Last Sunday, my husband and I checked out the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. We've never been to the one in Florida but we are big fans of the Harry Potter series so we were really excited when we heard it was coming to Hollywood. We were not disappointed! I should point out however that it is not officially open yet. It won't be until April 7th, but they have started having soft openings to the public for technical rehearsals. What does this mean? It means that it is not guaranteed that it will be open if you visit the park and even if it is open not every part of it may be open. There are no set hours for it so there is a chance that it may be closed if you do go.
However if you plan to get or have an annual pass, it may be worth going before April because if you are able to get in it's great since it is not as busy as it probably will be when it is officially open. We were able to do everything with very little wait. Once it's open, I expect those wait times will increase. I'll put some info at the end of this post on how to try to visit during a technical rehearsal. First though, here are some photos!
Seeing the entrance open is a very exciting sight to see. I was practically skipping on my way in, I was so happy!
They have several of the shops you read about in the books such as Zonko's.
Here's the inside of Zonko's. It was a little smaller than I expected but still fun to look around.
There was also Honeydukes. One of my favorites, they had Butterbeer Fudge and it was delicious.
Here's the inside of Honeydukes. So colorful!
There were other places too like Ollivander's Wand Shop which was fun to visit. Make sure you go in and see how a wizard finds his or her wand. There was an Owl Post too.
We had Butterbeer and ate lunch at the Three Broomsticks. We split the Fish and Chips and the Shepherd's Pie. Both were good but I liked the Shepherd's Pie the most!
Then there's the ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Because it wasn't as busy we were able to do it twice. The first time we only waited around 10 minutes. The ride did stop once but it was in technical rehearsal so we weren't upset about it. We ended up going back to do it again. The ride is amazing and it takes you through Hogwarts!
The other ride is the Flight of the Hippogriff. This ride isn't quite as exciting as the other one but it was still enjoyable. It's a short little roller coaster that features everyone's favorite hippogriff, Buckbeak.
My favorite part of the whole thing was the atmosphere. The familiar music playing and all the delightful details. It's really a wonderful experience for any Harry Potter fan.
I spotted the Harry Potter books at one of the shops. It's crazy to think that it all began with these books and that now we're able to walk around in the world J.K. Rowling created. I'm so happy they are adding this section to Universal Studios Hollywood. I hope to check out the one on the east coast someday but for now I'm glad I can visit the one closer to home!
As promised, here is how we try to determine whether the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood is open for technical rehearsal before April 7th:
1. Before we head over, we search Instagram and Twitter for the following hashtags, #WizardingWorldHollywood, #UniversalStudiosHollywood, and #Potterwatch.
2. We check to see the most recent photos and see if people are saying they got in. Be careful- some people post photos from days prior (latergrams) so make sure it's referring to that day!
3. You could go at the time Universal opens and take a chance that it will be open when the park does but we prefer to check first. There's always a chance that it'll be closed by the time we get there though so either way it's a risk.
4. Again- I must stress there's a chance it'll be closed when you go so don't get your hopes up! It may be closed more often in March since they may need to prepare for the official opening. Even if it's closed though, Universal Studios has a lot of fun sections to check out that they've opened recently. My other favorites are Springfield and the new Despicable Me area that includes Super Silly Funland.
If you do go I hope you are able to get in to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter- it's awesome! Either way everyone's in for a treat when it opens in April. I am one happy muggle.
My Cheshire Cat Tsum Tsum came with me during our visit. Check out those photos here: Cheshire Cat at Wizarding World Hollywood.