Harry Potter Ride at Universal Hollywood Making Unusual Amount of People Vomit
If you’ve been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, then you might know what we’re talking about when we say that Hollywood’s version of the main attraction/ride, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” has been making an unusual amount of people incredibly sick.
According to a report from TMZ, the ride testers (read: Universal employees and their families) have been vomiting after going on the ride. One culprit might be the key difference between the two rides: Hollywood’s 3D goggles.
As an aside, though: in designing attractions, especially thrill rides, there’s considered to be a bit of an “acceptable range” of vomiting incidents. You can’t design for every single motion sickness tolerance, so you make it as acceptable as you can. But it seems like the Hollywood version of the ride has something about it that’s pushing it out of that range, making it unusual in its design.
As I said earlier, it could very well be the incorporation of 3D effects into the ride. The Orlando version is 2D with live action elements involved. I’ll pull back the curtain and break it down for you just a little bit here. Spoilers if you’ve never been on the ride. You’ve been warned!
The key component of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey lies in its ride vehicle. You’re strapped into a disguised version of this “robot claw” ride seen at Legoland:
Your legs are hanging in the air the whole time, and you’ve basically got a full range of motion with a tiny, tiny footprint. This allows Universal to design in all sorts of directions around the rider, making the experience one that’s fully immersive.
Orlando’s ride has 2D screens featuring the Harry Potter characters against some familiar Hogwarts backdrops. These are used to move the story and plot of the ride along. Every so often, the scene will end with a transition, taking the rider from floating in front of a screen (like Disney’s “Soarin'”) to some real-life set pieces, bringing them inches from a dragon or dementor set in a physical space.
Speaking personally, when I rode the ride in Orlando a few years back, the combination of seamless weaving and impeccable set design worked incredibly well. But–and here’s the big part of the story–the sudden shift from real-life to strangely-curved 2D screens (you know, for immersion) made me a little bit nauseous. It wasn’t anything in particular to write home about, but it was noticeable.
Now, Universal’s addition of 3D goggles and effects to the ride could very well be the reason that folks are reporting an unusual amount of vomiting after riding the ride. Imagine flipping and twirling about in all sorts of directions on a ride that already had been notorious for getting people sick, and then go ahead and add on some ridiculous 3D goggles–the same kind that may or may not give you headaches at the movie theater. Not hard to imagine what’s wrong, right?
Either way, this bit of news might very well serve to increase ridership at Universal. After all, when you were a kid (or even now, as an adult), when someone told you a ride totally makes people puke, didn’t that excite you even just a little bit? Either way, you can check out the full ride video POV in the YouTube video below. Note: it’s really dark because of course it is.
You can expect to make a Constitution check against the Puking Pastilles that is “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens at Universal Hollywood on April 7th. Will you be there to check it out?
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