Happy Thursday everybody and welcome to what will probably be our last Universal Studios Hollywood update of the decade. Last weekend we were invited out to the park to check out Grinchmas, Christmas in the Wizarding World and all of the amazing Holiday fun.
In addition we took a look at the current construction projects around the park. Let's check it out!!
Written by Gregg Condon
Welcome to the Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood!
Looks like King Kong got mad at It's Sugar (the store is getting some work done)
It was a gorgeous day to be out at the park
Highlight video of Grinchmas 2019
We love little out of the way touches, the record studio outside of Mel's had a great Christmas album display
The real clouds look almost fake here
All the different things you can do at Grinchmas
Our advise, do the Wholiday Tree Lighting later in the evening
We met the mayor who wished us a happy Anniversary (our 24th was the day after our visit ... yes, we were VERY young when we got married, well, 20)
We decided to meet Max too!!
He's so awesome!
We love the look of this area at night
The lit up Wholiday tree
We also took some pics/video of Secret Life of Pets progress
We can't wait to try this out next year
And also a Super Nintendo Land update video. This was taken from the Studio Tour so it's kind of bumpy. Our apologies.
Lastly, we enjoyed a nice evening in Hogwarts and celebrated the Holidays there.
We had dessert out on the patio, enjoying some hot butterbeer and waiting for the crowds to die down a bit for the Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle (you can see it from here too).
The shows they do here are truly magical, we love them.
Thanks for the amazing night Universal Hollywood!! We'll see you in the new year!
You can find out more information about the Holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood here.
Yesterday we headed out to Universal Studios Hollywood to cover the Jurassic World 5k (we promise, one of these times we'll actually run the race) and of course stayed after a bit to do a park update.
Lots of activity at the park as they prepare for the Holidays and Grinchmas, as well as Secret Life of Pets and Super Nintendo World.
Let's head in!!
Written by Gregg Condon
Jurassic World 5k
Something truly magical about heading into a theme park before it even opens.
It was in the low 50's and perfect at the start of the race. It got up to the 90's later in the day. Winter in SoCal!!
They used the digital boards to help the runners which was awesome.
And of course, no theme park race would be complete without characters!!
Lots of runners heading down to the lower lot. Be sure to check out our highlight video too.
Some were going for a fast time, others were just enjoying the park and course.
I'm sure people were flying down this hill!!
We moved over to the finish
The kids race medals
Congrats runners!! We didn't hear that the T-Rex caught any of you, so that's good.
Let's head into the park and check out what's going on.
Now that HHN is over, the park has quickly switched to Holiday mode.
Lots of awesome Holiday merch
A collection of shirts, hoodies, characters and more.
It snowed at the park apparently.
Always love the Minion tree
They're getting ready for Grinchmas
Taken before the park opened as we were headed to the finish of the 5k, but totally loved this pic.
Even the Wizarding World is celebrating the holidays
Secret Life of Pets is coming along quite nicely
The amount of detail on the building is impressive
Super Nintendo Land is growing each and every time we visit the park
Impressive, most impressive.
The decorations are also all around CityWalk
Tony Roma's is closed, NBC Sports Grill/Brew is coming.
Cool new (to us at least) mugs at Voodoo Doughnuts
And even some Universal Running doughnuts
King Kong wishes you a GrrrGrrr Grrrrrrmas.
We'll be back in a few weeks for Grinchmas!! Hope you enjoyed the update!!
The other night we were invited out to Universal CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood to try some yummy food from two of their newest restaurants, Vivo and Antojitos. And while we aren't a "food blog" we definitely like food. Having more options available either before or after visiting the park (or even before heading down to Hollywood to see a show at Pantages) is always a good thing.
As such, we're going to approach this as a "theme park blog who likes to eat food" vs just as a "food blog". We'll let them do their thing. =)
Written by Gregg Condon
After checking in, our first stop was Vivo Italian Kitchen
As soon as we headed in we were greeted with wine, pasta and some nice looking dessert displays. We quickly made the decision to have "dinner" samples at each restaurant and then come back to Vivo to end our night with dessert.
All of this was amazing, and shout out to the diners photo-bombing us. Didn't even notice this at the time.
Ricotta Cheesecake. Wow!!!
Mini Chocolate Vasi. I don't know what a Vasi is, but I know what chocolate is. And I know good chocolate something when I taste it.
The restaurants mixologist was on-site to make some yummy drinks. We had the Old Fashioned and a Strawberry Rye (not pictured). Both were amazing.
Some of the amazing food on the menu.
We got to try the Sausage Ragu, it was to die for.
Oh yeah, some of what the restaurant actually looks like. =)
Our dessert sample with coffee of course. It was all fantastic.
After stuffing our faces at Vivo, it was time to head over to Antojitos. This has always been a favorite of our readers in Florida so we were excited to see one coming here. And it didn't disappoint.
Lots of amazing drinks. Seeing that it was a Tuesday night, and the Old Fashioned at Vivo was super good, didn't take more than a few sips here. But we WILL be back.
Made a mental note that I NEED the Mexican Mule on our return visit.
Let's get to the food
I LOVE spicy food. Like, love, love it. This had a tremendous kick. And I loved it. I think I had 3 or 4 of these mini tacos. But be warned. You'll need something to wash it down with. =)
I'm probably the farthest thing from a Vegan that there is, well, maybe not the farthest. But this Vegan Chorizo was all kinds of amazing. Definitely am going to add some of this "Impossible" stuff to our shopping list to try it out.
Had no idea that they could make Chicharrones out of chicken. Says the Guero.
I'm getting hungry again
As somebody who is not a fan of tomatoes (but can eat non-chunky salsa) I love that they have guacamole with additives other than tomatoes. The Pomegranate seed one was amazing.
Being born and raised in Southern California and having some of the best Mexican food within miles of our house for most of our lives we are VERY particular when it comes to Salsa.
We are very happy to report the Salsa at Antojitos is amazing.
The salsa roja (on the left side of the plate) was our favorite.
So what's the final verdict?
We really loved the food at both places, and for very different reasons. For us, Antojitos is definitely the more "casual" of the two places, as such, we will be more likely to eat there more in the future.
On the other hand, for a special occasion (birthday, anniversary, etc) I could definitely see us choosing Vivo.
And on the third hand, we totally talked about having dinner at Antojitos and then dessert at Vivo. =)
Thanks again to Universal Studios Hollywood for inviting us out. We had an amazing time.
Now about getting Antojitos to open for Breakfast after the Running Universal Events. I bet they'd make some amazing Chilaquiles.