Nightmarish Scenario Unfolds at Universal’s Harry Potter Ride, Leaving Guests Suspended in Mid-Air

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.

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Credit: Universal

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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.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ | Universal Beijing Resort

Credit: Universal Beijing Resort

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.

Universal Studios Hollywood drops 3-D from Harry Potter attraction -  Chicago Tribune

Credit: Chicago Tribune

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).

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Credit: Warner Bros.

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.

Because the ride was malfunctioning, riders who had strapped in for a thrilling adventure were instead subjected to a nightmare of sorts as they were left suspended in mid-air while the ride was non-operational. To make matters worse, some guests were left glaring at the Aragog, a giant spitting spider in the attraction, as the ride stopped just as they were positioned in front of the terrifying arachnid.

Credit: ITM

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.

Dementors surround Hogwarts — Harry Potter Fan Zone

Dementors at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry/Credit: Harry Potter Fan Zone

If ever things were the stuff of nightmares, this guest’s experience fits the bill.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!