Universal Studios Hollywood Park Update – December 14th, 2019

Preston: The Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood are in full effect, so we decided to power through the Los Angeles traffic in order to check out all the Christmas festivities. In this update, we’ll take a look at everything Christmas, The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash, as well as some CityWalk happenings.


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Before we enter the gates, we have to walk through CityWalk. We received official work just a few weeks ago that Hard Rock Cafe will close in 2020 to make way for Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, which is slated to open in Hollywood in 2021.

The festivities instantly hit you here in CityWalk, as the courtyard in front of AMC Theaters has a beautiful Christmas tree center stage.

King Kong has his Santa hat on!

Tony Roma’s Steakhouse closed around two weeks ago. Its replacement is NBC Sports Grill and Brew. It’s set to be completed sometime in 2020!

The globe was not spinning during our visit. Wonder why.

So pretty! Ornaments, garland, and wreaths are all over the entrance plaza.

They replaced the normal foliage and popped in some poinsettias for Christmastime.

The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash is progressing at light speed! Here’s a look at the facade now that the scrim is down. Lots of brick.

And here is where the entrance to the attraction will be. I am very excited to get on this dark ride, but I have heard that the budget got slashed nearly in half after the second Secret Life of Pets film flopped. Hopefully, the ride is still a welcome addition to USH.

GRINCHMAS GRINCHMAS GRINCHMAS! We caught the tree lighting, and it was a really cute show! I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.

This photo I got of the Grinch made me crack up.

If you are at Universal Studios Hollywood during December (or early January), definitely try and make a showing. The first is at 5:30 PM, and it goes every half hour until park close (most nights).

After seeing the Grinch light up the tree, we rushed over to Wizarding World to see the Holiday projection show on Hogwarts.

I liked it! The projections they are able to pull off on the castle is really great. It’s such a nice canvas to show projections on.

Before leaving, we went down to the Lower Lot to see if there were any signs of Christmas down there.

Honestly, there wasn’t much. Just a tree in the center of the walkway.

To end off this update, I just want to rant a bit about the state of Grinchmas (and Christmas at USH in general). I really did enjoy myself during this visit. The tree lighting and projection show are both fun and enjoyable, but I am sad to see how much the event has shrunk over the past few years. I have such great memories of going to Universal Studios Hollywood around six or seven years back and remember how much grander the Holidays were back then! There was a play area with real snow around the Grinchmas tree and tons more Whoville characters roaming around. And, on the Studio Tour, when passing by the sets from the How the Grinch Stole Christmas film, there were live actors in the scene that made the tour worth going on every single Christmas visit. There are just a few things to name.

I really am not sure why these cuts continue to happen year after year. When I was visiting this past Saturday, the park was PACKED. Most crowded I’ve seen it in a while. So, I don’t believe these things are being taken away because Grinchmas is not popular enough. Having said all of this, as I stated earlier, I still enjoyed myself and had a great time this year!

That’s it for this USH update. Thank you for checking it out! Be sure to check out our other recent California coverage by clicking the text below. See you all soon!

Emperor (SWSD) Construction Update

Disneyland Christmas Time Update

Six Flags Magic Mountain (Holiday in the Park) Update

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