Hogwart’s is Coming to Universal Hollywood

Hogwart’s is Coming to Universal Hollywood

WWoHP castle - grand opening 4-7-16

The official opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be Thursday, April 7th, 2016. After visiting both Harry Potter attractions at Universal Orlando earlier this year, I’m excited about having something a little closer to home.

Potter fans have been eagerly anticipating this arrival to the West Coast, more than five years in the making. Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters that were brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” is being masterfully recreated with impeccable detail as a real-world interpretation at Universal Studios Hollywood.  The land will be faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle which will serve as its iconic focal point.

From its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets to the historic British sensibilities that characterize the whimsical look and feel of the land, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will transport guests of all ages to the very places they read about in the stories or watched on the silver screen.

Upon entering the land through the archway, Hogsmeade will bustle to life with the same vitality of a quaint local village: merchants hard at work, a train conductor welcoming new arrivals and a pub packed to the gills with hungry patrons, but with the added element of enthusiastic guests intent on experiencing them all, including the land’s signature ride, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” and the family outdoor coaster, Flight of the Hippogriff.”

An achievement in pioneering theme park ride technology, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” is a hyper-realistic 3D-HD designed to further immerse guests in an already engaging storyline.  The multidimensional thrill ride features a groundbreaking robotics ride system, fused with elaborate filmed action sequences and immersive visceral effects.  In this updated adaptation of the ride, guests will sport Quidditch-inspired 3D goggles as they venture through journeys experienced by Harry and his friends, spiraling and pivoting 360-degrees along an elevated ride track on a whirlwind adventure of a lifetime.

Also within “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” the enchanting family coaster, Flight of the Hippogriff will open as Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor roller coaster.

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will resonate with immense detail, inviting guests to revel in Harry Potter’s world with the opportunity to enjoy authentic food and beverages. Yes, there will be Magic Neeps and Butterbeer. Need a new wand or robe? Many of the shops portrayed in the movies and books will also be here, including Ollivanders, Zonko’s Joke Shop, and the Owl Post. 

I loved visiting Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley when I visited Univeral Orlando. After raving about it to family and friends, I know that us west coasters are glad there’s an opportunity to visit much closer to home.

How about you other Potter fans – are you marking this opening on your calendar?



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Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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