Anyone else obsessed with Harry Potter? We live just up the road from Universal Studios Hollywood, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (which everyone just calls Harry Potter Land California). Now that Lydia is a little bit older, we've been taking a family deep dive into all things Harry, Hagrid and Hogwarts related. We've rewatched all the movies, and I've been remembering how much I love this franchise. Last night, I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of a special event…..the premiere of the Dark Arts at Hogwarts™ Castle show. We got to see the new amazing light and music show that pays homage to Dementors, Death Eaters and the Dark Lord, Voldemort (and trust, it's a must see) and to explore the entire Wizarding World while it was closed to the public (talk about a dream come true).
One of my favorite things to do in any theme park? To round up all the fun photo spots in the park. Let's be honest, when we visit on busy days, we all want to fun great instagram worthy spots that don't have a huge crowd in the background. These are the best places to take pictures at the Wizarding World even on a busy day!
The Best Places to Take Pictures in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (aka Harry Potter Land California)
In Front of the Hogwart's Express: When you enter Harry Potter World California, you'll run right into the Hogwart's Express. This adorable train is a GREAT spot to take pictures (especially because there's often a conductor wandering about). Be aware, it does make actual train noises and steam comes out. There are multiple angles to shoot from. My personal favorite? From the front of the train, it backs against a wall so you'll easily get a clean shot without people in the background.
Hagrid's Hut (entrance to Flight of the Hippogriff): Hagrid's Hut is one of my favorite spots in all of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You pass by it in the que for Flight of the Hippogriff. Be prepared, you'll have to shoot fast, but it's a really cute photo spot (and a great way to pass the time in line).
Hogwarts: Anything Harry Potter isn't complete without a trip to Hogwarts. The castle inside Harry Potter Land California is stunning. You can take close up shots against the walls, but honestly I love a faraway shot. Shoot from down low looking up, and you'll be able to get the castle without a ton of people in the backround. A really fun time to shoot is during the new Dark Arts at Hogwarts™ Castle show. It's absolutely stunning, and the amazing lights against a dark sky make for REALLY fun images! Another option? The entrance to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the perfect spot to take close ups.
Ollivanders: Ollivanders is a magical shop where your wand picks you. Be sure to wait in line for the wand selection ceremony, it's really fun. The actual wand inventory shop is well lit and a fun place to take pictures (the blue room is my personal favorite).
In Front of Honeydukes: Honeydukes is one of the first shops you'll see on your left when you enter Harry Potter World California, it's an adorable shade of green with pink trim. The walls are a great spot to take fun colorful photos (especially over the holidays when there is Christmas decor and snow everywhere).
Inside Owl Post: If you've got an owl obsessed family member, Owl Post is a great spot to take pictures (it also has TONS of natural light so great for photos). There's tons of Owl mail everywhere, and beautifully stacked shelves perfect for a photo backdrop.
Three Broomsticks: Three Broomsticks is a dark tavern filled with DELICIOUS food. Pro tip: if you'd like to take photos, the back patio is PERFECT. It's well lit, decorated perfectly and is often less crowded than the inside area.
The Car: You know the famous car that appears multiple times in the books and movies? It's currently parked outside Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. As you walk through the que, be sure to snap a picture in front of it!
With Butterbeer: I love me some great theme park food and butterbeer is my absolute Universal Studios Hollywood favorite. The frozen version is super refreshing in the summer (so is the butterbeer ice cream by the way) and the warm version is perfect on a cool winter night. They're perfect for fun food photos, I love to shoot right in front of the Butterbeer cart in the center of town.
Hogsmeade: The entire Hogsmeade area has great walls, doors and alleys that are perfect for shooting. My favorite hidden gem? Walk down the alley on the right side when you enter, and wander through the small alley of shops. The stack of caldrons is a perfect hidden spot for cute pictures and so are all the shop window displays!
Special Events Not to Miss:
The light show at Hogwarts Castle in Harry Potter Land California is always amazing, but I have to say…..the current Dark Arts at Hogwarts™ Castle show is my favorite. I love that this show gives us a total opportunity to be transported to Hogwarts and the battle agains Voldemort. It's stunning, and the music is GREAT! Be sure that you stay to see it at least once!
Have you been to Harry Potter Land California? What are your favorite photo spots?