We were invited down to the Harry Potter Forbidden Forest experience in Northwich to bring you this unbias review of a rather magical night out for all the family.
Fans of Harry Potter can bask in a world of magical creatures at Cheshire’s Arley Hall and Gardens with a 75-minute walkthrough experience through the wizarding world.
Encounter creatures such as Nifflers and a Hippogriff with a blend of audio, lighting and special effects to fully immerse you into this forest wandering experience.
The Forbidden Forest experience had rave reviews last year and you can see why with the level of detail and effort the creators have gone through to transform this forest into an exploration of wonder and magic.
Even if you haven’t seen a Harry Potter film before there are more than enough things to see and do and if you purchase a wand you can interact with certain elements of the walkthrough including a dark forest where you wand activates lights on a tree or even one swish of a wand can freeze an entire lake at your command.
Don’t worry if you don’t want to purchase a wand, there’s always someone on hand who has one and some of the effects were triggering automatically even without a wand so no one will be left out as a result. The wand is a nice keepsake to have and using to it activate the effects around the walk simply adds to the experience.
From Hippogriff’s to giants, Unicorns to Nifflers there are all sorts of creatures within the forest to see and interact with. Whilst you won’t be meeting any live characters along your path the audio immersion mixed with the effects drag you into the story.
Seeing a Unicorn wandering through the forest is a beautiful effect that really has to be seen to be believed and a grand finale over the lake at the end brings to life the expecto patronum scene from the movies right before your very eyes. It was very impressive indeed.
Wands are also handed out for certain scenes including casting your own patronum which is a very cool effect indeed and another where you can have a wand battle in the middle of the forest with lighting effects shooting out of your wand as your battle your opponent.
The Harry Potter Forbidden Forest experience really is fun for all the family but be warned, there is one negative to the entire experience and that is the pricing of the food and drink.
For one Butterbeer (essentially just 12 teaspoons of caramel sugar in a drink) it will set you back £8.50 and other drinks and food items are all around that price so if you’re planning on eating food, I’d personally advise against it. The food is basically street food or the kind of food you’d get outside of a football stadium and is priced up there with some of the best Cheshire pub meals. It really isn’t worth it.
I’d also advise bringing wellies or similar as the walkthrough is very muddy and damp so I’d leave those nice pair of brand new Yeezy’s at home!
After your experience, you are led into a gift shop packed full of wands, plushies, clothing and more themed around the Harry Potter franchise and the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Beanies were priced at £18 with hoodies coming closer to £30 but there’s more than enough stock in there to meet all budgets with the sweets and chocolate frogs all being quite reasonably priced.
The experience has been created by Warner Bros Themed Entertainment in partnership with the award-winning theatrical designers and creators Thinkwell.
A truly wonderful event has been crafted here and whilst the entry price of £31 is a little steep in my own personal opinion (I’d have had it at around £25) the price almost fades away when you’re immersed in this spellbinding wonderland.
The attraction opened to the public on October 15th and will last until January 16th with tickets available to purchase online up to December 4th so. make sure you book in advance.
Slots are available for bookings every 15 minutes and batching was great throughout. We encountered a large crowd in the beginning but as the walk stretched out we were on our own for large portions of the walkthrough.
Certainly photo-ops and wand interaction points form a small queue but if you’re not interested in a photo-op or wand interaction you can simply walk on by.
Head on over to https://hpforbiddenforestexperience.com/ and book your tickets today.
Check out our VLOG of this walkthrough experience below: