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Universal Orlando Announces New Roller Coaster; Closure of Dragon Challenge
Posted by Megs

This morning Universal Orlando Resort has announced the closure of their Dragon Challenge ride in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade to make way for a brand new roller coaster! Fans of Dragon Challenge, like this writer, will no doubt be upset, but the new ride promises to be even more thrilling! Here’s what we know so far:

  • The new ride will open in 2019
  • Dragon Challenge will be shut down on September 5th with the last day to ride on September 4th
  • This all-new thrill ride will take you deeper into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, where you will encounter some of your favorite characters and creatures. It’ll be unlike anything we’ve ever done before and it will be fun for the entire family.
  • The new attraction will be one of the most highly-themed coaster experiences we’ve created. It will combine a new level of storytelling with an action-packed adventure…and a few surprises along the way.
  • Our award-winning Universal Creative team is once again collaborating with Warner Bros. and the production design team from the Harry Potter films to bring this new coaster experience to life.
  • This ride is going to redefine the category and transport you to thrilling places, drawing you into even more exciting adventures within the wizarding world. It’s going to be the perfect addition to Hogsmeade.
Filed Under: Universal Studios Orlando, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Universal Studios Hollywood to Livestream The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle
Posted by Megs

To celebrate opening night of The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle, Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook will host a Facebook Live event to stream the all-new “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” experience at “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” tonight, Friday, June 23 at 8:45pm PST. You can watch the livestream below at that time.

This brand new show will run multiple times a night through Labor Day at Universal Studios Hollywood.

As night falls on Hogsmeade village, the familiar sounds of Harry Potter music will resonate throughout “The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM”.  Multiple times an evening, colorful projection mapping will illuminate Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with impressive dimensional animations that melodically dance across Hogwarts castle in tandem to a musical arrangement from of the Harry Potter movies.

Filed Under: Universal Studios Hollywood, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Christmas is Coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood
Posted by Megs

As we posted back in April, Christmas is coming to Hogwarts at Universal Studios Orlando! Today we can announce that fans in California can also celebrate the season at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood! “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood bringing a dazzling light projection spectacular to Hogwarts Castle and festive hliday décor to the immersive land.

This holiday season, Universal Studios Hollywood will introduce “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” transforming HogwartsTM castle into a breathtaking light projection show that captures the spirt of the yuletide season.

Hogsmeade village will also shine brightly as the quaint town celebrates with festive décor uniquely themed to each of the individual storefronts, along with holiday-themed food and beverages including hot Butterbeer.

A special time in the Harry Potter series, the all-new “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” tradition invites guests to celebrate this part of J.K. Rowling’s compelling story for themselves.

As night falls on Hogsmeade village, the familiar sounds of Harry Potter music will resonate throughout “The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM”.  Multiple times an evening, colorful projection mapping will illuminate Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with impressive dimensional animations that melodically dance across Hogwarts castle in tandem to a musical arrangement from of the Harry Potter movies.

“Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” represents the immersive land’s first holiday themed program since opening at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2016.

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” at Universal Studios Hollywood is a masterful recreation, faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including as its iconic focal point, Hogwarts castle.

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” transports guests of all ages to the very places they watched on the silver screen.

The architecturally stunning land also includes the  captivating and highly acclaimed “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” thrill ride, now enhanced with 4K-HD and ride film projecting at an astounding rate of 120 frames-per-second for an even more immersive glimpse into Harry Potter’s world, as well as Flight of the Hippogriff™,” Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor family coaster.

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” resonates with immense detail, inviting guests to revel in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World with the opportunity to enjoy authentic food and beverages at multiple locations, including Three Broomsticks™ and Hog’s Head pub, as well as the Magic Neep and Butterbeer™ carts.

A foray through the shops adds to the authenticity of the land with eight retail venues 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.

More details about “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will be shared in the coming months.

Filed Under: Universal Holidays, Universal Studios Hollywood, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
“The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” Beginning in June at Universal Studios Hollywood
Posted by Megs

Click to view full size image

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood is introducing a brand new show this Summer! The show, The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle, is a brand new light projection against the castle beginning on June 23. Two photos of the show in action can be seen in the gallery.

Beginning June 23, guests are invited to see “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” in a whole new light when Universal Studios Hollywood introduces its all-new “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts™ Castle,” featuring a dazzling light projection experience against the backdrop of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

As night falls on Hogsmeade village, “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” will shine brightly with an awe-inspiring spectacle that showcases the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin that culminates with awesome beams of lights that fan into the night sky.

The colorful state-of-the-art light display and special effects projection, designed to dance across the stunning Hogwarts castle, will be accompanied by a special musical arrangement created by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams based on his original scores composed for the film series. The musical arrangement that will emanate in a surround sound environment was conducted by prolific arranger William Ross and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in London.

This new summertime feature will take place multiple times a night during its run. Live rehearsals with annual pass previews and very limited guest access will begin in June in preparation for the June 23 grand opening.

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Filed Under: Universal Studios Hollywood, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Make it a Harry Potter Christmas at Universal Orlando!
Posted by Megs

Universal Orlando Resort has revealed today that they will be decking out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the holidays! These celebrations will include holiday decorations in both parks, a nighttime light show on Hogwarts castle, holiday themed food and more! Now we are even more excited to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter this Winter! The announcement comes in the form of a video featuring Michael Aiello, the Senior Director of Entertainment:

The full press release can be read below:

The most wonderful time of the year is coming to one of the most immersive theme park experiences ever created. Universal Orlando Resort announced today that a new Christmas experience is coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as part of its destination-wide Holiday celebration.

