UNIVERSAL CITY, California - Under the night skies of Hollywood, Universal Studios’ new “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” came alive on Tuesday night with a spectacular fireworks display and music conducted by veteran composer John Williams.
The new theme park attraction, based on J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books and subsequent Warner Brother film franchise, held a premiere two days before its official public opening on Thursday.
Guests were treated to buffets of traditional English food such as bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and sticky toffee pudding while drinking Butterbeer, the buttery sweet drink popular in Rowling’s world of magic.
Williams, 84, led the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in a rendition of his “Harry Potter” score as the Hogwarts Castle, home to the “Forbidden Journey” ride, was lit up with projections of spells and bursts of fireworks.
The event was attended by some cast members of the “Harry Potter” films such as Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), while guests included veteran director Steven Spielberg and actors Billy Bob Thornton and Mindy Kaling.
“It’s amazing, it is hard for me not to well up. It’s like walking back through my old school ground,” Felton said.
“But it is very exciting to see faces of new people there. Kids who haven’t seen it before, it kind of reminds you how lucky you are to grow up there.”