After having taken three rides on the new “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” attraction in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park, I can safely say that it is like nothing you have experienced before. But does that mean it is a “game changer” or just a unique ride that doesn’t quite live up to the hype? Read on for my thoughts…
(Quick note: As the title of this article suggests, this is a completely spoiler-free review of the new ride. If you’re interested to know all the details about it, check back later for my spoiler-filled review, elaborating on what I have written below.)
Getting to ride Forbidden Journey (as I’ll refer to it from here out) was a long time in the making. Anticipation for this attraction, and the rest of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, has been the highest I’ve seen for any theme park addition in recent history. Personally, my own excitement level for this ride has been rising since I saw the first signs of Hogwarts Castle being constructed many months ago.
Finally having a chance to preview the rest of the Wizarding World this past weekend relieved some of the built-up anticipation, but Forbidden Journey wasn’t working at the time, leaving it as the only element of the highly-detailed theme park expansion I hadn’t yet seen. But today was my moment to finally step foot onto the ride that has been hailed as a new generation of theme park attractions, utilizing only the latest and greatest technology.
I had previously walked the halls of Hogwarts Castle, having taken the “castle tour” that Universal was offering this past weekend when Forbidden Journey was not operating properly. So I knew the ride’s basic premise, set up by the various scenes shown to guests within the queue.
Upon finally sitting down in one of Forbidden Journey’s unique ride vehicles (which I won’t discuss specifically here – spoiler-free!), I was feeling anxious, excited, and, for lack of a better word, giddy. I had managed to avoid reading any specific details about the ride online as to not spoil it for myself, though I had a pretty good assumption of what I would be seeing simply due to the fact that it’s a ride based on the Harry Potter series.
As to the contents of the ride, in this spoiler-free review all I will include is that if you’ve seen the movies or read the books and ever imagined what a Harry Potter theme park ride would be like, you’ve likely dreamed up many of the scenes present in Forbidden Journey. But that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of surprises.