A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

HP World Entry Part 2: The Rides!

This is Part 2 of a 3 part series post! This one will be about the awesome rides. Stay tuned for much more (and maybe more exciting stuff) in post 3! Post #1 can be found here!
Now for the RIDES!!! I am beyond excited to talk about the rides of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter because my #1 favorite thing about my experience there was The Forbidden Journey. The Forbidden Journey is a ride that is inside the castle of Hogwarts! Not only do you have to walk up to the castle, but in order to get to the ride, you have to wait in line inside the castle! And on your way, you going throughout and see important parts of the castle from the movie! It was THE BEST ever! I couldn't believe how perfect and real everything was!


Now the first day we got there, it was late afternoon and so it was completely packed from entrance to exit with people. What we decided to do first was just take a look around, and as we approached Hogwarts Castle (and my heart stopped from the sheer shock of my reality, hah!) we were told that there was a line to left just for a tour of the inside! So instead of having to wait in line for an hour and a half to see everything and then ride, we got to go into a different line and see the castle with no waiting, and no rush to take pictures! It was beyond amazing.

If you plan to ride the ride, there were a few things we picked up on during our time at the parks. The line that seems to pour out of the front of the castle is not for the ride. It's actually a line to get a locker to put your bag in before you ride. They make you get a locker if you have a bag because you can't hold anything on the ride, so if you DON'T have a bag, you can skip that part of the line and go straight in! Unfortunately, I had a bag the whole time. However, we found a short cut around waiting in the locker line. It occurred to Justin on the last day we were at the parks.

The ride empties you out into a gift shop at the back of the castle, but inside the shop there is also a door to the right that allows you to go where the lockers are to get your stuff back after you ride. Justin mentioned to me that if we went to the back of Hogwarts, instead of waiting in line at the front, and entered through the gift shop, maybe we could wander into the lockers, put our stuff in there, and jump into the actual ride line. It WORKED. TWICE. And then we realized that if we ride it and get our stuff out of the lockers, we could immediately get another locker (there is a time limit so you would have to get a new locker to start your time over) and hop right back into the ride line instead of waiting! And there is absolutely NO WAY for the poor people who work there to regulate this. So there's a tip for those of you planning on going out there. We felt bad... but not completely. The line for the ride was still really long, once we got in it, haha.

Anyways, as for the details of the ride itself, it's phenomenal. It combines virtual reality screens and actual ride interaction. You sit down in these seats and are locked in, 4 to a bench, and it lifts you up and carries you around like a big arm/wrist/hand. It sticks you into the screens and you feel like you are following Harry through Hogwarts and around the grounds, and then takes you out of the screens and there are actual things happening around you. The dragon blows fire in your face, spiders from the Forbidden Forrest chase you (the pic is of this, even though they told me I couldn't have my camera...sneaked it!), Dementors try to kiss you, AND the Whomping Willow tries to smash you! PLUS, at one point, it takes your picture and actually inserts YOUR face into the ride. When the Dementors try to get you, there is a smoke screen above him with all the riders' in your bench faces (including your own) projected in the smoke, so you are really a part of that ride! Then Harry saves you and you end the ride back in the screen where you feel like your in the movie again! It's spectacular. And worth any wait, in my opinion, to feel like you are really a part of the adventure we've been following for years.

The only bad things about this ride, besides how long the line is (but that's just because it's so awesome), is that it can make you a little motion sick if you usual have to deal with that. I am the queen of motion sickness, but I still managed to LOVE this ride, so it isn't something that will ruin your experience, but it's something to be aware of. Also, 3 of the 5 times we rode this ride, it broke down while we were in line. Once it only took them 15 minutes to fix, another time they made everyone leave the line because it was that messed up, and the last time we were 5 people from the front and had to wait 40 minutes in one spot for them to fix the ride. Each time, it was worth the wait, in my opinion, but it does seem to break down often. The thing is, it's very new and it's the most complex piece of machinery on the planet as far as rides go (I met a man who helped create it and he told me all about it!), so it's bound to happen. Just be aware... but it's totally worth whatever it puts you through when you're in there!

Here are more pictures of the tour of the and ride itself!

The part of the line where you wait outside looks like the Herbology green house! There are even Mandrakes! You can see their little faces in the 2nd picture.

Walls from floor to ceiling of portraits! And they move and talk! See that random staircase in the middle of the wall?

The pensieve from Dumbledore's Office! And look... Gryffindor is winning the House Cup so far!

Dumbledore in his office! And it's actually Michael Gambon talking to you!

Harry, Ron, and Hermione come out to explain the ride to you! Ron accidentally makes it snow in the room, and snow really falls from the ceiling!


The other two rides are less interesting and easier to explain than The Forbidden Journey. We rode Flight of the Hippogriff mostly just to get pictures while waiting in line. Hagrid is in charge of this ride, so you hear his voice talking to you as you go through the line, and you get to see Hagrid's hutt! It was adorable, and riding the ride is worth it to get a good picture of Buckbeak, even though the ride itself isn't that impressive. I'd say it is the best ride for the kiddos in Potter World, as the Forbidden Journey is actually very frightening (I covered my eyes for most of it the first time I rode it, haha!), and The Dragon Challenge is a big roller coaster.

Hagrid's hut and Buckbeak in his nest!

His hut was up high on a hill and over a concrete fence, but we broke the rules to get this picture! Sorry, Potter World!


Ok, so Justin and I didn't ride this one. Every time we thought about it we had either just eaten or had just ridden Forbidden Journey, but we did go through the line to take pictures. It's a really cool part of the park! There are mostly artifacts from The Goblet of Fire (see the picture of me with a "Support Potter" banner!), but also a little bit of everything! We got a picture with the enchanted car from the 2nd film! I wish I could tell you more about the ride, but I guess that's something I can save for our next visit! Either way, here are some pictures from the line that we went through!

OH EM GEE the car is out of control!

Shhh! We put an aging charm on it so we can put our name in the Goblet of Fire and participate in the Tournament!

Parts 3 of my HP World blog posts will be coming soon! Part 3 will be about the snacks and food (The Three Broomsticks to be specific; best EVER)! Please stay tuned, because more awesome is yet to come!


  1. GAH I am fucking jealous. I went through your pics on FB and was turning green with envy. Screw Disney World, I need to get to Universal Studios pronto!

  2. P.S. The rides for both HP world and the rest of Universal Studios look awesome. Did you go on the Terminator ride by any chance? That's a classic one, but it's in 3D, albeit old school 3D.

  3. No we didn't but we did just about everything else. The thing I love about Universal over Disney is it doesn't care that there are kids around. It's not all catering to children. It makes the inappropriate joke and doesn't apologize for it!

  4. I can't wait to walk around inside Hogwarts!! It looks so great, so realistic. Now if only I can convince Grant to go next Christmas as an early 2 anniversary trip...

  5. BOOK IT! And stay at the Royal Pacific, yo! And let me know if the butterbeer is a warm drink in the winter... awe <3!

  6. Audree, I love your trip posts!! so much fun!! the pictures are too cute too. xoxo Brandy

  7. Thanks for sharing this with us! Some really amazing features.
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