Universal City, California, April 7, 2016 – Harry Potter film talent, Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), and James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley), joined Universal Studios Hollywood’s President, Larry Kurzweil and the Hogwarts Express conductor to officiate today’s eagerly-awaited opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Joining in the celebration were thousands of enthusiastic fans, clad in their favorite Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry house colors to be among the very first to experience the land on opening day.
“I am delighted to see ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ brought to life in a way that is so close to what I imagined when writing the books. I’m thrilled that Harry Potter fans can now experience the wonderful immersive experience created at Universal Studios Hollywood,” said J.K. Rowling.
“Today is a very exciting and historically significant day for us,” said Larry Kurzweil, President, Universal Studios Hollywood. “This incredible event to celebrate the opening of ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ marks the pinnacle of years of hard work and the beginning of a new generation of Universal Studios Hollywood. With over 75 percent completely reimagined, Universal Studios Hollywood is an entirely new theme park destination and we look forward to sharing everything that the Entertainment Capital of L.A. has to offer with visitors from around the world.”
“In Los Angeles, tourism is surging. We’ve set records each of the last five years and we’re just getting started,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. “’The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ at Universal Studios Hollywood is monumental in expanding our city’s global reach. It sends a message to visitors from across the world that L.A. is a place you and your family have to experience. I’m proud to see this game-changing world-class attraction open. Universal Studios Hollywood’s epic transformation will create new jobs, stimulate hospitality revenues and make our economy stronger.”
More than five years in the making, and 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” has been masterfully recreated with impeccable detail as a real-world interpretation at Universal Studios Hollywood. The land is faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle which serves as its iconic focal point.
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 read about in the stories or watched on the silver screen.
Upon entering the land through the archway, Hogsmeade bustles to life with the same vitality of a quaint local village: merchants hard at work, a train conductor welcoming new arrivals and a pub packed to the gills with hungry patrons, but with the added element of enthusiastic guests intent on experiencing them all, including the land’s signature ride, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” and the family outdoor coaster, “Flight of the Hippogriff™.”
An achievement in pioneering theme park ride technology, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” makes its U.S. debut at Universal Studios Hollywood in hyper-realistic 3D-HD designed to further immerse guests in an already engaging storyline. The multidimensional thrill ride features a groundbreaking robotics ride system, fused with elaborate filmed action sequences and immersive visceral effects. In this updated adaptation of the ride, guests sports Quidditch-inspired 3D goggles as they 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.
Also within “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” the enchanting family coaster, “Flight of the Hippogriff™” opens as Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor roller coaster.
“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” resonates with immense detail, inviting guests to revel in Harry Potter’s world with the opportunity to enjoy authentic food and beverage 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.