Attention, wizards and muggles! Grab your wands because The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood. The highly anticipated West Coast arrival of J.K. Rowling’s fictional wonderland opens April 7 and we caught a sneak peek ahead of its big reveal.
The iconic Hogwarts castle serves as the focal point of the magical land. Just outside its towering walls is Hogsmeade village, where every nook and cranny reveals something special from the beloved book and film series. Hippogriffs, Dementors, carrier owls, talking paintings, the Sorting Hat—it all comes to life right before your eyes. Don’t forget to pick up an interactive wand—or let the wand choose you!—at Ollivanders. We won’t give away any spoilers, but you just might cast a few spells while in the park!
We swear the Wizarding World is not just for kids: Adults will love it too. Before you hop on the Hogwarts Express, check out the six things that caught our attention at the park.
1. Butterbeer (and regular beer)
Trying the famous Butterbeer is a no-brainer. It's a nonalcoholic butterscotch-based drink with a top-secret ingredient list. If you want something a little stronger, Hog’s Head pub also serves original draught beers and spirits created exclusively for the land, including Hog's Head Brew, Dragon’s Scale, Wizard’s Brew, and Fire Whisky.
2. Hogsmeade Village
The snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets of Hogsmeade look straight out of the film series, but the quaint village is also fun to wander around too. You’ll find a mix of real and faux shops, like Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods and Madam Puddifoot’s tea room. Get lost and explore every nook—you’re bound to find something Instagram worthy. Then, opt for a meal at Three Broomsticks, featuring traditional English fare like fish and chips, Shepherd's Pie, and sticky toffee pudding.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at this candy shop. Colorful treats line the shelves and you’ll recognize all the varieties, like Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans (watch out for dirt and barf), Cauldron Cakes, Exploding Bonbons, and Chocolate Frogs.
4. The Owl Post
Located adjacent to the Owlery is a fully functioning post office. All postcards and letters mailed out will be stamped with a special “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” insignia. Grab some Gryffindor stationery and write notes to all your friends.
5. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey 3-D Ride
Inside Hogwarts, you’ll find a 3-D ride that takes you high above the wizarding school with Harry and Ron on an adventure through some of the most memorable scenes of the series. Hold on to your “muggle device” (cell phone) though—it’s a bumpy, wild ride! Just as exciting as the ride? The queue (which sometimes has an hour-long wait time) takes you all through Hogwarts, from the staircase of talking paintings to Dumbledore’s office.
6. The Wizarding World's Shops
Not only will you find prop replicas at the Gladrags Wizardwear (like Hermione Granger's Yule Ball gown), but the house apparel sold at the shop is unexpectedly chic. We love the striped scarves, especially Gryffindor's burgundy and yellow combo. You'll also find thick wool sweaters that Harry and Ron wore around their dormitory. We wanted one of each! Other stores sell house stationery, books, telescopes, yo-yos, and—of course—wands.