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Hogwarts Castle is rising at Universal Studios Hollywood

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Published: March 19, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Vertical construction is picking up at the west coast version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Potter construction photo

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.

More construction

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.

At ground level

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.

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.

Readers' Opinions

From Nick McKaig on March 20, 2014 at 5:31 AM
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.

Very cool stuff!

From Rob Pastor on March 20, 2014 at 5:49 AM
Nick: Great point. It'll have that look of the rugged Scottish landscape.
From Annette Forrest on March 20, 2014 at 5:56 AM
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!

Do you think you could possibly share a few things about what the Universal version of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts will be like? For a while, there was a rumor there would be a restaurant in Hollywood that would look like the dining hall at Hogwards, like in the movies, with the floating candles and everything.

Are they building that? I wonder what other things they learned from the original Hogsmeade that they are incorporating into the Hollywood version.

I have to tell you that when my family goes to California we never bother to do Universal. We do Disneyland for a day, then DCA for a day, and then we do other things around LA when my husband is at a convention he goes to every year. Now that Harry Potter will be at Universal in California, we will be spending at least part of a day in this park. So, building Potter got us to start buying tickets to go to a place we never visited before. I am very excited to see what they do here.

Any scoop from your magical owl post on what differences we can expect?

From Anon Mouse on March 20, 2014 at 6:00 AM
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.
From Nick McKaig on March 20, 2014 at 12:58 PM
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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