“Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” Universal Studios Hollywood
Ever since Universal Studios debuted The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle, fans of the park ,and franchise, have been elated to finally have a Nighttime spectacular to end their days at the park. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the perfect backdrop and location for a projection show of this caliber. Since this initial show was such a huge success, the next logical step was to incorporate the idea of a projection show into one of their seasonal celebrations. This lead to The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle. Another stunning addition, this show introduced snow ( or as theme park fans call “SNOAP” to its finale. People came in droves to feel the warmth of warm butter beer and the merriment of Christmas with their family and friends.
After two different iterations of projection shows, Universal Studios knew it had to raise the bar on the already high standard that they have set for themselves when it comes to Nighttime spectaculars. In 2019, Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle debuted to massive crowds. This highly anticipated show promised to bring A new sinister twist to the show being projected over the Wizarding World…and it did not disappoint. Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle combines all that is twisted, ominous and scary about the Harry Potter franchise and puts it in one place. Characters and creatures such as: thestrauls, Death Eaters, Dementors, Trolls, Giant Spiders, and much more take hold of Hogwarts Castle.
Unlike the first show and adding on top of the second show, Dark Arts isn’t simply a projection show. Universal has added fire and smoke effects that go perfectly with the main projections. Just when you think the Universal team has topped themselves already, they have created a powerful ending that is sure to make jaws drop. As the powerful John Williams music swells, drones take flight and take the form of Harry’s patronus, a stag adjacent to Hogwarts Castle. I don’t think we’ve ever heard a crowd at any nighttime show anywhere react the way this crowd did. From cheers, tears and screams; they ran the gambit. After a show-stopping finale of this callibur, we came to the realization that we didn’t miss the fireworks that were included in other shows at Universal and other theme parks in SoCal. The combination of projection mapping and practical effects was impressive enough to make us forget about the missing fireworks.
Needless to say, Universal has a winner on their hands with Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle. Now the question must be asked, where to next? How can Universal top themselves? What would you like to see as the next show in the Wizarding World?
Catch the “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” in “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” nightly from April 13th – 28th and May 25th-27th at Universal Studios Hollywood.