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By Jackie & Matt Roseboom
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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open at Universal Studios Hollywood next spring with a few differences from the Orlando version. Most of which is the land’s signature attraction, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”, will be 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.
“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. 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.
When asked at a press conference if Orlando’s Forbidden Journey ride would be getting a 3D upgrade, Tom Williams, CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts, said they are concentrating on the Universal Hollywood ride right now but to stay tuned.
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.
Guest will have 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.