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Appetizer of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

Close your eyes and try to remember how you felt the first time you saw Hogwarts castle in the Harry Potter film series . Imagine the majestic turrets that seemed to stack on top of each other; the beautiful glass windows; complex masonry. Do you still feel that warmth in your chest?

Close your eyes and try to remember how you felt the first time you saw Hogwarts castle in the Harry Potter film series . Imagine the majestic turrets that seemed to stack on top of each other; the beautiful glass windows; complex masonry. Do you still feel that warmth in your chest?

For many of us who truly enjoy being immersed in the world of Harry Potter, catching a glimpse of Hogwarts castle is a sign that we are home again, just as it is for our hero. But what if I told you that you could take that reverie one step further and venture inside Hogwarts castle and on an adventure like no other?

I have good news: it's the letter from Hogwarts you've been waiting for!

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a dark and thrilling ride through the wizarding world of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade at Universal's Islands of Adventure . Aboard an enchanted bench, you'll encounter a ferocious dragon, the famous Whomping Willow, a pack of fearsome Dementors, and... I'm getting ahead of myself.

But let's start at the beginning...

THE STORY

Dumbledore welcomed some Muggles to Hogwarts to attend a lecture on the school's history, given by the always verbose and ghostly Professor Binns, but our favorite trio have other plans. Harry, Ron, and Hermione stealthily urge you to meet them in the Requirement Room so they can sneak you onto the Quidditch pitch for a thrilling match.
THE WAITING LINE
It might surprise you to learn that my favorite part of this attraction is actually the part where I wait in line, but seriously... This line is just stunningly realistic. Entering between the two tall stone pillars topped with winged boars, you will make your way into the castle and through its many tantalizing corridors. As relics like the Mirror of Erised come into view, your visit will begin to bring back memories of your favorite moments from the movies:
  • In the greenhouses, you'll be pleased to see that Professor Sprout's mandrakes are coming in well.

  • Not only does Professor Dumbledore's office house the Magical Pensieve and Sword of Gryffindor, but the Headmaster himself will appear and greet you.

  • Then, enjoy a trip to the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione will appear under the cloak of invisibility and tell you about their plans.

  • After a quick adventure behind the Fat Lady's portrait and into the Gryffindor common room, you'll pass the famous Sorting Hat on your way to the Requirement Room for your adventure.

There's so much to see along the way that you'll want to keep your eyes peeled.

THE WALK
Under a candlelit ceiling, you'll board an enchanted bench for a scenic and thrilling dark ride like no other! As you prepare to take off with a dose of Floo powder, Hermione asks you to say "Observatory" to ensure you reach your intended destination. You'll fly through the Astronomy Tower and towards the Quidditch Pitch, right next to Harry and Ron on their broomsticks.

During this journey, your bench will twist, turn and spin as it reacts to the world around you. And there are a lot of things to react:

  • Hagrid is looking for a Hungarian Horntail dragon.

  • In the Forbidden Forest, you'll encounter the great Whomping Willow tree with its branches about to clutter.

  • The Dementors descend on the Quidditch match and lead you deep into the Chamber of Secrets.

  • And then – well, I'll leave that to you to find out.

TRIP DETAILS

  • Required height: 122 cm

  • You will need a locker for this ride

  • Child Swap (parents will appreciate with their little bits in the paws) is available on request

  • Universal Express Pass is available

  • Single Rider is available

FILCH EMPORIUM OF CONFISCATED PROPERTY

Once you get off the ride, you can browse items taken by students who ended up on the wrong side of the school's resident caretaker, Argus Filch. From t-shirts, bags, caps and scarves to plush toys, stationery and mugs, every fan will find at least one must-have item here.

PRO TIP: There are plenty of authentic replica props from the movie, displayed throughout the store. Plan to spend some time finding your favorites. Mine is the Marauder's Map... With moving footprints!

Riding the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction feels like flying through the scenes that have lived in your imagination for years - ideal for die-hard and casual fans of the Harry Potter films. I will never be able to express how immersed I felt when I stepped on board and realized that everything I ever wanted to see came to life in front of me.

Good adventure !!