Universal’s “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” to Feature Drone Technology

It was previously announced that a dramatic new nighttime light show, “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” would be coming to both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood this year.

Now, with the premiere date at Universal Studios Hollywood fast approaching, video footage suggests that drones will be used to help bring “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” to life.

In a short clip tweeted by Attractions Magazine, drones can be seen illuminating the sky in a test for the Universal Studios Hollywood show. The drones form the shape of Harry’s stag Patronus and even mimic the movement of the stag walking and turning its head.



We know from a statement released by Universal in February that the Patronus Charm will be featured in “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” and will likely be one of the final sequences of the show.

As darkness falls on Hogwarts [C]astle, Dementors, Death Eaters and other unspeakable creatures from Aragog and [m]ountain [t]rolls to Thestrals will cloak the castle with sinister images from the darker side of magic – even conjuring the visage of Lord Voldemort himself, until the Patronus [Charm] – one of the most famous, difficult and powerful [D]efense [Against] the Dark Arts charms in the wizarding world – is cast.

If used, the drones would be featured alongside projection technology that guests will recognize from both parks’ other nighttime experience, “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle.” Although “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” will be shown in both Orlando and Hollywood, Orlando Business Journal has reminded readers that until similar test footage or a statement from Universal is released, there is “no guarantee drones would make it into the Orlando show.”

“Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” will have its first-look event at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 11, before opening to the public April 13–28 and May 25–27. Dates are still yet to be announced for Universal Orlando Resort, but the show will be arriving at the park later this year.

With the promise of “a powerful, original and breathtaking projection experience” in this new nighttime show, if drone technology does form part of the spectacle in both locations, then it will surely be unlike anything seen in the Wizarding World parks before.

Lucy O'Shea

I was given a copy of Philosopher's Stone in 2001, and instantly, I was hooked. Since then, my passion for Potter has been equaled only by my passion for fair access to education (and watching motorsport). A spell I wish could exist in the Muggle world is the summoning charm because this Hufflepuff is not a "particularly good finder"!