Christmas at the Wizarding World
Imagine taking a break from your trip through Hogsmeade and visiting the Three Broomsticks. You sit down for a hot butterbeer and some great conversation with your Slytherin friend, watching witches and wizards from every House pass by your table, their trays loaded with holiday fare. Music from the Harry Potter series plays around, really tying the mood together, and you can’t help but smile as you take it all in…
This could be you!
Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is back for the season and better than ever!
We spent the day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood taking in all that there is to offer this holiday season, and it was truly a magical experience. Upon entering Hogsmeade, we were met with holiday decor as far as the eye could see, with each shop sporting a unique twist on the typical garland and wreaths. Lights twinkled from every rooftop, and the ambiance was so immersive that it actually felt like we were in Hogsmeade.
Even the shops were decorated for the holidays. Many of the shops had beautiful Christmas trees lined with all of the Harry Potter ornaments and glittering House ribbons that circled around. Of course, there is all the new merch that comes with the holiday season. It took a lot of willpower not to buy every stocking, snow globe, and Christmas tree ornament for my Hogwarts House.
There are regular shows of the Hogwarts Frog Choir and its new holiday soundtrack, with songs like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” (wizarding version, of course) and “I Cast a Spell on Father Christmas.” When we missed those, we sat down and enjoyed the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang performances with a cup of hot butterbeer.
The hot butterbeer was definitely one of our favorite experiences of the day. It’s exactly how we imagined it from Harry’s description, being “the most delicious thing he’d ever tasted and it seemed to heat every bit of him from the inside” (PoA 201). Hot butterbeer is hard to describe in taste, but we narrowed it down to a butterscotch and vanilla Frappuccino without the coffee. It’s heavenly and warming. Perfect for a cold winter day! It tastes extremely different from the cold and frozen versions of the drink, so those who did not enjoy butterbeer before may want to give this one a shot. My only wish is that it was available year-round.
In true Hollywood fashion, they saved the best for last – “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.” Beginning at dusk and repeating periodically until the park closes, Hogwarts Castle is transformed into a magical display of lights accompanied by a medley of our favorite Harry Potter tracks. This show has a bit of everything we love about Christmas at Hogwarts: the Hogwarts ghosts singing Christmas carols, the Yule Ball, enchanted snowmen, and a spectacular advertisement for Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. The show, which lasts more than five minutes, ends with fireworks that start digitally projected on the facade of the Castle and explode into the air, lighting up the entire village of Hogsmeade and illuminating the gleeful faces of park guests.
We left the park at closing as snow fell around the Hogsmeade shops in a city that has not seen snow since 1962. Beginning at 5:15 p.m., guests can enjoy periodic snowfalls to heighten the experience even more.
You can take our word for it, or you can go visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood yourself!