Review of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

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Review of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

This ride is situated in Hogwart’s Castle, which is at the far end of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter within the Universal Islands of Adventure theme park.

You enter through the Hogwarts Gates and on entry to the castle are directed towards a room filled with lockers, as you are not allowed to take any bags onto the ride everything must be stored in the locker. I did however take my camera in order to take photographs in the queue and stowed it in the small space in the back of the seat on the ride. The lockers are free for a certain length of time and any time extra after that is payable. You do have to remember the number of your locker in order to open it with the number and your fingerprint at the end.

After stowing our gear we walked into the queue, as it was not a busy day we just walked through leisurely. The queue for this ride is truly part of the Harry Potter experience, it takes you through the chamber complete with moving, talking portraits, the Gryffindor common room where you can see the stairs that lead to the dormitories. Your journey takes you through Dumbledore’s office and here you experience your first holographic, moving, talking images of the cast, very cleverly done, my girls thought is was the real Dumbledores, next we passed through the Defence against the Dark Arts (I think) classroom where we encountered Ron, Hermione and Harry. We also passed through the conservatory where you can see the mandrakes. Just before we boarded the ride we encountered the sorting hat, animatronic and keeping the queue entertained.

When you arrive at the front of the queue you are directed onto a moving walkway (very much like the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom). The carriages are rows of four and you sit in with your legs dangling (don’t forget to remove your flip flops or you may lose them! ) and the harness comes down over your shoulders to your waist, much like on a rollercoaster. The carriage moves upwards and you are transported through a ride in which you move quickly up and down, backwards and forwards as you follow Harry and Ron through a variety of situations, some animatronic and some imax type screens. There are dragons chasing you and a quidditch match amongst other experiences. The way the ride moves is very clever and you really feel you have travelled through the castle on your adventure.

At the end of the ride you received a round of applause from all the residents of Hogwarts for your help and then arrive back at the moving walkway where you dismount, somewhat dizzy and disorientated and truly exhilarated.

When you have collected your bags from the lockers you exit the ride through the obligatory gift shop, there are plenty of replica props and costumes from the films to purchase and the prices are comparable with any of the other theme parks.

We exited the ride talking excitedly about how good it was and immediately went back round to the entrance to ride it again. I really think this is the best ride I have ever experienced and even non Harry Potter fans cannot fail to be amazed at the technology which must have gone into making this fabulous ride.

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