Test Trains are Running at Universal Studios Hollywood's Wizarding World of Harry Potter

October 14, 2015, 1:47 PM · Let's check the construction at Universal Studios Hollywood, where we're getting closer to the opening of the west coast's Wizarding World of Harry Potter next spring. Construction continues on the new restaurants and merchandise locations that will line the park's entrance plaza.

Universal Studios Hollywood entrance

But it's Harry Potter that we've come to see today. The Village of Hogsmeade is now free of scaffolding, with workers making touch-ups on the exteriors.

Hogsmeade Hollywood

You can see Hogwarts Castle in the background.

Hogwarts Castle

Walk through Springfield, toward the Studio Tour entrance, for a clearer view.

Another view of Hogwarts Castle

But it's on the pedestrian bridge to the Studio Tour where you'll find the best view of Hogwarts Castle and the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride building.

Harry Potter show building

Keep your eyes peeled, because between the trees, you can see the Flight of the Hippogriff ride track. And what's this? The coaster is running test trains!

Universal Studios Hollywood's version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be a copy of Universal Orlando's original Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade, with a couple of slight tweaks, most notably being the omission of the Dueling Dragons roller coaster. In fact, Flight of the Hippogriff will be the first outdoor roller coaster at Universal Studios Hollywood.

The park has not announced a specific opening date, but no new USH seasonal passes are valid after February 1, 2016, so we are expecting the land to open sometime between then and the start of the summer vacation season in May.

Replies (8)

October 14, 2015 at 2:03 PM · Can't wait for December!
October 14, 2015 at 3:24 PM · Is the coaster a clone of the one at IOA, and is it a Vekoma?
October 14, 2015 at 5:02 PM · You can see the test trains all the way from Mulholland Drive.
October 14, 2015 at 9:03 PM · Jaiden, USH got a Mack Youngster Coaster instead of a Vekoma Junior Coaster for their version of Flight of the Hippogriff. The layout is different but the ride experience should be fairly similar.

The fact that Flight of the Hippogriff is testing seems to support a rumor I heard last week: USH is pushing to soft open the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for winter break (though possibly without Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey). Given that few roller coasters need longer than 4 weeks of testing and the land is currently looking about 90% complete from the exterior, I wouldn't be surprised for a soft opening in two months (the official opening is still said to be just before Spring Break).

October 15, 2015 at 3:41 AM · Nice to see the progress they're making on Hogsmeade. My only complaint is that I hope they do a better job of hiding the ride building when the final product comes out.
October 15, 2015 at 6:17 AM · A moving coaster is a good sign. The big unknown is still whats going on inside that castle. The Hogwarts in Florida looked finished from the outside for a good while before the ride was working.

Still, I like the idea of the soft opening. I'm sure Universal would like to merch and food revenue.

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October 15, 2015 at 4:41 PM · Isn't that blank wall the view from the studio tour? If that's the case then leaving it unfinished would be so bad because it all part of showing the illusion of film making. As for Dueling Dragons. Well neither coaster at IOA were originally built for Wizarding World and were only rethemed later so I could not care less about DD coaster. And as excited as I am about Potter coming to the West Coast I honestly rather not see Diagon Alley come here but would like to see something else.
October 17, 2015 at 12:02 PM · Aaaaahhhhh!!!! The best news for my birthday. I've already booked my vacation to come here during spring break and I was worried that it wouldnt be open yet (since some sites were theorizing the opening to be about 2 weeks after our school break). As a teacher I can't just go when ever, I'm limited to school breaks and as a parent these trips need to be booked well in advance so I wish they would just confirm the opening date already.

If the soft opening date is correct then it will definitely be open for you spring break and I'll do cartwheels.

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