The jewel in the crown for Universal's holiday celebrations is the Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts. The projection show is utterly spectacular and there is no photo or video out there that can truly do this display justice.
The show lasts around 7 minutes and takes place approximately every 20 minutes from dusk till park closing. If you're a Harry Potter fan (or even if you aren't) then this is a must see show.
I was blown away by how perfect the projections were against the backdrop of the castle. Every inch of it was decorated with lights, which appeared to be a part of the castle, not just shone onto it. I was lucky enough to bag a prime viewing spot close to Forbidden Journey, but I don't think there's a place to view that will make the projections look any less stunning.
Mike Aiello, the Director of Entertainment for the parks, promises that no matter which side of the castle you watch, the projections are designed to look flawless.
The projection contains many scenes including the ghosts of Hogwarts singing carols, the Ford Anglia destroying snowmen and the lighting of the Hogwarts tree. One of the most beautiful scenes was the Yule Ball, which featured a puppet version of Hermione and Vikor Krum dancing under a disco ball. My personal favourite was the Weasley Twins bewitching the castle into a giant advert for their joke shop, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.
The music that goes along with the show was recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London and it's wonderful. A beautiful mixture of Harry Potter music that you know and also Christmas melodies.
Fans of the franchise have been waiting a long time to finally get to see what Hogsmede looks like at Christmas. Many have insisted that J.K. Rowling has kept too tight a leash on her vision to let this happen easily, but as Mike Aiello put it, when an idea that works so well then getting it signed off was pretty straight forward. The display really is sympathetic to the books and movies and compliments them perfectly. The team have clearly waited to make sure that this was done when technology could catch up with their imagination. Nothing about this display is half-hearted.
I was lucky enough to see the projections at the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Hollywood and this new display really blew that display out of the water. I would plan a trip to Universal Orlando just to see this again and even the non-Harry Potter fans I was with were blown away with the display.
I really hope that Universal creates a new projection show that continues after the holiday season. They've proven that you don't need to have a firework filled show to have a spectacular night time display.
I would definitely recommend visiting Universal Orlando Resort this Christmas. Their holiday season is filled with fun, laughter and quite a bit of magic.
For those who want to know more about my flight out to Orlando then here's a bit more information.
I flew out to Orlando with Norwegian Air who are a budget airline providing great routes across Europe, USA and even further. Norwegian fly year-round to Orlando, with 3 flights per week during the summer and twice weekly in winter.
I really enjoyed their premium seating as there was a whooping 55 inches of legroom. I have relatively long legs and I couldn't touch the seat in front with my feet fully stretched out.
One of my favourite things about the flight was that you could order drinks and snacks to your seat using the entertainment console. It was handy not to have to try and flag down a Flight Attendant to get a glass of water.
Fares start from £179 one-way in economy and £499 one-way in Premium including taxes and charges. To book visit www.norwegian.com/uk
You can buy your Universal Orlando 3-Park Explorer Ticketnow from £232 per adult
Enjoy 14 consecutive days of unlimited park to park access to Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the all NEW Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park, and select live entertainment venues of Universal CityWalk.
Visit www.universalorlando.co.uk for more information.