The Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle Returns to Universal Studios Hollywood After 4 Year Absence

Jonathan D

The Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle Returns to Universal Studios Hollywood After 4 Year Absence

After a four-year hiatus, the Dark Arts nighttime show at Hogwarts Castle has returned to Universal Studios Hollywood for select nights throughout the spring and summer. The experience is included with regular park admission, running from dusk to park close.

The Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle

dark arts

This is the first time the Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle experience has been showcased outside of the Halloween season, and it differs greatly from the Orlando version — uniquely offering a patronus drone finale (weather permitting). It will be running in Hogsmeade at Hogwarts Castle from March 25 through April 9, May 27 through May 29, and June 17 through August 1.

The show itself primarily consists of projection-mapping on the castle itself, featuring Lord Voldemort, his follower group of Death Eaters, Dementors, and various fiendish or terrifying magical creatures. Death Eaters themselves will wander around Hogsmeade, practicing dark magic and casting wicked spells among guests.

Here’s how Universal Studios Hollywood describes the ordeal:

Find a moment of hope hidden in the darkness when you see Dark Arts at Hogwarts™ Castle light up the sky with music and live special effects. As darkness falls at Hogwarts™ castle, Dementors™, Death Eaters™ and other unspeakable creatures cloak the stone walls with sinister images from the darker side of magic. Experience the fire-engulfed army of Inferi, the soul-draining breath of Dementors™ and the haunting image of Lord Voldemort™ as you stare in awe at the castle’s takeover. This powerful spectacle is accompanied by an atmospheric musical score created by John Williams.

It took over two years to finish designing the Hollywood Dark Arts show, and a partnership with Intel helped make the idea of a drone patronus charm reality.

In the world of Harry Potter, a patronus is a spell, summoned with the help of a happy memory, which helps a witch or wizard hold off the powerful soul and emotion-sucking will of Dementors. Each individual’s patronus takes on the form of various animals connected to their personality. Harry’s is a stag — the same stag you can see attempt to overcome the darkness in the finale.

Are you excited for this nighttime spectacular’s return? Let us know in the comments.

To get information on the version at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, check out our coverage of its return late last year.

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  • Jonathan D

    Originally from Los Angeles and Honolulu, Jonathan is a fan of cinema and theme parks who grew up on the original California Disneyland, and nurtures a particular admiration in Orlando for EPCOT and Disney's Animal Kingdom. His favorite resort on Earth would be Disneyland Paris, which doesn't seem to get the full admiration it deserves. You can find him in the Hufflepuff Common Room by the kitchens at