The Wizarding World Premieres at Universal Studios Hollywood

April 5, 2016, 9:40 PM · Universal Studios Hollywood welcomed some of the stars of the Harry Potter films to the park tonight to kick off the opening celebrations for its new Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Tom Felton [Draco Malfoy], Evanna Lynch [Luna Lovegood], James Phelps [Fred Weasley], Oliver Phelps [George Weasley], and Warwick Davis [Professor Flitwick/Griphook] appeared at the premiere ceremony, along with Academy Award-winning composer John Williams, who conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a live performance of music from the films, as projection mapping enveloped the castle and fireworks exploded overhead.

Here are a few highlights from our Twitter coverage:

Park President Larry Kurzweil followed the Frog Choir by trying out a wand, lighting the stage on fire in the process. Then he was joined on stage by Universal Parks chairman Tom Williams, NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer, and Warner Bros. Chairman Kevin Tsujihara for a round of speeches. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti lightened the tone by trying to cast a summoning charm (in Spanish!) for a traffic-free city, then urging visitors to ride LA's version of the Hogwarts Express to the park — the Metro Red Line.

Then it was time for the celebrities... and the music.

If you missed Universal's live stream of the ceremony, here are the best parts, including the full orchestra performance:

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens officially to the public Thursday morning, with an "opening moment" planned for 6:15am, in advance of the land's 7am early-entry opening. Universal has announced that the park is sold out for Thursday's opening day, so expect wall-to-wall crowds for the public debut. Keep reading Theme Park Insider for coverage of that, as well as Wednesday's Q&A sessions with the actors and the creators of Universal's Wizarding World.

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Replies (11)

April 5, 2016 at 5:53 PM · All tickets have sold out for April 7th. I'm really wondering how the crowds will be (orlando proportions?) and if this small park can even handle those crowds. We'll see.
April 5, 2016 at 6:20 PM · Capacity is why you are heavily encouraged (financially) to buy tickets in advance at USH now. I'm sure the cap is at a point the park can handle... though we will see how comfortably for all who visit.
April 5, 2016 at 9:29 PM · The Front of the Line passes are all sold out at high prices. Sold out for the weekend. Too bad.
April 5, 2016 at 10:02 PM · They're expecting 55,000 people for opening. I worked there. Capacity is 37,000. Opps.
April 6, 2016 at 5:53 AM · Wow. That was so cool. I loved the light show on the castle similar to the one at Magic Kingdom. Any possibility that will be a recurring display or was that a one-time shot?
April 6, 2016 at 6:16 AM · This is the beginning of a whole new ball game for Universal Hollywood.
April 6, 2016 at 8:05 AM · So glad to see John Williams was there. His soundtrack adds so much to the land as it plays in the background while walking around.

And an amazing light show. I really hope they have a nightly lighting of the castle show. That would keep me coming back.

April 6, 2016 at 10:49 AM · Loved that lightshow on the Castle! Could this possibly evolve into a night-time show? It was amazing! Possibly, no fireworks because of the neighbors but the projections and music would be more than enough.
April 6, 2016 at 12:13 PM · I wonder if that projection show will be a nightly occurrence there and if it will make its way to Orlando at some point.
April 6, 2016 at 10:16 PM · That was incredible! I really hope Universal can make this regular show, at least on the weekends. The fireworks really add to the magic. I wish the neighbors would just accept it for 10 minutes on Friday and Saturday nights. A truly amazing show that will rival Disney!
April 7, 2016 at 4:07 AM · The light show was tremendous something which Disney does well. I agree with previous comments why not incorporate into the normal programme. Excellent.

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