Universal resorts in Orlando and Hollywood have brought Christmas to their Harry Potter displays this winter.
Both studios have debuted the new “Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter” display, which is an “an audio-visual and sensory extravaganza that is crowned by the transformation of Hogwarts castle,” according to Forbes.
“We are delighted to welcome Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as a new Universal Studios Hollywood holiday tradition,” said Karen Irwin, president and chief operating officer of Universal Studios Hollywood, according to a press release. “Millions of guests visiting from around the world have already experienced the incredible offerings of this immersive land. This exciting new holiday program further expands the Harry Potter universe by bringing some of the holiday spirit from the films to life for guests to experience for themselves.”
Hogsmeade village at both resorts (a fictional village in Harry Potter brought to life at the parks) has been overtaken with holiday decorations. Visitors can buy hot butterbeer and a holiday-inspired meal from the Three Broomsticks restaurants.
The display, which runs from Nov. 24 to Jan. 7, includes festive decorations at Hogsmeade village and ends with “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts” special, which dresses up the Hogwarts castle with a projection display.
According to USA Today, "The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts” show includes projectors that show tiny fairies — the Wizarding World fairies who light Christmas decorations in the Harry Potter books and movies — floating around and decorating trees.
The stage shows include a number of holiday songs, too, which play off traditional Christmas carols.
"We want the songs to feel like real Christmas carols,” said Mike Aiello, director of entertainment creative for Universal Orlando Resort, to USA Today. "Like they could live in or outside of the Wizarding World."
Aiello said the projection show, which lasts eight minutes and runs throughout the day, has been nearly eight years in the making.
"We've wanted to do Christmas in the Wizarding World since the first land opened in 2010," he said. "The planets aligned this year."
In Utah, The Shops at South Towne launched the new “Christmas in the Wizarding World” display on Nov. 8. Stores inside the mall have been made up to look like Hogsmeade, according to the Deseret News.
Shops associated with the promotion will sell Harry Potter merchandise.
Heather Nash, marketing manager of The Shops at South Towne, said Utah’s family friendly nature made it a perfect spot for the promotion.
“Warner Bros. looked back and, actually, one of our movie theaters here locally was No. 1 in the country when the first Harry Potter movie came out with sales,” Nash said. “That said to them there is a huge audience for (the) Harry Potter brand here and that it would be the perfect place to put this first-in-the-nation experience.”