Fireworks displays are a tried and true method for keeping guests at theme parks, but it might be time for something new and more magical. That’s exactly what Universal Studios Hollywood has planned for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter come June 23 with the official premiere of “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle.”
In the weeks leading up to opening night, a number of guests were treated to a preview of what will soon be a nightly experience cast on the Hogwarts Castle just across from Hogsmeade Village and the Triwizard Stage. The display of lights and animations projected onto the castle in conjunction with the film’s iconic score will immerse audiences in the show, as though they have been transported into the film series.
Narrated by the Sorting Hat, the show imitates the annual sorting ceremony at the beginning of every school year at Hogwarts, featuring a unique lights display for each of the four houses: Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Gryffindor. As each house is presented, its signature colors wrap around the intricate design of the castle along with an animation of its mascot as the house crest gradually appears at the top. One by one, each display elicits applause from the audience as they cheer for the house with which they identify.
At approximately five minutes in duration, the show wraps up with the fusion of all four houses as the Sorting Hat narrates, “There is nothing hidden in your head the Sorting Hat can’t see.”
With the grand finale, gold sparkling lights trickle down the castle and park guests are free to continue exploring the themed attractions, shops and eateries. At a glance, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a visually accurate depiction of the film’s portrayal, but a bit of exploration confirms that it’s also interactive.
Aside from experiencing the two rides, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Flight of the Hippogriff,” some other popular activities include grabbing butterbeer at Hog’s Head Pub or picking out a personal wand at Ollivander’s.
“The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” is more than a show — it’s an experience. For Harry Potter fans who grew up reading the novels and watching the movies on a screen, the opportunity to see the Hogwarts Castle replica light up in person is as close to an escape from the Muggle world as it gets.
For those who can’t make it to the park, 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 on June 23 at 8:30 p.m. PST.
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