You Can Meet the Grinch This Winter in a Real-life Whoville

Grinch at Whoville
Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal

If you’re itching to visit Whoville after watching "The Grinch," you’re not alone. This sweet new take on the classic Christmas tale makes the heartwarming imaginary neighborhood more appealing than ever before. And we have good news: to visit the snow-capped mountain town — where you can sing wintertime songs, bask under the glow of a tree, and actually meet Max the dog, Cindy Lou Who, and the furry, fiery Grinch first-hand — you won’t even have to travel too far.

All you’ll need is a flight to Los Angeles or Orlando.

The Grinch’s signature sass and sourpuss behavior hits Universal theme parks on both coasts each winter, bringing Christmas cheer and The Grinch’s lackluster jeers to Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure.

Grinch with Family
Courtesy of NBCUniversal

With merchandise from the film for sale, character meet-and-greets, and special photo opportunities, there are as many Grinch experiences in the theme parks as there are ornaments hanging on the movie’s massive Whoville tree. Since the new film’s green giant is animated, the theme park Grinch still resembles that of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," played by Jim Carrey — a magnetic maestro of festive feels that cannot be missed, no matter which you prefer.

Grinchmas descends upon Los Angeles in December, where a Christmas tree fit for a Who towers 60 feet tall in the center of Universal Studios Hollywood. The wavy-shaped, whimsical emblem, which is topped with snow, ornaments, and colorful lights, serves as the backdrop for live entertainment and photos with characters like the Grinch and Max. Singers and performers even provide a festive spin on caroling, with their noses turned up towards the sky just like the townsfolk in the film. Find the Who-liday Singers and Who Dolls on the first two weekends in December (1–2 and 8–9) and daily from Dec. 14–30, included with park admission.

Celebrations continue at the Florida theme park, where "The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular," a stage show bringing Cindy Lou Who, the Grinch, and the entire town of Whoville to life in a rousing rendition of the popular tale performed multiple times per day from Nov. 17 through Jan. 6. Stick around afterwards to meet the Christmas-hating villain and his precious pup in a tinsel-covered Seuss Landing for next year’s ironic Christmas card, also included with admission.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Courtesy of NBCUniversal

Guests traveling to Orlando can even sit down for bacon, eggs, and toast with the mean one if they dare. The Grinch & Friends character breakfast at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park brings the Christmas-despising recluse tableside for a fun and comical visit with perfect photo opportunities. (No word on if the coffee will also be prepared and delivered by Max, but one can only dream.) The meal is $35 for adults and $21 for children on select dates in November and December; park admission is required for entry.

Whoville’s joyful celebration makes for unadulterated holiday cheer, but it’s not the only festivity happening at Universal theme parks. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on both coasts will embrace Christmas for the second year in a row with nightly snowfall and an illuminating castle show, and Universal Orlando fills its park with sky-scraping merriment by way of massive balloons shaped like "Despicable Me," "Shrek," and "Madagascar" characters as part of Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s.

This much holiday glee and you won’t even have to pack a parka? Consider it a Christmas miracle.

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