"Finals week is coming" is just two words off from being a Game of Thrones quote, but it holds so true now. I found myself stressing about how to schedule my studying days so I can not fail these exams, and then everything just went crazy. Escape was necessary, and I found it at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Yes, I know it sounds like a bad idea to go to a theme park three days before the two finals I'm most worried about, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity! Universal Hollywood invited me to visit their park and studios and check out the Christmas themed events they had going on. To quickly sum up the experience into the word "magical" falls short of what I experienced. So here is where my love for Christmas, The Grinch, and Harry Potter come out.
As a child who grew up with the releases of the Harry Potter movies and Jim Carrey's The Grinch, it makes sense that they live in a dear part of my heart. When Universal Hollywood invited me to explore "Christmas in the Wizarding World" and "Grinchmas" (clever, I thought), I could not contain my excitement. After my friend and I spent the daytime exploring the rest of the attractions and taking the world-famous Studios Tour, we giddily ran to the entrance to Hogsmeade.
The enormous crowd we encountered seemed like it would just burst with excitement for Harry Potter alone, and then came the snow. In L.A., snow is definitely not common, so being in such an immersive locale with the feeling of winter and Christmas perfectly replicated was seriously magical. Once we entered, we were blown away by the lighting design on the ornate buildings from Rowling's novels. Those lights, including the incredible light show surrounding Hogwarts castle, reflected off the falling snow, radiating a beautiful glimmer throughout the crowd. Smiling faces abound and children laughing wrapped up Christmas in Hogsmeade with a wonderful bow.
On our way out, the centerpiece of the park was in full swing. Complete with the iconic bent Christmas tree and those recognizable houses in Whoville, my attention was snagged just as easily as in Hogwarts. Live performances featuring song, dance, and wonderful acting brought Whoville to life. I could just imagine the sweet Who-song featured in the movies ringing through the air and enveloping the crowd into its own imaginary world. While studying would be my parents' choice for spending a Sunday, I was ever so grateful to come to the park. Universal Studios Hollywood will be running Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter until January 6, and Grinchmas running until December 30, so grab the kids (or a best friend) and make the trip up to the park and immerse yourself in a world free from worry.