Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Studios review
My review of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride
A few days ago I was able to enjoy Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey thrill ride at the new Wizarding World Of Harry Potter park inside Universal Studios. The ride was fantastic, one of the best I have been on.
Fans of the Harry Potter books and movies will really love this ride, but it can be scary and might make some dizzy or sick. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is housed inside the Hogwarts castle replica, which you can see in pictures to your bottom right. Here's my review of the Harry Potter ride.
Hogwarts castle pictures from different angles
Lockers and queue line at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride
Right now the Forbidden Journey ride is so popular that the line runs outside the queue lines and in front of the park. I expect this to be the case all summer long until fall. My wait time was around 2 hours, however it can get as long as four hours!
You enter the bottom of Hogwarts castle through a large arch made into the rock wall. Right there in front to your right is the locker area. You CANNOT have anything loose on you to ride the ride. That includes camera bags, purses, drinks, anything.
The only thing you can carry onto the ride is a waist pack strapped around your waist. Even that should be small. You can put small cameras in your pockets if you think they will not fall out. It's best to just leave everything in the lockers.
To your left after the lockers the queue line splits up into two; the single rider line and everyone else. You can save a lot of time going by yourself and using the single rider line. However there are many Harry Potter things to see in the normal queue line you will not see in the single rider line.
Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey queue pictures
Things to see in the queue line at The Forbidden Journey ride
They did a great job planning the queue line at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. Throughout the whole line you can see pictures and items from the Harry Potter movies. In one room you see high walls filled with those moving portraits just like in the Hogwarts castle.
Part of the line actually goes back outside in the back of the castle, where you go through the greenhouse just like in the Potter movies. You see statues of important characters and props from the Harry Potter movies.
At one point you go into Dumbledore's office which is very detailed and exactly what it looks like in the movies. He talks to you and looks very real, but it's a projection. You then meet up with Harry Potter himself and friends as they invite you on a journey, which is the ride of course!
The line at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is almost always moving because the ride never stops; more on that later. So it really does not feel like a long time, and there is so much to see while in the line.
There are test seats that you may be picked to test just before the ride. They pick a group of four, since each ride bench seats that many. So nobody will feel awkward testing them. They do that to see if you might be too large to fit into the seats.
Finally you get to the ride itself! There are a few things you will want to know about restrictions and how to get into the seats, so here's a quick summery of what you will want to know about those at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride.
Harry Potter merchandise
Restrictions and getting into the seats at Forbidden Journey ride
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is NOT a roller coaster. Each ride is a single bench which seats four that does look a lot like a normal row on a roller coaster. However this single bench faces toward you, not sideways.
The bench sits just above a moving floor that is going the same speed as the bench. So you walk toward it, step onto the moving floor, turn around and slip backward into the seat. It is a very snug fit with a scoop between your legs to help hold you in.
The ride operator then comes along and pulls down a single shoulder harness for each person. The harness needs to be able to come down in front of you as well as over you. This is why large or barrel shaped people may not fit into the ride.
If they can't get the harness down over you and have it click three times, you will be told you can't go on the ride. So how big is too big? Everyone is different, so you really can't know until you test out a seat or try to go onto the ride.
So, if your a large person, make sure to test out the seat that they also have outside the entrance. The minimum height requirement is 48 inches tall. Because the ride has a moving platform it never stops which is why the line goes so fast, nice!
The back of each bench is attached to a giant moving robotic arm. So once you take off it lifts you up, back and all around as you go through the ride. Which takes us finally to the actual Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride!
Hogwarts castle video, which houses the Forbidden Journey ride
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter pictures
Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey ride action!
Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey ride is quite dark. As you move from room to room you are looking at a 3D screen as well as real images for a fantastic effect. It is very smooth and really makes you feel like your flying through the air.
You fly over Hogswart castle and get chased by a dragon that blast you with his steam from his mouth. You see the giant spiders from the dark forest, which can be very frightening if your scared of spiders.
Other creepies you encounter are the Dementors, the whomping willow tree, the giant snake and a few more villains from Harry Potter. At last you end up right in the middle of a Quidditch match and see the whole cast of the Harry Potter movies in the end.
If you get motion sick, the moving ride combined with the 3D screen may make you sick. I saw a few throwing up after the ride. It's a dark theme, so kids that scare easy should not go on it.
Once you land, the bench is over a moving platform again. So when you get out of the seat your on a moving floor. Because it's dark and your a bit dizzy, stepping from the moving floor to the non-moving one can make you stumble, so watch your step!
All in all Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey ride is great. The lines move fast and there is much to see in the queue. The ride itself is very fun and smooth, making you feel like your right there at Hogswart castle.
Try the test seat at the entrance if your a large person, but most should have no problem. Stow away ALL loose articles in the lockers as you cannot take them with you.
So take an Orlando vacation and come on down. I hope you ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter inside Universal Studios soon!
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