow falling in the plaza. 

The Grinch’s reluctant acceptance of the Holiday Cheermeister Award results in the Whoville Christmas tree lighting up, and snow falling in the plaza. 

Julie Tremaine

When the sun sets, the magic starts: The mayor of Whoville and some of the town’s Who-ziens (my word, not Universal’s), including Cindy-Lou, decide to give the Holiday Cheermeister Award to the Grinch. Just like in the movie, a reluctant and crabby Grinch appears, and just like in the movie, his heart grows three sizes. When it does, the tree lights up in spectacular fashion, and a blanket of snow falls over the entire Who-bilation and everyone gathered to celebrate it. 

I’ve been to Grinchmas in years past, but this year felt especially festive. For one, the Grinch-themed treats are better than they’ve ever been. I tried the nonalcoholic Make it Snappy, Santa, a surprisingly not-sweet Italian-style gingerbread soda garnished with a gummy gingerbread man, and the spirited spiked hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps. I also loved the iced gingerbread snowflake cookie, the cereal treat bar stuffed with crushed candy canes and chocolate pieces, and a shortbread cookie shaped like a three-times-grown heart. I skipped the freshly made mini-doughnuts, but I will definitely be getting those next time, as well as the cider hot toddy spiked with whiskey that was sold out by the time I got to that kiosk. 

The "three sizes" shortbread cookie at Grinchmas.

The “three sizes” shortbread cookie at Grinchmas.

Julie Tremaine

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In addition, Universal is offering a special passholder Grinch photo op and meet-and-greet, which has a much shorter line than the Grinch meet-and-greet in the plaza. (It must be the magic of the season that allows him to be in two places at once … there’s no other explanation.) When it was our turn, the Grinch took so much time with me and my family that we truly had a moment. It helped that he gave my mom in her Grinch shirt an especially hard time — but by the end of the photos, the jokes and the shockingly acrobatic high-kicks from the Grinch, I truly did feel like my heart had grown three sizes.  

Get insider access to all things Happiest Place on Earth, from historical deep dives to trending park news and beyond. Sign up for our Dispatches from Disneyland newsletter here.

The Make it Snappy, Santa gingerbread soda and iced gingerbread cookie at Grinchmas.

The Make it Snappy, Santa gingerbread soda and iced gingerbread cookie at Grinchmas.

Julie Tremaine


The Grinch appears daily at Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood.

The Grinch appears daily at Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood

POV: You’re a Who down in Whoville, and you love Christmas a lot. But there’s an evil green creature living high up on Mount Crumpit, and he’s dead set on ruining the holiday for you. 

What do you do? Pummel him with sugar and holiday cheer until he comes around. It worked on the Grinch, and at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Grinchmas celebration, it worked on me, too. 

Advertisement

Article continues below this ad

The day after Thanksgiving, Universal Studios kicked off its holiday celebration, which has two parts. Christmas in the Wizarding World changes Hogsmeade into a winter wonderland, complete with a choir of “frogs” singing wizard holiday songs, an English Christmas dinner at Three Broomsticks and a festive nighttime projection show on Hogwarts Castle, complete with fireworks. In a particularly magical touch, it also snows inside the Harry Potter section of the main Universal gift shop.

Grinchmas happens daily at Universal Studios Hollywood until Jan. 1.

Grinchmas happens daily at Universal Studios Hollywood until Jan. 1.

Julie Tremaine

The other celebration centers on a mean, green guy hellbent on ruining the holiday. But just like in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the relentlessly cheery Whos win out in the end. The vibe is upbeat and fun, and even if it is designed mostly for kids, it’s easy to get swept up in the holiday nostalgia. Every year, the “Who-bilation” (Universal’s word, not mine) takes over Universal Plaza, where a topsy-turvy 65-foot-tall Christmas tree towers over the scene. Below, you can meet the Grinch himself, have Cindy-Lou Who read you a story, decorate an ornament to hang on a tree in the plaza or take home, and hear the Who-Bee Doo-Wops sing Seussy songs. 

You can also meet the animal actors who played “Max” in “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and see props, including show cars, from the movie. If you write a postcard to the Grinch and drop it in the Whoville Post Office, Universal makes a donation to School on Wheels, a volunteer organization that provides mentorship and tutoring to unhoused students in Southern California. 

Advertisement

Article continues below this ad

The Grinch’s reluctant acceptance of the Holiday Cheermeister Award results in the Whoville Christmas tree lighting up, and snow falling in the plaza. 

The Grinch’s reluctant acceptance of the Holiday Cheermeister Award results in the Whoville Christmas tree lighting up, and snow falling in the plaza. 

Julie Tremaine

When the sun sets, the magic starts: The mayor of Whoville and some of the town’s Who-ziens (my word, not Universal’s), including Cindy-Lou, decide to give the Holiday Cheermeister Award to the Grinch. Just like in the movie, a reluctant and crabby Grinch appears, and just like in the movie, his heart grows three sizes. When it does, the tree lights up in spectacular fashion, and a blanket of snow falls over the entire Who-bilation and everyone gathered to celebrate it. 

I’ve been to Grinchmas in years past, but this year felt especially festive. For one, the Grinch-themed treats are better than they’ve ever been. I tried the nonalcoholic Make it Snappy, Santa, a surprisingly not-sweet Italian-style gingerbread soda garnished with a gummy gingerbread man, and the spirited spiked hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps. I also loved the iced gingerbread snowflake cookie, the cereal treat bar stuffed with crushed candy canes and chocolate pieces, and a shortbread cookie shaped like a three-times-grown heart. I skipped the freshly made mini-doughnuts, but I will definitely be getting those next time, as well as the cider hot toddy spiked with whiskey that was sold out by the time I got to that kiosk. 

The "three sizes" shortbread cookie at Grinchmas.

The “three sizes” shortbread cookie at Grinchmas.

Julie Tremaine

Advertisement

Article continues below this ad

In addition, Universal is offering a special passholder Grinch photo op and meet-and-greet, which has a much shorter line than the Grinch meet-and-greet in the plaza. (It must be the magic of the season that allows him to be in two places at once … there’s no other explanation.) When it was our turn, the Grinch took so much time with me and my family that we truly had a moment. It helped that he gave my mom in her Grinch shirt an especially hard time — but by the end of the photos, the jokes and the shockingly acrobatic high-kicks from the Grinch, I truly did feel like my heart had grown three sizes.  

Get insider access to all things Happiest Place on Earth, from historical deep dives to trending park news and beyond. Sign up for our Dispatches from Disneyland newsletter here.

The Make it Snappy, Santa gingerbread soda and iced gingerbread cookie at Grinchmas.

The Make it Snappy, Santa gingerbread soda and iced gingerbread cookie at Grinchmas.

Julie Tremaine

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