PHOTO: Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios Hollywood's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (photo via Flickr/Pierre Andre Leclercq)
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood is less than a year old, but the attraction already got one upgrade last year. Today, the park announced that they have just gotten another.
The park's signature attraction is a dazzling ride that mixes live interactive sets with stunning simulator technology. It's won several awards and is considered to be the best of the best.
Now, it's gotten even better.
Wizarding World at Universal's main ride is called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. It is a simulator attraction that uses a mixture of screens and real life props.
The entire experience is housed inside Hogwarts Castle where you go face to face with real dementors, The Whomping Willow and even a dragon. You ride on magical benches that are mounted to huge robotic arms and go from screen scenes to real ones.
While in line, guests venture through the greenhouse, seeing talking portraits and many of their favorite teachers and students, including Dumbledore, Harry, Ron and Hermione. Guests can also see some of their favorite Wizarding World items, such as the Mirror of Esrid, the portrait of the Fat Lady and Dumbledore’s Pensieve.
Riders even come face to face with the Sorting Hat as they get ready to ride.
The upgrade has seen Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey get a digital 4K HD conversion, which takes the film to a whopping 120 frames per second for a smoother, easier transition from scene to scene.
What do all those numbers and techno jargon mean?
The film moves much faster, making it seem a lot more lifelike. It also means that the ride is much smoother and going from the screens to the real scenes look more natural. It also means that if you get queasy on motion simulators, you will have less of a chance, as the experience is much brighter and tends to make riders less nauseous.
There’s nothing worse than enjoying a big glass of Butterbeer, then feeling sick after riding Forbidden Journey.
READ MORE More Harry Potter Magic Coming to Universal Japan
The new experience makes the ride much more smooth and doesn’t rely on 3D glasses. The ride previously used a 3D print of the film (still used in Japan) to make things come to life.
Currently, this is the only version at the three Wizarding World areas that uses the 4K HD projections. Islands of Adventure currently uses the original 60 frames per second, and while it’s still a fun ride, the slower frame rate makes for less clarity and more nausea for those who are prone to motion sickness.
The new high definition Harry Potter ride experience isn’t the only new addition to Universal Studios Hollywood: Currently, the CityWalk is undergoing a massive new transformation that is seeing several new restaurants—including an all new Voodoo Doughnut location and the first Margaritaville in Southern California!