Plus, a brand-new parade featuring Macy’s will also join Universal’s epic lineup of Holidays experiences – making Universal Orlando the place to be for Holidays.

These new experiences will join beloved Holiday traditions at Universal Orlando for the destination’s 2017 Holidays celebration, which will run for more dates than ever before from November 18, 2017 to January 6, 2018.

Celebrate Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Christmas is a special time in the Harry Potter series, and fans from around the world have long wanted to enjoy that part of J.K. Rowling’s compelling story for themselves. This November, the new Christmas experience in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will give guests a special opportunity to see, feel and even taste what it’s like to celebrate the magic of Christmas in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

As night falls, a magical holiday transformation of Hogwarts castle will take place right before guests’ eyes. Incredible state-of- the-art projection mapping and special effects will wrap the iconic castle – bringing holiday spirit and memorable Christmas moments from the Harry Potter series to life like never before.

Festive décor like ornate garlands will line the streets of both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Each storefront will be decked out with uniquely-themed decorations, and guests will enjoy special holiday themed food, drink and entertainment.

Stay tuned – more details about Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and even more exciting news about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be released soon.

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Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

A brand-new holiday parade experience will also join Universal Orlando’s resort-wide Holiday celebration beginning this November. Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s will take place in Universal Studios Florida and feature magnificent new, incredibly-detailed floats and balloons, and beloved characters like the mischievous Minions from Despicable Me, popular DreamWorks characters from Madagascar and Shrek – and even Santa Claus himself. Universal is partnering with Macy’s, the global leader in balloon entertainment, to bring this new parade experience to life. More details will be released soon.

Universal Orlando’s resort-wide Holidays celebration – including Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s – will run daily from November 18, 2017 to January 6, 2018. Access to the festivities is included in regular admission to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Guests can now book a special vacation package to experience all of Universal’s epic Holidays entertainment. Packages start at $165 per adult, per night (tax inclusive) and include four-night hotel accommodations at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, a 4-day/3- park ticket that includes admission to ALL THREE Universal theme parks – including Universal’s new water theme park, Volcano Bay, which grand opens on May 25, and early park admission to The= Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay. For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com.

Filed Under: Universal Holidays, Universal Studios Orlando, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Universal Studios Hollywood Upgrades Forbidden Journey Ride to 4K-HD
Posted by Megs

Universal Studios Hollywood has revealed today that they have upgraded Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey to 4K-HD technology. The ride, which also exists in the Orlando theme park, takes riders on an adventure around Hogwarts and it’s grounds with Harry, Ron and Hermione. It is unknown if the Orlando version will also receive an upgrade. A press release about the update may be read below:

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood Elevates “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” to 4K-HD with State-of-the-Art Imagery Projecting at Twice the Frame Rate for an Even More Immersive Experience

Universal City, CA, March 23, 2017 – The spectacularly captivating and highly acclaimed “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” thrill ride at Universal Studios Hollywood’s “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” takes a technological bow with the introduction of enhanced 4K-HD ride film projecting at an astounding rate of 120 frames-per-second and designed to offer guests an even more immersive glimpse into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

This progressive enhancement replaces the earlier 3D film component of the ride to create a seamless integration between the ride’s elaborate sets and its spellbinding media. The attraction’s storyline remains the same.

Originally projected at 60 frames-per-second, the new ride media now displays at twice the frame rate offering superior clarity and remarkably sharper images than previously shown, with imagery that is stunningly ultra-realistic.

Hailed by press across the globe as a tour-de-force, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” has enjoyed a vast array of critical acclaim, such as:

“The combination of the stunningly detailed queue and the state-of-the-art ride make Forbidden Journey the best dark ride in the world.”
“All roads lead to Hogwarts castle, home to possibly the most immersive, amazing and utterly convincing dark-ride and queue ever invented. The detail at every turn is exquisite.”
An achievement in pioneering theme park ride technology, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” is a multidimensional thrill ride located within Hogwarts castle. It features a groundbreaking robotics ride system, fused with elaborate filmed action sequences and immersive visceral effects designed to take guests on a once-in-a lifetime whirlwind adventure.

Spiraling and pivoting 360-degrees upon an elevated ride track, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ushers guests on a journey alongside Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley as they venture through some of the most memorable scenes from the movie, including a Quidditch match where they narrowly escape a dragon attack, as well as close encounters with Dementors and the Whomping Willow.

A spectacular attraction unto itself, the iconic and picturesque Hogwarts castle sits at the heart of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” providing access to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Hogwarts castle is a breathtaking reproduction from the movie, housing narrow stone passageways and chambers that invites guests to walk in the famous footsteps of the film’s heroic character where they will encounter many familiar places along the way, including the Mirror of Erised, Professor Sprout’s Herbology class and a selection of baby Mandrakes, Dumbledore’s office, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Hall of Talking Portraits, the Fat Lady portrait at the entrance to the Gryffindor Common Room and the Sorting Hat.

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Filed Under: Universal Studios Hollywood, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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