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Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Restrictions and access
None; no Universal Express Pass or VIP Experience access.

Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle
Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle

Two-sentence insider summary
Hogwarts Castle (home of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey) is transformed in a whole new light into the canvas for Universal Studios Hollywood’s most thrilling nighttime spectacular yet. With musical accompaniment of the iconic score from the films, this is an experience not to be missed.

Show schedule and other information
Show times aren’t published in Universal’s in-park guide map, as the park ONLY announces showtimes on the Official Universal Studios Hollywood mobile app on the day of your visit in the “Park Updates” tab. Recommended show times are also posted on the Digital Studio Directory boards around the park. However, that doesn’t stop us from providing you some insider tips and tricks – please see that section below.

Show Dates: To Be Announced

IMPORTANT: please note that, as of right now, Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle is a seasonal experience at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle – tips and tricks

Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle has nearly the same exact schedule and setup as its forebearer, The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle, so we’ve lifted some of the secrets from our Nighttime Lights page and inserted them here:

  • Employees will be stationed outside of the Wizarding World to control the flow of traffic coming into the land when needed. When that happens, be patient – you’ll only be waiting no more than 10 minutes before being let into the land.
  • If you are interested in catching the first showtime (9:00 pm), you should arrive at the viewing area 25 minutes early. Shows usually run continuously every 20 minutes from sunset until park close. Please check with an employee or refer to the Universal Studios Hollywood mobile app or the Digital Studio Directories in-park for recommended showtimes.
  • The first performance of the evening will almost certainly be at capacity; for this reason, we strongly recommend catching the last showing of the night (when Universal says Dark Arts is best, anyway). This way, it’ll be far easier to get a better view of the action.
  • If you are aiming for one of the final two showtimes, you should be able to arrive only five minutes before they’re scheduled to kick off and still get a great seat. (This sure beats the two or three hours that many guests will spend camping out at the viewing area before the first performance of the evening!)
  • The best viewing spot is by the Frog Choir/Triwizard Spirit Rally performance stage, closest to the Hogwarts/Hogsmeade directional sign pole, and it’s first come, first serve. That’s right – there are no front-of-line or VIP viewing areas, sadly (or not so sadly, as your individual taste may be).
  • Once Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle finishes, head out of the Wizarding World by using the back exit, the one located next to Ollivander’s and the Butterbeer cart – most guests will exit the same way they entered, which creates a major traffic jam. Give yourself an extra 15 to 25 minutes after the show to make your way towards the front of the park, as crowd flow will be extremely heavy after the first three performances.
  • Not interested in the projection-mapping show? You should definitely take advantage of the occasion and use the lower-than-normal crowds at all the rest of Hogsmeade to hop (more) quickly on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. (Please note that Flight of the Hippogriff doesn’t operate during Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle, so you’ll need to add an extra nine minutes onto the posted wait time).

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