Alohamora! The long-anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter made its debut at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 7, 2016 to the delight of sold-out crowds.
Hogwarts in Hollywood is now a reality as the entertainment capital of Los Angeles shares in the Harry Potter magic.
A labor of love more than five years in the making, I was privileged to speak with Alan Gilmore last year at the “Celebration of Harry Potter” event in Orlando.
He continues to wield his magic as Art Director of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.
It is one thing to build a movie facade that lasts a month for filming. It was quite a different challenge to construct true-to-film sets as structurally sound buildings that withstand the rigors of daily theme park use.
Structures that lean at impossible angles. Chimneys that curve as they reach skyward. Storefront windows that awaken magically with guests casting enchantment spells. The Hogwarts Express train. Gilmore’s team has learned from each new addition.
Film sets are built only for what is needed ‘on camera’. Movie magic fills in the rest. Recreating an entrancing Wizarding World true to J.K. Rowling’s vision in fully three dimensions — this has impressed even the film talent.