To many people’s surprise, Universal Studios Hollywood is open for guests on Christmas Day and is actually incredibly popular with both locals and those visiting family in the area flocking to the park for a magical fun-filled day.
However, Christmas Day is one of the busiest days at Universal Studios Hollywood. While the park doesn’t report daily attendance records, it did reach capacity (40,000 guests) on Christmas Day in both 2016 and 2017 just as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter had opened.
If you’re planning on visiting Universal Studios Hollywood on Christmas Day then be sure to keep this in mind. Don’t let the inevitable queues dampen your festive spirit and book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
Table of Contents
- Universal Studios Hollywood Opening Times On Christmas Day
- What’s Christmas Day Like At Universal Studios Hollywood?
- Is It More Expensive To Visit Universal Studios Hollywood On Christmas Day?
- Using An Annual Pass At Universal Studios Hollywood On Christmas Day?
- Avoiding The Crowds While Still Experiencing The Magic Of Christmas
- When Does Universal Studios Hollywood Decorate For Christmas?
Universal Studios Hollywood Opening Times On Christmas Day
To cope with increased demand Universal Studios Hollywood extends it’s opening hours from the 23rd December through until January.
The 10am until 6pm opening hours are replaced with 8am until 10pm on Christmas Day week.
This means that the transformation of Universal Studios Hollywood for Grinchmas can be seen by everone from early in the morning until late at night.
What’s Christmas Day Like At Universal Studios Hollywood?
Maybe the Grinch was right when he said Christmas isn’t about what comes out of a store, it is about something more. Perhaps spending Christmas at Universal Studios Hollywood on vacation with your loved ones is maybe better than a whole load of gifts under a tree?
Universal Studios Hollywood is certainly upping its game year on year and making the park bigger and better than ever before. With so much to do and see you can be sure that spending Christmas Day at Universal Studios Hollywood is going to provide you with a whole host of memory-making opportunities as a family.
That said, you’ll want to prepare for long waits and large queues in advance. However, don’t let this dampen your holiday cheer!
From the holiday decor, seasonal meet and greets, unique photo opportunities, notable food menus and a spectacular 40ft Christmas tree with glistening LED lighting. There is so much to do and see you won’t be left wanting at the Universal Studios Hollywood this Christmas holiday.
The main event is Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s where you’ll catch a glimpse of all your favourite characters from the Minions to Shrek, and it wouldn’t be a Christmas parade without the attendance of Santa himself!
Is It More Expensive To Visit Universal Studios Hollywood On Christmas Day?
Tickets to visit Universal Studios Hollywood on Christmas Day and indeed Christmas week cost slightly more at $129 per person when purchased online at least 24 hours in advance, this is $20 more than tickets cost during the ‘low season’.
Tickets ‘on the gate’ cost an additional $10, and are therefore $139 per person.
You may want to compensate the crowds by purchasing a Universal Studios Express Pass (more details on this later), however, these again will be in the top pricing tier due to demand and cost $279 per person. $100 more than the lowest teir pricing.
Using An Annual Pass At Universal Studios Hollywood On Christmas Day?
There are four types of annual passes available at Universal Studios Hollywood however, only Platinum and Gold annual pass holders can visit the park on Christmas Day.
This means that Silver and California annual pass holders will either have to upgrade their annual pass or purchase a day ticket if they want to visit Universal Studios Hollywood on Christmas Day.
Annual passes come with additional benefits as well as entry into the park including early entry, discount in on-site restaurants and stores and more. I suggest checking out the Universal Studios Hollywood to review all the benefits to find out if an annual pass is a worthwhile investment for you.
Avoiding The Crowds While Still Experiencing The Magic Of Christmas
It’s no secret that Universal Studios Hollywood is incredibly popular both on Christmas Day and during the run-up to Christmas however, there are a couple of things you can do to minimise the stress and maximise the fun of a visit.
- Arrive at the park early. Ideally, around rope-drop time for minimal queues. The queues generally increase from opening up until around 11am so getting to the park early can save you at least an hour at the entrance and provide you with additional time in the park.
- Grab breakfast before you go to the park to avoid wasting the first precious hour in the park finding somewhere to eat. With your tummy full you can head straight to the popular attractions which are generally quieter in the morning.
- Consider parking in one of the preferred parking areas or VIP parking areas (additional info on this here) to minimise the distance you’ll have to walk between the car and the park entrance. This does come at an additional cost but can be a worthwhile investment especially on peak-days.
- If you’re interested in riding some of the more popular rides such as The Backlot Tour or The Mummy then consider purchasing an Express Pass to skip the queues and get to the front of the line. Again, this comes at an additional cost (usually around $150 per person) but can be a worthwhile investment in ensuring you get to do everything you want to during your visit.
- If you’re staying overnight near the hotel, then consider picking one of the local on-site hotels which allow you to walk directly to the park. This minimises the amount of travel time and allows you to arrive at the hotel early refreshed and ready to go!
- Buy your tickets in advance to minimise the amount of time in a ticket queue upon your arrival at the park. You can buy tickets online or at major hotel reception desks.
When Does Universal Studios Hollywood Decorate For Christmas?
Consider visiting Universal Studios Hollywood during the run-up to Christmas to enjoy the benefits of Christmas at the park without the crowds and the associates queues and hassle that can bring.
Universal Studios Hollywood decorates for Christmas straight after Thanksgiving. This means you can visit the park and see the Christmas decorations from November through to the beginning of January.
The notable transformations in the park worth seeing are;
Grinchmas in Who-Ville which is based on the beloved Dr Suess children’s book. The decorations are outrageous, there’s a multitude of characters and treats, and multiple shows throughout.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which sees Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley into a paradise of Christmas cheer throughout December.
From the Holiday Frog Choir to the Three Broomsticks Christmas menu, the Magic of Christmas Lights show to custom made Christmas ornaments for sale, this part of the park is special for this time of the year.