UPDATED: Universal Studios Japan Announces Enhanced Imagery and Effects on Forbidden Journey

UPDATE (March 1):

Universal Studios Japan is currently running a contest that will give Twitter followers a chance to be one of the first guests to experience the newly enhanced ride this month! All you have to do to be entered to win is retweet the following by March 4. The tweet also includes a new video showing what the enhanced ride will look like!

We have a very rough translation of the tweet, which you can read here:

Registration is complete by just RT! Chance to get the first user experience. Watch the movie, which is only available on the web. Experience the Harry Potter world with all of your senses, it has newly evolved. Full access will be granted from March 16.

Five pairs of people will be given free park entry to experience the upgraded ride!

Theme park technology continues to evolve at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with Universal Studios Japan just announcing that its Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride will be newly enhanced as of March 16, 2018!

The multidimensional thrill ride will introduce enhanced 4K-HD ride film projecting at 120 frames per second, a huge increase over the previous 60 frames per second, making the imagery much sharper and more realistic. This change will replace the previous 3D component of the ride. These same image enhancements were made to the Forbidden Journey at Universal Studios Hollywood last year.



Other elements of the ride will also be upgraded, including more powerful dragon fire effects – the dragon will “breathe fire so hot it’ll make guests feel as if they are coming face to face with a Hungarian Horntail.” And when the Dementors swoop in, cold air will surround riders, making the experience of a Dementor attack frighteningly realistic.

This announcement comes shortly after Universal Orlando revealed last week that it will have a new projection mapping show, celebrating the Hogwarts Houses, to light up Hogwarts this winter.

All these theme park enhancements and additions sure do keep us coming back for more!

Press Release

Coming Friday, March 16th, 2018!
One of the world’s best attractions will be elevated with state-of-the-art technology

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s world-class attraction “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” will be enhanced with state-of-the-art technology starting Friday, March 16, 2018. The award-winning thrill ride will be elevated to offer guests even more exhilaration, using the latest technology to take guests on an unforgettable adventure. This press release includes further details to the announcement made in December 2017.

An achievement in pioneering theme park ride technology, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” is a multidimensional thrill ride located within Hogwarts castle. It features a groundbreaking robotics ride system, fused with elaborate filmed action sequences and immersive visceral effects designed to take guests on a once-in-a-lifetime whirlwind adventure.

Spiraling and pivoting 360-degrees upon an elevated ride track, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ushers guests on a journey alongside Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley as they venture through some of the most memorable scenes from the movie, including a Quidditch match, where they narrowly escape a dragon attack, as well as close encounters with Dementors and the Whomping Willow.

In a first for the park, the attraction will introduce enhanced 4K-HD ride film projecting at an astounding rate of 120 frames-per-second, which is a 200% increase. This upgrade will offer guests superior clarity and remarkably shaper images than previously shown, with imagery that is stunningly ultra-realistic.

Doubling the frame rate from 60 frames per second to 120 frames-per-second will allow for an even more immersive glimpse into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. This progressive enhancement replaces the earlier 3D film component of the ride to create a seamless integration between the ride’s elaborate sets and its spellbinding media.

Experience the magic of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter like never before!

The immersive elements guests experience during the multidimensional thrill ride have also been enhanced. The examples introduced here are just a small part of the astonishing adventure awaiting park guests.

More Powerful Dragon fire special effects! Experience a real sense of thrill!

On this heroic journey, a dragon approaches and breaths fire so hot it’ll make guests feel as if they are coming face to face with a Hungarian Horntail.

Feel the ominous presence of Dementors like never before!

Cold air surrounds guests as a Dementor approaches. Guests can experience the shivering fear of a thrilling magical adventure with the addition of this chilling element.

Catherine Lai

I have been a fan of Harry since 2000, a fan of MuggleNet since 2005, and a MuggleNet team member since 2013. I believe in the power of stories to bring people together, and nothing does that quite like Harry Potter. I live in Toronto, Canada.