Released in 2000, Ron Howard’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas has become a modern Christmas classic—so much so that it’s managed to be more timeless than Illumination’s 2018 Grinch animated film. That’s probably thanks to the presence Jim Carrey’s inimitable take on the character at Universal Studios theme parks.
The festive holiday centerpiece at Universal Studios Hollywood is a little slice of Whoville with a Christmas tree lighting and readings of Dr. Seuss’ 1957 tale How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by way of the Ron Howard adaptation. It’s beyond wild that this version of the classic story dominates the Universal parks on both coasts. You’d think at a certain point it would have gone back to the 1966 animated tale (or moved on to the Illumination version, which was a bigger box-office hit). Howard’s Grinch was a chaotic Christmas miracle, with unhinged performances, an amazingly designed Who world (a former staple on the Universal’s legendary Studio Tour until the buildings began to crumble away), weird inside jokes, and just a bonkers combination of earnest heart with a hearty dose of naughty for the grownups. Anyone else remember the bowl of keys during the holiday party baby Grinch witnesses upon arrival?
There’s a ton of reasons this has become the top Grinch to watch every year, and then immerse yourself in at Universal Studios; it’s synergy that has kept the film in the zeitgeist, and we’re here for it. The celebration features recreations of iconic moments from the film with skits and music, playing up the fan-favorite ship between the Grinch and Martha May Whovier. The theme park performers who play these roles really channel the chemistry seen in the film between Jim Carrey and Christine Baranski; I’d say the hots they have for each other can light up all of Whoville. That Martha May Whovier—we know she had a big part to play in the Grinch’s heart growing three sizes, along with the Christmas spirit inspired by little Cindy Lou Who, of course.
The trio of iconic characters host readings and meet and greets, along with the Grinch’s dog Max (played on rotation by the goodest dog actors around), throughout the holiday season. Along with the Whoville decor and themed whimsical treats, Grinchmas is a holiday like no other at the theme parks that embraces the madcap vibe of the season and includes even the Grinchiest of folks.
Here’s a gallery preview of Grinchmas and more at Universal Studios Hollywood!
If you know, you know.
Prop vehicles from the Ron Howard film.
This year has a ton of sweet treats that sell out quickly, including this Whoville spiral croissant.
Illumination’s attempt at Christmas. The park really should add holidays to Super Mario World stateside like they do in Japan, with decor and special holiday merch. The Secret Life of Pets ride is not to be missed, though!
Keep an eye out for characters from the films wearing their holiday best.
But they do wander around during the holidays, so keep an eye out for them.