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Sound and Light Experience Bows at Harry Potter World in Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood is adding a sound and light experience to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter starting June 23.

Highlighting the different houses of Hogwarts, the light show will unfold several times a night and light up the sky over Hogwarts Castle.

The light projection is accompanied by a special musical arrangement of some of the “Harry Potter” score composed by John Williams, conducted by William Ross and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra.

During a media preview on Tuesday, Stephen Siercks, senior director, entertainment production, at Universal Studios Hollywood, said, “We took inspiration for the Nighttime Lights of Hogwarts Castle from our grand opening festivities a year ago, that took place here in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood.”

He added, “Combining state of the art registered mapping technology with a 360-degree surround sound audio system and stunning lighting, the Nighttime Lights of Hogwarts Castle is able to pay homage to the four houses of Hogwarts in a way that our guests haven’t seen before. It took a year of work from our technical directors, our designers, our creative directors and technicians to bring the Nighttime Lights of Hogwarts Castle to life.

“The way projection mapping works is it’s not only allowing us to project imagery around the castle, but it’s allowing us to use the castle for what it is and define each curvature and architectural resource and embellish, so not only would we be able to project images onto the castle, but we can start peeling away portions of the castle to see inside.”

During the media preview, the dormitories inside the castle, moving staircases and other features that were in the films, as well as symbols of the different houses including a badger for Hufflepuff and snakes for Slytherin, were exposed.

Siercks was unwilling to disclose the budget for the experience.

“We are certainly seeing from guests’ interactions that they are connecting to it in unique and special ways, whether you’re a Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin or Gryffindor, you take something different out of it. And we’re finding that guests are cheering for their individual houses.”

That was certainly true at the preview where audience members, some decked out in robes despite record-breaking heat cheered various houses.

The Nighttime Lights will run until Labor Day. A different experience will replace it at the holidays called Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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