Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was buried deep inside Hogwarts Castle. We traveled through Gryffindor Common Room, which was filled with all the talking paintings. It was hard to listen to the conversation that the paintings were having. We then passed through Dumbledoreâ€™s office and got some advice from him. All of this was to entertain us while we waited in line for the ride, if we had not had the VIP passes. This ride combines a 3-D experience with a robotics ride system that made us feel like we were flying. Sets and filmed media were projected on domed screens in each vehicle. The ride zoomed over the Hogwarts grounds, hit the Quidditch pitch, dueled with dragons. At the end we were hailed a hero when we hit the Great Hall, but we didn’t feel like it with the sick feeling from to much movement.
From the cobblestone alleyways to the snow-capped roofs, you get the sense you are on the street of an English village. It all feels very natural, organic, and comfortable, and that’s was deliberate by the designer. There are film artifacts throughout the village. The school desks and chalkboard in the Defense Against Dark Arts classroom scene are inside Hogwarts Castle. In the train station there are luggage racks. There are many of the wizarding world’s best known establishments in which to shop and eat. Moaning Myrtle, was a Muggle-born witch who attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was killed by Tom Riddle’s orders. Â Now, she is a ghost who haunts the restrooms in the Harry Potter Park, moaning and talking, which catches you off guard at first. There are many of the wizarding world’s best known establishments in which to shop and eat.
Above the entrance to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a sign says “please respect the spell limits.” Â Once inside, our eyes immediately go skyward to a huge, rambling, castle with a jumble of towers and battlements. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the magical wizarding school towers over the snow-capped village of Hogsmeade.
Our tram stopped at the set from 2005â€™s “War of the Worlds” (with Tom Cruise), where an airliner has crashed into a residential neighborhood. The actual, full-size 747 jet airliner fuselage was purchased and shipped to Hollywood at the cost of $2 millions. The plan wasÂ ripped in two, its tail section is still intact, while its engines smolder in the ruins of the tract houses around it. Mary pressed a Â switch and smoke and water started coming out around the houses and airplane.
The Transformers a 3-D thrill ride, takes place in the middle of a war zone. As our seats rocked, the HD 3D media and flight simulation technology made us feel like we had things being thrown at us, hurtling down tall buildings, and large robot creatures coming at us full force. We entered The Walking Dead attraction through an archway to start our journey into a world overrun with hungry walkers. As we worked our way through the mazes the walkers reached out and walked into us. If we had watched the show it might have been more fun and meaningful.
The tram entered a garage where Fast & Furious: Supercharged was introduced by Roman and Letty, two of the movie’s characters. The tram moves forward and we are in the middle of Pepper’s ghost hologram, as the party is interrupted and guest are escorted out. Screeching cars fill the screens and a background alarm alerts that trouble is ahead. We put on our 3D glasses. The characters head for their vehicles and begin a vehicle chase in a parking lot underground. The chase then ends up on the freeway.
The Jurassic Park river raft adventure, was inspired from the hit movie,Â Jurassic World.Â where we saw dinosaurs in their natural jungle habitat. One encounter was with one of the Park’s most famous inhabitants, a 9-foot tall Velociraptor. We narrowly escaped a 50-foot T-Rex as our raft made an 84-foot plunge to safety.
We started our Despicable Me Minion Mayhem 3-D adventure in Gruâ€™s home, where we were recruited for his latest scheme. After making it through â€œMinion trainingâ€ things didnâ€™t go as planned! Within moments, we were launched into a trip through his super-villain laboratory. After the ride there was a Minion inspired dance party.
The Special Effects Show was presented by the best stunt performers in sounds, sights and illusions. They fool the cameras to create moments in our favorite films. People were pulled from the audience for the zero-gravity space travel and to produce sound effect. Through professional demonstrations we were shown how they set a person on fire, realistic physical combat sequences and horror scenes.