23 magical photos from the new Harry Potter theme park's grand opening.
1. This week, the doors opened to what's predicted to be Universal Studio Hollywood's most popular attraction ever.
2. And it ... looks ... awesome.
3. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Wizarding World of Harry Potter ... West Coast edition.
4. What's there to do? Well, lots. First and foremost, you've gotta find the perfect wand. (That's a given.)
5. Then sip on some nice, cold butterbeer in Hogsmeade.
6. Yes, that's right ... Hogsmeade!
7. Where you'll spot Madam Puddifoot's tea shop.
And maybe snag some Chocolate Frogs too — Fair Trade Certified Chocolate Frogs, to be clear. Remember when Harry Potter fans united and demanded Warner Bros. stop using child labor to source its cocoa? Yeah, no big deal ... we Harry Potter fans are incredible.
8. You can snap pics of the Hogwarts Express (and its conductor).
9. And continue to pray this summer will be the one your acceptance letter to the school of witchcraft and wizardry arrives.*
*By owl, of course.
And remember — Hogwarts is free to attend, so (regardless of your income, or lack thereof), you wouldn't have to worry about footing a tuition bill. Wouldn't it be great if everyone in the non-fiction world valued education that much?
Clearly, Hollywood's Wizarding World of Harry Potter looks spectacular. But is it all that different than the one in Orlando?
Yes and no. Overall, the vibes are similar. Even though it's smaller in size than Florida's park, the Wizarding World Hollywood has "bigger and better rides," according to Seventeen magazine.
"The roller coaster [in Hollywood] is higher and faster, and the dark ride [in Hollywood's Hogwarts] has been upgraded with effects that make the images sharper and brighter."
Sign. Me. Up.
10. While chances are you'll have to wait to ride through the Great Hall of Hogwarts...
11. ... the line zigzags through some cool spots in the castle, like the Gryffindor common room and Dumbledore's office.
Long live Albus, amiright? He was just the best — and not because he was gay (although you're probably still excited about that if you're a Harry Potter person, because Harry Potter people tend to be more accepting folks anyway) — but because he was a powerful, iconic, badass, who always had Harry's best interests at heart. We miss you, Albus.
12. So waiting really isn't all that bad. I mean, just look at the scenery you get to take in.
13. If you were lucky enough to be at the park's grand opening this week, you may have spotted some fan favorites too.
14. Like Luna Lovegood.
Aka, Evanna Lynch, who's become a champion for body positivity through opening up about her own struggles.
15. And Draco Malfoy.
Sometimes he goes by Tom Felton when he's pretending to be a Muggle.
16. George Weasley* dropped in as well.
*er, Oliver Phelps.
17. Along with his twin brother (on and off screen), Fred.*
18. And who could miss Professor Flitwick?
God love Warwick Davis. He's an amazing Professor Flitwick and quite possibly an even cooler human — especially when it comes to putting bullies in their place.
19. The best part about the new Wizarding World grand opening though?
21. You, me ... the fans!
We rock, you all.
22. Seriously. Harry Potter nerds are the best, and we should wear our house badges* proudly.
*Unashamedly Hufflepuff, through and through.
23. Why? Because we know that Harry Potter has made this world such a better place for so many reasons.
There are so many reasons to love Harry Potter — even beyond the fact it inspired an entire generation to love books. Harry Potter is special because of the actual change it sparked in all of us. And that's the real magic.