Fans Lambast “Spirit Halloween” Decorations on Money-Making Universal Ride

in Universal Orlando

The Harry Potter Castle at Universal Orlando lit up at night.

Credit: Universal

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter forever changed Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood. This immersive journey into the world of J.K. Rowling continues to expand, with more Harry Potter expected at Epic Universe, the upcoming third Universal Park in Central Florida.

Face your fears on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, or take the Hogwarts Express from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a thrill ride beginning inside Hogwarts castle.

Shopping in Diagon Alley at universal orlando resort
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Though most Harry Potter fans dream of visiting the Wizarding World, some who’ve made it there voiced specific complaints online this week. Reddit user u/cloudy_seven asked others if they’d noticed poor-quality decorations on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey:

The physical Dementors on Forbidden Journey look very bad. They look like Spirit Halloween decorations, and actually took me out of the experience briefly. Anyone else feel this way? Really solid ride otherwise, but good god I wish they’d improve them. They feel like a total afterthought.

A castle on a cloudy night
Credit: Universal

Dozens of fans voted and commented in support of the post. “It has not aged well unfortunately,” u/mt_uno wrote. “Mostly due to the screens still using 2009/2010 technology. Also the Dementor scene was originally meant to be much scarier. But somehow giant spiders are ok.”

“They should put the ‘too scary’ hands back on them for one thing!” said u/CB8393, referring to spiny hands that were removed to “tone down” the ride. Interestingly, the effect is still on the Dementors at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan.

Hogsmeade Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Credit: Universal Orlando

Other fans pointed out other issues they’ve noticed on the Harry Potter ride. “Another weird thing I noticed was the womping willow didn’t move at all. It made noises and stuff, but the tree itself didn’t do anything,” u/WickedCyclone2015 recalled. This effect has since been repaired.

Universal Orlando Resort has not announced plans to update Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which opened nearly thirteen years ago.

More on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

three young Guests visiting Hogsmeade at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal's Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort
Credit: Universal

This magical journey is located inside Hogsmeade at Universal Islands of Adventure. You must be at least 48 inches tall to ride. From Universal Orlando Resort:

Soar Above Hogwarts™ With Harry Potter™.
Enter through the towering castle gates and make your way down the familiar passageways and corridors of Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Then soar above the castle grounds as you join Harry Potter™ and his friends on a thrilling adventure. Groundbreaking, state-of-the-art technology (and a little magic) creates a one-of-a-kind ride.

What do you think of the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey decorations? 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on personal Universal Orlando Resort Guest experiences. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure, or CityWalk operations.

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