Journey to Whoville: It's Grinchmas

The furry, huge-hearted rascal returns to Universal Studios Hollywood.

If you've ever attended Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, and you've dared hop onto the Terror Tram, then you know that you pay a visit a most unlikely spot on the vast back lot: The Whoville set from 2000 film "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

Well, you skirt it, but it can be momentarily discombobulating to be on the watch for monsters while seeing the homes of Whos. You only need calm yourself, at that moment, by remembering that Grinchmas is not too far away, with its sleigh bells and stories and, yes, real honest-to-Max Whos.

Oh, we tipped our (Santa) hat: Max is part of Grinchmas, too. What would the tale-come-to-life be without his innocent, doe-eyed charms? Max, dare we say it, is us, all of us, when we first enter the book or TV show.

The theme park's yuletide, yuk-sweet treat debuts on Saturday, Dec. 6 and runs on particular days — think weekends, as well as the two weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year's — through Saturday, Jan. 3. 

Will the Grinch be there? Indeed, he's the furry, sometimes fearsome (but ultimately cuddly) master of ceremonies. Will there be ornament decorating, stories told (by Cindy Lou Who herself), and photos with the Grinch and Max? For sure. Is the Grinchly tree tall and photo-ready and oh-so-Seuss-y? 

In a word? Havu-doray (or whatever nice thing the Whos would sing to nod in the affirmative). 

And the back lot visit to Whoville, the very movie set sometimes frequented by monsters come October, will be fully festive, with songs, dances, and Who-ly high jinks of the most pleasant sort.

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We can't really see the Whos getting up to too much mischief. Just merriment. It is, in fact, called a "Who-bilation," so we can confirm that any creepy-crawlies from earlier in the fall have been swept away by joyous caroling and Who-darling antics.

So, who — or Who — is your favorite character? Max, the Whos, or the Grinch? Maybe Dr. Seuss himself? Wherever you land on that question, it's a rare treat to visit a theme park that so fully embraces that most gingerbready of seasons.

Or would "roast beast" be the more appropriate Grinch comestible to reference? Best ask him when you meet the Furry One yourself.

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