SoCal theme parks get festive for the holidays

By Maria Singh

Better move fast to catch the last of the holidays. Universal Studios and Disneyland rang in the new year with cheerful music, special performances and elaborate green and red decorations.

Universal Studios’ closed the season with Mr. Grinch on Sunday, but Disneyland goers can still frolic in the snow with Jack and Sally until Jan. 8.

Each theme park provided its own unique twist on getting ready for the holiday season to make it a special experience for returning guests and newcomers alike.

Featuring its own designated location for the critically acclaimed movie “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” Universal Studios created its very own Whoville set, which included a replica of the 60-foot tree from the movie and Whoville residents dressed in colorful Christmas clothing.

Elementary school student Rylie Borders talked about her thoughts on Universal Studios’ Grinchmas as she anticipated her Christmas break.

“I like it because it has the Grinch and it’s really fun for the Whovilles just walking around,” stated Borders.

Borders also compared Grinchmas to the actual movie, where the mean one, Mr. Grinch, is portrayed as a grouchy and bitter character to Whoville residents, especially during Christmas.

“He said ‘Merry Christmas,’ but I didn’t say anything back to him because he was really creepy,” stated Borders.

“To my mom he said ‘Hurry up’ because she was taking forever. I think I like the cartoon version a bit better because he’s not as creepy.”

Whitney Wenzel, an 18-year-old student at Norco College, was not new to Grinchmas, but appreciated the atmosphere it provides for families.

“It’s good and I like it,” said Wenzel. “The Christmas cheer, everyone is happy. It’s just a good place to be because it’s just very cheerful and very nice. The Christmas spirit is all around.”

Visitors also had the opportunity to not only take photos with the Grinch, but also with Max”the Grinch’s beloved dog.

“Wholiday Events” were scheduled throughout the day where people could gather around for story time with Cindy-Lou, watch performances by Martha May and the Who-Dolls and sing along with the Wholiday Singers.

Participants could also take a ride on the tram for a Studio Tour to watch a performance on the actual movie set from “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”

For Disneyland visitors, the happiest place on earth sprinkled its holiday cheer throughout its various rides and famous attractions.

What was once a haunted mansion is now home to none other than Jack Skellington and Sally from Tim Burton’s famous “Nightmare Before Christmas,” where riders can experience and see decorations representing the movie’s Halloween Town.

Two of Disneyland’s most famous attractions, Cinderella’s Castle and It’s A Small World, were also revamped to showcase red and green decorations for the holiday season.

In addition, It’s A Small World mixed its famous theme song with Christmas classics, such as Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls.

New to Disneyland this holiday season was the Festive Foods Marketplace at California Adventure Park, which featured holiday foods inspired by different cultures.

Heritage Cottage, Making Spirits Bright, Good Fortune’s Feast and Spice Salutations are just four out of the 14 themed kiosks that visitors could choose from for something quick and comforting to eat.

Disneyland also lit its own 60-foot Christmas tree at 4:55 p.m. each day to match the surrounding lights and Christmas ornaments throughout the theme park.

Twenty-six-year-old Traci Wall, a recent college graduate, described Disneyland as a much happier place during the holiday season.

“It’s way better,” stated Wall. “It’s so much [“] fun during Christmas. Everything is lit up and that’s the best part, especially the lights. For example, It’s A Small World. That’s all Christmas themed.”

Wall, who was with her family at Disneyland, described that coming during the holiday season was “just an awesome plus.”

Universal Studios entrance decorated for Grinchmas

Maria Singh / The Poly Post

Universal Studios entrance decorated for Grinchmas

Christmas light decorations for Grinchmas

Maria Singh / The Poly Post

Christmas light decorations for Grinchmas

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