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Muggles Trapped Onboard Popular Harry Potter Ride For Hours And They Can Thank A Very Non-Magical Power Outage At Universal Hollywood

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Jpurney promo art with Daniel Radcliffe
(Image credit: Universal Studios Hollywood)

Magic can solve a lot of things, but sometimes such a solution just isn’t in the cards. Universal Hollywood guests observed that personally yesterday, as a very non-magical power outage left guests trapped aboard Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey for hours. While all passengers were ultimately evacuated safely, the wait to get off the ride was long enough to actually watch some of the Harry Potter movies; and this wasn’t the only attraction that had this particular problem.

Between 3:45 and 6:10 PM local time, park guests at Universal Studios Hollywood were stuck on both the Harry Potter ride, as well as Transformers: The Ride - 3D. According to KTLA’s reporting, the experience based on Michael Bay’s blockbuster series of toy adaptations was experiencing mechanical issues on top of its own power outage. Hours later, both attractions were safely cleared of all riders by the responding firefighters from Los Angeles County.

Looking at the figures above, that’s roughly 2 hours and 25 minutes being trapped in a non-functional ride. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, that means you’d be able to fit in a screening of either Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban or Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, as both clock in just short of that delay time. Of course, seeing as there was no power, guests might have had to access their HBO Max subscriptions on their cellphones; if they could even reach them during this delay. 

How this incident stacks up to something like the 2017 Disneyland outage that trapped people on It’s A Small World has yet to be seen. On the surface, it looks like Universal Hollywood got the better end of the deal, as Disneyland had a handful of rides down during that event years ago. Also, if you asked theme park guests which ride they’d rather be trapped on, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey would probably win out.

Universal’s west coast operation is undergoing some huge changes currently, with Super Nintendo World being built in the Hollywood park as we speak. Naturally, this will be a concern for Universal Parks, as any work being done on the in-progress attraction is going to be under a little tighter scrutiny when it comes to preventing scenarios such as this. Thankfully, this Harry Potter and Transformers experience was resolved with all guests safe and sound. Though it wouldn’t come as a shock if there were a couple of Howlers sent to the complaints department at Universal Studios Hollywood.

You can ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort. Meanwhile, the Wizarding World returns to theaters on April 15th, with the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. To see what other movies are heading into theaters throughout the year, check out the 2022 movie releases on the schedule so far. 

Mike Reyes
Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.