Things To Look For In The Hogwarts Castle Tour
You could probably spend a good hour slowly going through the castle if given the time. There are details in every corner, everywhere you look. I really wish I had spent more time in the castle. Take your time and really take it all in. Up, down, here, there, and everywhere in between. Here are some things to look for inside and outside of Hogwarts Castle:
Getting To The Ride Is A Journey
Rounding the bend at the end of The Wizarding World’s impeccably detailed Hogsmeade village, the sight of Hogwarts Castle punctures the sky and stirs the senses. The mythic 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;Forbidden Journey, guests pass through its gates and into the majestic castle.
Ambling through Hogwarts is, in itself, an immersive attraction. Nestled throughout the queue are artifacts from Rowling’s world that will delight ardent fans. Hey! There’s the Mirror of Erised. And look! We’re entering Professor Sprout’s Herbology gardens. In California, there are stunning views of the Hollywood hills to add to the ambiance.
Fizzing Whizzbees Are A Real Treat
Candy preferences are subjective, of course, but the Fizzing Whizzbees are one of the more exciting and delicious options at the Harry Potter sweet shops. Theyre a combination of chocolate, fruit flavor and a Pop Rocks-esque ingredient that creates a fun effect in your mouth. The Exploding Bon Bons also include popping candy.
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Butterbeer Comes In Many Forms
If youre a fan of this cream soda-esque drink, you can try it in regular cold form, as well as frozen and hot. Theres also Butterbeer soft serve at Florean Fortescues Ice-Cream Parlour, Butterbeer fudge at Honeydukes and Sugarplums sweet shops and Butterbeer potted cream at The Leaky Cauldron and Three Broomsticks dining halls.
Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey Ride Seats Modified To Fit Larger Guests
The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universals Islands of Adventure just became a lot more accommodating. As of Sept. 10, 2010, many of the seats on the ride have been modified to fit larger guests who had previously been turned away.
Since the feature ride in The Wizarding World of Harry Poter opened in May, many guests have been complaining that they cant ride because they werent getting three clicks. As the safety restraint is locked down over the guest, it clicks three times. If a guest couldnt get it the third click, they were told they couldnt ride. For many guests, this was the only ride at Universal they couldnt fit on.
The new test seats, which are outside the attraction and just before you get on the ride, feature three lights, a red one, yellow one and a green one. As the guest pulls the restraint down, the lights go from red to green. If a guest gets yellow, theyre asked to go in a special line with their riding party and are directed to the modified seats.
So far, some of the ride vehicles have the modified seats on the each end of the four seats per bench. The benches with the modified seats are spaced out along the track so there isnt a long wait. A team member working at the attraction said theyd eventually add the modified seats to each bench. The modified seats arent any larger, but the locking mechanism has been modified to safely secure larger riders. Smaller riders can also safely ride in the modified seats.
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The Trick: A New Twist On An Old Illusion
The queue line for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was designed to be an attraction in itself, winding through the interior of Hogwarts Castle and recreating well-known areas such as Dumbledores office, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom and the Gryffindor common room.
Two special effects stand out in the queue line. The first is the creation of moving portraits just like those seen in the movies, achieved by embedding large television screens into the walls, surrounded by frames, and covered with transparent materials to create the illusion of brush strokes.
The second effect enables lifelike projections of Dumbledore, Harry, Ron and Hermione to appear in the rooms with guests. This makes use of the Musion Eyeliner system, a proprietary high definition projection system that was created and patented by Uwe Maass. Similar to the Peppers Ghost effect employed in the ballroom scene in Disneys Haunted Mansion, it sees a thin metalized film being placed at an angle of 45 degrees towards the audience. Hidden below this is a projector, which projects onto the film, creating the illusion that the character is actually physically present in three dimensions.
How Scary Is Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey
Planning a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? You might be thinking to yourself, How scary is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey? Is it kid-friendly? Is it dark? Are there any drops? Trust us, before we went on the first time, we were asking ourselves the same questions!
Heres the deal we cant decide whether you or your kids will think Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is scary, but we can help you make an informed decision.;
Ready to dig in? Lets do this!
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Differences Between The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter In Hollywood And Orlando
While the Hollywood location may not offer more than Orlando’s, we’re happy to see the magic spreading.
Universal Hollywoodâs Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened to eager guests, Muggles and wizards alike, on Tuesday night. Ron Meyer, a Universal executive, announced, âOrlando was just the start. Itâs now Hollywoodâs turn to have the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,â as a flourish of Harry Potter theme music from the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra ushered in the highly-anticipated opening of the theme park. The original version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been up and running since 2010 in Florida, which begs the question: how is the one in Hollywood different? Letâs take a look at what makes the new one special.
