Wizarding World of Harry Potter

West Coast Potterheads, the day you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. Or rather: the day you’ve been waiting for won’t arrive for another four months, but at least we finally know when it is.

Universal Studios Hollywood has finally set a spring 2016 opening date for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. Watch the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood opening date announcement, and get more details, after the jump. 

Harry Potter movie art director Alan Gilmore and actress Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) were on hand to reveal that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood opening date has been confirmed for April 7, 2016.

Although April 7 marks the grand opening of the new theme park, it’s likely Universal will very likely have a soft opening earlier in the year. We’ll be keeping an ear on the ground for updates on that front.

For the most part, Universal Studios Hollywood’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter shouldn’t be too different from the one at Universal Orlando Resort. One notable difference, though, will be in the ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. For the first time in the U.S., The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s flagship ride will be in “hyper-realistic 3D-HD.” (The 3D version of the attraction first opened in Japan, but the Orlando one remains in 2D).

Universal Studios Hollywood guests will also be excited to hear that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter brings the first outdoor roller coaster to the park, Flight of the Hippogriff.

To celebrate the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opening date announcement, Universal Studios Hollywood put out a brand-new TV commercial.

The first half of this TV spot might actually do too good a job selling the fantasy. After 30 seconds spent dreamily floating among the clouds, it’s almost disappointing to come back down to earth and realize Universal Studios Hollywood’s grand solution to the tragic lack of wonder in our everyday lives is… suggesting we shell out a bunch of money to visit an amusement park.

More convincing is this previously revealed video tour, which gives you a more concrete idea of what to expect from Universal Studios Hollywood’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Yeah, count us in. The press release follows:

Universal City, California, December 8, 2015 – It’s official: “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” will open at Universal Studios Hollywood on Thursday, April 7, 2016, marking the highly-anticipated arrival of the West Coast’s dynamic new immersive experience at The Entertainment Capital of L.A.

This eagerly-awaited news coincides with the launch of the destination’s spellbinding campaign, which is stylistically designed to sweep guests into the land’s magical world through the lens of imagination.

The campaign is anchored by a new television spot designed to build suspense and enthusiasm while evoking a sense of wonder and succinctly capture the magical appeal that “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” has for cross-generational consumers as it announces the April 7 opening date.

In making the exciting announcement, Universal Studios Hollywood illuminated the land’s Hogwarts castle to signal the arrival of today’s momentous news.

To see the new campaign spot including a glimpse of the new land and today’s news, please click here.

More than five years in the making, and inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters that were brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” is being masterfully recreated with impeccable detail as a real-world interpretation at Universal Studios Hollywood. The land will be faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle which will serve as its iconic focal point.

From its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets to the historic British sensibilities that characterize the whimsical look and feel of the land, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will transport guests of all ages to the very places they read about in the stories or watched on the silver screen.

Upon entering the land through the archway, Hogsmeade will bustle to life with the same vitality of a quaint local village: merchants hard at work, a train conductor welcoming new arrivals and a pub packed to the gills with hungry patrons, but with the added element of enthusiastic guests intent on experiencing them all, including the land’s signature ride, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” and the family outdoor coaster, “Flight of the Hippogriff™.”

An achievement in pioneering theme park ride technology, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” will make its U.S. debut at Universal Studios Hollywood in hyper-realistic 3D-HD designed to further immerse guests in an already engaging storyline. The multidimensional thrill ride features a groundbreaking robotics ride system, fused with elaborate filmed action sequences and immersive visceral effects. In this updated adaptation of the ride, guests will sport Quidditch-inspired 3D goggles as they venture through journeys experienced by Harry and his friends, spiraling and pivoting 360-degrees along an elevated ride track on a whirlwind adventure of a lifetime.

Also within “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” the enchanting family coaster, “Flight of the Hippogriff™” will open as Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor roller coaster.

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will resonate with immense detail, inviting guests to revel in Harry Potter’s world with the opportunity to enjoy authentic food and beverage at multiple locations, including Three Broomsticks™, and Hog’s Head pub, as well as the Magic Neep and Butterbeer™ carts.

A foray through the shops will add to the authenticity of the land with eight retail venues and locations, including Honeydukes™, Ollivanders™, Owl Post™, Zonko’s™ Joke Shop, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods™.

Currently, Universal Studios Hollywood in-park guests can experience and purchase authentic merchandise, including wands, robes and other collectibles from “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” available within the Features Presentation shop, located just inside the theme park’s main entry.

As the countdown to the April 7th opening date continues, the website invites guests to learn more by signing up for the latest news and information at www.universalstudioshollywood.com/harrypotter/signup.

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