Universal Studios Hollywood

100 Universal Hollywood Dr.
Universal City, CA 91608
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Universal Studios Hollywood

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's Forbidden Journey, the new experience based on J.K. Rowling's iconic stories and settings, is worth braving amusement park crowds and chaos, and even mystical monsters, to enter and ride. You'll join wand-carrying kiddies sporting black robes and red and yellow scarves, meandering about Hogsmead Village as they shop for magical supplies, drink Butter Beer (there's real beer for grown-ups) and absorb the otherworldly charm of Universal Studios' Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But entering this re-created universe is really all about Forbidden Journey, the centerpiece ride inside Hogwarts Castle. You'll actually enjoy waiting in line for the ride, with so much to look at (3-D holograms along the line actually set up the story you will experience on the ride) and absorb. The ride itself — which is like a roller coaster meets simulator meets 4-D movie ­— is one of the most thrilling experiences in the game, employing new robotic technology and design that no thrill ride out there does. You'll follow Harry and his friends on flying broomsticks throughout the castle, out into the sky and into creepy-crawly and spooky realms. The stunningly re-created academy is as awesome outside as it is inside, with elaborate light shows on its exterior nightly. 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City; (800) 864-8377, universalstudioshollywood.com. —Lina Lecaro

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