Even though the main reason for our visit to Universal Studios Hollywood this week was due to the Grinchmas Tree Lighting, we also wanted to head into the park a little early to see the other decorations and take a look at the other construction around the park.
The shorter days, recent rain and holiday cheer certainly isn't slowing down construction.
* All Photos by Gregg Condon
Upper Lot Construction
One of these days we'll be able to start off a Universal Update with "Not a whole lot has changed on the Upper Lot Construction", but today is not that day.
Apparently the inside of House of Horrors has been gutted and now they are basically demolishing the building. The Blues Bros. stage is also gone.
The entrance to Hogsmeade ... it's there, doesn't that mean we can go in?
Not sure if those are windows or to connect whatever is going to separate Hogsmeade from Springfield. I'm guessing the latter unless there is some kind of on-stage walkway between the two I'm not aware of.
Rock me baby ...
Definitely more "stuff" in this area over the past few weeks
Contrary to rumors that the facade for Hogsmeade would end and we'd just see a building on the back, it does appear they are going to be connecting "something" on the back side near the Tram load/unload.
We've never really been able to "zoom" in on stuff, but now we can. =)
If you see anything of significance point it out (click to enlarge).
They are either hiding something or protecting something from the recent rains.
In addition to the Grinchmas decorations there are quite a few holiday decorations both inside and outside the park.
Below one of the trees at the front gate, and the sole decoration on the lower lot in front of Jurassic Park.
Ok, not a Christmas decoration but if I can't have a real Minion, I guess a remote control one will have to do.
We couldn't get over into this area to get night pictures as they were having some kind of employee party after the Grinchmas tree lighting.
Minions coming down your chimney > creepy old fat guy coming down your chimney
Yeah, that's awesome
So glad to see Curious George still out once in awhile since those darn wizards took over his area.
Happy Christmas - 1938. Anybody know what this is in reference to? I was thinking the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol, but that's an MGM movie.
You can pretty much see the Grinchmas tree from anywhere in the nearby area
I really love this picture, Universal Plaza is so much better than an empty Wild West show arena.
The front of the park looks great, I really like the red/green light combination.
The park entry
CityWalk has also been decked out in lights
Santa's Meet and Greet
I'm guessing "No Cameras Please" means you can't take a picture with Santa using your own personal camera
King Kong with a Santa Hat is always a favorite
Of course, what would a holiday event be without lots and lots of merchandise
Ornament to commemorate your visit to Grinchmas
Green is the new Black? Does the Grinch have a Pornstache?
Minion wearing an ugly Christmas sweater.
That's going to wrap it up for this update. I don't know if we'll be making it back up to the park before the first of the year, but we'll certainly try.
After spending some time in the park doing normal update stuff, we made our way outside to check in for the Grinchmas event.
Last night we were invited up to Universal Hollywood for the tree lighting and official kick-off of their annual Grinchmas event.
The event was held near the Grinchmas tree with special guests the mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, Hollywood celebs, the Who's and of course The Grinch himself.
* All photos by Gregg Condon
The front of the park is beautifully decorated with some nice Poinsettias.
Annual Passholders were also invited out for the festivities.
If you are planning on attending Grinchmas (and you should be) these are the dates you can go. Remember, if you have the "Buy a Day - Get a Year" passes you do have some blackout days coming up. So go early.
Some great Grinchmas decorations this year
The event kicked off with The Who's coming out and performing a little show
Of course the Grinch has to show up
The mayor of Los Angeles said a few words in both English and Spanish
The tree has some great light effects this year. Click on any of the pictures below to enlarge.
The actual tree lighting was highlighted by some fireworks.
Mayor Garcetti, The Grinch and Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood
Mayor Garcetti, The Grinch, Alexa Pena Vega, Carlos Pena and Yvette Nicole Brown
Max was awesome
Easily my favorite picture of the night. The Grinch make-up is really well done, even up close.
Lots of Who's, and the Mayor of Whoville
Alexa Pena Vega and Carlos Pena
Yvette Nicole Brown who looked to be having a fantastic time. She seems like cool people.
Overall it was a great night and Grinchmas has expanded this year, even with all of the construction happening on the upper lot.
That's going to wrap it up for our Grinchmas update. There are more decorations in the park but we'll highlight those in our normal "Universal Update" later this afternoon.
Grinchmas runs weekends on December 6-7 and 13-4, then continues daily from December 19, 2014 through January 3, 2015.