Excitement is building as Universal Orlando is letting more guests by the day into their new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure. Recently, limited soft openings have allowed all park guests to finally enter the area, enabling many excited visitors to experience the groundbreaking new attraction, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
I have had a chance to ride Forbidden Journey three times this week and have already written my completely spoiler-free thoughts on the attraction. If you’re not interested in potentially “ruining” the ride by reading details about what’s inside, I recommend reading that article rather than what I am including below.
From this point forward, this post will be filled with spoilers as I take you step-by-step through the entire Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride experience, offering both descriptions of each scene as well as my own personal thoughts on how well those scenes work. Get ready for an exciting ride…
Now that we’re prepared to unleash Forbidden Journey spoilers, I recommend you first watch our video tour of the incredible Hogwarts Castle queue that stops just short of the ride’s loading area:
As you can see, Forbidden Journey truly begins the experience long before you sit down for the ride. A slow walk through the queue takes roughly 20 minutes, longer if you care to stop and watch each of the scenes several times. The Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom actually features three separate bits of dialogue between Harry, Ron, and Hermione, as well as three different spells that get cast in the room, each with its own unique special effects. They’re all worth stopping and watching, though the one seen in its entirety in the video above is definitely the most entertaining.
Upon passing through everything you saw above, just past the Sorting Hat, you arrive in the “Room of Requirement,” which acts as the loading area for Forbidden Journey. This room is impressive not because it is filled with detail like all of the other Hogwarts Castle areas, but rather because of how well it hides the massive contraption that you’re about to strap yourself into.
Upon first arriving into the Room of Requirement, you are greeted by Hogwarts students who ask, “How many muggles in your party?” You get the feeling like you’re really being escorted out of the castle by a group of students eager to help you skip a boring lecture on Hogwarts history. It’s a nice touch.