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Check out the soft opening of California’s ‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter’

West Coast Harry Potter fans, rejoice! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood is one step closer to becoming a reality. 

In order to run “technical rehearsals” before the magical land officially opens on April 7, the theme park has cracked open the gates to Hogsmeade Village. During the next few weeks, as Universal works to put the finishing touches on the Diagon Alley shops and the 200-foot Hogwarts Castle, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will be open to guests for several hours a day. 

Some Los Angeles Times reporters explored the six-acre land during one of the preview periods and said, “entering through the arch leading to Hogsmeade Village feels like walking onto the set of the Potter movies.”

For those familiar with Orlando’s “Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” expect to see a few similarities. 

According to Alan Gilmore, the supervising art director for the Harry Potter movie series who has worked on the new themed land for two years, “they’re all a little bit different. The general design is the same, but they’re all tailored to each location.”

To make the films truly come to life at the theme park, creators put an emphasis on the small — but noticeable  details.

In addition to hearing Moaning Myrtle’s voice echoing from the restrooms, guests can also expect to find the engine still running on the Weasleys’ crashed flying car.

For those looking to get matched with the perfect wand and try out the interactive “magic” windows, as the Los Angeles Times noted, Ollivanders is twice as big as the original location in Orlando. 

According to Inside Universal, although the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” is technically open during the rehearsals, it’s often only for a few unannounced hours of the day. And, because Universal Studios often opens and closes the area without any warning, taking a trip to the park prior to the official grand opening in April would be a gamble. 

Contact Caitlin Lilly at clilly@reviewjournal.com. Find her on Twitter: @caitielilly_

Check out the photos below of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studos Hollywood.

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