Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Casts a Festive Spell

The Magic of Christmas at Harry Potter Universal Studios
One of my favorite places in the world is Universal Orlando Resort's Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Magic is always in the air with its immersive attractions, making me and every Potterhead feel like they've walked straight into the films and the books we love so much. Now that the Christmas season is here, its casting a spell on me a hundred times more.

As the holiday season arrives and we wrap ourselves in robes and scarves, both of the Harry Potter lands at Universal Studios in California and Florida have undergone a magical make-over with decorations, merchandise, and entertainment. I was so excited to grab a warm butterbeer and join my fellow Hogwarts peers at Universal Orlando to enjoy the transformation in person!

Honeydukes Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Honeydukes windows
Wizarding World of Harry Potter Honeydukes Christmas
Inside Honeydukes
Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Outside of Dervish and Banges
The Three Broomsticks
Hogsmeade Village and Diagon Alley are offering new things for fans to experience - seasonal beverages and food are available on restaurant menus, entertainment like Frog Choir and Celestina Warbeck feature holiday-themed tunes, and the stores are decorated with festive trimmings.

As soon as nightfall hits, Hogsmeade begins to glow. Both the interior and exterior of The Three Broomsticks, Honeydukes, Ollivanders, Dervish and Banges, and interactive wand storefronts come to life with its wreaths and pine-wrapped lanterns. From the owl post to the Hogwarts train, Hogsmeade sparkled with strings of lights, looking absolutely gorgeous.
Hogsmeade Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Hogsmeade windows
Christmas at Ollivanders
Hogsmeade all lit up
Wizarding World of Harry Potter Christmas
the beautiful Hogwarts Express
The true showstopper is the all-new show created The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts. Throughout the evening, fans gather around Hogwarts, the "stage", for a state-of-the-art projection show inspired by the films.

Having attended fireworks shows before, The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts is one of the best organized 'performances' I've seen. Hogsmeade can become crowded early in the evening as a line begins towards Hogwarts. The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts plays every twenty minutes, so the area clears out and it's a bit roomier, to take photos, etc. The multiple shows gives everyone a chance to see the show, not once but as many times as they want, which I really enjoyed. Having stayed to see some of the later shows closer to the park closing, I watched The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts a few times and was able to take in all of the sights around the castle.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Christmas Hogwarts
Wizarding World of Harry Potter Christmas Hogwarts
The show itself is very lovely, displaying original scenes inspired by the films for about seven to eight minutes. Its display is a mix of tributes to the movies such as caroling ghosts, a peek inside the Yule Ball from Goblet of Fire, bewitched Ford Anglia running into snowman, and Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes fireworks to cap off the production. The projections are gorgeous, making the castle come even more alive with different effects such as a Christmas tree in the courtyard, fiery lanterns, and a snow capped mountainside.

My camera's video wasn't working, but here are some gorgeous pictures I took. (Inside the Magic has a wonderful video too, but it's definitely something to see in person!) I'll definitely be going back this holiday season to experience more during the day and evening, so please stay tuned!
Wizarding World of Harry Potter Christmas Hogwarts

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