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Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey reviews

Theme Park Insider readers offer their ratings and reviews for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a dark ride in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure. (The minimum height to ride is 48 inches.)

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Written by
Theme Park Insider Editor
Posted: March 29, 2014

Professor Dumbledore has opened Hogwarts Castle to Muggles for the first time, and you're invited. Step inside the castle for a walking tour of the dungeons, greenhouses, and Dumbledore's office, before Harry, Ron and Hermione catch up to you in the Defense Against Dark Arts classroom. They warn of the dreadfully boring hours-long lecture you're about to hear and convince you to join them on the Quidditch pitch instead. But how to get there? After a tour of the Gryffindor common room, you're into the Room of Requirement to board a flying bench for an airborne tour of the castle and grounds. Now if only you could get away from that nasty dragon that keeps chasing you....

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey uses a unique ride system with benches mounted on the ends of robot arms (similar to what you'd see on an auto assembly line), that move on a ride track. This allows you bench to rise, dip, sway and twist to simulate a feeling of flight. High definition projection screens, plus physical effects and animatronics, all help bring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter alive on this ride. (If you don't want to ride, you can go through the queue to tour Hogwarts before exiting at the Room of Requirement.)

Readers' rating:

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530 votes, so far

This is the second greatest ride I have ever been on. What else is their to say? 10.5/10. However the ride film is a little blurry at times. - Quentin Scruggs

Truly breathtaking The theming ride and queue is amazing 10/10 no doubt - Owen Scott

The best queue and a great thrilling attraction. We've enjoyed this attraction more with repeat rides. There's so much going on, you really need to experience it multiple times. They recently changed the projection lighting and the scenes are crisper and less muddied now. Additionally, the ride is smoother and less apt to motion sickness with this summer's ride modifications. Excellent!!! - Rob Pastor

I think it's a fun ride. An End All for themed dark rides? Nope. The castle is awesome, except for all the show building that still shows. The ride tech is cool, if it wasn't underutilized in so much time with movie screens. The plot line is thin. All the monsters happen to get loose at once? I'd say, again, fun. Something worth repeating, but never worth waiting more than 45 minutes for. - Ringmaster A

This ride is awesome. Truly worth of being the centerpiece of the Wizarding World. The queue with its castle setting is amazing. The ride itself is gorgeous and the mixture of video and physical portions of the attraction is very well done. The movement of the benches is also in perfect sync with your surroundings. This ride is the definition of a can't miss attraction. - Manny Barron

If there were a score higher than Perfection, I would be giving this ride that score! The queue is entertaining, the ride mechanisms is top notch and the employees that work there are always in character. We were there a couple of weeks ago and were the last people on the ride.. they let us ride twice, since we were on the car that goes to the area where the alternate disability entrance is, and it had to reincorporate back into the regular ride and there were no people waiting there to ride. Such a special surprise! - Michelle Morgan

Even though my favorite theme parks are USF and IOA, Forbidden Journey did not stand out to me. Also Harry Potter is one of my favorite books and movies, but this ride has not been perfected yet. They have to fix it because the ride breaks down too much. The que is the best part of the ride. DON'T RIDE! 1/10 - Jaiden Cohen

The greatest theme park ride ever! I've been to many parks across the US, and this ride is now the gold standard. - tom bagnell

Fans of Harry Potter around the world flock to this ride. However, as someone who is indifferent to Harry Potter, this is one of the worst ride experiences I've ever had. The line was an hour wait immediately after the park opened (though I must say, the queue is quite impressive, especially if you're a fan of the books/movies). The ride itself, however, was HORRIBLE. The whole thing is far too rushed. The boarding process went by so quick that I wasn't able to get my restraints on correctly before the ride started and I rolled around so much during the ride that I got whiplash in my hips!!! And the ride itself wasn't at all enjoyable. If I could give this a negative score, I would. 0/10. - Angela White

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