All thrill rides have a height limit – “You must be this tall to ride” – and the brand new Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is no exception. You must be at least 48 inches tall to ride. But it’s not the mimimum height some guests are having trouble with, it’s their width. [Read more…]
Earlier today, Universal Team Members were invited to try out the new Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. It’s the new multi-million dollar ride, and only brand new ride developed for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
Although team member previews were held previously, today is the first day anyone’s been allowed to ride the new attraction. [Read more…]
An article by Lisa Oppenheimer in the May edition of AAA Car & Travel reveals some new information about the new Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Islands of Adventure. The story gives the length of the ride (four minutes) and tells other details such the appearence (visual or audio?) of Moaning Myrtle.
From Harry Potter Heads to Universal Orlando:
“One of the most detailed lines winds through Hogwarts Castle, past the Portrait Corridor and through Dumbledore’s office to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a cutting-edge contraption that has caused speculators no end of agony trying to guess its contents. It would be a shame to give it away, but here is the CliffsNotes’ version: a four-minute ride flies (sort of Islands of Adventure’s Spiderman meets Disney’s Soarin’) and interacts with characters, as well as—the ride host does warn you it might become too intense—heights, speed and, heaven forbid, spiders.”
Although AAA is a reputable source, keep in mind these details haven’t been officially released by Universal.
Universal has released a new video featuring Mark Woodbury, president of Universal creative, talking about and showing off parts of the queue for the new Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
You’ll see the Portrait Gallery room with the first ever look at Hogwart’s four founders – Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Helga Hufflepuff and Rowena Ravenclaw. Then he’ll take you into Dumbledore’s office, finally heading into the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom.
Along the way he explains part of the plot for the ride. For more details on the ride and the whole experience inside Hogwarts Castle, see our previous post.
Universal Orlando announced today that the grand opening date of Harry Potter World is June 18, 2010. In addition, they released some more details about the attraction inside Hogwarts, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
According to the press release, the attraction will start with meeting Harry, Ron, and Hermione who convince riders to skip class and go on an adventure with them involving Floo powder travels, dragon attacks, Quidditch matches, and the Whomping Willow. The queue will be heavily themed with locations such as Dumbledore’s Office where you will see Dumbledore for yourself, a Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Gryffindor common room, the Room of Requirement, and will sight some talking portraits and the sorting hat.
The ride itself will consist of “live-action, advanced robotic technology and innovative filmmaking,” in other words, the long-rumored Kuka arm technology may make an appearance. One interesting tidbit on the Universal Web site: “The full attraction experience, including the queue, takes about an hour.” Whether this means they expect the queue to take 45 minutes or if there is actually an hour’s worth of content is yet to be discovered though.
A new 2010 Universal Orlando brochure found at universalorlandovacations.com features a map of both their theme parks and a listing of the rides and dining locations. What’s most interesting are the previously unreleased height requirements for the rides in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The Flight of the Hippogriff ride is set at 36 inches, which is expected because when the ride was known as The Flying Unicorn, it was also 36 inches. And Dragon Challenge is also the same as it was when it was Dueling Dragons at 54 inches.
But the brand new Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is set at 48 inches. While this doesn’t confirm Forbidden Journey will be a roller coaster, it’s a good bet it will be a very thrilling ride. The ongoing rumor is that guests will ride on the end of a robot arm. The whole arm could also move along a track, similar to a roller coaster.
Also of note is that the Three Broomsticks restaurant is listed as counter, not table service.
Aol’s WalletPop.com is hosting the exclusive online premiere of the complete Super Bowl commercial for Universal’s new The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area in Islands of Adventure.
The spot is also appearing on the home page of Aol, in advance of its CBS television broadcast on Sunday’s Super Bowl.
The ad shows two children riding on broomsticks through Hogsmeade. From that, many are guessing that broomsticks will be some part of one of the rides. You can briefly see the Dragon Challenge ride, and the riders aren’t on broomsticks. Plus at the end of the commerical, Harry Potter appears and tells the kids to follow him and they fly right into Hogwarts Castle. Since that’s where the brand new Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride is located, you could guess you’ll be riding on a broomstick during that ride.
The magical transformation continues. Although still very much a work in progress, the magnificence of Hogwarts castle is beginning to take shape above Hogsmeade as work continues on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Hogwarts will be the home of a thrilling, new, state-of-the-art attraction – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – that uses ground-breaking technology to bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before experienced. Set to open in Spring 2010, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will feature multiple themed attractions, shops and a restaurant.
Photo by Kevin Kolczynski, Universal Orlando Resort
The Blu-ray and two-disc edition DVD of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” was released today. A special Wizarding World of Harry Potter sneak peek feature on the extras disc reveals a few more details for the new land at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
The video features various Universal and Warner Brothers executives, along with many of the cast from the movies talking about the Wizarding World, set to open next spring. The cast included are Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron), Emma Watson (Hermione), Michael Gambon (Dumbledore), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Tom Felton (Draco) and Matthew Lewis (Neville). All told how they can’t wait to visit the park.
Here are some of the new details:
• From the Three Broomsticks restaurant you’ll be able to cross over into Hog’s Head pub where you’ll experience a hog’s head growling and sniffling.
• You’ll be able to buy a butterbeer, which looks just like a real beer with the froth on top, but it’ll be non-alcoholic. J.K. Rowling was at a butterbeer tasting and loved it. Steve Jayson, executive chef with Universal Parks and Resorts said, “The flavor of this is great, real comforting, nice and smooth going down – and you get a mustache.”
• In Honeyduke’s Sweetshop you’ll be able to buy Chocolate Frogs, Every Flavor Beans, Cauldron Cakes and Treacle Fudge.
• Ollivander’s Wand Shop will be an exact replica from the film.
• To get to the Dragon Challenge ride (high speed roller coaster), you’ll walk through Champion’s Tent and see various artifacts such as the Goblet of Fire.
• The Flight of the Hippogriff ride (family friendly coaster) will center around The Care of Magical Creatures Class. Hagrid will give instructions on how to properly behave and approach a hippogriff. You’ll need to keep eye contact, bow and it will bow back. Then you can get on the ride.
• Hogwart’s Castle will feature the queue to the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. The queue will feature a lot of moving portraits and will take you by or through the Defense of the Dark Arts room, the Common Room and the Great Hall.
• Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) described the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride as a condensed form of the chaos of Harry’s life. Emma Watson (Hermione) described it as the best moments from all the films.
• The actors filmed scenes specially for the new ride in the summer of 2008. A movie clapboard reveals the name of the filming as “Strongarm.” Some have speculated that refers to Universal’s partnership with RoboCoaster Ltd. and that Forbidden Journey guests will ride on some sort of robot arm, such as the one featured in the new Sum of All Thrills ride at Epcot.
• The ride will feature a life-size Whomping Willow tree and the large spiders from the movies will make an appearance.
Here’s a preview of the video included with the newly released movie.
Be sure to get your copy of the Winter 2010 issue of “Orlando Attractions Magazine” to read a full feature story on the Wizarding World.