The main difference between the two theme parks is that Orlandoâs theme park offers the Diagon Alley section, which opened in 2014, in addition to Hogsmeade, while Hollywoodâs offers only Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. But thatâs only temporary.
At the Owl Post, visitors will find all their owl-related needs: dozens of owls hooting in the rafters, an Owlery clock that hoots on the hour, and a designated area to drop letters that will be delivered with a Hogsmeade postmark. These same attractions exist at the theme park in Orlando, but you can never get enough of these Hogsmeade treasures.
Flight Of The Hippogriff
Flight of the Hippogriff is certainly the most chill ride of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando, but that’s mainly by design. This is a roller coaster for those who don’t want too extreme of an experience, and is ideal for younger children. It’s one of the shorter rides in the park and a good pick for a young witch or wizard looking to get a jolt of excitement, but not looking to be horrified.
There isn’t as much to see while waiting in line compared to other attractions, but Flight of the Hippogriff does give one of the best views of Hogsmeade one can get in the area, and a sweet view of Hagrid’s Hut. That said, patrons can get a much closer view in the queue for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, which ensures this one takes the bottom spot even though it still is a great ride.
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Ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
The;other most important thing to do in Hogsmeade is check out the newest attraction;Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. This thing opened in 2019 and is not just the best attraction at all of Wizarding World, it’s one of the best theme park attractions;anywhere. State of the art technology allows you to hop on Hagrid’s motorbike to take a trip through the Forbidden Forest. What follows is part roller coaster, part dark ride, and all immersive.
The roller coaster portion of;Hagrid’s is thrilling but not too terrifying, and you’ll be amazed with how smoothly the ride comes to a halt to take a gander at state-of-the-art animatronics of Hagrid and various creatures. Surprises ensue and you never quite know what’s next, but the entire thing is an absolute blast. But be prepared to check this one out as quickly as you can, because the lines are;long.
Speaking of, the queue for;Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is pretty engaging in and of itself. You’ll get to explore a hidden and dilapidated building deep in the Forbidden Forest where Hagrid has been hanging out. Keep an eye out for plenty of;Harry Potter Easter Eggs along the way.
Are There Other Ways To Save Time In The Parks
Buy your tickets in advance.
You do not want to waste any of your precious time standing in line to buy tickets at the gate to start off your day. Plus, you will save more money if you buy in advance.
Arrive at the parks ahead of official opening.
The gates often open even before their official opening time, so you can get a hop;on your day. This is the least busy the parks will be all day, so it is the best time to visit the most popular rides like the brand new Jurassic World VelociCoaster. If you are staying on-site at one of Universal’s hotels, take advantage of Early Park Admission to the parks, especially Universal’s Volcano Bay.
Follow a park plan.
Use the Single Rider lines.;
As mentioned above, the Single Riders line is often even faster than Universal Express. As long as you’re fine with splitting up the group, Single Rider lines can be major time-savers.
Whew! We’ve covered a lot of ground here. Have questions about Universal Express Pass that we haven’t answered? Share them in comments below!;
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I Was Kicked Off The Harry Potter Ride For Being Too Fat For The Seats
I refuse to take on the additional guilt of not having gotten into Harry Potter until I was 35. But Ill admit that despite the annoying J.K. Rowling vs. Native People scandal , I got deeply sucked in last year. It was the depression and disgust surrounding Donald Trumps election that sent me into a YA fantasy endurance run where I went so far as to purchase an armchair for my round-the-clock bedroom reading. By Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I was logging onto Pottermore to determine my Hogwarts house and my Patronus , comparing the novels to the movies, and then sobbing when Dumbledore … well … no spoilers.
So it should be no surprise that when three friends and I went to Universal Studios just outside Los Angeles last month, I demanded that our first experience be The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, an interactive area of the park designed for the fan who wants a taste of the wizarding life. As it was my first time at Universal Studios, I couldnt have possibly been more tickled to drink butterbeer and visit all of the Hogsmeade shops. I even purchased a $50 wand that I used on all of the goofy little spell spots around the delightful town square. I was a child again, grinning ear to ear the entire time, posting massive numbers of Instagram stories so that all of my friends knew I was finally livin that Harry Potter LYFE!
But then I received the most dreadful, helpful message from a friend who saw that I was traipsing around Hogsmeade.
