An Insider's Tour of the Wizarding World Hollywood
April 2, 2016, 9:13 PM ·
We're just a few days away from the official grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. Universal's fourth Harry Potter land follows Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley at the Universal Orlando Resort and the Wizarding World at Universal Studios Japan. The land has been in soft-open "technical rehearsals" since February, but Universal will celebrate the land's opening with a big media event on Tuesday night ahead of the official opening to the public early Thursday morning.
To get you ready for the official debut of the new land, we've put together this video tour, which includes advice from Alan Gilmore, Art Director for the Harry Potter films and creative consultant to Universal, on what he suggests first-timers do when visiting the new land.
If you've visited the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure park, you might notice a few differences between that version of Hogsmeade village and the Wizarding World Hollywood. The biggest is the absence of the Dragon Challenge B&M Inverted coasters in Hollywood. But Hollywood's Wizarding World offers the 3D version of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which debuted in 2014 at Universal Studios Japan. Other differences include:
Ollivanders is located on the other side of High Street, and includes a second theater and expanded wand shop.
Gladrags Wizardwear takes Ollivanders' place next to Owl Post.
There are two additional interactive wand windows in Hollywood's Wizarding World.
The Weasley's Ford Anglia is found in an expanded outdoor queue for Forbidden Journey, as there is no Dragon Challenge queue for it here.
Flight of the Hippogriff is a Mack Youngster coaster instead of a Vekoma Junior, though the ride is quite similar.
Zonko's is back, although in abbreviated form. It closed in Orlando for an expansion of Honeydukes.
The restrooms use the same themed design as those in Diagon Alley in Orlando.
The Three Broomsticks offers an expanded menu, including many items from Orlando's Leaky Cauldron, plus a "Sunday Roast" prime rib main course.
There's no Hot Butterbeer or Butterbeer Ice Cream at The Three Broomsticks. (At least not yet.)
The lockers next to the Hogwarts Express photo op have been replaced with a pay photo op of the interior of a Hogwarts Express compartment.
Appropriate to the Scottish Highlands setting, Hollywood's Wizarding World is the first to include actual mountains in the distance, surrounding the land.
For your reference, here is the complete line-up of everything in Universal Studios Hollywood's Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Two Butterbeer carts (One at each entrance to the land)
Zonko's Joke Shop
Dervish and Banges
Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment
Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods (Located the exit of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey)
Theme Park Insider will cover all the media events this week at the Wizarding World Hollywood, including the Tuesday night celebration, actor and creator interviews on Wednesday morning, and the public opening moment early Thursday. Follow us on Twitter, on Instagram and on YouTube for coverage, as well as here on ThemeParkInsider.com.