Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is among the hottest attractions in any theme park, but Lord Voldemort and his wicked minions have cast a chilling charm over Universal’s Hogsmeade Village with the debut of Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle, opened for preview Memorial Day weekend. This multimedia spectacular illuminates Hogwarts Castle on select evenings with projection-mapped images of Dementors, Death Eaters, and other dreaded denizens of the darkness. But don’t panic: Potter’s powerful “Patronus” spell, along with newly recorded arrangements of John Williams’ sweeping score, are certain to swoop in and save the day. And on July 23, Universal’s legendary Jurassic Park flume ride re-emerged as Jurassic World, starring new state-of-the-art dinosaurs and other special effects inspired by the blockbuster franchise.
Legoland California, the tot-friendly attraction built from a bazillion plastic bricks, is celebrating its 20th birthday throughout 2019. But instead of getting the gifts, it’s giving them out in the form of free admission for all kids age 3–12 on their birthdays. Simply bring an original birth certificate or passport to the park’s box office between now and December 31, and your little ones will get in gratis on their birthdays. Once inside, you can sing along with Legoland’s 20th Birthday Character Dance Party, and enjoy the brand new Lego City 4D—Officer in Pursuit movie, filled with in-your-face in-theater effects like water, wind, and bubbles.