Harry Potter is coming to California. The “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” attraction at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Florida has done much to make that park a bigger rival to Walt Disney World, and went one further last year with the wonderful expansion of Diagon Alley at the neighboring Universal Studios Florida park (read all about my visit to Diagon Alley right here). But California isn’t being left out in the cold, as Universal previously announced plans to build a new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, and now we’ve got an opening date.
It was announced today that the Hollywood version of the attraction will open in Spring 2016, bringing the village of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts Castle to The Golden State. Per the press release, this Universal Hollywood iteration won’t differ from the Florida version too much. Hogwarts Castle will still be the centerpiece, surrounded by stores like Honedukes, Ollivanders, and Zonko’s Joke Shop in Hogsmeade, as well as the Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head pub, and of course Butterbeer. Glorious, sweet Butterbeer.
The major difference is that the Wizarding World’s primary attraction, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”, will be in 3D-HD for the first time, further immersing guests into a flight around Hogwarts atop a broomstick. The other big ride is the family coaster “Flight of the Hippogriff”, which is a tame, outdoor roller coaster.
Check out a video previewing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood below, followed by the full press release.
HOGWARTS IS COMING TO HOLLYWOOD!
Universal Studios Hollywood Introduces “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”
Bringing the Most Anticipated Global Phenomenon to California in an Authentic Entertainment Experience, Beginning Spring 2016
“Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” Attraction, Located within Land’s Hogwarts Castle, Makes West Coast
Debut in Hyper-Realistic 3D-HD with Guests Wearing Quidditch-Inspired Goggles
Hollywood, CA, June 2, 2015 – The countdown to “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” begins today as Universal Studios HollywoodSM announces the Spring 2016 arrival of the West Coast’s most anticipated entertainment experience and the introduction of the land’s signature attraction, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” in hyper-realistic 3D-HD.
More than five years in the making, and inspired by J. K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters and the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood will bring guests the same authenticity and storytelling found at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Japan and is expected to attract Harry Potter fans and visitors from all over the globe for decades to come.
Visitors will be swept into a fully immersive themed land that brings the Harry Potter fiction and films to life with impeccable detail and precision. “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will be faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle which will serve as its iconic focal point.
“Harry Potter is an exhilarating multi-generational global phenomenon that has captivated the world’s attention across every one of its mediums, from books and movies to exhilarating theme park adventures,” said Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood. “With its imminent arrival to The Entertainment Capital of L.A., Universal Studios Hollywood is thrilled to bring our guests a new, compelling experience of ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ as we embark on this next chapter in our storied history.”
“The momentum behind J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world is as strong as ever and we are incredibly excited to bring Hogwarts to Hollywood,” said Brad Globe, President, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Fans around the world have experienced the magic at ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ in Orlando and Osaka and we look forward to continued success with our partners at Universal Studios Hollywood as we offer more fans a chance to step into this immersive environment.”
Like its counterparts, Hogwarts castle will sit at the heart of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” where the land’s signature ride, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™” will take guests on a journey into many memorable scenes alongside Harry, Ron and Hermione. Traveling by Floo powder, guests will soar high above Hogwarts, partake in a Quidditch match, narrowly escape a dragon attack and have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow.
“Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” is an achievement in pioneering theme park ride technology featuring a groundbreaking robotics ride system, fused with elaborate filmed action sequences and immersive visceral effects. Sporting Quidditch-inspired 3D goggles, guests will 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.
At Universal Studios Hollywood, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” will make its U.S. debut as a dynamic 3D-HD adventure designed to further immerse guests in an already captivating storyline.
Also within “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” the enchanting family coaster, “Flight of the Hippogriff” will debut as Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor coaster.
“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will resonate with immense detail, inviting guests to revel in Harry Potter’s epicurean world with the opportunity to enjoy authentic food and beverage at multiple locations, including: Three Broomsticks™ and Hog’s Head pub, as well the Magic Neep and Butterbeer™ carts.
A foray through the shops will add to the authenticity of the land with eight retail shops and locations, including Honeydukes™, Ollivanders™, Owl Post™, Zonko’s™ Joke Shop, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods™.
As excitement builds for the Spring 2016 arrival of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” in-park guests at Universal Studios Hollywood are able to experience and purchase authentic merchandise, including wands, robes and other collectibles from “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” available within the Features Presentation shop, located just inside Universal Studios Hollywood’s main entry.
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Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue. World-class rides and attractions include the popular 3D Ultra-HD adventure, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and immersive “Super Silly Fun Land,” the critically-acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers™: The Ride-3D,” the intense, award-winning ride, “King Kong 360 3-D” on the behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, “Revenge of the MummySM—The Ride” and “Jurassic Park® —The Ride.” As part of its milestone 50th anniversary celebration in 2015, Universal Studios Hollywood introduced a slate of dynamic new attractions, including the electrifying 3D-HD thrill ride, “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” as the grand finale to the famed Studio Tour, “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons Ride™” and the “Nighttime Studio Tour,” offering evening tours of the iconic movie backlot.
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