June 2, 2015 – After a long period of expectation, and monitoring construction, today Universal Studios Hollywood has officially announced an opening date for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Opening Spring 2016, the star attraction will be Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, but this time, following a recent surprise announcement in Japan, it will now be in 3D, with guests donning Quidditch-themed goggles.
The 3D version may be new for the Forbidden Journey, but those familiar with the franchise will remember that Escape from Gringott’s, recently opened in Diagon Alley in Universal Orlando, is in 3D as well. In addition to the Forbidden Journey, the Wizarding World will include the other elements of Hogsmeade we’ve come to expect like Flight of the Hippogriff, Honeydukes and The Three Broomsticks. The press release follows the images below.
Hollywood, CA, June 2, 2015 – The countdown to “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” begins today as Universal Studios Hollywood 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.
Chris Glass is an editor for Inside Universal.
Chris is a Los Angeles native who grew up visiting the best theme parks in the world, but that wasn’t enough. Whenever he has the chance, he flees the comfort of Southern California to see what the rest of the world has to offer, and is always happy to return home.
You may contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.