Hogwarts Castle is rising at Universal Studios Hollywood
Vertical construction is picking up at the west coast version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
You can see Universal Studios Hollywood's Hogwarts Castle rising above the construction walls on the Upper Lot of the park. But head over to the park's Studio Tour for the best views.
From the bridge over to the tour entrance, you can get a great view of the site of the former Gibson Amphitheater, where the village of Hogsmeade is now under construction.
The view's even better from the exit path next to the tram tour station, where you're just a few yards from what will be the back of the Hogwarts Castle show building.
Finally, here's a closeup of the Hogwarts Castle construction.
Universal has not announced an opening date for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but construction on the Orlando and Japanese Potter lands took between two and three years each. We're just speculating now, but with construction starting last fall in Hollywood, that timeframe would put the west coast Wizarding World on track for completion sometime in 2016.
I am very interested to find out what the differences will be between a Hogwarts built on flat land and a Hogwarts built on a mountain as in Hollywood. In some ways I think the Hollywood version has the potential to look even more authentic than the Orlando version (similar to the castle in Disneyland Paris) because of it's terrain. The logistics of the build are interesting as well, without everything on the same level.
Nick: Great point. It'll have that look of the rugged Scottish landscape.
Robert Niles, bar none you are the man with all of the scoops with anything going on at Universal. It's like you are hooked into the owl post and they send you all the messages of what's going on. I love it!
USH is already on a mountain. There is no approach as if you're Harry Potter. Being on a mountain is no added advantage, but the construction site looks huge so I am hopeful the castle is more full sized than the Orlando counterpart.
I am talking more about the challenge of building on a mountain. It is much simpler to build on flat land because you are only dealing with one dimension. With a mountainside, suddenly there are sloped paths, stairs, and multiple levels of buildings as appears to be the case with this construction. I think it provides a challenge not seen in other Harry Potter attractions.
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