California theme parks have been closed just shy of a year, an unprecedented lengthy closure for theme parks such as Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood.
Starting this month, Disneyland Resort is getting creative and offering a ticked event inside of Disney California Adventure in order to reopen one of their parks without running any attractions, which allows them to reopen under the current guidelines from the state. So, could Universal Studios Hollywood follow suit at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of their park?
Currently, with the reopening guidelines for theme parks in California, large theme parks (with capacities over 15,000 Guests) are able to reopen when the county in which those parks are located reaches tier 4, the “minimal” tier for COVID-19 cases. There is currently an ongoing fight to have those restrictions moved to tier 3, so that theme parks like Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland can reopen sooner, in tier 3. However, that proposed bill to reopen all theme parks in tier 3, regardless of size, has not yet been voted on at the state level.
Disneyland Resort has announced that they will be holding a special ticketed event called A Touch of Disney so that those who purchase a ticket will have access to shopping and dining — but notably, no attractions will be operating. Disney California Adventure is not the first theme park to do this — Knott’s Berry Farm has been hosting separately ticketed events since last summer. This raises the question, could Universal Studios Hollywood join in the fun, and how would they pull it off?
Universal Studios Hollywood is home to Hogsmeade, a magical world right out of the Harry Potter books and films. This area of Universal Studios Hollywood offers so much more than attractions — Harry Potter fans are offered some iconic food, drinks, and merchandise from the Wizarding World. That is why it could be the perfect place for Universal to host a special ticketed event. The huge fan base of Harry Potter enthusiasts would likely purchase tickets to visit the Southern California version of the Wizarding World, even if Universal didn’t operate any of the attractions.
Universal could follow the model that Disney is using for their upcoming event and charge Guests a ticket fee for access into a specific part of the theme park that will host food, drink, and shopping. If Universal used Hogsmeade as a way to draw Guests to the park, Guests could enjoy a Butterbeer in front of Hogwarts Castle before they enjoyed shopping at one of the highly themed retail locations through the area, like Honeydukes. Click here to visit the official website to view everything at Hogsmeade.
So far, Universal is the only major theme park in California that has not announced some sort of reopening. However, you can visit CityWalk, their shopping and dining district just outside the park, and Butterbeer is being sold there currently. Universal has taken to Twitter to tease fans with a reopening, but no official announcement has been made yet.
Never been to Hogsmeade? Here is what you can expect:
From magical spells to magical creatures, from dark villains to daring heroes, it’s all here at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, now open at Universal Studios Hollywood™. Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts™ castle, visit the shops of Hogsmeade™, and sample fare from some of the wizarding world’s best-known establishments. Plus experience pulse-pounding rides and attractions that transport you into a world of magical thrills and excitement
Attractions you can find at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden journey
- Flight of the Hippogriff
Dining at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:
- Three Broomsticks
- Hog’s Head
Shopping at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:
- Owl Post
- Zonko’s Joke Shop
- Dervish and Banges
- Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods
- Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment
- Gladrags Wizard Wear
- Hogsmeade Station
So what do you think? Could Universal reopen Hogsmeade for a special ticketed event, and would you go? Let us know in the comments!
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Inside the Magic overall.