Park president Larry Kurzweil brought Harry Potter film stars Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Evanna Lynch, James Phelps, and Oliver Phelps to the Hogsmeade gate to help open the land, which was revealed after hundreds of fans at the gate cast a "Revelio" charm.
Some fans camped overnight at the park to be among the first in line to experience the centerpiece of Universal Studios Hollywood's billion-dollar expansion plan. Universal Studios Hollywood's Wizarding World follows two successful Harry Potter-themed lands at the Universal Orlando Resort, and one at Universal Studios Japan, which has propelled Universal's most popular theme park to record attendance.
About two thousand fans appeared to be in the park for the land's 6:30am opening, far fewer than tens of thousands who crammed Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park for the opening of the original Wizarding World in June 2010. But Universal opened the Hollywood version at the crack of dawn on a Thursday during the school year, instead of at the height of the summer season. Nevertheless, the park announced that it had sold out all available advance-sale tickets for the day. Universal recently introduced a new ticketing system that ties advance sale tickets to a specific date of use, with varying discounts based upon the planned date of visit, in part to better distribute the large crowds that the Wizarding World is expected to attract to the park, which has posted strong attendance gains in recent years anyway.
The Wizarding World in Hollywood began "technical rehearsals" in February, allowing thousands of fans the opportunity to experience the land in advance of the official opening. Please see our previous coverage for more about Universal Studios Hollywood's Wizarding World of Harry Potter:
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Universal swiftly activated its timed-ticket system for Wizarding World entry. When I left, shortly before 8am, visitors were getting return times about two hours after requesting a ticket. And once inside the land, the wait for Forbidden Journey was three hours.