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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Rides and Attractions

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Make your way through the familiar classrooms and corridors of Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Then soar above the castle grounds as you join Harry Potter™ and his friends on an unforgettably thrilling adventure, coming face-to-face with magical creatures! This amazing new attraction uses groundbreaking technology (and a little magic) to create a one-of-a-kind ride experience.

Rounding the bend at the end of The Wizarding World's Hogsmeade village, you will see Hogwarts Castle. The building, which had previously only existed in the minds of adoring readers and on screen as part of the film series, looks picture-perfect in person. To board The Forbidden Journey of Harry Potter attraction, guests pass through its gates and into the majestic castle.

Walking through Hogwarts is, in itself, an attraction. Throughout the queue are artifacts from Rowling's world that will delight ardent fans.

There are discoveries at every turn and when you enter the castle's portrait gallery and discover the paintings come to life, you'll be captivated by the talking characters. Theme park magic is abundant in the gallery.

This state-of-the-art attraction uses new technology to bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before experienced. You will see the latest in holographic and animatronic technology.

Going along for the ride is the whole point of Forbidden Journey. Professor Dumbledore, Hogwarts' headmaster, has opened the school to the outside world for the first time and has invited muggles (non-wizards) to learn about its history. Guests enter his office, and the professor welcomes them.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

The headmaster sends his visitors along to the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom for what he promises will be a rapturous lecture. However, Harry, Hermione, and Ron doff their cloak of invisibility in the classroom to warn the visitors about the boring lecture that awaits them.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione meet you and invite you to the Quidditch match instead of staying and listening to another boring lecture. You then board special “enchanted benches” which allow you to soar above the castle grounds. So, it's off to the Sorting Hat to get boarding instructions for the not-so-forbidden journey.

A "spell" is put on the benches, which is what allows you to fly. There are 4 seats in each bench but each one moves separately. After Hermione sprinkles the benches with Floo powder, they magically rise, and guests are flying--and I mean flying--alongside Harry and his pals.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Rides and Attractions

The ride is intense. Please check the list of warnings before you enter the ride.  If you are sensitive to motion, you may not want to ride. There are height and weight restrictions. There is a test seat outside but be aware there is another seat inside that they can test you on before you ride.

On your journey, you will be attacked by a fire breathing dragon, as well as experience a room full of very realistic looking spiders. Dementors chase you with realistic animatronics and video displays and you fly high above the ground with Harry Potter at a Quiddich match.

The Forbidden Journey provides a new intersection for park attractions where magic and logic, virtual and reality, and wizards and muggles meet.

Dragon Challenge

Dragon Challenge is the worlds only dueling inverted coaster.
Universal’s  Dueling Dragons roller coaster has been transformed into Dragon Challenge and is based on the Triwizard Tournament from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire.

The queue area snakes through the claustrophobic castle passages as you await your challenge.
Choose your dragon, either the ferocious Hungarian Horntail or the aggressive Chinese Fireball. The laden dragons are weighed before the tournament to ensure the timing of the duels provide the near miss experience. The dragons climb the lift hill and then split into two opposing rides reaching speeds of 55mph.  The roller coasters duel each other 5 times passing within 18 inches in places and narrowly missing castle walls.  Enjoy the feeling of gliding towards the ground and then suddenly swooping up into another inversion  on this magical rollercoaster.
Five inversions, corkscrew, immelmann loop, cobra roll, vertical loops, near misses with dueling coaster,  worth waiting for front row seats.
Dragon Challenge is 125ft high with drop of 115ft. Awesome 2 minutes 25 seconds unique roller coaster, not to be missed.

Dragon Challenge

An easily overlooked stone archway marks the entrance to this immense inverted steel roller coaster, hidden behind the stone wall through which the Hogwarts Express appears to emerge. Actually, two separate roller coasters lurk back there, travelling along separate but closely intertwined tracks that diverge and then converge to terrifying effect.

Tip: If you’d like to get a preview of this ride, look for the exit. It’s to your left as you face the entrance. A short way up, you will find a viewing area behind a high metal fence; most likely a number of departing riders will have paused here for another look. This vantage point gives you a pretty good view of the twin coasters’ routes. For those who have no intention of ever strapping themselves into this coaster, it’s a pretty entertaining attraction in of itself.
It’s also possible to enter the queue line itself for a peek. Just a short way in is a spot where you can witness two of the ride’s close encounters up close. You’ll actually feel the wind rush through your hair as the coasters spiral past. If this dissuades you from venturing farther you can turn back.

Tip: Dragon Challenge is the only ride with a “re-ride” door. If the wait is less than 15 minutes, ride attendants will open this door and let you get back on immediately.

The best seats in the house. The first row is the clear choice for the thrill seeker. Otherwise, the outside seats in each row give a better view (if you have your eyes open!) and are less likely to induce motion sickness. Seats farther back in the vehicle offer a different ride experience, partly because you can’t see what’s coming and partly because the back rows snap about with a bit more zip. Finally, the left hand track is more “aggressive” than the right one; that is, it has a few more spins to it and moves a bit faster at some points. Overall, our favorite seats are the first row inside on the Hungarian Horntail, and the last row outside on the Chinese Fireball.


Flight of the Hippogriff

Just past Hogsmeade Village and just before you enter Hogwarts Castle, you’ll find a stone monolith marking the entrance to this cute coaster.

Formerly known as The Flying Unicorn, the ride was re-themed around one of the favorite pets of Rubeus Hagrid, Hogwarts’ “care of magical creatures” instructor. Eager riders wind around Hagrid’s pumpkin patch and stone hut on the fringe of the Forbidden Forest, listening as the gentle giant instructs us on the proper way to approach the proud Hippogriff.

Flight of the Hippogriff

Listen to Hagrid’s instructions as you learn the proper way to approach a Hippogriff. Then be prepared to take off on this family-friendly coaster that spirals and dives around the pumpkin patch, and swoops past Hagrid’s hut.

Smaller kids will delight in the gentle ride from the slower front seats, but even adults have been know to squeal when sitting in the surprisingly zippy back rows.