Many readers requested an inside view of Hogwart’s Castle at the new Harry Potter park. This is one of the most popular locations in the new island, with good reason. The “castle” casts an imposing shadow over the whole of the island and includes many interesting “venues” inside it’s walls; from the Dark Arts classroom to Dumbledore’s Office.
Hogwart’s Castle Tour
You can actually get a tour of the castle, without riding the Forbidden Journey ride. Throughout the day, cast members will take you on a tour of all the locations inside the castle and then escort you out the ride exit. This is a nice way to see Hogwart’s, even if you plan to ride the Forbidden Journey. Oftentimes, you’re just moving too fast through the line to take in all the details that Hogwart’s has to offer.
To learn more about a Hogwart’s Castle tour, you just have to ask one of the cast members standing outside Hogwart’s about it and they’ll let you know when the next tour will occur. They happen throughout the day and you just have to show up at the right time. Very few people know about this opportunity — even though I’d been to the park more than 10 times, I didn’t know until our VIP tour guide told us about this option.
The Founders of Hogwart’s School
Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin laid the foundations for the only wizarding school in Britain over a thousand years ago. Throughout the Harry Potter movies, you have not seen any of the founders — until the new 7th and 8th installments scheduled to come out this fall and next year. A visit to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride will give you a sneak peak at all four founders, though.
In the Portrait Gallery room (see it in the video, below about one minute in), you’ll see all four founders in moving portraits; speaking about Harry Potter and a “lost dragon.” Universal arranged for the “founders” to film the portrait scenes at the very same time as they filmed their scenes in the final Harry Potter movies. Therefore, they technically appear for the first time ever on film in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter — even before their spotted on film in a Harry Potter movie!!
Hogwart’s Castle Entrance
For the filming of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows two-part movie, the producers needed an “entrance” for Hogwart’s School and they came to the construction and design team for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The entrance you see in this image, with the two winged “hogs” on pillars was actually used in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie! Pretty cool to think that you’re walking through the very same gates that the movie wizards and witches walked through to get to school in the final two movies.
When asked for tips to seeing the Forbidden Journey ride faster, we tell guests to stow their bags in a locker at the front of the Harry Potter park to avoid waiting to do it prior to the Forbidden Journey ride. Part of this strategy involves going to the right of these hog pillars to the entrance to Filch’s Emporium. This way, you can enter the ride through the lockers that open to both the Forbidden Journey ride and Filch’s. However, this means you miss walking through the grand entrance pillars. Be sure to take the stroll through the pillars and the main entrance doors before you leave the park, if you employ this time saving strategy.
Want to get all our tips and tricks for visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? We wrote a travel guide for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade! We included all our tips and tricks that we’ve learned over the last year to make your visit to the Wizarding World as magical as possible. Be sure to check it out!
Get your Harry Potter theme park souvenirs from the official Harry Potter shop, the WB Shop!