Grinchmas gets underway at Universal Studios Hollywood

November 27, 2013, 2:39 PM · Universal Studios Hollywood kicked off its annual Grinchmas celebration this morning, with a new venue for the annual holiday event.

Universal entrance

Universal's tearing up a big chunk of the park as it spends more than a billion dollars on its ambitious "Evolution" plan, which will add attractions, hotels and new production facilities throughout its Studio City property. One of the first elements to finish is the park's centerpiece Universal Plaza Tower.

The plaza tower, in the distance

Universal Plaza is the new home for Grinchmas, now that its old space in the Curious George playground is under construction to make way for the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Universal Plaza, decorated for its first Grinchmas

Merry Grinchmas 2013

Now that is a theme park Christmas tree!

The Grinchmas tree, in 2013.

Each year for the opening of Grinchmas, Universal honors a celebrity for his or her charity work. This year's "Who-Manitarian" was Florence Henderson, best known to TV viewers as Mrs. Brady from "The Brady Bunch."

At Grinchmas 2013, Universal honored Florence Henderson for her work with City of Hope

Visitors can meet the Grinch and Max in the Plaza on weekends through Dec. 20, then daily through New Year's Eve.

Grinch and Max

Kids can find several Grinchmas activities in the Plaza during those same times, including the chance to make their own ornaments or decorate cookies.

Cookie decorating at Grinchmas

In addition to the decor around the Plaza, Universal's decorated its International Streets for the holiday.

Christmas decor on International Street

Father Christmas

On the far side the International Streets, construction on Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem and Super Silly Fun Land continues.

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem

Clearly, the Hollywood version of this ride is getting a much more impressive facade than the Florida original. And we haven't yet gotten a good look at the accompanying Super Silly Fun Land play area.

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem

Later this weekend, we'll share a few photos of the Harry Potter construction site.

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