Good news for West Coast Harry Potter aficionados: the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is set to open at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 7, 2016. This, according to a press release put out today by NBC Universal.
The theme park is old (sorting) hat to Floridians, who have been able to experience its magic at Universal’s Orlando location since 2010. But for the Californians who have been waiting five long years for this announcement, it’s all new—“from its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets to the historic British sensibilities that characterize the whimsical look and feel of the land.”
What else is new is the technology—specifically, the immersive 3D-HD that’s set to make its U.S. debut in the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ride housed inside the Hogwarts castle. “In this updated adaptation of the ride,” the release explains, “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.”
Aside from the ride change, though, it appears that the California theme park will be fairly similar to the Florida theme park, with recreations of the Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley shops offering Muggles a glimpse inside the world they’d only previously been allowed to view through the reading of J.K. Rowling’s immensely popular books.
I’ll raise a Butterbeer to the news. As a Las Vegan who hasn’t been to Florida since I lived two hours away from it in Alabama, I’m actually ridiculously stoked to hear about the new California option. You know I’ll be there with bells on the day it opens. Or with robes on. Either way.