Universal Orlando is known worldwide for the best scary style Halloween event known as Halloween Horror Nights. That event happens entirely within Universal Studios Florida. Though there were some historical exceptions, Islands of Adventure (IOA) was not themed to Halloween season.
In the last few years, some of this has changed for IOA. Last year, guests 12 and under were allowed to “trick or treat” in costume around IOA. Yet perhaps the coolest scary or Halloween type theming added to IOA is the Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle nighttime lightshow. This made its appearance in 2019 and did not return in 2020 due to cultural conditions.
For all Wizarding World and/or scary themed event fans, the Dark Arts show is returning starting September 18th, 2021.
This version of the nighttime light show consists of projections, lights, and music on the Hogwarts Castle, located in the Hogsmeade area of Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Dementors, Death Eaters, and other “dark” creatures will swarm the Hogwarts Castle, led by Lord Voldemort himself.
To go with this spectacular, a musical score composed by the uber-talented John Williams accompanies the show.
Shows are scheduled to run nightly from around dusk to park closing. Most nights IOA is open until 8pm so this should give you plenty of time to enjoy one of the showings.
Universal Orlando has also confirmed that “Death Eaters” will return this year roaming Hogsmeade during the evening hours also.
If you are planning to visit Hogsmeade to view this event, then a few words of basic advice:
- Universal Orlando has said that the best viewing experience will be during the later shows closer to park closing, since you’ll be able to see the lights more clearly then. In addition, usually for these nighttime shows the later viewings are better and less crowded.
- Speaking of crowds, Hogsmeade area can be crowded on the lowest attended day. This will be a congested area with people packed in like sardines during the shows. There will be a very specific traffic flow in and out of the area. If you are more afraid of crowds than Lord Voldemort, then this event may not be for you.
- This projection show was deemed as a bit scary for young children.
- However in 2019, the “Death Eaters” roamed Hogsmeade before the lightshow. They were especially excellent in terms of interacting with children. We know they are returning this year but do not know in what capacity yet.
Last, this attraction may be one of the best experiences at Universal Orlando. If you are there during this time of year, this would be worth your time so try to catch it if you can!
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