Holiday Magic at Universal Studios Japan!

by Ciara Blount

‘Tis the Season! Universal Studios in Japan debuted its first-ever Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter experience on November 17, 2016. Ciara Blount, a representative for MuggleNet, attended the festivities and reported back to us with all the magical details.

Earlier in the evening, actress and Harry Potter fan Hirose Suzu, 18, led the opening ceremony of the magical Christmas tree lighting at Universal Studios Japan. Hirose donned a Hogwarts school uniform and a fluffy Gryffindor scarf for the occasion and spoke enthusiastically of the splendor around her.

Hirose remarked,

You can’t tell this is the human world at all. It feels just like a scene from the movies. Seeing the effect of the tree with the castle in the background is amazing.

50 young fans, all proudly decked in freshly pressed Hogwarts robes of varying House colors, joined Hirose to assist her with the Christmas tree lighting. Guided by Hirose, the children held their wands toward the sky and shouted, “Lumos maxima!” On command, a wash of golden light streamed over the tree’s boughs, followed by a flurry of snow and a cascade of gleaming confetti pouring from Ollivanders’ rooftop.

The sight evoked gasps and delighted cries from older fans pressed together on the cobblestones taking in the spectacle. A fan from Hyogo prefecture recalled, “That moment when the tree magically lit up, I felt like I was about to cry.” Another fan from Osaka commented, “This felt different from when I visited in summer. It was like something out of a fairy tale.”

From now until January 9, the tree will serve as Hogsmeade’s seasonal centerpiece, adorned with warm lights and golden decorations that dance under the right spell. It makes for a perfect complement to the rest of Hogsmeade’s whimsical atmosphere. From the Christmas feast at the Three Broomsticks featuring roast chicken, potatoes, steamed vegetables, cranberry sauce, and piping hot butterbeer, to the tiny marauding witch making casual circles around the star at the top of the Christmas tree, Hogsmeade has been thoroughly infused with the holiday spirit.

Surrounded by such festive warmth, more than one guest may see fit to prolong their stay and collect one more frothing pint of butterbeer before the journey home.