The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the marquee location of Universal's theme parks. It creates a level of immersion unlike anything seen in those parks before. While the world of Harry Potter is one that can be quite dark at times, the theme park location is mostly focused on the joy and fun that comes from using magic, but that's set to change thanks to a brand new show on its way to both Universal Studios and Universal Orlando, Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle.
The new show will be a projection experience similar to ones that have been done at the parks before, like The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle which gets brought out at the holidays. However, while previous projection shows have been more about bright lights and spectacle, Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle is being promoted as being more intense and featuring the darker side of the Harry Potter universe. Dementors, Death Eaters and Voldemort himself will apparently make an appearance, as will mountain trolls, Thestrals, and Aragog the spider.
The show will debut at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 13 and run until April 28. It will then return for the Memorial Day Weekend May 25-27. The show will also debut at the Universal Orlando resort, though those dates have not been announced.
The show running for less than a month seems like an odd choice and I can't help but wonder if this is something of a soft launch, a test just to make sure that the new show works as intended and gets enough interest from the guests. It's somewhat difficult to test your show that projects images on the entirety of Hogwarts Castle without, you know, actually projecting stuff on Hogwarts Castle.
A show focused on the Dark Arts and scary creatures feels like the sort of thing you'd release at Halloween and I would suspect that when the dates for the Universal Orlando Resort show are announced, they might very well cover most of October, the show in California could also return then. This could very likely be a seasonal show that comes back every Halloween if fans take to it.
One way or another the show will likely return as creating shows like Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle can't be inexpensive, so you want to get your money's worth out of it.
There's no better way to cap off a long day at a fun theme park than a night time spectacular event of some kind. Whether it's projected shows, fireworks, or, increasingly, some combination of the two, there are some experiences that you can only have when the lights go down, and this will likely be another big hit for fans of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.