PHOTOS, VIDEO: Hippogriff Magical Encounter at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan

Shannen Ace

PHOTOS, VIDEO: Hippogriff Magical Encounter at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan

For the first time at any Universal park worldwide, guests are able to meet and interact with some of the magical creatures of the “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” franchise. These atmospheric encounters debuted exclusively at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan last month and will continue through the end of the year.

We stopped by to experience the Hippogriff Magical Encounter, which takes place not far from Flight of the Hippogriff, on the small stage outside of the Hogwarts Castle that houses Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey multiple times a day.

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Fittingly, a Hufflepuff student welcomes the Hippogriff to the stage. Gaining their beloved status as part of the Harry Potter franchise, hippogriffs are mythological creatures whose front half is that of an eagle with the back half of a horse. They first appeared in the third book of the seven-part series, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” The most beloved Hippogriff in the series is, of course, Buckbeak, who also goes by the name Witherwings when on the run with Sirius Black.

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The hippogriff is certainly noisy as the Hufflepuff cast member begins its training. As she attempts to calm the magical creature, which she has affectionately named Fleetwing, a group of students happens upon the duo. The startled students are baffled at the sight, even concluding that one of them must have cast a wayward transfiguration spell transforming one of their classmates.

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The four Hogwarts students argue about how to handle the creature when a beloved professor enters. The Hufflepuff student is left to answer for the hippogriff she apparently befriended on the way in.

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The hippogriff is upset when the professor punishes its new-found friend. Seeing this as a learning opportunity, the professor offers up a lesson on how best to approach the startled hippogriff. To properly approach Fleetwing, the professor suggests starting with a bow.

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A return bow from the hippogriff is a good start, but it isn’t the only step in gaining the trust of this mythical creature. A slow approach is also necessary. The professor invites a young guest from the audience on stage to give it a try. He also asks the remaining guests to join in from their spot among the crowd.

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Our young guest must have been paying attention to the lesson because her bow, and that of all of the guests in the crowd, leads to a majestic bow from Fleetwing in return. The young guest is then able to pet the hippogriff, who is now feeling safe in their company. Towering over her, Fleetwing purrs in delight from her petting.

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Before being ushered back home, Fleetwing is promised a nice reward for her time. The professor also awards ten points to Hufflepuff for our student’s kindness and success with the lesson.

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Guests are offered the chance to meet the Hippogriff themselves, from afar, and even take pictures alongside Fleetwing and the group of Hogwarts students gathered in Universal Studios Japan. Watch the full Hippogriff Magical Lesson experience below.

Hippogriff Magical Lesson in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Universal Studios Japan

How do you feel about this magical lesson experience happening now at Universal Studios Japan? Let us know how. you feel about this Hippogriff encounter in the comments below!

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  • Shannen Michaelsen

    Shannen has been a Disney Parks fan and lover of dogs since childhood, despite Pluto's attempt to eat Shannen's Minnie Mouse doll the first time they met. They've made up now. You can email Shannen at