Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Location: Islands of Adventure – Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Height Restriction: 48”

Age Appropriateness: Any

Seat Description: Confining box-like seats with walls on either side and over-the-shoulder restraints; 4 to a vehicle; test seats are available outside

Ride Description: At Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the thrills start long before you get to the actual ride. Waiting in line is half of the fun once you get up to the castle. The queue passes through the Herbology greenhouse, past the house points counter and entrance to Dumbledore’s office and into the portrait gallery. Here the show really begins as you watch the moving portraits interact with one another, debating the wisdom of so many Muggles being allowed in Hogwarts castle.

When you enter Dumbledore’s office you’ll get to meet the Headmaster himself as he’s projected into the office setting. Next is the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom where Harry, Ron and Hermione begin to explain the plot of the ride. They’ve decided to help you escape a boring lecture by flying you out to the Quidditch pitch to watch a game. The plan seems simple enough – and hopefully you’ll only have to hear it once or twice. This scene has two slightly different options (one which includes snow falling from the ceiling as Ron casts a wayward spell) but both give you the same information.

Other scenes in the castle include the Gryffindor common room, room of requirement and sorting hat before you’re off. The vehicles are on a continuously moving belt so watch your step on the dimly lit loading dock as you climb into your ride vehicles.

The first step in escaping your boring class involves a flying spell which Hermione naturally performs perfectly. But once you see Hagrid dangling an empty chain and asking about a dragon you get the feeling that this journey isn’t going to be as smooth as you’d hoped.

The ride combines pre-filmed scenes featuring all your favorite characters with actual figures. You can’t see much above, below or around the vehicle so it’s difficult to tell how much you actually move as you go from scene to scene, but the ride vehicle dips, swerves and turns nearly upside-down so convincingly that it seems you’re making quite the trek.

On you way to the Quidditch game, you’re waylaid several times by the dragon, Aragog and his spider friends, the Whomping Willow, and a whole host of soul-sucking dementors. Though you do catch bits and pieces of the game, after all the mishaps in your journey you’ll be happy just to make it back to the castle in one piece at the end. The last scenes you see are two hallways filled with cheering students.

Getting Ready: The new technology of this ride comes with a very different type of seating. Guests with broad shoulders may not be able to fit between the walls that separate each seat from the next. Test seats are available in front of the ride if you’re concerned about sitting comfortably on this attraction.

Be aware that you cannot take any bags on the Forbidden Journey. Lockers are free for the duration of the ride, so make the quick detour to stash them there before entering the queue.

Worth the Wait: Don’t be surprised if you have to wait an hour or two to get on the ride. Lines are rarely much shorter, so if you want to experience the new ride technology, and the only really new attraction to come with the Wizarding World, you’ll have to suck it up and brave the line.

Ride Restrictions: You should not ride this attraction if you:

  • are expecting
  • have a heart condition or abnormal blood pressure
  • have neck, back, or similar physical conditions
  • are susceptible to motion sickness
  • have a medical condition aggravated by strobe effects
  • have a medical condition aggravated by fog effects
  • are susceptible to a fear of heights
  • have a fear of enclosed spaces
  • have a cast
  • have had recent surgery
Guests in wheelchairs must be able to transfer to ride seating.

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