The Whimsical Windows of Wizarding World

Tales are told behind the glass at the new Harry Potter land at Universal Studios Hollywood.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter shall open on Thursday, April 7 at Universal Studios Hollywood, with all the drama and beauty and spectacle of Hedwig the owl opening her feathery wings.

And while a flurry of online must-do lists are falling as fast as magical snowflakes upon Hogwarts, there are, of course, the "will-dos" for the prospective visitor to consider, those rides and attractions where guests will surely head first. 

Among them are Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey, the 3D-HD adventure tucked beneath the turrets of Hogwarts, and Flight of the Hippogriff, a spiffy outdoor coaster. Everyone will want to wield a wand at some point, too, after arriving, and try a Butterbeer.

But if you like to save your will-dos for last -- to build anticipation, after all, which is key to solid storytelling -- then spend your first few minutes inside the magical land getting acquainted with those fantastical features that others might initially pass by: the windows.

The shop's item-filled glass fronts are sure to be some of the unsung hits of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, or perhaps, in the end, very much sung about, thanks to their delightful and sometimes daft designs, the attention to detail behind each pane, and the arcana that lovers of J.K. Rowling's series will immediately recognize.

Madam Puddifoot features precariously stacked towers of china tea cups while Zonk's Joke Shop features a figure that is a mite green in the face (and is holding a "Puking Pastilles" bucket to catch any rapidly exiting contents).

The story-filled windows continue deeper in, with cages brimming with toy owls, horticultural curiosities at Dogweed and Deathcap, and loads of lollies and chocolate frogs at Honeydukes.

How long will a windows self-guided tour take you, upon entering The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? That depends upon how much detail you like to take in. But the more you linger, the more you're apt to see.

We won't attempt to sway you, though, on where your "will-dos" arrive during your visit. Get your Butterbeer and ride those rides, if you just can't wait. But plan a few minutes among the many panes that line the lanes of the enchanted land, for the displays within boast style and story. 

Like a page-turner, can we call these windows "pane-turners"? We just did.

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