Break out the celebratory firewhisky, west coasters (or Butterbeer if you’re a wee one), because we’re inching ever closer to the unveiling of Universal Studios Hollywood’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Wands at the ready and rally your cries of “Alohomora!” Universal Studios is set to unlock the park in Spring 2016, and while tickets have yet to go on sale, you can get a sneak peak at the magical new park addition thanks to the Wizarding World Hollywood website.
Eagle-eyed Los Angelenos have already spotted the spires of Hogwarts peaking out of the park walls facing the 101, but now you can finally get a glimpse inside thanks to the new virtual tour. The official site offers a map of both park attractions, including “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which promises to be a thrilling condensation of Harry’s crazy life, and the more family friendly Flight of the Hippogriff, as well as a look at the shops and dining options of Hogsmeade. You can also click down on the parchment labelled “explore” to take a flying tour through the park or the newspaper labelled “news” to watch some videos with the cast.
The west coast incarnation of Wizarding World is a near exact replica of Orlando-based original, so the virtual tour is rendered in fantastic detail. You can poke your nose into all the iconic shops of Hogsmeade, including Ollivanders, Zonkos, Honeydukes; peek into The Three Broomsticks; and over in Hogwarts itself, tour through the Defense against the Dark Arts classroom, Dumbledore’s study, and Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods (aka the souvenir shop).
There’s no word on when Wizarding World Hollywood might get their own Diagon Alley, which is fair considering the park hasn’t even opened yet, but as Adam pointed out his review of the Orlando expansion, it’s an absolutely immersive excursion into J.K. Rowling‘s magical world. For now, you can click over to the website for the digital tour and stay tuned for an official opening date.