As Halloween Horror Nights 2016 winds down, Universal has already begun preparations for their annual Grinchmas holiday event. Featuring a festive display of lights, characters, shows and activities inspired by the live action film How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the bulk of this year’s Grinchmas will take place in the heart of Universal Plaza.
However, while Universal prepares for the holiday season, the park is also gearing up to refurbish or enhance several areas of the park and the studio. In this update, we’ll take a look at those construction projects alongside Universal’s progress on Grinchmas.
Let’s get started.
Park Update Index
» Lankershim Entrance
» CityWalk Hollywood
» Park Entrance
» Grinchmas Merchandise
» Grinchmas on the Backlot
» Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride
» Character Shop
» Universal’s 5-year Plan
With construction nearly finished on Universal’s Lankershim entrance, Universal has completed the installation of the hill’s navigational signs, marking each of the three lanes for guest parking.
In a strange twist, Universal has also begun the installation of a large minion on top of Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem’s show building. The minion – visible from portions of the 101 Freeway and the Lankershim entrance – appears to be peeking above the blue structure. Crews began hoisting pieces of the new sign from the Fung Lum plot to Super Silly Fun Land on Thursday morning, with the bulk of the sign completed by Friday afternoon. We’ll keep you posted on the final product once it’s completed.
While Universal erects a giant minion on top of Despicable Me, crews are also working on several projects within CityWalk.
Work on Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville’s continues to focus on the restaurant’s facade, with construction crews punching holes into the facade for future signage.
In a new development, Yogurtland has also closed. Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt will be taking over. Menchies, alongside Voodoo Doughnut, will mark two of CityWalk’s two newest additions once they open in the near future.
Universal Cinema, meanwhile, continues to see heavy construction being performed on the theater’s main entrance, with guests being diverted to the left side of the building through a temporary entrance. A new marquee now flanks the theater’s new glass front – complete with Universal’s new logo hanging from two support beams.
Work has been occurring on the backside of the CityWalk Universal Studio Store for the last several weeks, with construction crews constructing a new metal canopy in Universal’s entrance plaza.
Grinchmas will be returning to Universal Studios Hollywood from December 3-4 and 10-11. The event will then run daily from December 16 to January 1. Like with previous years, the bulk of Grinchmas will take place in Universal Plaza with a nightly tree lighting ceremony, crafts, photo opportunities and singers.
Of course, this year’s Grinchmas will also be the first time the annual holiday event with coincide with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As such, you might want to prepare yourself for the potential hoards of crowds that may come.
Of course, with the return of Grinchmas comes the arrival of Grinch-themed merchandise.
The CityWalk Universal Studio Store has already been themed with Christmas decor, with cups, shirts available for purchase. The park’s Studio Store has also been outfitted with Christmas decor, with Grinch-themed cups, shirts, plushies and books.
The Grinch will also be making a special appearance on the Studio Tour on one of the last remaining sets utilized in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
With the event now just a few weeks away, Universal has repainted the entire Whoville set. Grinchmas’ iconic curved tree has also been adorned with ornaments and snow as Universal prepares to rehearse a medley of numbers from the live-action film.
As we reported earlier this summer, Cartooniversal has now closed. The store – now surrounded by construction walls – will be replaced by a two-story multi-use building featuring a plethora of guest amenities and retail space.
Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride is now under refurbishment. Mummy Treats and the adjacent lockers are expected to close as Universal prepares to widen the StarWay with a fourth row of escalators.
In the interim, Universal has begun preparing a slew of temporary lockers in the Revenge of the Mummy queue, with queue dividers now being removed in favor of temporary locker space.
In a move that almost calls for the term déjà vu, Universal has converted the Lower Lot Studio Store back into the Character Shop.
With Despicable Me and Grinchmas merchandise now dominating Character Shop’s slew of products, the store has completely eliminated products from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
With Universal’s 5-year plan driving the pathway for the backlot’s revitalization, work on the studio’s two newest soundstages continues for a winter opening. The front half of the structure will house offices for production, while the back half will house two massive stages featuring improved sound proofing due to the building’s close proximity to the metropolitan sets.
Universal’s 5-year plan also calls for the demolition of the Red Sea. While the Studio Tour animation has – for all intents and purposes – closed, the lake will like dormant until Universal finalizes their plan for additional soundstage construction.
In other news, Universal’s New York Street Secret Life of Pets photo opportunity has been replaced by a promotional poster for Illumination’s up-coming film Sing.
The Special Effects Show has also received a new addition to its ticker board, marking the entrances for Gate A and general seating.
That does it for this update. Stay tuned to Inside Universal for the latest developments on these stories and more originating from Universal Studios Hollywood.