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Spoiler-Free Review: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World

in Islands of Adventure, Movies, Reviews, Theme Parks, Universal Orlando

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.

18 Comments

  1. Frog

    OHHH, I’m a theme park goer and a major Harry Potter fan, so it’ll be even funner for me! lol, Hope you had fun, and I can’t wait for this to open to the public… Who knows, if it’s popular enough, maybe they will create one more ride experience… Anyway, great review, the ride sounds like a ton of fun!

  2. Peter

    Sounds awesome.

    I’d rather leave the spoiler review.

  3. Elliot Lavelle

    Could you please publish the spoiler review? I am so curious I just can’t wait! Thanks!

    1. Ricky Brigante

      I worked on it for a while today but got busy with other things as well. I plan to post it tomorrow!

      1. Elliot

        THANK YOU!!!!

  4. Great review, Ricky! I appreciate the fact that you kept it spoiler-free, too. I’m going to Universal in a few weeks and you’ve left me plenty of surprises to encounter.

  5. Curious HP fan

    Hi, thanks so much for the great report! I can hardly wait to see it myself. I do have something of a delicate question for you, though, to do with the seats of the ride itself. I’m going to the park with someone who is quite heavy (350+ pounds) – will he fit in the seats without being embarrassed? I want him to enjoy the ride, and he’s dying to go, but this is always an issue and knowing ahead of time will help us to plan accordingly, Thanks you so much!

    1. Curious HP fan

      Never mind, I just read the spoiler filled version and got the answer. That really sucks, I wish they would have thought of the fact that HP fans come in all sizes. My friend is going to be crushed.

      1. Frog

        Listen, if your friend is too heavy, that sucks for him, but it’s not that they didn’t know that Harry Potter fans can be both large and small. Every ride like this usually has seating with pull over bars. Now, there is the possibility of a special seat for larger people (such as the ones they have on certain other rides like Hulk). If your friend wants to go on the ride, why doesn’t he lose some weight? I understand that certain people have genes that make it difficult, and if that’s the case with your friend, then that sucks, but the ride will probably have the special seating. And if not, I’m sorry, there isn’t much you can do…

        1. Bandersnatch

          Frog, your compassion is simply astounding. Not to mention your tact. Bravo.

          1. Frog

            lol, Wow, this comment is so old I’m not even sure I should be replying but I feel compelled to thank you for that compliment. I was afraid of coming off as blunt, but it is difficult to make everyone happy. Fortunately they now have the modified seating.

      2. Ricky Brigante

        It’s a trade-off between creating a unique experience and safety. Unfortunately, not every experience can be made for every person. In this case, a new ride system is in play and it could be VERY dangerous if improperly used. I’m sure Universal is being as safe as possible with it. Even so, they will inevitably get many complaints from those who can’t ride.

  6. BLK

    You’ve got to be kidding me. The Haunted Mansion can’t event touch this ride. I’ve been on The Haunted Mansion plenty of times to tell you that the Forbidden Journey is 100 times more exciting and impressive.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Two entirely different rides. You’re right, Forbidden Journey is much more exciting, in a thrill ride kind of way. But that’s not what The Haunted Mansion is all about. You can’t really compare the two. It would be like comparing the Dragon Challenge roller coaster to the Disney railroad. Two different types of attractions entirely.

  7. Write more, thatss all I hav to say. Literally, it seem as though you relied on thhe video to
    make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away you
    intelligence on just posting vudeos to your blog when you could be giving
    us something inftormative to read?

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