:: Record scratch ::
What Is The Forbidden Journey Ride Experience Like
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey takes you on a flying adventure throughout the grounds of Hogwarts on a magical, enchanted bench. Once Hermione has magicked your seat, youll be whisked through the Floo Network up to the Observatory, where the plan to make it to the Quidditch match quickly goes awry. Youll encounter the familiar sights of the most famous school for witchcraft and wizardry as you dodge the Whomping Willow, zoom around the Quidditch pitch, and come face-to-face with soul-sucking Dementors, in a combination of physical sets and screen-based moments.
The visible ride vehicle for Forbidden Journey is deceptively mundane, as it sits above one of the most technologically advanced ride systems ever created a KUKA robotic arm that runs along a ride track, providing an extreme amount of motion as it dives, turns, and pivots your bench. While you do not go completely upside-down, you will be tilted in just about every other direction you can think of. If you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to do some research online to see how other riders have coped with the experience.
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Advanced Robotics Are A Dark Ride First
The Hogwarts kids hatch a plan to save guests from the tedious talk by inviting them along for an extracurricular adventure. The means of egress are “enchanted benches” and the Floo Network . So, it’s off to the Sorting Hat to get boarding instructions for the not-all-that-forbidden journey.
The vehicles seat four riders and are on an Omnimover-style, constantly-moving track. Over-the-shoulder restraints hold guests snugly in placea necessity given the wild ride that ensues.
While it is hidden from view in the loading area, each vehicle is attached to a robotic arm. A dark ride first , the advanced robotics enable the vehicles to pivot, swoop, and otherwise move with an astonishing degree of flexibility heretofore unavailable to attraction designers. After Hermione sprinkles the benches with Floo powder, they magically rise, and guests are flyingand I mean flyingalongside Harry and his pals.
The ride alternates between filmed sequences projected onto mini domed screens and actual sets adorned with all kinds of mechanical dark ride “gotchas.” The scare tactic of elements jumping out at vehicles is as old as the classic Pretzel dark rides that used to wreak havoc at places like Coney Island in the early 20th century. But the high-tech wizardry Universal employs, particularly the fluid, sudden, every-which-way movements of the robot-driven vehicles, gives Forbidden Journey a decidedly 21st-century spin.
Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts
Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts is without question the crown jewel of Diagon Alley. The giant fire-spewing dragon atop the mythical bank is an attraction all on its own, and then one goes inside and sees all the animatronic goblins hard at work maintaining ledgers and balancing accounts. Things only get more immersive as line-goers make their way into the vaults, and prepare for an elaborate and well-constructed indoor roller coaster ride.
There’s a lot to love about the ride itself, although one particular highlight is that it’s one of the only times Lord Voldemort appears throughout the entire park. The wonderful and deranged Bellatrix Lestrange makes an appearance as well, and patrons go on a ride that’s the closest we can ever hope to get to that actual tour beneath Gringotts.
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Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey Is A Must See
There is so much to see on this ride and if you are a true Harry Potter fan you are going to lose your mind over all the details! I highly suggest doing the ride and then taking a tour. Ive seen some pictures of castle tour passes online but we did not need a pass. Maybe on busy days they pass these out.;
Also, it is really really dark in there. At least it was the day we went. It was actually hard to see where we were going in some parts of the castle. I think we missed out on some of the cool things in the castle simply because it was so darn dark. We were the only people in the Defense Against the Dark Arts Classroom at one point and I could barely see all of the props around the room. I used the flashlight on my phone and got up as close as possible. With a little light its amazing what you can see! The details in the castle are pretty astounding.;
Dine At The Three Broomsticks
Theme park food can sometimes have a tendency to be, well, less than ideal, but thats not the case at The Three Broomsticks. The restaurant located inside Hogsmeade serves plenty of traditional English dishes, like beef pasties, shepherds pie, and fish and chips. Theres also a delicious smoked turkey leg or chicken and ribs plate if youre looking for something a bit less English. If want to find a place to sit down and have some lunch or dinner but dont really want to leave the world of Harry Potter, its an easy recommendation. But if youll be in Islands of Adventure early in the morning, Id highly recommend the breakfast menu at The Three Broomsticks.
For breakfast, the restaurant offers a;delightful traditional English breakfast, which includes black pudding, eggs, sausage, sautéed mushrooms, and more. You can also spring for a nice bowl of porridge, or sit tight with some tremendously fluffy pancakes. As with lunch and dinner there are more American offerings available as well, but the English breakfast is a delight that further serves to transport you to the world of Harry Potter.
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