The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will have its grand opening on June 18. It also announced the details of its immersive marquee attraction, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, in the verbose language we’ve come to expect: “Guests will feel things no one has ever felt inside a theme park attraction, move in ways no one has ever moved, experience film like no one else ever has, explore vast sets punctuated by amazing special effects — and have an adventure only possible in Harry Potter’s world.” Here’s what you need to know:Today, Universal Orlando Resort announced that
• The overview: “As you venture through Hogwarts castle, you meet Harry, Ron, and Hermione who convince you to skip a planned lecture and follow them. Upon taking their advice, you travel by Floo powder, and begin the adventure as you soar over Hogwarts, narrowly escape a dragon attack, have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow, get pulled into a Quidditch match [pictured], and more.” According to the press release, this is the first-ever combination of advanced robotic ride system technology with immersive filmmaking. “The attraction’s newly created ride system envelops guests in filmed action scenes and moves those scenes with them as they travel through the ride, allowing more time in the center of the adventure and with their favorite characters.”
• During your queue adventure, which is estimated to last an hour, you will explore Dumbledore’s office (where the Headmaster will welcome you), the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom (where you first meet Harry, Ron, and Hermione), the Gryffindor common room (where you meet three additional characters who prepare you for the journey ahead), and the Room of Requirement (where, under hundreds of floating candles, you finally take your seat on an enchanted bench and begin the Forbidden Journey). During your queue adventure, you will also get to pass through the hallways of Hogwarts where you’ll see hundreds of wizard portraits from the films — several of which will magically talk, including the four founders and the Fat Lady. You’ll also catch a glimpse of the Sorting Hat, the greenhouse, the One-Eyed Witch statue, and the Mirror of Erised. Oh, and you’ll enjoy the attraction’s score, which was overseen by John Williams.
• Other characters you’re guaranteed to see: Rubeus Hagrid and Draco Malfoy. Characters you may spy: Fred and George Weasley, Ginny Weasley and Neville Longbottom.
What do you think? I believe they’ve found a genius way to make the queue enjoyable, winding it through Hogwarts. The ride, if it can really make us feel like we’re flying in a Quidditch match, could be the best thing ever. Judging from this making-of video, it’s possible…
Images below: Dumbledore’s office, the portrait gallery, the Room of Requirement