It was supposed to be an exhilarating experience, but Guests at Universal Studios were instead subjected to a terrifying experience as they were left suspended in mid-air on a fan-favorite Harry Potter-inspired ride.
Universal Studios theme park resorts and the Harry Potter brand first publicly joined forces in 2010 with the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure. The offering was so overwhelmingly successful and popular with fans that Universal Orlando opened another Harry Potter-themed area at its other theme park, Universal Studios Florida, in 2014.
Later in 2014, another version of the Wizarding World opened at Universal Studios Japan, and in 2016, Universal Studios Hollywood opened its Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Universal Studios Beijing was the most recent resort to open a version of the so-called “Harry Potter World,” welcoming fans to visit, beginning in September 2021.
And while the Harry Potter-inspired offerings at Universal Studios Resorts around the globe are uber-successful and wildly popular with guests of the theme parks, there are times when even a wizard’s magic can fall short.
According to a recent report, that’s exactly what happened to visitors at Universal Studios Hollywood‘s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Riders aboard the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction boarded the ride vehicles, expecting a thrilling experience. What they got was a terrifying ordeal.
A guest at Universal Studios Hollywood recounts the experience, saying that riders were left hanging in mid-air during the ride, which takes guests on an exciting adventure throughout the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, first seen on the big screen in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001).
The experience first sees riders following the queue toward the loading area. The queue itself offers fans an exciting look at the interior of Hogwarts. But the fun’s only beginning as riders are then strapped into their ride vehicles and whisked away on a heart-pounding adventure that showcases many of the locations, scenes, creatures, and characters from the Harry Potter films.
But for guests enjoying the attraction on this particular day, it was during the usually thrilling adventure part of the attraction that the ride began to malfunction, which can happen from time to time on any attraction, whether at Universal, Disney, Sea World, or any number of theme parks.
But during this experience, the attraction malfunctioned a total of three separate times. The ride reportedly came to a complete stop. On top of that, audio and visual features of the ride began to operate intermittently and were rendered completely non-operational several times.
Once the ride resumed operations and concluded, those aboard were offered the opportunity to ride again. (Who wouldn’t–if things were working properly again?) But alas, when the guest who recounted her experience attempted to enjoy the adventure a second time, the ride malfunctioned once more, this time landing her near one of the large dementor puppets in the attraction.
If ever things were the stuff of nightmares, this guest’s experience fits the bill.