Universal Set to Close Iconic ‘Harry Potter’ Experience Next Month

in Universal Orlando

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

Credit: Universal Studios

If you’re visiting Universal Orlando Resort next month, here’s your heads up: one fan-favorite attraction is closing.

Walt Disney World Resort’s biggest rival is in the middle of a massive transformation right now. While Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure have spent years drawing in millions of parkgoers, the next few years are set to include a series of major investments that will take the resort to the next level.

Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and Universal Studios Florida icons and entrances together
Credit: Universal

Related: ‘Harry Potter’ Joins Universal Studios in Coming to Texas

The biggest will come in the summer of 2025 with the opening of Epic Universe. Universal’s third theme park in Orlando is set to feature a land inspired by How to Train Your Dragon (2010), Universal Monsters, and Harry Potter.

Thanks to its author, the Harry Potter franchise has undoubtedly become controversial in the last few years. JK Rowling’s comments on transgender rights have divided the fandom, with some deciding to abandon it altogether. However, Universal’s Harry Potter attractions remain popular enough to justify a third land inspired by the Wizarding World. This time around, the land is inspired by the world seen in Harry Potter‘s spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

It joins the land at Universal Studios Florida based on Diagon Alley, complete with its very own Gringotts Bank, and the original area at Islands of Adventure themed like Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Hogsmeade Village.

Guests walk through Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida
Credit: Universal

The latter is currently home to three Harry Potter rides: the Flying Hippogriff, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (which is housed inside Hogwarts Castle), and the Hogwarts Express. This connects the two lands at Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, taking guests from Hogsmeade Station to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters at King’s Cross.

Along the way, guests encounter characters such as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger (whose voice recently received an upgrade to sound more like Emma Watson, Hagrid, and Lord Voldemort, as well as Dementors, centaurs, and Buckbeak the Hippogriff.

Travel between King’s Cross Station in the London area of Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade™ Station in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Each way is a different experience. From the thrill of walking through Platform 9 ¾™ to seeing characters and creatures featured in the films, this is not your everyday train ride.

Guests ride the Hogwarts Express
Credit: Universal

Related: World’s Biggest Indoor ‘Harry Potter’ Theme Park Opens

However, the Harry Potter ride will soon close to Universal Orlando Resort guests – at least temporarily. It’ll undergo refurbishment from December 10 to December 17, 2023, when it will reopen to guests just in time for the holidays.

Two other Harry Potteexperiences are currently undergoing extended closures at Islands of Adventure. The Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle has been closed since 2022. The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle has also been closed since May 2023.

While the Hogwarts Express will reopen by the end of the year, 2024 is set to bring two more closures to Universal Orlando Resort: Jurassic Park River Adventure (January 8 to February 2) and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges (February 5 to March 9).

What’s your favorite ride at Universal Orlando Resort? Let us know in the comments!

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