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Is Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey Scary?

The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is one of the most popular and commonly used rides at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and can be found at;

  • Universal Studios Orlando, Florida
  • Universal Studios Hollywood, California
  • Universal Studios Osaka, Japan
  • Universal Studios Beijing, China

The ride is the same at every theme park, so whether you’re thinking about going on this ride in Orlando, Florida or in Osaka, Japan your experience is going to be the same.

Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey is not a rollercoaster and is instead considered a ‘dark-themed’ motion simulation ride. While the darkness creates the fear of the unknown which may make this ride seem scary, there are only small drops and you will not go upside down.

Obviously, fear is objective and therefore whether you find this ride scary or uncomfortable in any way is likely going to depend on your age and prior ride experience.

If you’re scared of heights for example, then you’ve nothing to worry about with this ride as there are no heights involved and if you’re scared of going upside down, then again, nothing to worry about as this ride only tips you back (so you’re laid on your back) for a small portion of the ride, you do not go upside down.

However, if you’re scared of the dark, scared of the unknown or claustrophobic then you may find this ride scary.

Is Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey A Roller Coaster?

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is not a roller coaster. Instead, this is a dark—themed ride at Universal Studio’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter that takes you through the Hogwarts castle. The ride uses motion simulation with 4D technology to make you feel as though you’re travelling with Harry, Ron & Hermione around Hogwarts.

Does Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey Have Drops?

The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride has some simulated drops and a five-foot physical drop. For the most part, any drops you experience during the ride are purely simulations as a result of the motions made by a combination of the seats and the screen.

Does Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey Go Upside Down?

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey does not go upside down. However, you will be pulled to lie on your back briefly during the ride.

What Are The Seats Like On Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey

The seats on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey are in a bench style with three people on a bench, each seat within the bench then has over-the-head shoulder harnesses to secure you in place.

Guests looking to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey need to be at least 48″ (120cm) tall. However, while this ride has no maximum weight limit you will not be able to ride if the over-the-head shoulder harness can not secure you in place.

Test seats are located at the entrance of the ride (just outside of the castle) and again at the front of the queue just before you board the ride. Each test seat has a red, yellow and green light to indicate whether a guest is able to fit securely in the seat.

If the light is green then you’re safe to ride in any seat. However, if the light is yellow then you’re permitted to ride in one of the modified seats and finally, if the light is red then you’re sadly unable to ride.

Note that seating modifications for larger guests are only available at Universal Studios Orlando and not at Universal Studios in Hollywood.

What’s The Story On The Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey Ride?

The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride sees you, a muddle enter Hogwarts Castle using floo powder.

From here, Hermione, Harry and Ron take you around Hogwarts including the Astronomy Tower, the Forbidden Forest, the Quidditch field, and even an audio-animatronic version of the Whomping Willow.

Of course, visiting the likes of the Forbidden Forest see’s you encounter some less-than-friendly guests including Aragog and of course, the Dementors.

What’s The Average Standby Wait Time For Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey – And Is It Worth the Wait?

Depending on the time of year you’re visiting, the time of day you get to this ride and the Universal park you are at (Hollywood, Orlando, Osaka or Beijing) the wait time is going to vary.

Typically wait times are;

  • Universal Studios Orlando: 60min – 120min
  • Universal Studios Hollywood: 30min – 80min
  • Universal Studios Osaka: 50min – 120min
  • Universal Studios Beijing: 45min – 120min

If you’re visiting over a bank holiday weekend (Labour Day, Thanksgiving etc.) or a holiday (Halloween, Christmas etc.) then expect to wait longer.

While this doesn’t have as much of an impact as the time of year you visit, you will generally find that if it’s raining (especially in the afternoon) more people leave the parks early. However, if there’s a storm then select rides in the park will be temporarily suspended.

Given that Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is an indoor ride, this ride is not closed. As such you’ll find that people who we’re looking to go on other rides instead join this queue since it’s still available thereby inflating the standby wait time.

If you’re visiting Universal Orlando Resort then you’re able to get an additional hour inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter by staying on-site in a Universal Studios hotel.

Since most other guests head straight for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, the wait time for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is usually only 5 minutes.

Personally, I’d choose to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey if the standby wait time is 45 minutes or less.

I’m not a huge fan of Harry Potter – I’ve seen the films, but it’s not a die-hard love which I know it is for other Potterheads. As such waiting any longer than 45 minutes for me isn’t worth it. Instead, I’d keep an eye on the standby wait times using the Universal Studios mobile app and come back to the ride if / when the wait time drops.

However, if you or a member of your party loves Harry Potter then waiting upwards of 45 minutes may be worthwhile.

Can You Use an Express Pass for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey?

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey accepts the Universal Hollywood Express Pass which on average should cut the wait time down by around 70%.

A Universal Hollywood Express pass can be purchased separately in addition to a theme park ticket. Alternatively, guests staying on-site at a Universal Orlando Resort premier hotel can obtain these for each guest complimentary.

Can You Take Your Bag on Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey?

Bags and loose items are not permitted on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and instead need to be stored in one of the lockers provided. These lockers are free for a specified time which varies with the length of the standby line.

You can leave your bag in the locker for longer while you queue for other rides or continue to explore Hogsmeade at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, however, you will need to pay a fee to obtain your bags again once you’ve finished.

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