West Coast Wizarding World

This weekend a group of Rethink-ers journeyed down the street to check out the technical rehearsals for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood.  Those of us that went had already been to the Wizarding Worlds in Universal Studios Orlando, but it is pretty great to not have to fly 3,000 miles to walk into this world.

When walking in we realized it really looks a lot like Hogsmeade in UIOA with some subtle differences.  For one, as you can see behind us in the photograph, Olivanders wand shop is on the opposite side of the street in this iteration of the land.  This actually works out in the park’s favor as now the attraction has two show rooms, and each one is larger than its Orlando predecessor.

When walking in we realized it really looks a lot like Hogsmeade in UIOA with some subtle differences.  For one, as you can see behind us in the photograph, Olivanders wand shop is on the opposite side of the street in this iteration of the land.  This actually works out in the park’s favor as now the attraction has two show rooms, and each one is larger than its Orlando predecessor.

What we all really wanted.

What we all really wanted.

I’ve waited a long time to have Butterbeer underneath the California sun.

I’ve waited a long time to have Butterbeer underneath the California sun.

As in Orlando, the star attraction of Hogsmeade, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, has a very convincing facade with some of the best forced perspective I've ever seen.  Also the new 4K 3D projection made for a very realistic experience in the projection dome sections of the ride.  A few differences in figure design and updated media animation really tightened up the flow of the attraction.  This is one of my favorite attractions and this version has quickly become, in my opinion, the best.

As in Orlando, the star attraction of Hogsmeade, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, has a very convincing facade with some of the best forced perspective I've ever seen.  Also the new 4K 3D projection made for a very realistic experience in the projection dome sections of the ride.  A few differences in figure design and updated media animation really tightened up the flow of the attraction.  This is one of my favorite attractions and this version has quickly become, in my opinion, the best.

With the green California mountains in the background, from this perspective you might feel as if you truly are in the hills of Scotland.  This is a feature that cannot be seen in Orlando.

At night this place starts to take on a new life.

At night this place starts to take on a new life.

Night time view of Hogwarts castle from the Three Broomsticks dining patio.

Night time view of Hogwarts castle from the Three Broomsticks dining patio.