August 26, 2015

Harry Potter Area in USJ: More Magical in the 2nd Year?

The Harry Porter Area in Universal Studios Japan has entered its second year of operation. This year's new tag line is "2年目の魔法は、もっとすごい。" ("It's more magical in the 2nd year.").

The big upgrade here is that USJ introduced the world's first 3D version of the Forbidden Journey ride

Is it really more magical? Let's find out!

This time I entered the land in early afternoon.

Although the area has opened for more than a year already, guests are still required to get a timed entry ticket which specifies the time period during which they can enter the area.

Once they have entered, they can stay as long as they want. However, if they choose to exit the area, they will have to get another ticket for a second-time entry.

The first thing I did was actually to have lunch. Butter beer is still so yummy!

I decided to check out Ollivanders, which I did not get to visit last year.

At USJ, Ollivanders have two show rooms, which increases the capacity.

Also, the queue area is partially covered by shelter, so waiting is not that tough.


Generally, Japanese visitors are not very good at communication in English. However, it is also important to keep the authenticity of the show.

Therefore, interesting, USJ has come up with the idea of having the performers speak in both Japanese and English. It works really well in the interaction with the guests. Though it might sound a little strange at first.

Of course, the main objective of this trip is to check out the new 3D version of the Forbidden Journey ride.

I was shocked when I learned that the wait time for the ride is 300 minutes!

Considering that it was a long weekend during Japan's summer holidays and a peak time for foreign visitors, it is not difficult to see why.

They had to use the outdoor queue to host the guests.

I was surprised at how long the outdoor queue really is. Luckily I had brought my Nintendo 3DS with me, so the wait felt a lot shorter than it really was.

As you can see, they have updated the warning panel to indicate the 3D effects in this new version.

So... Is the 3D version really better?

I hate to sound harsh, but...

This is just my personal opinion, but this ride is just not meant to be in 3D!

With 3D glasses, everything looks so much darker, which hides a lot of details in the incredible physical sets. This is my biggest complaint, as the highlight of the ride should be those animatronics and sets. 

Besides, the viewing angle of the glasses is really narrow, and the scenes lost their expansiveness.

I actually had to take off the glasses whenever I was not viewing the 3D scenes.


Therefore, I really hope that they can reconsider the decision to upgrade it to 3D.

I have also heard rumors about converting the Orlando version into 3D, but I sincerely urge that they should not do that.


That concludes this report of the Wizarding World in USJ. 

See you next time!


  1. Hi luke!
    I try Orlando version early this summer! It's so amazing!! I really love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Hey Bowen.

      Glad that you enjoyed the ride! You are lucky to have ridden it in the non-3D form!