A few rides -- How Intense ?

November 6, 2014, 1:04 PM

I'm going with family to WDW and Universal in January.

Some of our family like coasters/drop/thrill rides and others don't. There are a bunch of new rides since we've last gone, and I need to know what they compare to in intensity.

For background: We can all grudgingly do Big Thunder Mountain and even Test Track, and "jerky"/motion rides like Dinosaur, Spiderman, and Soarin' are doable, but no way on Rock n Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Expedition Everest, or any of the Universal coasters.

So what do the drops/thrills on the following rides compare to:

- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringots
- Seven Dwarves Mine Train

All opinions appreciated, and thanks!

Replies (14)

November 6, 2014, 1:13 PM

Forbidden Journey is pretty intense in terms of motion, but Escape from Gringots not so much.

7DMT is extremely tame, and if you can do BTMRR, 7DMT would be a piece of cake.

November 6, 2014, 2:08 PM

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is no more intense than Spiderman.

It's actually really smooth.... No drops....

What I used to do with my daughter when she was younger, we would use Youtube and find any ride she was not sure of or scared of..
for an Easy way to review rides.

Edited: November 6, 2014, 2:21 PM

"Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is no more intense than Spiderman."

I totally agree Brian, but it does have OTSRs, which sometimes makes it feel like it's rougher than it is because your body is constantly banging against the restraints instead of free to move with the ride like Spiderman, Transformers, Simpsons, Indy, etc... However, the movement of the seats is much more dramatic than those other rides because the Kuka arms have a much larger range of motion than most ground-based ride vehicles. I would estimate that the seats probably can move up and down about 8-12 feet, whereas those other rides don't move more than 8-12 inches (assuming you don't count the elevators on Transformers).

November 6, 2014, 2:23 PM

I found Forbidden Journey to be WAAAAAAY more intense than Spider-Man. It's a much smaller ride unit, so the forces of the twisting and pitching feel more intensified than on the larger Spider-Man cars. Plus, as Russell mentioned, the larger range of motion on the FJ arms creates some queasy moments for more riders I've heard from than on Spidey.

If you don't do Everest, I'd say Gringotts would be a maybe. Mine Train is a definite yes. And FJ is a no way.

November 7, 2014, 7:17 AM


All this detailed talk about FJ And Escape from Gringotts makes me want to hop a plane and get to Universal....

To me the author explained more of a fear of height and drops... SO if they can handle Dinosaur, Which has a lot of motion, FJ should be doable...

But again check out YouTube for a ride review.... It really helps...

And have a Great Trip......

November 7, 2014, 8:36 AM

There's no mention of whether anyone is easily naseauted from motion sickness. Or get headaches from ride thrilling rides.

If you have to ask, don't ride it.

November 7, 2014, 8:51 AM

Hey Mike! I believe I can help you with most of your question seeing as I have been on two of the three rides. I have similar circumstances with most of my family when we travel to Universal and Disney. There are only a select few that can handle any and all of the rides with no issues. I myself am not a fan of big drops and I only can muster up enough courage to go on a few per trip! I do go on Jurassic Park River Adventure and the Revenge of the Mummy (reluctantly :P) but it's only about once a trip.

I did recently fall in love with Big Thunder Mountain and the small family coasters at the parks should be okay if you can handle BTM. I have not personally been on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train because it was not opened yet last March, but everything that I see and hear about it would lead me to believe that it is less intense than Big Thunder Mountain and you and your family should be fine with it.

As far as the other two rides, the Forbidden Journey doesn't have any "real drops" they are simulated on a screen sort of like Spider-Man. However, this ride is more intense than Spider-Man and people who are prone to motion sickness I would advise to sit out. My Mom only has been on FJ once and she will not go back because of this. She made it through, but her stomach was in knots the rest of the day and she had a headache. The ride system has a bench that holds 4 people that is mounted to a KUKA Arm and the arm is on a track that takes you through the ride. If you look up the KUKA Arm on YouTube you will see what it can do. FJ is not as intense as the KUKA Arm demos online, but it will move you around quite a bit.

And lastly as far as Gringotts goes, I would say give it a go! My fist time on it was an interesting experience. Initially two people from my group were going to go on it and let the rest of us know how things turn out. My parents were going to go get breakfast and I was going to stay behind with my youngest nephew while the other two were riding. I figured that we all could at least walk through to see the AMAZING queue, and then something went "horribly wrong" LOL. The two got on the ride and as the rest of us were waking to the exit, a staff member "persuaded" my parents to try it and stated that it would be fine. I thought that I dodged a bullet due to the fact that I had to watch the kid, but then as the employee is taking my parents to the ride, he asked me where I was going and "made" me join. He told me that he would watch the kid while we all went on the ride. At this point my parents and I were terrified but felt that we could not back down. We ended up riding in the last row of the second car which gives you the longest part of the drop, and away we went. We made it through the ride and we loved it so much, we grabbed the whole family (including the youngest kid) and rode it three more times in a row! I am so glad that we gave it that shot, because otherwise I probably wouldn't have went on it until the last day or two of the vacation and then would have limited time for re-rides!

