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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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337 votes, so far

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 REALLY impressive, especially if you're a fan of the books/movies). However, the fact that queue is the best part of this ride is extremely sad. The ride itself 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

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

a good thrill ride but the theming and story changes too quickly. I feel that the ride would be better if it's story was better 7/10 - Morgan Flay

The definitive Harry Potter fan experience (until Gringotts opens). - Christopher Sturniolo

I would say that it is good, but yet could use some work. There are plenty of things they could of included that would make it more worth it to wait for. Robert aways says theme parks and rides are all about story telling and I believe there is more of story that could be told there that makes it more fun. - Alec Vergara

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is probably the best dark ride I have ever been on. 10/10. - James V.

Since the upgrade to the screens, there's not much IOA could have done to make this any better. As a huge HP fan, I feel this is the closest I'll ever get to being in that universe. 10/10 - Jonathan Katz

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

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