Travel Reviews

Published on November 29th, 2017 | by gareth


Holiday Magic At Universal Studios: Hollywood

As the weather becomes colder and the malls become filled with shoppers,

the magic of the Holiday Season is everywhere.  We recently got an up

close and captivating Holiday Magic experience with a recent visit to

Universal Studios: Hollywood in order to cover the famous park’s Holiday



We had covered the park for Halloween Horror Nights and during regular

events in the past but this was the first time that my wife and I or any

of the staff have ever covered the park during the Holiday Season.

We were impressed at the holiday decor around the Citywalk district as

well as throughout the park as Holiday music and decorations really set

the mood well and gave us a new perspective for our coverage. We made our

way through the park noting that construction was underway on a new

Dreamworks theater and that many of the great live shows ranging from

Waterworld to the Stunt and Animal shows still drew in big audiences.

Our first stop was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter where we made sure

to get a Frozen Butterbeer as we looked amongst the shops, props, and

interactive windows on our way to Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey.

This was our second time on the attraction since it opened and our first

since the new HD projection system was put in place. The line was listed

at 60 minutes but thanks to our Front of the Line passes, we were boarding

in under five minutes. The fast paced, twisting, and turning ride is great

fun as the cast of the films whisks riders through a myriad of scenes and

interactive objects from the films and books. One minute you are running

from a Dragon with Harry in the lead, and the next you are twisting away

from Dementors and avoiding warm Dragon Breath.


The upgraded projection gave the ride a sharper and more enjoyable

experience than our previous visit and is something you will want to

experience when you visit.

We made our way through the upper portion of the park taking in the sites

and shops as well as nothing many of the great places to eat. We had lunch

at Mel’s Diner which offered some great choices such Chef’s Salad as well

as burgers and fries and desserts.  We made our way to Despicable Me:

Mayhem Madness to enjoy a thrilling and fun adventure with the Minions as

well as the Simpsons Ride and the famous Backlot Tour. Our guide was

fantastic as he updated us on all the shows and movies that had and were

currently filming on the lot and provided us with lots of information

beyond what we had been given on past tours. We enjoyed numerous locales

from the Courthouse in Back to the Future, the Bates Motel, vehicles from

“numerous television and films, and of course a visit from Bruce himself

during a stop near Amity Island.

There was the famous Earthquake and flood simulations and newer

attractions such as the Fast and Furious Supercharged where stars from the

film series takes fans on an interactive and fast adventure. The King Kong

360 3-D is still amazing as the adventure is so real that you can even get

sprayed by saliva from the dinosaurs.


We only took a little time on our visit to the lower lot as the Jurassic

Park, Mummy, and Transformer rides were still must visits but our main

focus was to return to Hogwarts as once night fell, the castle lit up in a

flurry of visuals and music to celebrate the Holiday Season.

As the calendar moves into December, Grinchmas will begin offering up even

more Holiday Magic for guests to enjoy.


We also saw a very large number of characters in the park as many from

“Madagascar” and other animated classics as well as Marilyn Monroe were on

hand and we also enjoyed seeing the home of the Simpsons come to life as

Springfield has many places to eat and visit as well as great

opportunities to meet some of your favorite characters from the show.

The park also has some great pass options as guests can purchase a pass

which starts at just a few dollars over the price of admission and gives

guests over 175 days of access. There are other passes as well at

different prices which have more perks and access included and you will

want to visit for more information.

From the great option in the park and the numerous dining, shopping, and

entertainment options on the Citywalk, Universal Studios Hollywood

continues to be a very unique and enjoyable experience where guests can

visit an actual working movie studio and take in some world class shows

and rides as well.


Make sure when you are in the Los Angeles area to pay a visit as you will

not want to miss all the great experiences it has to offer.

Video and Photos below by Gareth.



(Photographs below by Genevieve Mc Bride)



If you will be in the area for New Year’s Eve; you will want to make sure to check out the event below.

The Countdown to 2018 Begins at Universal Studios Hollywood as The Entertainment Capital of L.A. Hosts EVE, Hollywood’s Biggest New Year’s Party and Fireworks Finale on December 31

EVE is Universal Studios Hollywood’s First-Ever New Year’s Eve In-Park Celebration

Universal City, California, November 30, 2017 – Universal Studios Hollywood rings in 2018 with Hollywood’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration, EVE, on Sunday, December 31, 2017, with extended theme park hours to 1:00 a.m.

The New Year’s Eve event, the first ever for Universal Studios Hollywood, is included in the price of theme park admission and invites guests to spend the day and night enjoying its many popular rides and attractions with a special park-wide countdown party featuring multiple entertainment hubs with DJs and live music, starting at 9:00 p.m.

Universal Plaza, Simpsons Plaza located adjacent to “The Simpsons Ride” and an area near “Jurassic Park—The Ride” will transform into three uniquely-themed electrifying party hubs that will culminate simultaneously at midnight with a traditional New Year countdown and a spectacular fireworks display.

Food and beverages, including specialty desserts, champagne, beer and wine, as well as 2018 memorabilia will be available for purchase.

With its festive environment, guests can toast the New Year with the spirit of the holidays already resonating throughout Universal Studios Hollywood. “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM” introduces “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts TM Castle.” Several times each night, guests can enjoy amazing images inspires by the Harry Potter films as they come to life in breathtaking digital light projection on the backdrop of Hogwarts castle.  And with extended hours on December 31, guests can celebrate the final day of “Grinchmas™” with The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and a roster of Who-ville Whos.

More information is available at Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter.


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”.He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show.He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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