The title of this post is no exaggeration. On my last visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I skipped a 90 minute wait in the Forbidden Journey ride and was back outside after enjoying the ride in less than 10 minutes from entering the Hogwart’s Castle. No gimmicks. I didn’t wait 80 of those minutes in the extremely long line outside the castle and only count the time inside the Castle. Total time: under 10 minutes! So, how did I do it?
- Skip the locker line!
I did not have a bag — not even so much as a camera bag. Even if I did bring one to the park, I would have put it in a locker at the front of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, near the Hogwart’s Express train.
What does this matter? Well, most people walk up to the Hogwart’s Castle to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and see this really long line coming out from the front entrance. They see the sign that says, “90 minutes from this point” and walk to the end of the line to wait for the ride standing out in the Florida heat and sun. See the video, below.
If you don’t have a bag, you don’t have to wait in this line!! Go back and watch the video, again. This time, watch how many people are standing in this line that do not have a bag! They don’t have to be there!!
This is merely the line to get to the lockers inside the Castle and put away that backpack you brought along. Oftentimes, the line stalls because there are no more available lockers. If you don’t have a bag, you can walk into the locker area through Filch’s Emporium. This is the normal exit for the Forbidden Journey ride and how you retrieve your bags at the end of the ride. Just walk into Filch’s, through the doorway to the lockers, then into Hogwart’s Castle to get in the real queue line.
Now, we’re not done, yet. You could conceivably wait another 50 minutes (of the 90 minutes shown when I went through) inside Hogwart’s Castle. So, how do you avoid this slow down?
- Use the single rider line!
Yes, the single rider line. Even if you have a party of 10, use the single rider line. I guarantee you will not ride together in a single ride vehicle, even if you’re just a party of two, but it doesn’t matter! The ride experience does not involve the other people in your ride vehicle. It’s very much an individual experience. So, what does it matter if you ride now and meet your family at the exit a few minutes apart? I know, with smaller children this could be an issue, but I wouldn’t let smaller children ride this ride, anyway.
“But I want to see the inside of Hogwart’s and all the rooms and stuff!!”
- Take the Castle tour.
That’s fine! See Hogwart’s Castle. Just don’t do it while you’re waiting in line for the ride. Come back and speak to a cast member about doing a free tour of the Castle without the ride. It’s much more enjoyable. You don’t have to stand in the hot, Florida sun. You don’t have to hurry through a room just because the line’s moving and you can stop and take some photos, too!
Also, there are lots of videos of the inside of Hogwart’s Castle, too. If this will satisfy your need to see the inside of the Castle, you can just check out YouTube for your favorite tour of Hogwart’s. Here’s ours:
- Wait for late in the day.
Another way to avoid a good deal of the line for the Forbidden Journey ride is to wait until later in the day. All the crowds and lines die down significantly around 5-6PM. I did not employ this tactic when I rode in under 10 minutes — in fact, I rode during the absolute busiest time of the day. I wanted to get a real idea of how much time my tactics saved.
One other thing to note on skipping the “bag” line. If you think there’s any chance that you won’t fit into the ride vehicle, be sure to stop by the test vehicle just below that time estimate sign, attached to one of the Hogwart’s entrance pillars. You will miss this opportunity if you enter the ride through Filch’s. There will be another test vehicle inside the Castle, but you don’t want to get that far in just to find out you can’t ride.
Using one or all of these suggestions can significantly reduce your time in the Forbidden Journey line. Do you have any secrets of your own to share?
Want to get all our tips and tricks for visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? We wrote a travel guide for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade! We included all our tips and tricks that we’ve learned over the last year to make your visit to the Wizarding World as magical as possible. Be sure to check it out!
Get your Harry Potter theme park souvenirs from the official Harry Potter shop, the WB Shop!