Nightmare Unfolds Inside Universal Park’s Hogwarts Attraction

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Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal Hollywood. Credit: Universal

Credit: Universal

Guests were left trapped and suspended in mid-air within Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when one of the most popular attractions in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood broke down three times.

Universal Studios Hollywood entrance with red carpet
Credit: Universal

Speaking to Inside The Magic, one guest who was experiencing the attraction at the time spoke of their turmoil on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

The ride takes guests on a thrilling adventure through the famous magical school, with the queue leading riders through the Hogwarts interior before strapping them in for an adrenaline-pumped adventure through some of the wizarding franchise’s most iconic creatures and locations such as dementors, spiders, and the Quidditch pitch.

But for this rider, who preferred not to be named, their magical journey was something more akin to a nightmare. After boarding the dark ride’s innovative KUKA robocoaster technology, guests are taken on the robotic arm and twist and turn them through the magical experience.

A still from one of the projection sequences in 'Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.' Credit: Universal
Credit: Universal

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It was during this portion of the ride that the guest experienced not one, not two, but three ride breakdowns, with the attraction coming to a complete stop and audio and visual elements cutting out for periods of up to a minute. Riders were left suspended within Hogwarts castle.

The ride stopped in front of the Acromantulas; near a dementor section, in which the announcement about the ride breakdown was interrupted by the voice of Daniel Radcliffe (as Potter) shouting “No, get away from them!”; and in the ride’s climax, a section in front of a projection which was cut out and remained off while the ride finished its motions once the experience resumed.

A photo from the 'Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey' queue. Credit: Universal
Credit: Universal

After this initial ride concluded, they were offered the opportunity to board again for a second go — but this time, the ride failed once more, leaving the guest stuck near one of the large dementor puppets momentarily. Wands at the ready.

The guest said their experience sapped some of the magic from the ride, interrupting the immersion and allowing them time to get a glimpse at the ride’s workings. It certainly doesn’t sound like it was an enchanting experience in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Mario, Princess Peach, and Luigi at Super Nintendo World
Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

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Inspired by the novels, and subsequent movie adaptations of JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” novels, the Wizarding World can also be found in Universal Parks & Resorts’ other US destination, Universal Orlando Resort. At Hollywood, the land, as well as others like Jurassic World, will soon be joined by Super Nintendo World. The Los Angeles location currently features a ride inspired by Mario Kart, Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge. Universal Orlando’s version opening sometime in 2025, along with the debut of the Central Florida Resort’s third theme park gate, Universal’s Epic Universe. 

And if that wasn’t enough, Universal Parks & Resorts has pulled away from the east and west coast model, announcing just last month the news of another theme park concept in Frisco, Texas, and an all-year-round horror experience — likely akin to Universal’s industry-leading Halloween Horror Nights — in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Have you ever become trapped in Hogwarts? Tell us in the comments below.

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