The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is home to some of the best rides at the Universal Studios resort in Orlando.
One of which is Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey, located inside Hogwarts Castle located at Universal’s Islands of Adventure park.
The Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey ride can be scary to some people. However, this ride is not a rollercoaster, instead, it’s a ‘dark-themed’ motion simulation ride with small drops. You will spin around, twist and turn, however, you will not go upside down.
However, you do lie flat on your back at one point. As such whether you find this ride scary or in any way uncomfortable is likely to depend on your age, experience with motion simulation and fears.
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 the ride’s seating and what’s shown on 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 to 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. Meanwhile, 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 see you a muddle enter Hogwarts Castle using floo powder.
From here, Hermione, Harry and Ron take you around Hogwarts including the Astronomy Tower, 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?
Typically the standby wait time for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is between 80 and 120 minutes.
However, the exact wait time will vary dramatically depending on the time of year you’re visiting Universal Studios, the weather, and what time you’re wanting to go on the ride.
The time of year you visit both Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood has a significant impact on the standby wait times for most rides in the park, Harry Potter and the Forbidden journey included.
The weather you experience when visiting Universal Studios is also going to have an impact on how long you wait.
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.
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 in Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure instead join this queue since it’s still available thereby inflating the standby wait time.
The best time to join the standby wait time for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is as soon as the park opens.
If you’re able to get the additional hour inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter by staying on-site in a Universal Studios hotel then you’ll look to wait between 5 and 15 minutes in the standby line (since most other guests head straight for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure).
If you have general admission into Universal Studios and head straight to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey as the park opens (which is the best time to arrive at the Universal parks) then expect to wait between 15 and 30 minutes in the standby line.
Personally, I’d choose to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey if the standby wait time is less than 45 minutes.
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 Express Passes which on average should cut the wait time down by around 70%.
Express Passes can be purchased separately in addition to a theme park ticket or be obtained complimentary by staying onsite in a Universal Studios premier hotel.
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.