There is only one "real drop" on this ride and it is at the beginning. As far as the setup for the ride vehicles goes, there are two total cars with three rows of four people each. The very first row (row 1) in the first car has the least intense drop and the drop is only about 10-20 feet maybe. The drop increases in intensity the further back you sit. The last row (row 6) in the second car has a drop of about 30-40 feet. The drop is quite steep, (I'd compare to Jurassic Park River Adventure) but it is over quickly and the rest of the ride is a piece of cake and I'd compare it to Spider-Man at that point. For the actual drop part of the ride, you are not launched into it like on The Mummy. The track actually tilts underneath you to the appropriate steep angle and then you are released into the drop. I have ridden in every row and would recommend row 1 for your first time on the ride. I would compare the drop from row 1 to the drop on Pirates of the Caribbean when you go down the waterfall. It gives my stomach a little turn, but right before I want to go into panic mode, it's over and I have no issues.

I would highly recommend to "take the plunge" (pun intended) and give it a shot. If the line is not long, you can request to sit in row 1 even if you have to wait until the next car load as long as the cast members are willing to work with you. But I survived 20 plus times on this ride on my trip and I can be a chicken when it comes to those type of ride. At the very least I would maybe suggest some people in your party pre-ride it and let you know what they think.

I hope this long novel helps with your planning! I was going to see if Robert wants to publish this for his next book! LOL Enjoy the vacation!!!

Edited: November 10, 2014, 9:56 AM

Bob L. described those two rides quite well. Forbidden Journey is a great ride but it's very intense. They've made a few modifications in it the past year so it's not as bad on the motion sickness as it used to be, but it's still intense. I can't ride it twice in a day. Gringott's is very family oriented. It's not tough at all and actually gets better with repeat rides. Haven't been on 7 Dwarfs yet but everything I've read about it indicates it's a very mild family attraction.

November 7, 2014, 1:52 PM

Thanks so much everybody for the opinions and info, and a special thanks to Bob for the detailed descriptions that I can share with my family members this weekend!!

(Sounds like Seven Dwarfs is a definitely yes for everyone, Gringotts is a borderline yes for everyone, and Forbidden Journey is a probably not for most of us.)

November 7, 2014, 9:31 PM

FJ is about as jerky as Spider-Man but for motion sickness people, may be worse. I have seen many people puke on and after riding FJ. Weak stomachs and motion sick sensitive should avoid it, for their good and others you may puke on.

November 8, 2014, 4:32 PM

I don't know, I didn't find FJ that intense. If you are ok with Dinosaur, I think FJ is ok. I guess if you just remember that you are in a ride looking at screens, it helps.

I wonder how they feel about Mission Space. I feel that that is a better benchmark on what they would handle on the intensity factor.

Seven Dwarves Mine Train is a lot of fun, but pretty tame

November 10, 2014, 4:35 AM

FJ has a lot of very dramatic, if not that large, swooping drops which really do make you think you're flying. The ride is very disorienting, and though I love it, when I rode it twice in a row I had to sit down for a bit. Again, It's really the "Aerial Acrobatics" that are intense. They start and stop rather suddenly, so I wouldn't recommend that one for your family.

7DMT is really a dark ride. In terms of thrill factor, It is located somewhere between the Barnstormer and BTM.

As for Gringotts, There really is only that one drop. There is a much longer fake one, if that would effect anyone. After that the only thing to worry about is the one section where you spin similar to Primeval-Whirl at Disney.

Hope this helps!

November 13, 2014, 12:59 PM

If you can do Big Thunder Mountain, you'll find Seven Dwarfs Mine Train a breeze. It's very very smooth, and the actual roller coaster part of the ride is fairly short, as it is broken up by a nice, slow-moving section where you get to see the dwarfs. Really, it's not bad. Mostly, it's really really smooth, which can make all the difference.

I have not ridden Gringott's yet, but the Forbidden Journey, it has some pretty big swings and changes of direction, and quite frankly, I would caution you.

Then again, you can't say you don't like it if you don't try it, and if you're already at Universal, you might as well go for it for the experience, rather than have any regrets after you return home.

November 25, 2014, 4:27 PM

My parents (who are terrified of roller coasters) have no problem with Forbidden Journey. The only thing about that is that you are on your back at one point.

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