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Ride / Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Harry: Don't worry, we haven't lost anyone yet.
Ron: Yeah. Not this week, anyway!


Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a simulator/dark ride hybrid that serves as the centerpiece attraction to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade at the Universal Studios parks. Its story focuses on Dumbledore giving Muggles (the riders) a tour of the Hogwarts grounds. Harry, Ron, and Hermione decide to bring the guests to a Quidditch game, to make their visit more exciting. From there, chaos ensues in the form of giant spiders, the Whomping Willow, and Dementors.

The ride first opened at Universal's Islands of Adventure on June 18th, 2010, and later opened at Universal Studios Japan on July 15th, 2014. A third version of the ride opened at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2016.

Tropes shown in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey include:

  • Absentee Actor: Much of the Hogwarts staff is not seen, but most notably Professor Snape. This is because Alan Rickman turned down the offer to appear in the ride, as he didn't want to always be associated with the character.
  • Alternate Continuity: Does not appear to really fit within the timeline of the films, resulting in it usually being viewed as this.
  • Big "NO!": Harry lets one out as he, the riders, and the Dementors are sent plummeting into the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Butt Monkey: The riders themselves are in this position, getting tossed into numerous dangerous situations where they would've been killed had it not been for the heroes coming to the rescue.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • When the riders are being attacked by the spiders in the Forbidden Forest and Hermione shows up:
    Hermione: The forest isn't safe! Hold on tight!
    • When Harry defeats the Dementors and accidentally causes the cave to start collapsing:
    Harry: Keep close and follow me! It's caving in! Watch out! Let's get out, quick!
  • Chase Scene: After Harry accidentally causes a cave to start collapsing, he quickly leads the riders out while dodging falling rocks and other debris.
  • Continuity Snarl: The Chamber of Secrets is in ruins when seen on the ride, yet is almost perfectly intact in Part 2 of the Deathly Hallows.
    • Hagrid owns a dragon note . It is made very clear in the franchise that owning a dragon is very illegal, which the portrait of Salazar Slytherin lampshades at one point during the queue. note 
  • Continuity Nod: The skeleton of the Basilisk is seen.
  • Demoted to Extra: Virtually everyone except the main trio, but since this is a five-or-so minute theme park ride it is understandable.
  • Excuse Plot: The plot here isn't really important, as the ride is more about the celebration of characters, creatures, and moments from the series. Even then, the plot doesn't really make any sense.
  • Foreshadowing: At the beginning of the ride, Hagrid asks the riders if they've seen a dragon that's gotten loose. Seconds later, the riders sure see the dragon, alright. The dragon is also brought up several times in the queue by multiple characters.
  • Fun-Hating Confiscating Adult: Hilariously taken a step further with Mr. Filch, as here he is shown as having his own gift shop at the end of the ride comprised entirely of merchandise that was confiscated from the students.
  • For the Evulz: Arguably why Voldemort sends the Dementors in to kill the riders. There's really not much he could gain from this, other than possibly making Dumbledore and Harry look bad.
  • Giant Spider: Aragog and his followers appear in this ride in all their glory.
  • Jump Scare: The dementors supply this quite well.
  • Just in Time: When it seems all hope is lost and the riders are screwed, Harry comes in and blasts away the Dementors, along with leading said riders out of the cave.
  • Man on Fire: Averted. The Hungarian Horntail breathes fire note  onto one of the riders, and yet this causes no harm that the characters notice.
  • Mood Whiplash: You go from a rather horrifying scene where your soul gets nearly sucked out to a scene where everyone is joyfully celebrating in less than a minute.
  • Mr. Exposition: Dumbledore proudly serves this role in the queue line.
  • No Talking or Phones Warning: An animatronic Sorting Hat gives this spiel just before the guests reach the loading station. They're usually too busy taking pictures of him to listen.
  • Oh Crap!: When the riders are surrounded by the Dementors with virtually no way of escape.
  • Plot Hole: All of Hogwarts first being at a Quidditch game, and then being in the Great Hall to celebrate merely a minute or-so later. Again, Excuse Plot.
  • Protective Charm: A throwaway line in Dumbledore's office mentions how the riders have had numerous protective spells placed upon them. This is the in universe justification for why they're able to No Sell dragon fire, acromantula poison, and the Whomping Willow's attacks. The only thing the riders aren't safe from are the Dementors, requiring Harry to step in.
  • Scenery Porn: The queue line through Hogwarts may be one of the greatest theme park ride examples of this.
  • Spider Swarm: Again, with Aragog and his followers.
  • The Man Behind the Man: It's implied that the Dementors were sent in by Voldemort.
  • Updated Re Release: The Florida version of the attraction will be converted into 3-D in the near-future.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: This time, the Dementors attempt to suck out the souls of the riders'.