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It's a shame you didn't get to experience the original Dueling Dragons queue, as it apparently blew the new Triwizard theme out of the water.
As for the Forbidden Journey, I had about the same reaction, minus the motion sickness. There were lots of cool moments and well done effects, and I really didn't get time to enjoy any of them. The animatronic dragon alone is a huge waste, being an awesome piece of design and technology that you see for something like a second. Kind of like the Yeti at Expedition Everest, now that I think of it. Hopefully they don't decide to leave the dragon in a B mode if it ever has problems of its own.
"A paradise for children--and for grownups, too. I don't know when I've had so much fun."-Richard Nixon on Disneyland
Thank you, Sir, for the brief but important topic of motion sickness. It's hardly ever addressed as a serious condition, more of an embarrassment or some "kiddie" thing, or it's "just in your head". There's many attractions which motion sickness is never considered but only as an afterthought that a warning sign ought to suffice. I cannot change overnight, thus I will be prohibited from ever riding several attractions in which I will suffer about two days of head spins if I do. Beyond that, I can take some enjoyment of walking through the queues, or stand by the side and watch. Thank you again for your mentioning this condition.
I haven't ridden it yet, but I'm pretty inclined to feel the same way as you on this one, Werner.
I started taking Meclizine a few years ago when my motion sickness came out of nowhere around age 36 (grew up riding Zipper, Tilt a Whirl, etc etc etc with NO problems so it was a mighty blow). It does help, but of course I always forget to take it before a theme park day. It should pretty much be standard for men of our age, lol.
Please consider the environment before printing useless emails
I'm looking forward to to your description of Hogsmeade. My daughter wants to go there just to try butter beer.
I wish I had taken non-drowsy Dramamine before I rode the old Dueling Dragons three times in a row. There was no line--how could I say "no"? I felt great after the first ride, fine after the second ride, then really sick after the third time. I took a break and saw a good movie in Universal's downtown area, and then much better. Also, my keys flew out of my shorts on Universal's big, off-the-shelf Hulk coaster and I never got them back, so now I either hold my keys on coasters or stuff their pocket above them.
I like the Hogesmeade Village and Hogwarts Castle but I think they could do without the roller coasters.
It made sense to keep the two outdoor roller coasters because they were already there and IoA is the top roller coaster destination in the Orlando area.
That said, it's a shame that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened without a family ride serving all ages and physical conditions. There's so much wonderful imagery in the J.K. Rowling's books that could serve as the basis for a boat ride, train ride, or enchanted conveyance ride of some type. For example, think of the mythical creatures.
Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions
Thank you for this article, well that goes for all of your articles too. I found this to be a bit more insightful than the past contributors' (mainly Kevin Yee) articles regarding Harry Potter World. I particularly enjoyed that your article was just reporting on it rather than comparing it to Disneyworld. I've always maintained that H.P. is a phenomenal achievement utilizing everything that Disney has developed and created but really only has one original ride. This proves it. Renaming/theming 3 rides is not revolutionary. I applaud the detail and incredible amount of it that was used, but I can't understand how critics use H.P. to compare how lack-luster Disney has been when all Universal seemingly did was create one new ride and an incredible village.
I do love fast rides, but I also love story telling and animatronics. They don't go together well. I am looking forward to riding Forbidden Journey, but it sounds like they really did not take full advantage of the technology to tell a story.
Jiminy Cricket Fan
^Spiderman tells a great story, yet I wouldn't call it slow. There's more to the criticism of Forbidden Journey than pace. Some of it is due to the jerkiness and pre-programmed feel of the Kuka arms.
The transitions between practical sets and the motion screens, while technologically impressive, are jarring. Fundamentally, it comes down to imperfect storytelling. The designers went for creepiness and shadow.
Dueling Dragons did indeed feature a fabulous queue. It is one of the country's top steel coasters. What a shame it is trapped within Hogsmeade, where it is a poor fit thematically and probably suffers decreased ridership because it is more difficult to visit.
Finally, a poster above referred to Hulk as off the shelf. Not true - it is the only B&M coaster with a launch. It is a special, custom ride befitting the high quality Universal strives for, even in its steel thrillers.
I really liked Forbidden Journey. In retrospect I do agree it was hard to follow. As theme park attractions in general keep trying to top the last by upping the ante, the pace becomes more and more frantic and there is certainly something that is lost in the storytelling. That said, personally I don't necessarily need to understand the story to like the ride. Some attractions like this one are great simply because of their ability to immerse in the environment. Because I felt each individual sequence pretty much spoke for itself (it helps if you have some familiarity with the HP universe), I didn't really notice that I wasn't sure about the links between scenes. I have to admit I was actually slightly motion sick myself, but it's no Body Wars, and I was having too much fun otherwise to notice my queasiness until we disembarked. I think in some way I'm such a fan of the movies the ride could probably do no wrong in my eyes.
The queue is one of the best ever. I hear that if I'd actually stopped to listen to the characters instead of trying to take so many pictures I might have better understood the story.
As for the rest of the land, it is as good as everyone says it is. It does a great job adapting the look of the films into a single land.
On a side note, IOA overall was actually not quite as impressive as I was expecting. It's no Six Flags for sure and some lands like Jurassic Park work well. But other parts felt like more like an extension of Citywalk, especially the Marvel and toon areas. And no matter how much you theme an outdoor coaster like Hulk, at the end of the day it's still just another outdoor coaster - a whole lotta fun, but kinda empty.
Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.