Starting June 24th, summer is getting a whole lot brighter at Universal Studios Hollywood with The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle. If you have been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, you already know about the charming and whimsical snow-capped buildings, cobblestone streets and endearing shops. The magical lights at night just give it that effervescent glow highlighting the castle and all its magic.
As night falls on Hogsmeade village, “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” shines brightly with an awe-inspiring spectacle that showcases the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin, and culminates with awesome beams of lights that fan into the night sky. The colorful state-of-the-art light display and special effects projection is 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 emanates in a surround sound environment was conducted by prolific arranger William Ross and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in London.
In addition to the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle, there are some fun new “must-dos” to check off your list during your visit to the Wizarding World:
- With a gentle flick of the wrist and just the right touch, guests can cast spells throughout “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at dazzling wand magic locations. This summer’s installation of two additional spells ups the tally to 15 thrilling wand magic experiences to practice. The Incendio fire-making spell will conjure flames of varying size based on skill level, and the Alohomora spell will unlock a series of intricate locks that may reveal the fiery breath of a creature hidden behind a secret door.
- Three Broomsticks expands its lunchtime menu with a selection of traditional British fare, including:
- Ploughman’s Lunch, featuring an imported selection of ham, salami, country paté, English cheese, homemade pickles and a warm scotch egg served with bread, cranberry chutney and grain mustard
- Cheese Toastie with Chicken, featuring grilled English Cheddar cheese with chicken, crispy bacon, mustard and sliced tomato topped with a sunny side egg served with a fresh salad or potato wedges
- Sunday Roast Sandwich served on a freshly baked baguette filled with warm prime rib, caramelized onions, English Cheddar, horseradish sauce and homemade garlic pickles served with fresh salad or potato wedges
- Guests can channel their inner wizards at Gladrags Wizardwear with a wide array of apparel inspired by the films. The billowing house robes worn by the students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and accompanying house uniforms, including hand-loomed cardigans from Scotland, scarves and ties are available for purchase. New to Gladrags Wizardwear this season is a high-end replica of Professor Severus Snape’s robe, as well as a replica of Hermonione’s dress worn at the Yule Ball as seen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which is now available in adult and children’s sizes. Other wizard attire includes a replica of the cardigan worn by Neville Longbottom in the Battle of Hogwarts scene in the film series finale. Select attire is available in a variety of sizes from toddler to adult.
- Just like the talking mirror in the Harry Potter films, Madam Malkin’s Talking Mirror makes quite a reflective entrance this summer, located in the corridor between Dervish and Banges™ and Gladrags Wizardwear. Speaking with an English accent, the Talking Mirror will entertain guests with a variety of complimentary remarks.
Couple of things RSMLVTravel loves about Universal Studios Hollywood:
- Purchase of specific tickets will allow access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the park opens to the general public.
- Child Switch for those visiting with littles who cannot ride a ride yet. A guest may stay behind with the younger child while the rest ride. When the guests return they “switch” so the remainder of the party can ride.
- Decent food- Yes, we said it. We are not always huge fans of theme park food, but Universal Studios Hollywood has some fun stuff to experiences like the Butter Beer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Duff’s Beer and the famous pink donughts from the Simpsons in Springfield, USA, and the ice cream at Phineas Q. Butterfats.
- Take advantage of the World Famous Studio Tour…not only is it a great opportunity to sit for awhile, there are some serious theatrical highlights you won’t want to miss, along with movie and television sets from some of your favorite shows.
Of course, we have some tips for visiting the Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Parks:
- We suggest Universal Express when purchasing your tickets. Universal Express allows you express line access 1 time for each ride, attraction and seated show. There may be some exclusions, so always best to check the website when buying your tickets.
- Clients of RSMLVTravel highly recommend the VIP Experience. An all-day, all-access, behind the scenes tour that truly makes guests feel like a VIP. The VIP Experience includes unlimited express access to rides, attractions, and seated shows; expert guided tour including back lot; continental breakfast; gourmet lunch in exclusive VIP dining room; valet parking. Check website for more details and restrictions.
- Only have 1-day? We’ve done it…you can, too! With the above suggestions on ticket purchases, it is possible to see the entire park in one day. Be sure to bring parkas for Jurassic Park and Water World. There are lockers available, and there are a variety of food options throughout the park that are worth exploring.
We suggest these fine luxury family resorts in the Los Angeles area: (hotels listed are within 25 miles from Universal Studios Hollywood)
- The Garland (for a kitschy throw-back Hollywood experience)
- The Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows (for a beach experience in Santa Monica area)
- Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel (for the Beverly Hills experience)
- The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles (for a Downtown LA experience)
- The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey (an RSMLVTravel favorite…low key and relaxing, book the Concierge Level for the ultimate experience)
RSMLVTravel can assist you in booking your Universal Studios Hollywood vacation, email: Stefanie@to get started!
*The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle is available for a limited time only beginning June 24, 2018.