Universal Announces Shutdown of Theme Park Icon

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Wizarding World of 'Harry Potter's Hogsmeade at Universal Orlando

Credit: Universal Studios

A Universal Orlando Resort icon announced its shutdown date for this year. Will this take the magic away from your trip?

As Halloween Horror Nights comes to an end at Universal Orlando Resort, the parks gear up to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with exclusive parades, unique character interactions, fun seasonal offerings, and more. However, guests might be disappointed to hear that an icon of the Orlando-based resort will soon be shutting its doors.

Guests experiencing The Last of Us haunted house at Universal's Halloween Horror Nights
Credit: Universal Studios

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Like its California counterpart, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Orlando Resort is home to some of the most thrilling rides and unforgettable experiences for families and movie fans in America.

Spanning over two theme parks (Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure) a water park (Universal’s Volcano Bay), and an upcoming theme park deemed by many as the “Disney killer” (Universal’s Epic Universe), Universal Orlando Resort is packed with rides and entire immersive lands inspired by popular franchises like Jurassic Park and Jurassic WorldThe SimpsonsTransformers, Despicable Me, Minions, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — despite the historical backlash against a particular movie franchise at the parks.

Universal Orlando Resort globe with Universal's Islands of Adventure in the background. Photo by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash
Credit: Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

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With so much to see and do, it’s not hard to see why millions of families visit Universal Orlando Resort every year. Unfortunately, the theme park has announced that one of its most iconic and popular rides, not to mention an exclusive to the Orlando-based resort, will shut its doors this holiday season.

The coming closure will particularly affect avid fans of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, as, per Universal’s official website, the Hogwarts Express — a fantastic recreation of the iconic train that takes Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and all Hogwarts students to the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry — is set to shut its gates starting December 10, 2023.

Additionally, The Nighttime Lights At Hogwarts Castle, a fantastic nighttime spectacular inspired by the Harry Potter franchise, continues to be unavailable since the show was shuttered on May 29, 2023, with no official resume date announced by theme park officials.

hogwarts express at universal studios florida
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

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The breathtaking Hogwarts Express connects King’s Cross Station in the London area of Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade Station in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and both stations will be out of commission as theme park officials and teams conduct work in the attraction.

Fortunately, the temporary closure will last under a week, as the beloved attraction is scheduled to resume operations on December 16, 2023.

A family walks towards Hogwarts Castle in The Wizarding World at Universal
Credit: Universal

It is essential to mention that this information is available on the official Universal Orlando Resort website as of this article’s publishing. Universal officials can modify this closure anytime, altering the closing and opening dates without notice.

While Guests won’t be able to take a train ride between the two parks, they’ll still be able to enjoy the rides and attractions inspired by The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, including Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, the Leaky Cauldron, and Ollivanders at Diagon Alley (in Universal Studios Florida); as well as Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Flight of the Hippogriff, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Hogsmeade (in Universal’s Islands of Adventure).

Guests riding Flight of the Hippogriff in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood
Credit: Universal

Universal Studios Florida is packed with fun for the entire family. With attractions fit for thrill seekers of all ages like Rip Ride Rockit and Revenge of the Mummy — which made fans fear for the permanent closure of the beloved ride starring Brendan Fraser — to fun rides for the whole family, including MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack, Transformers: The Ride, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, E.T. Adventure, Fast And Furious – Supercharged, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Simpsons Ride, and Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast, the park’s latest addition, part of Illumination’s Minion Land.

New Land at Universal Now Open - Minion Land
Credit: Inside The Magic

Universal’s Islands of Adventure is home to heart-stopping attractions like the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, and Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, as well as family-friendly rides like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, and The Cat in the Hat — which recently became the stage of an unexpected drama at the park.

Velocicoaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Universal Orlando Resort at night
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Additionally, Volcano Bay is open for those who want to get their splash on. And Universal officials continue to push forward in the Orlando resort’s long-awaited third theme park, Universal’s Epic Universe.

Will this temporary closure affect your visit to Universal Orlando Resort this holiday season? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!

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