Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Forbidden Journey reviews are in

harry-potter-snitchImage Credit: Universal Orlando ResortThe Wizarding World of Harry Potter celebrated its grand opening last night, and while Daniel Radcliffe has already dubbed the Dragon Challenge rollercoaster his favorite ride, most eyes will be on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a ride which Universal Orlando promised would cause guests to “feel things no one has ever felt inside a theme park attraction, move in ways no one has ever moved.” Before we check out early reviews, let’s all just look at the photo Barbara Nefer took of the warning board that precedes the ride. You know you’re in for something special when the people who should not experience the ride include, but are not limited to, anyone with a fear of heights or enclosed spaces, medical sensitivity to fog and strobe effects, and a heart condition or abnormal blood pressure. Also when prosthetic limbs must be removed.

iVillage’s Liz Zack sets the scene nicely: “You’re sitting in what is essentially the hand of a big robotic arm, which has the ability to turn you every which way. Over the next four minutes you’ll join Harry on broomstick — twisting, turning, and diving as he flies over Hogwarts — you will lose your stomach and, if you’re wearing flip flops, you will be very worried that you’ll lose those, too.” She was impressed by how immersed you feel in the action. “It seems like you barely make the clearance under the attacking arm of the Whomping Willow, and the biggest compliment I can pay the attraction is that I literally turned my head a few times thinking we were going to hit something or that the fire from the dragon would scorch us.”

The Tampa Tribune‘s Kevin Walker was particularly excited about “an effect in which it looks like your face is being sucked away by a Dementor.” I think we all second his enthusiasm when he concludes, “Awesome.” He continues, “It’s sort of intense. We rode with two kids and one of them totally freaked out, hiding his head in the snapshot they took of us (you can buy a photo of yourself on the ride after you exit and enter Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods). Good for parents of young children to know.

InsideTheMagic.net’s Ricky Brigante has a detailed spoiler-filled 5,500-word review of the ride and the queue through Hogwarts leading up to it (vide below), if you’re interested in a scene-by-scene breakdown. Or, if you’re attention span is Twitter-sized:

@SnitchSeeker says “Forbidden journey; awesome and scary. So real. Hogwarts is making me well up. So pretty in the night sky.”

@momopeche says “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the best amusement park ride, hands down. Think Haunted Mansion on steroids.”

@LaineyGossip says, “Just played Quidditch w/ Harry and Ron on the Forbidden Journey.” “The Forbidden Journey Ride at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is straight up dope gold standard revolutionary. You MUST.”

Note: Ollivanders wand shop is also getting rave reviews. To quote @LaineyGossip again, “I just had the Ollivander experience. It is spinetingling f—ing amazingness. You will weep. I did. And my wand, it FOUND me.”

More Harry Potter:
The new Harry Potter theme park: We were there!
Rupert Grint karaoke raps: Beastie Boys, meet the Weasley boys
Harry Potter and the Prisoners of the Live Feed (part one)
Harry Potter series done filming: Where do the stars go from here?
The Harry Potter park should be in London, says its mayor. Not bloody likely, says this yank.

Comments (65 total) Add your comment
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  • Ruby

    Bah, this all sounds amazing! I so want to go.

  • Madd

    It might be illegal how excited I am.

  • Kelsey

    I might not make it out there for awhile (a couple of years, probably), but I CANNOT WAIT. And when I go, I’m doing it right — staying at the resort, eating at the Three Broomsticks, getting a wand, staying for several days, getting a Snitch, etc.

    • Celia

      Me too. I don’t live far from Florida, but I want to be able to go crazy when I get there. I don’t want to be broke. lol. Because I WILL be buying everything I can get my hands on. I already know it’s got to be expensive.

    • potterfan

      I’m going in August, you don’t have to wait a couple years to know how to do it right… I’m eating at the Three Broomsticks, going on all the rides, getting a wand, staying for a few nights, and staying in an on-site hotel.
      10 bucks per butterbeer is crazy — But that won’t stop me from being $10x poorer. :)
      I keep thinking I will wake up and people will tell me there is no such thing.
      I’ve known about it for years, but I’m still in complete shock, like, no, I can’t believe this is actually happening!
      I’d better bookmark the page to prove it… to myself.

      • Diana

        Butterbeer is $3.25 for a plastic disposable cup (I think the frozen kind is a little more) and $10 for a plastic mug that you can keep. It is delicious, so plan to have a few!

  • Tina

    Luckily I live in near this park and my sister is having a birthday soon :)

  • Briana

    Where is the nearest Portkey? I want to go!

    • Stacie

      Start touching manky boots and rusty teapots immediately!

  • samiam

    We will be there the 2nd week of July and I cannot wait!! First time I’ve ever been excited to go to Florida. (Sorry, but there were some tragic childhood events attached rather than anything Florida has done–well, there is the oppressive heat and humidity.)

    • Lisa Simpson

      If you don’t want oppressive heat and humidity, don’t go in July.

    • steph

      my family always went in October. Perfect weather. :) Still warm enough for us Hoosiers to enjoy the beach without the crazy crowds & oppressive heat.

      • Dana

        @steph: Right on. We always went to Disneyworld in October and the crowds, weather conditions, etc. were PERFECT.

    • Celia

      I think I may get to go in July as well. I’m so freakin’ excited, but I’ve got to save my money.

  • Allyson

    Going July 5th!! I know the crowds are going to be insane, but I am still ridiculously excited! Love Harry and can’t wait to ride the ride, but for some reason, I am almost more excited about just walking through the stores and drinking some Butterbeer.

  • ashley

    going this october!!!! I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!! wow. way to excited. oh well. :)

    • Patty

      Somehow, I think I have stumbled across my niece Ashley’s comment, and yes, I can’t wait for October either!!!Looking for the nearest portkey, but still haven’t found one, so I guess we have to travel by car…

  • blink

    I got to go to the park this past tuesday, and being a fan of the books for the last 12 years. I was blown away!! The details they have put into it that only real fans will appreciate is amazing. The Forbidden Journey ride got stuck the first time I went on, but the second time it worked fine and I have to say is the best ride I’ve been in! Cant wait to go again and again! PS. Butterbeer is so yummy!! lol

    • arian

      Butter beer is good but its 10.00 a mug. The pumpkin juice is good too

      • arian

        Took us 6 hours in line to get in I would recomment waiting..

  • Matthew N.

    I’ve already been and it is AMAZING! And butter beer is soo good :)

    • chris

      some have all the luck…

    • Liz Lemon

      Rub it in why don’t you. I’m so jealous. I can’t wait to go. There are no words to express how much I want to go. I’m still in shock that it’s actually finished. When they started speculating about it back in 2006, I never thought it would actually happen. The live feed of the Grand Opening literally brought me to tears.
      I saw a picture of Lainey’s wand and it’s SO COOL!!!!

  • J.

    I was there on Sunday and all the rides were open for a soft-opening. All the rides were AMAZING!!! Better yet…the frozen Butterbeer was off the chain!!! Everyone must go! Hogwarts castle ride is the best…

  • Mels

    Oh this looks SO good! I really want to go…

  • moonbeam

    I’ll be there Monday! Of course Dan Radcliffe wouldn’t say that the Forbidden Journey was his favorite ride because he is featured in it. He’s a sweet, modest guy.

  • Jessica

    I love teh potters and wealthyloversmatch

  • Alissa


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