Universal Orlando Resort quietly snuck a major refurbishment project onto the schedule in the Hogsmeade part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Islands of Adventure theme park. The attraction will be closed from December 1 through December 18, 2016 for what is only being described as a “refurbishment.” It’s been made clear that the attraction is NOT being converted over to 3D technology, like the newer version of the Forbidden Journey attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Given that Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey has been operating continuously for 5 1/2 years so far. And while it’s had periodic issues of being up and down on a particular day, it hasn’t had any multi-day scheduled maintenance since opening in 2010. It was time, and in the long run, it will be a good thing for park visitors. To be fair, Universal didn’t completely spring this maintenance on us out of nowhere, but it was buried in awfully small type and the very bottom of the schedule page of their website.
To paraphrase John Candy’s theme park employee from the movie Vacation,
“Sorry folks. Ride’s closed. The Hippogriff out front shoulda told ya.”
After December 18, we should see a Forbidden Journey with refreshed practical effects, more smoothly running complicated moving parts, and likely less periodic daily downtime caused by minor malfunctions.