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Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a motion based dark ride at Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Canada.

Ride Summary

Queue

To enter the ride, guests walk through the gates of Hogwarts and begin their journey in the dungeons where they see items featured in the movies and books. Passengers enter through the castle doors, go to the lockers, queue outside in the green house and then enter the back castle doors. Objects recognizable from the series include the Mirror of Erised, the Hogwarts House Jewels, and talking portraits. As guests proceed throughout the hallways, they encounter replicas of the rooms of Hogwarts castle, including the Headmaster's office, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom and the Gryffindor common room. In the Headmaster's office, Professor Dumbledore extends a warm welcome to all Muggles, informing them that Professor Binns is hosting a lecture on the history of the school. In the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, Harry, Ron, and Hermione appear from under the Invisibility Cloak, urging guests to meet them in the Room of Requirement in order to sneak everyone down to a Quidditch match. Before continuing on, visitors receive a safety reminder from the Sorting Hat and several paintings in the next two rooms. Riders then enter the Room of Requirement and are given a pair of "Quiddich Goggles"(3-D Glasses)

Ride

Once on the 4-seater benches, riders take off. The ride begins with a dousing of Floo Powder from Hermione Granger, who asks the guests to say, "Observatory" in order to transport them to their desired location, and the enchanted bench flies off through the Floo Network to the Astronomy Tower. The guests leave the Astronomy Tower through its fireplace and enter the Observatory, where they look out through the open arches to the hills and lake outside Hogwarts' boundary. As the guests fly out of one of the Observatory's arches and they follow Harry Potter and Ron Weasley around Hogwarts' buildings and towers to a Quidditch match. As Harry and Ron travel under a bridge, Hagrid yields the riders and asks them if they have seen a dragon. As Harry redirects the riders' attentions back to their journey, Hagrid's pet Hungarian Horntail dragon begins to chase the riders. The bench flies into the uneven bridge that crosses the valley behind Hogwarts and, after falling out of a hole in the floor of the bridge, they encounter an (animatronic) dragon, which breathes fire at them. The riders descend into the Forbidden Forest where they encounter a figure of Aragog a large, sentient spider who spits water at them. As Hermione tries to help the riders away from Aragog and towards the castle, encountering many spiders on the way, they encounter an (animatronic) Whomping Willow which swipes at them, knocking them into the Quidditch pitch. The riders become caught up in Harry's and Ron's game of Quidditch. As Slytherin scores into Gryffindor's goal, Dementors arrive at the Quidditch pitch and Harry attempts to lead the riders away through the structure of the pitch and back to the school, but their bench falls into the long-abandoned Chamber of Secrets through a hole. Dementors appear from the pipelines and chase them. The skeleton of the long-deceased Basilisk lies on the floor of the Chamber, and expels Lord Voldemort's Dark Mark into the air as the benches are drawn into the mouth of Salazar Slytherin's statue. Many Dementors emerge from the darkness while one descends and attempts to suck out the rider's souls. After shaking the riders out of the trance, Harry causes the Dementors to flee with a protective Patronus charm. After the final Dementor, and while Harry uses his Patronus, the riders enter the cliffs outside the Chamber of Secrets cave in. They fly over the Black Lake, back into Hogwarts and through the Main Hall and Grand Staircase, where they are cheered on by a series of characters from the movies. Professor Dumbledore sends everyone back through the Floo Network to the Room of Requirement, where they exit their bench.

Mechanics

All of the talking painting in the queue are just screens with a picture frame and a special coating over it to give it texture and to reflect light. Dumbeldore, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are Musion Eyeliners. The sorting hat is an animatronic.

The ride combines real sets and animatronics with segments that use 4K 3-D wrap-around projection screens.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey features a RoboCoaster G2 ride system provided by Dynamic Structures, KUKA and RoboCoaster. The first generation RoboCoaster system featured KUKA robotic arm technology anchored to a stationary platform, while the second-generation G2 system mounted the arms on a busbar track. The ride's seats are mounted on robotic arms which are in turn mounted on a track. This allows the arms to travel through the attraction while performing their movements in synchronization with the ride's show elements (animated props, projection surfaces, etc.). There are two speakers next to each rider's ear. The audio for the ride is played in binaural audio to give the effect of surround sound. Next to the speakers are two mini-fans that blows wind onto the rider to give the sensaton of flight. The fans can also blow different tempatures of air as well as mist and smells.

For the three sections of the ride where Dolby 3-D 4K wrap-around projection is used, each robotic arm continues its steady movement on the track but is met by its own individual parabolic projection dome screen and 3-D 4K projector traveling at exactly the same pace. Each projection section uses a huge turntable with six of these enormous screens mounted facing outwards - one for each robotic arm as they pass by - and each screen is large enough that when in front of each ride bench its edges cannot be seen. The screens appear and disappear behind the edges of the physical sets. The robotic arms can then freely dive, turn and pivot each ride bench within the curved area, giving the illusion of extreme movement when synchronized with the projection, whilst the base of the arm on the track simply follows the slow circular path that each screen takes as it revolves. This is why each projection section of the ride is approximately the same length, as each ride arm must follow each identically-sized projection screen turntable for a set period of time.

Every outdoor scene is on a projection screen and every indoor scene is a set. For every outdoor scene, the scent of pine trees is blown from the fan. As the guests fly out of one of the Observatory's arches, the ride smoothly switches to a wrap-around projection screen. Many effects are used in the dome segments, like wind and seat motion. When the pet Hungarian Horntail dragon begins to chase the riders. The bench flies out of the projection screen and into a set of the uneven bridge. The fire coming out of the animatronic dragon is actually smoke with red lighting effects and heat. As well as the effects coming from the animatronic dragon, warm air and the scent of fire s also blown from the in-vehicle fans. The spiders are aniamtronics. The ride returns to a projection screen as the riders become caught up in Harry's and Ron's game of Quidditch. The riders return to a real set as the Dementors appear. A fowl scent is blown onto riders in this scene. The effect of the demantors sucking out the riders souls is achieved by projecting the rider's faces onto a cloud of fog in front of the Dementor, blasting cold air towards the riders, and using a heartbeat-like sound played through the sub-woofers built into the benches. After the final Dementor, and while Harry uses his Patronus, the riders enter the final video dome segment. This scene, taking place near a waterfall, blows mist from the fans onto riders as well as the scent of salt water.

Trivia

  • Saftey Restraint: Harness, handlebar
  • Universal Red Carpet Access and Single Rider available.
  • This is similar to the same ride at Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Japan, and Universal Studios Hollywood. This version is 3-D like the ones in Japan and Hollywood.

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