Universal Studios Hollywood is providing a way to celebrate the Fourth of July without having to spend all your savings on gasoline. The Southern California theme park is extending its Independence Day festivities to run from July 2-4.

This celebration will include nightly fireworks displays, live music performances, themed décor and more. This is all included in the price of admission to the theme park.

The fireworks display – that will be at 9 p.m. each night – has been synchronized to a score of Universal-themed music and patriotic favorites from two locations inside of the theme park.

Adding to the summer fun, “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” have returned and feature a light projection experience in “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” The program runs nightly through Aug. 14.

At the same time the team at Universal Studios Hollywood is dealing with the Fourth of July, work continues to be ready for the park’s annual Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights scheduled to start Sept. 8.

This year’s event will feature a double dose of terror inspired by Blumhouse’s upcoming supernatural thriller “The Black Phone”and horror-comedy“Freaky.”  

In “The Black Phone,” “The Grabber” is a demented magician best known for his sinister trick of making people disappear – permanently. Guests will find themselves trapped in his “fun” house where the sound of ghostly voices whisper hints on how to escape, but guests must tread carefully to outwit and outrun “The Grabber’s” twisted magic. 

“Freaky” will challenge guests to outrun the serial killer “The Butcher” who has switched bodies with a high school girl after being cursed by The La Dola Dagger, an ancient Aztec blade. Guests will learn firsthand that looks can be deceiving as they encounter the sweet-looking teen who is actually “The Butcher” – and she is determined to hunt for their next victims.

Tickets purchased online or at the Universal Studios Hollywood front gate provide guests with early event admission and access to select houses, beginning at 6 p.m. each night of Halloween Horror Nights. Universal Studios Hollywood offers a variety of Halloween Horror Nights ticket options, including General Admission, Universal Express, After 2 p.m. Day/Night and the premium R.I.P. Tour. Those who opt for the Frequent Fear and Ultimate Fear tickets will be able to experience the scares again and again.

The holiday scares will run select nights through Oct. 31. Go to www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com for more information.

Holiday treats

Disneyland Resort also is getting into the holiday spirit. Upcoming events include:

Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort (Sept. 2 – Oct. 31): Featuring seasonal décor, themed attractions, photo opportunities and specialty treats. The celebration includes the Downtown Disney District with Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit, a pumpkin hunt available Sept. 9 – Oct. 31.

Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party (select nights Sept. 6 – Oct. 31): Tickets go on sale to the public for the after-park hours event beginning June 30. Pre-sale opportunities start June 28 for Magic Key holders, plus members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can purchase tickets to their own exclusive one-night special event scheduled for Sept. 10.

Plaza de la Familia and Día de los Muertos (Sept. 2 – Nov. 2):  The event at California Adventure Park invites guests to celebrate the bonds of family with entertainment inspired by Disney and Pixar’s “Coco” and the traditions of Día De Los Muertos.  

As part of Disney Parks’ Halfway to the Holidays festivities, executives with Disneyland Resort have announced the return of several popular attractions later this year. Those coming back include “Believe… In Holiday Magic” fireworks at Disneyland Park and “World of Color – Season of Light” at Disney California Adventure Park.

The 7-foot-tall gingerbread house will again be on display in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

If you are at the Downtown Disney District before June 30, there are a couple of early holiday arrivals. Guests can enjoy a Christmas dinner corn dog at Blue Ribbon Corn Dogs and a peppermint churro at California Churro.