Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Ride Guide

 The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is located inside Hogwarts Castle.

The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is located inside Hogwarts Castle.

Ride Type

Harry Potter themed dark ride

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Ride Location

The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade. You'll find it in Hogwarts Castle. 

There are two different paths that can be used to get to the castle and the entrance of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The first involves through Port of Entry, then Marvel Super Hero Island, then Toon Lagoon, then Jurassic Park, and then into The Wizarding World. Take a left when you enter Hogsmeade. You can't miss the castle, which is set upon an elevated cliff and practically beckons you inside. If you stop on the bridge between Jurassic Park and Hogsmeade, you can get an excellent picture of the castle. 

The second option for getting to the castle is to go through Port of Entry, then Seuss Landing, then The Lost Continent, and then into The Wizarding World. You will have to walk through Hogsmeade Village and past all of the other Harry Potter themed attractions to get to Hogwarts Castle and the entrance of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. As you step into Hogsmeade, be sure to stop by the engine of the Hogwarts Express. It is a great photo opportunity, and sometimes, the conductor is nearby for a meet and greet. 

Universal Team Members will tell you which way you need to go when you enter the park if you have early entry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure. If you enter the park after the early entry period, you can take whichever path looks good to you.

 To ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, you must enter the gates of Hogwarts Castle.

To ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, you must enter the gates of Hogwarts Castle.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Ride Description

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a fantastic dark ride that revolves around characters introduced in the Harry Potter books and movies. The queue, which is housed inside Hogwarts Castle, is one of the most elaborate ever created. It takes guests past numerous Harry Potter landmarks, including the Greenhouse, Dungeons, and Potions Classroom, as well as famous artifacts, like the Mirror of Erised, the One-Eyed Witch, the Sorting Hat, a statue of the Hogwarts architect, and the school hourglasses that record House points. 

The queue also includes multiple pre-shows that take place in the Portrait Gallery, Dumbledore's Office, and the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. The Portrait Gallery contains portraits of the Four Founders as well as other witches and wizards. Many of the portraits throughout Hogwarts actually speak. You'll hear everything from conversations about Harry Potter to Quidditch tips. 

When you enter Dumbledore's office, you see a film projected on a sheet of glass. In the film, Dumbledore greet you as if you are on a tour of the castle and tells you to enjoy the lecture you are about to see. Take time to look around this room. There are a lot of cool instruments (like Dumbledore's pensieve) and even a few special effects (keep your eye on the bookcase). You travel into the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom where the trio (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) appear from underneath the Invisibility Cloak and suggest that you skip the lecture and head to a Quidditch game instead. All of the characters are reprised by the actors who played them in the films.

 There is an excellent Hogwarts Castle photo opp on this bridge, which separates Jurassic Park and Hogsmeade Village.

There is an excellent Hogwarts Castle photo opp on this bridge, which separates Jurassic Park and Hogsmeade Village.

You leave the classroom behind and head to the Gryffindor Common Room where you see The Fat Lady, the Common Room notice board (check out the Daily Prophet), a cabinet, and some other furniture before finally being sent to the boarding platform. You must board the ride vehicles while they are moving. Each vehicle consists of a four-seat bench mounted on a revolutionary robotic arm manufactured by KUKA Robotics. The "enchanted" benches levitate with a little help from Hermione, and with a dash of Floo Powder, your journey begins. 

The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride turns into a greatest hits adventure from here. You visit multiple locations, including the Chamber of Secrets, the Whomping Willow, the Forbidden Forest, etc. You see all manner of creatures from Hagrid's lost dragon and a giant spider named Aragog to Dementors. (Look in front of you to see an image of your own face being peeled away as the Dementor begins to suck out your soul.) You also see multiple characters including Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, and Draco.

The ride itself (not counting the pre-shows) lasts more than four minutes and exits into a store called Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods. You must go into the store before going back to the lockers to retrieve your belongings. There's lots of fun merchandise in this store - from clothes and collectibles to games and small souvenirs. The store gets horribly crowded every time the ride lets out, so be on the look out for other guests as you browse. 

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Ride History

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey opened with the rest of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade in the summer of 2010. 

Using Express Pass on Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey

You can use an Express Pass to skip the lines at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

 Hogwarts Castle can be seen from other parts of Islands of Adventure. Here is the view from Jurassic Park.

Hogwarts Castle can be seen from other parts of Islands of Adventure. Here is the view from Jurassic Park.

Single Rider Line

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has a single rider line. This line can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to board the ride. However, if you use this shorter queue, you will miss a lot of the queue. 

Our wait times have been very minimal with the single rider line lately - anywhere from 0 to 60 seconds at night. You should expect to have your party split up. In other words, you will not be able to ride together. But, it is easy enough to meet up in Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods (where the ride exits) afterwards. If there are only two people in your party, there is a chance you will be able to ride together; out of the last five times we used the single ride line, we rode together three times. Of course, you shouldn't count on this; we just got lucky. 

Child Swap

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey does have a child swap option for guests who have children that do not want to experience the ride.

Height Restrictions on Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey

All guests must meet the minimum height requirement of 48 inches to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Accessibility

Assistive listening is available for those who need it. All guests must transfer to the official ride seating to experience Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. 

UO Fan Guide Ride Tips

  • Bags and other loose articles are not permitted on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. You will need to store your goods in free ride lockers before you ride. This locker area is notoriously small and crowded. Try not to take everyone in your party into the locker room unless you absolutely have to.
  • The ride seats may not accommodate every body type. If you are nervous about this, use one of the test seats at the Hogwarts entrance to judge the fit.
  • People who are prone to motion sickness may feel ill during or after this ride. If motion makes you nauseous, be sure to take precautions prior to riding. Some things to try include Dramamine, Sea-Bands, and crystallized ginger. 
 The Hogwarts Sorting Hat in the queue for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. 

The Hogwarts Sorting Hat in the queue for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. 

UO Fan Guide Mini Review of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey represents one of the best ride experiences that Universal Orlando has to offer. It uses state-of-the-art technology, animatronics, 180 degree dome screens, immersive 4D effects (like fire and fog), and beloved characters to create a truly one-of-a-kind ride experience.

The motion is intense throughout and does a great job of simulating flight. It really feels like you are soaring through the air with Harry Potter. This is, without a doubt, a must-do attraction when you visit Islands of Adventure. 

 

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Image Gallery

This image gallery features pictures of the inside and outside of Hogwarts Castle where the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is located. 

Learn More About the Forbidden Journey Ride Vehicles

See this KUKA Robotic Arm video from IAPPA to get an idea of what the arm is like and what it can do. Note: you will not be turned upside down like the riders in this video, but the four-seat ride bench used on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey does make quite a few exciting moves. 

Demonstration of the KUKA robotic arm at IAPPA. Video from CoasterForce.

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