Eric Malone

Published: May 28, 2010 at 4:05 AM

Personally, I'm not going to hold my breath on this one. I've heard rumors on all ends of the spectrum and I'm not sure who or what to believe anymore. But hey, stranger things have happened.
Melissa Donahue

Published: May 28, 2010 at 6:02 AM

I'm giddy with excitement! Yes, I'm such a theme park nerd. I can't wait for my visit this summer!
Anthony Murphy

Published: May 28, 2010 at 6:21 AM

They seem to be really setting themselves up for failure with this land with all this Potterwatch. I am sure that the land will be great and an improvement on IOA, but I am starting to believe it will not meet all the hype and imagination of the Universal Guests.

I know I am a bit of a downer, but I hope people are not disappointed.

Deidre Dennis

Published: May 28, 2010 at 6:43 AM

I read on screamscape yesterday that they started letting team members go in for "test runs" for the Forbidden Journey and there were technical problems so they stopped it. With any new attraction, I'm sure that's normal. Hopefully people will not get too frustrated and keep in mind that Universal wants to put out an attraction that is not only entertaining but safe as well.

Because of all the mania surrounding this attraction, this is part of the reason why we decided we would give it a little over a year being open before we make a trip down there. I think it's going to be bombarded and overwhelming these first several months.

Nick Markham

Published: May 28, 2010 at 6:53 AM

Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but the land is on a day to day basis. So far, even cast members (or whatever they are called at Universal) have had only like 15 minutes before Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has been shut down immediately after. And the only others being let in are those who reserved breakfast at the Three Broomsticks, but are not allowed anywhere but the restaurant.

Other than that, Universal says they will open it when it is ready, and if that is on Grand Opening day, June 18, then that will be when it is opened.

Disappointing for most, yes, but there is still a chance that it will be ready sooner than opening.

EDIT: And Anthony, from what I have heard and seen, it will not be the land that lets down guests as much as this delay of a soft-opening as most expected.

Robert Niles

Published: May 28, 2010 at 7:41 AM

If hotel guests who booked the Harry Potter package don't get access to the whole thing, including Forbidden Journey, I can't imagine that those guests wouldn't be demanding some sort of refund or compensation.
Sara M

Published: May 28, 2010 at 7:44 AM

I'm booked for the 9th through the HP package so I'm hoping most of the legistics are sorted out by then. I understand forbidden journey having failures but if they dont let me at least wander about i will be quite upset!
Marc Ricketts

Published: May 28, 2010 at 11:15 AM

This is why we're going as late in the summer as we could.
Jason Read

Published: May 28, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Any confirmation if those staying in Uni hotels who did NOT specifically book a Harry Potter package are getting in?
TH Creative

Published: May 28, 2010 at 11:57 AM

BREAKING: Guests are reporting that the best part of the new Potter attraction is the scene where Harry shoots the hippos.
TH Creative

Published: May 28, 2010 at 12:08 PM

The Frog Chorus is BEYOND GENIUS!
Jason Read

Published: May 28, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Got our Harry Potter preview info at check in... Will share thoughts afterwards tomorrow.
Daniel Binder

Published: May 29, 2010 at 8:20 AM

Saw a post over at another site:

"FLallday spoke to a family who rode FJ today before it broke down.

Their non-spoiler review was "Forbidden Journey was everybody's favorite ride. Said it was a mix of Soarin, Spiderman, Dragons, & Simpsons. Doesn't go upside down. Capacity sucks, so go early if you wanna ride FJ. It's not in 3D, but it feels just like it. Lots of animatronics. Dad said it was scary!"

I can see the ride a little bit now. A track similar to Spiderman with the live props as well, ride vehicle motions like the Simpsons/BTTF/Spidey, and the Quidditch scene being as realistic as the feeling one gets on Soaring. I'm hoping the Dragons element doesn't just refer to a AA dragon, but actual roller coaster elements.

If Universal is able to work out all the kinks on this ride, this one has the makings of a doozy. Spiderman just may have been surpassed, and if that's the case, Islands of Adventure now has the two greatest rides ever created, both in the same park, along with two great water rides and two world-class roller coasters. It'll be right up there again in the running for the best park in the world.

Jason Read

Published: May 29, 2010 at 1:06 PM

WWoHP is pretty amazingly detailed-- lots of references to the movies and fun kinetics around the whole area (owl popping out on the 1/2 hour, wizards chess pieces battling in a store window, sheet music whipping around an upstairs music room). Capacity (as most expected) is definitely going to be an issue, the quaintness that defines the area is also it's biggest hurdle.

HPatFJ-- continues to be troublesome (brokedown while I was in line) but the queue is amazing, particularly the talking portraits. I don't know if the area is completely landscaped yet but they need a few large trees (or something) to hide the large unthemed portioned of the gigantic show building.

Hippogriff-- never rode it in it's original incantation but the theming is well done including the Buckbeak animatronic and Hagrid's hut (including the sound of growling Fang)

Dragon Challenge -- wish they had done at least a minor update to the ride vechicles and finally made the effort to conceal backstage equipment. The new queue is much better lit and is very well done (though the original was excellent also). Best parts of the queue are the TriWizard Cup, the floating candles from the films, and some great views of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts on the way in.

Food -- Three Broomsticks had the exquisite detail found in the entire area but as they were only serving breakfast for the preview we skipped it. I can't wait to come back when the fish and chips are being served. The menus are done in the same style as the newspapers from "Prisoner"... very clever. The Butterbeer is not something I expected to like as I'm not into sweets, but was very pleasently surprised. Cream soda-y with a carbonation that helps cut the sweetness ($8.50 in a souvinir glass)

Wand Shop-- very fun little performance, the theming is superb and kids will love this (there were lots of operations people about timing the display and counting guest numbers). You exit into the gift shop where you can purchase a ~$30 wand (I had to ask as there aren't any prices on boxes). What happened to the MagiQuest-like features? Was that just fan speculation? I was really looking forward to that as it would have been brilliant.

I'll be back tomorrow to hopefully ride FJ and try the pumpkin juice. Pics can be seen on my blog at (crappy iPhone quality-- sorry!)

Jason Read

Published: May 29, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Just met a local who was on "Potter Watch" yesterday and booked a night at the Portofino JUST to preview WWoHP! Bummer FJ was down. Guess that means it's open to all hotel guests.

Published: May 30, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Do you think that if I go on June 17 I might have chance to ride the forbidden journey if I arrive early in the morning??
Robert Niles

Published: May 30, 2010 at 1:57 PM

June 17 is the one day when I'd guess you have zero chance of getting in of you are not a hotel guest with a confirmed Harry Potter package. That's the media event day.