Wizarding World Update: Universal Making Four Major Changes to ‘Harry Potter’ Land

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Harry Potter flies over the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan

Credit: Universal Studios Japan

One Universal theme park has announced major plans for its Wizarding World of Harry Potter area in 2024.

Since 2010, Potterheads have had the opportunity to step into the world put to paper by JK Rowling. The first Wizarding World of Harry Potter land opened at Islands of Adventure, with a second land adjoining land opening at the neighboring park, Universal Studios Florida, in 2014.

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

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Today, there are five Harry Potter lands dotted across the globe, with a sixth set to join the lineup next summer. When Epic Universe officially debuts as Universal Orlando Resort’s fifth gate in 2025, it’ll feature the resort’s fifth Harry Potter area, this time inspired by the Ministry of Magic as seen in both the original movies and the (now seemingly axed) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them spinoffs.

Some things are constants throughout all versions of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter of Harry Potter. All locations, for example, retail franchise favorites such as Butterbeer and pumpkin juice. There’s also a version of Hogwarts Castle at every resort, within which guests can ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Guests Shopping in Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World at Universal Orlando Resort
Credit: Universal Studios

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However, some parks boast unique magical attractions and details. Take Universal Studios Florida, which is the only Universal theme park to boast a recreation of Diagon Alley and Gringotts Bank, as well as the latter’s resident attraction, Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts.

Today, another park has announced more unique additions coming to its own version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – and let’s just say they’re pretty darn magical.

Guests meet magical creatures at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan on July 15, the park is set to reintroduce its Castle Walk.

🎊 Information ban lifted 🎊

Wizarding World of Harry Potter ™ 10th Anniversary

A variety of magical experiences befitting the anniversary year will be available to celebrate the 10th anniversary ✨

Every day is filled with excitement and magic

This is a Japan exclusive that’s previously operated on and off at the park and allows guests to enjoy the details of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry without actually riding Forbidden Journey.

A girl in a Gryffindor scarf smiles joyfully, next to a boy, as they approach a majestic, lifelike golden eagle statue inside a dimly lit, wooden-paneled room at Universal Park.
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

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While this will begin in July and run until December 31, 2024, autumn will see the premiere of Death Eaters: Crisis at Hogsmeade. This immersive experience will see Death Eaters enter into conflict with Hogsmeade villagers while the Dark Mark will appear in the skies above Hogwarts Castle.

“On an autumn night, the path leading to Hogsmeade Village takes on the appearance of a terrifying Forbidden Forest,” Universal explains in the official press release. “The Death Eaters [have] arrived in the magical world where there is a disturbing presence! Be shocked by the fierce battle between the evil wizard and the villagers.”

A dark, vivid artwork depicting a grim reaper offering a wand to outstretched hands, set against a backdrop of stormy skies, haunted castles, and ghostly apparitions at Universal Park.
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Meanwhile, winter will mark the arrival of Hogwarts Magical Night – Winter Magic. Performed nighty at Hogwarts Castle, this involves the return of a show last performed five years ago.

The heart-warming festive spectacular includes snow, projection mapping, and the united force of Universal Studios Japan guests using “Lumos Maxima” to light the Wizarding World’s Christmas tree.

The park also noted that Magical Creatures Encounter – a meet-and-greet with the likes of Hippogriffs and Pygmy Puffs – returned to the park in March and is now considered the spring addition for the land’s anniversary celebration.

Beyond these four additions to the land, Universal Studios Japan will also celebrate the occasion with a limited-edition Butterbeer stein, as well as churros inspired by each of the Hogwarts Houses.

Multicolored light beams illuminate Hogwarts Castle at night under a starry sky, creating a magical and mystical ambiance.
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

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Elsewhere at Universal Studios Japan, this year is set to see the addition of a brand-new theme park land. Originally slated to open this spring until it was delayed in April, Donkey Kong Country will debut as an expansion to SUPER NINTENDO WORLD later in 2024 and include a unique roller coaster – Mine Cart Madness – in which the ride vehicle appears to jump the tracks.

Universal Studios Japan is crowded at the best of times (although this Golden Week drew far fewer guests than usual), so it’s safe to assume that long lines are expected once Donkey Kong Country debuts. Hopefully, these new Wizarding World additions will take off some of the heat.

Do you plan on visiting Universal Studios Japan any time soon? Let us know in the comments!

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