Opening: Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle

Magic is afoot, and on the castle walls, at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

If you've dutifully completed your full complement of classes at Hogwarts, from Herbology to the History of Magic to the Study of Muggles to Defence Against the Dark Arts, you surely wouldn't dare display your new spell-casting skills to a bunch of people without practicing first.

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Such has been the case at Hogwarts Castle at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood in recent days. You might have received word, perhaps from your owl or a friendly elf in your acquaintance, that the Universal City theme park had been previewing, here and there, its new after-sundown spectacle, "The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle." 

That is as true as butterbeer is delicious. There have been some previews, and the wowza photographs that flew as fast as a broomstick onto social media have looked a little unreal, and definitely straight out of a storybook.

But real they are, which nightly visitors to Wizarding World can now see with their own whimsy-loving peepers: "The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle" officially and truly opens on Friday, June 23. 

The projection show, which is expected to run a few times each night, lasts for several minutes, and includes nods to the houses of Hogwarts and mythical beasts, too.

The dazzling presentation all happens on the massive side of Hogwarts, hence the name, so that's where viewers gather to get a better look. And those same viewers will likely raise a cheer when their house makes an appearance during the show, making it fun to see who among your fellow park goers is Ravenclaw, or Slytherin, or Hufflepuff, or Gryffindor.

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It's free to see, once you're inside Universal Studios Hollywood. And the illuminations do flow to the soundtrack-thrilling tunes from the films, lending it even more cinematic impact.

If you can't make the opening night, take heart: A Facebook Live event straight from the theme park is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. on Friday, June 23.

And if you do see it in the days ahead, but want more, be full of yuletide cheer: A Christmas version is due at some point in November 2017.

Universal Studios and NBC-owned TV stations operate under the same parent company,  NBCUniversal. 

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