There’s Christmas magic, and then there’s Christmas movie magic. This month at Universal Studios Hollywood, the park is doubling down on all things cinematic and magical with special celebrations at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and in Whoville, for Grinchmas, inspired by The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
Celebrating Christmas Like Harry Potter
There’s magic in the air at Wizarding World at any time of year, but during Christmas, that magic gets taken up a level. Hogwarts Castle, which you walk through before getting on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, has decorations throughout, including Christmas Trees in the Gryffindor Common Room and wreaths around the Sorting Hat. Three Broomsticks serves a special English Holiday Dinner, with roasted turkey, sourdough stuffing, ginger-glazed carrots, Brussels sprouts and a bacon-wrapped sausage – plus Hot Butterbeer, which is a butterscotch version of hot chocolate.
A lot of the entertainment in Wizarding World comes from making magic happen around the town: swish and flick your wand and you’ll illuminate lanterns, levitate Quidditch balls or even come close to letting a dragon out of its lair. There are also performances from “visiting” students from other wizarding schools – Durmstrang and Beauxbatons – who are staying at Hogwarts for the Triwizard Tournament that happens in the fourth book and movie of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In it, there’s a Yule Ball, which is a Christmas dance. The special holiday entertainment at the park this season centers on that Yule Ball: the frog choir sings Yule Ball songs, which are sort-of Christmas carols; and the light show that illuminates Hogwarts Castle every evening is Yule Ball -themed, too. After each evening’s performance of The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle, the music swells and “snow” starts to fall from the sky. Even though it’s really only special effects, it still feels a little magical all the same.