Guests Sue Universal After Getting Stuck on Popular Ride

Guests stuck on Harry Potter ride Universal Studios Hollywood
Credit: Universal

Nearly 30 years ago, aspiring writer J.K. Rowling changed the world when her book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published. Since then, she has written six more Harry Potter books, as well as a couple of spinoff novels. All the novels were turned into wildly successful movies that are just as popular today as they were two decades ago. More than that, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has opened at the Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Japan, Universal Studios Beijing, and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Gary Oldman Mediocre Harry Potter performance

Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Reports Show Popular Universal Ride May Cause Blindness and Brain Damage

Each of the Wizarding World locations is similar to the others, but has its own magical feel. The smallest of these Harry Potter areas is at Universal Studios Hollywood, which is the smallest of the Universal Studios resorts.

Guests visiting the area can dine on a Sunday roast while enjoying a Butterbeer, visit the Hog’s Head Pub and Honeydukes, and ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff.

harry potter and the forbidden journey

Credit: Universal

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is one of the most technically advanced attractions Universal has ever created. It is a 3D ride without the 3D glasses. Guests board flying benches and go on a thrilling journey around the Hogwarts grounds and venture into Hogwarts itself. They encounter dragons, dementors, and play an exciting game of Quidditch.

Because of the technology used in creating the ride, breakdowns can — and do — frequently happen. Typically, the ride will be back up rather quickly like nothing happened. Universal will then usually let the affected guests ride a second time. But, in one instance, theme park guests are claiming that the ride broke down and left them with serious injuries.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

According to an exclusive report from PEOPLE, Debra Biane, Gerald Scott Biane, Josh Taylorson, and Sami-Joh Goldberg said that they visited Universal Studios Hollywood in April 2022.

The complaint says that while they were on the ride, the ride vehicle “suddenly, and without warning came to an abrupt stop, stranding their cart midair at an angle that left them tilted backward and to the right.” 

It alleges that they were then stuck in the position for approximately an hour, after which the cart was moved to an upright position. Approximately 30 minutes later, the cart was moved to the catwalk and they were able to exit the ride.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

Related: Universal Attraction Suffers Collision, Guests Evacuated

The two couples are claiming in a new lawsuit that Universal’s “negligence” caused them serious injuries, both physical and emotional.

Debra Biane said that her injuries were so severe that she had to undergo surgery. She also alleges that she has not been able to “perform the duties of a wife.” She and her husband are also asking for emotional damages caused by watching their spouse get injured.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

It is important to note that no specifics on their injuries have been reported. They only said that they were injured, but the nature of the injuries were not specified.

The day the Bianes, Taylorson, and Goldberg visited Universal Studios Hollywood, there was a large power outage that affected not only those on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, but also riders on the Transformers attraction. No injuries were reported on the Transformers ride.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Credit: Universal Studios Hollywood

The lawsuit alleges that Universal was negligent because they did not have a backup generator to keep the theme park rides going.

We do not know how much money the guests are looking for, and Universal has not responded publicly to the lawsuit. However, Universal does not typically comment on pending litigation.

Have you ever suffered an injury on a Universal ride? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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