Don't be put off by HUGE line to see The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle Projection Show
Friends and I went to Universal Studios Hollywood Sunday, December 10th with the primary purpose of seeing the new projection show on Hogswarts castle. We had just gotten off the studio tram tour and encountered a massive crowd trying to get into Hogsmead. Team Members were directing guests coming from Springfield counter-clockwise around the Universal Plaza back towards the front of the Studio to join the queue to enter Hogsmead. When we finally got to the end of the line, we were practically at the entrance to the Water World Theater. After a really long day, we all felt very defeated and unsure if we were willing to wait.
I'm so glad we did.
While way too many of the USH team members seemed uninformed about the process, those who did seem to know what was going on assured us we would have no trouble getting in the section for the next available show. As soon as the line began to move, we did in fact make it all the way to the Hogsmead gate. After just a moment's hold, we were admitted.
At this point, we decided to go first to The Three Broomsticks for dinner to then catch a later show. This was a GOOD plan. The meal was delicious and once our slight hangryness was defeated, we rejoined the queue just on the far side of the Owlery and proceeded to the viewing area near the entrance to the Flight of the Hippogriff.
Some advice on picking a viewing spot - Don't get too close. The castle is massive and if you get too close, which I think we did, viewing isn't as comfortable as I think it may have been from a little bit further back. You will want to be sure you can see the entire castle and the precipice upon which it sits. Being back a bit will also let you have a better view of the additional special effects that happen around the castle (no spoilers).
The added benefit to the crowd control in place for the show was the relatively comfortable occupancy level in the village between shows. We spent quite a while (and a lot of money) shopping after the show.
The show itself is a lot of fun and while perhaps not a reason on its own to go to the park, it is absolutely worth checking out.
This was my first time going to USH during the holidays. The Upper lot looked fantastic. Grinichmas seemed to be extremely popular and the entertainment was nonstop.
We bought the three day tickets available at CostCo, and I'm looking forward to going back before they expire in mid-May.
Maybe it's just because I live in Orlando where projection mapping has been ubiquitous at all four of Disney's parks on their icons for a while now, but the show didn't seem like anything special to me. I stopped watching halfway through and decided to get in line to ride Forbidden Journey.
Sorry, nothing at ANY theme park in Orlando is worth the madness during holidays. Find a new hobby if you think so-JMO.
I found that the first 5 (or so) shows were stupid crowded. The last ones were easy to get into, see and get out.
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