Get Your Phreak On

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

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May 11, 2012

Location:Orlando, Florida, USA
Theme Park:Universal Studios Orlando Islands of Adventure
Year Built:2010
Coaster Type:Enchanted benches
Coaster Speed:
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Professor Dumbledore has opened Hogwarts Castle to Muggles for the first time, and you’re invited. Enter through the towering castle gates and make your way down the familiar passageways and corridors that Harry, Ron, and Hermione encountered as they sought clues of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You’ll see dungeons, greenhouse and Dumbledore’s office all before Harry, Ron and Hermione catch up to you in the Defense Against Dark Arts classroom to tell you what there plan is to get you out of the boring lecture. Lastly you’ll see the Gryffindor common room as you walk down the hall to the sorting hat where you will receive you last instructions of the journey you are about to encounter in the Room of Requirement where your Journey really begins.

As you can see, Forbidden Journey truly begins the experience long before you sit down for the ride. 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.

When approaching the loading area, you catch your first glimpse of the “enchanted benches” that you’ve been told will guide you out of the castle and to a Quidditch match. These four-seat vehicles glide horizontally along a mirrored back wall, reflecting floating candles. A unique element to boarding Forbidden Journey is that the ride vehicles never stop moving. Guests are required to step onto a slow-moving platform and take a seat while in motion. Once you sit down in the snug seats and pull the harness down, you realize that there is no way this ride is going to be a slow-moving adventure. You will be flown up down and to the side through Quidditch, Dragon, Spiders, and Dementors. All the while Harry Potter is not far off protecting you. This is an unbelievable adventure with a queue that is breath taking with giving the rider a feeling of being in the actual movie. The queue alone is worth the wait in the line to ride.

There is a single rider line that is not marked well, but ask any Hogwart student and the can tell you the secret passage to get there.

Ride Length 4 minutes

Height restriction of 48 inches

It should be noted that a good number of guests are unable to ride Forbidden Journey due to their height and/or girth. There are test seats outside the attraction as well as before you reach the Sorting Hat. While Universal has released the ride’s minimum height requirement of 48″, they haven’t officially stated any maximums. But if you feel like you are taller than most or rather overweight, then there’s a good chance you won’t be able to ride. Fortunately, you can still walk through the queue and enjoy the scenes presented within Hogwarts Castle.



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