Harry Potter has been an integral part of my life since the first book came out in 1997. I grew up with the stories and adventures that Harry Potter and his friends experienced within the Wizarding World, and although I am much older now, I still cherish the magical world that J.K. Rowling has created. Since the book’s original inception, fans have now been graced with everything from movie adaptations to the creation of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at both Universal Studios Orlando and Hollywood.
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to attend Universal Studios Hollywood’s The Nighttime Lights at Hogwart’s Castle at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Having missed the experience the first time around, I was beyond excited to finally wave my wand (Lord Voldemort’s to be exact) in solitude with the hundreds, if not thousands, of fans that would be attending the event. Plus, I would also have the opportunity to finally try hot Butterbeer, but I digress, let’s get back to the main event.
The Nighttime Lights at Hogwart’s Castle is a visual masterpiece that has a run-time of approximately 10 minutes and covers all four houses that reside within Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and my personal favorite (and chosen House), Slytherin. Once the sun has finally set, the lights begin to descend upon Hogwart’s castle, showcasing a bevy of brilliantly designed spectacles that will fill you with awe and wonder. Along with the lightshow, guests are also presented with an incredible musical arrangement that will be familiar to all Harry Potter fans near and far. The score is created by the one, the only, Academy-Award winning composer John Williams, and is very reminiscent of the score presented in the film.
As I alluded above, Slytherin is the House that the Sorting Hat distributed me too, which I couldn’t be more pleased about, so it would only make sense that the Slytherin part of the light display was my favorite. I was absolutely mesmerized by the slithering green snake as it made its way across the castle’s landscape. Regardless of what House you belong to, you’ll be hard pressed not to be completely captivated by how each Houses’ insignia is represented. New this year is the addition of a beautiful firework display, and though I wish there were a bit more oomph to that aspect of the show, it was still a magnificent fear to have been pulled off in conjunction with the lightshow.
All in all, I would have to say, regardless of if you are a Harry Potter fan or not, that this is easily one of the most-see events of the summer. The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle will be at Universal Studios Hollywood from now until August 19 and then again September 1-3. If you haven’t visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter yet and are looking for a reason to go, this is definitely it. As Dumbledore says, “…happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light” and The Nighttime Lights at Hogwart’s Castle is that light that we all need in our lives right now.
P.S. Also, I don’t care how hot it is outside, make sure to try the hot Butterbeer (it is DELICIOUS), and if you need to cool down afterwards, you have nothing to worry about, as the Wizarding World now offers Butterbeer ice cream!