Universal embraces the Dark Arts with new Hogwarts light show

February 28, 2019, 10:22 AM · Following the success of its two projection light shows on Hogwarts Castle, Universal's theme parks are throwing a third production into the mix. "Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle" will debut at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 13 and then at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure at a later, as-yet-unannounced date.

Here's the description, from Universal's press release:

As darkness falls on Hogwarts castle, Dementors, Death Eaters and other unspeakable creatures from Aragog and Mountain Trolls to Thestrals will cloak the castle with sinister images from the darker side of magic—even conjuring the visage of Lord Voldemort himself, until the Patronus spell—one of the most famous, difficult and powerful defense of the Dark Arts charms in the wizarding world—is cast.

Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle

The show will feature an all-new musical score based on John Williams' original themes. The show will run in Hollywood April 13 – 28 then again on May 25 – 27. Additional dates, including those in Orlando, are yet to be announced.

Universal played its first projection show on the castle during the media event for the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. Fans loved the effects and demanded a recurring public show, which Universal delivered with The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle in 2017 and then holiday-themed The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle show later that year.

Replies (8)

February 28, 2019 at 12:00 PM

I feel like there is a huge crowd in Hollywood that would love this. It will be interesting to see how well received it is in Orlando.

February 28, 2019 at 12:23 PM

I love this! Something different and adding some more darkness and mystery to WWoHP

February 28, 2019 at 2:22 PM

This looks awesome! Can we get some of those flying drone dementors that they have in Japan?!

February 28, 2019 at 3:04 PM

Weird they are debuting this in the spring. Seems like a natural for Fall and to help with crowds at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood. I assume Rowling oked this so add just some light autumn/harvest decor, keep FJ open as well as vendors, keep scare actors out and debut this in the fall, and this would help HHN crowds tremendously. They should run in on non HHN nights too for people not interested in that atmosphere. Seems like a win win.

February 28, 2019 at 5:53 PM

The show is opening fall as far as Universal's Islands of Adventure is concerned. Though the coastal timing of the debuts of Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle and this entire announcement's timing likely have more to do with that major expansion from The Mouse "that must not be named" since the recent media event has the mainsteam media devoting loads of attention to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

February 28, 2019 at 5:37 PM

>>> "The Mouse "that must not be named"

That's pretty darn funny.

February 28, 2019 at 5:39 PM

Dave for the win.

March 1, 2019 at 6:25 AM

Moving through IOA was already a logistical nightmare on castle show nights. Now that the shortcut bridge between Jurassic Park and Lost Continent has been removed, could make moving around the area unbearable. We will see if the bridge removal is temporary during coaster construction, or perhaps if a new bridge is coming. Without it, avoid the area at all costs during castle show nights!

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Need Discount Tickets?

  Now open, or date announced:

  Still waiting on these:

Get Our Newsletter

Read Robert's Book

Stories from a Theme Park Insider