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Review: The Harry Potter Experience in Singapore is a pricey walk for Harry Potter fans

As a Harry Potter fan, this is how a Ravenclaw millennial felt about the The Harry Potter Experience in Singapore.

Our favourite flying car from Harry Potter in the Forbidden Forest. (Photo: Fever)
Our favourite flying car from Harry Potter in the Forbidden Forest. (Photo: Fever)

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a worldwide phenomenon that does not look like it'll die down anytime soon. From themed parks in Tokyo and United States to multiple spin-offs such as the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, studio tours and reunion programmes – the magic of the wizarding world lives on.

Merch can be purchased at the village. (Photo: Fever)
The magic of the franchise lives on. (Photo: Fever)

For this 34-year-old Ravenclaw – in case you cannot tell, I was and still am a fan – the urge (and dollars) to support a franchise that I grew up on is not lost on me. Even before embarking on this media preview, my friends and I purchased tickets to the Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience excitedly on Day 1 when the tickets were released – all on account of us being fans of the franchise.

The gist of Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience in Singapore is this: you walk through an illuminated nighttime forest trail, interact with animatronics, soak up the atmosphere, have some of the fiction-inspired treats such as Butterbeer, and pose for some photos. For those who know the story, spotting the easter eggs along the trails is also part of the fun.

L to R: Beautiful lighting, the main and a Butterbeer to quench your thirst (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)
L to R: Beautiful lighting, the entrance to the Harry Potter: The Forbidden
Forest in Sentosa Island, and a Butterbeer to quench your thirst (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)

Highlights of the Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience in Sentosa Island

  • Follow a woodland trail through a spellbinding forest full of interactive moments and beautiful lighting

  • Come face-to-face with magical creatures from the Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts films, such as Hippogriffs, Unicorns, Nifflers, and more

  • Use your wand to cast spells, and even conjure a Patronus

  • Enjoy a selection of delicious treats inspired by the Wizarding World

  • Take plenty of fun photos to capture magical memories from the evening's adventure

Get your Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience tickets here

Phone app: immersive or distracting?

Before entering the walk, guests are required to download an app. This app allows you to scan symbols along the path that will give further information, lets you watch snippets of the movie where relevant, allows you to play fun little quizzes and even triggers your phone to light up at specific arenas.

L: The path in the forest. R: The symbols to scan with the app (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)
L: The path in the forest. R: Scan symbol with the app to trigger additional information, cutscenes and more. (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)

While I appreciate the sentiments of using the app to give a more immersive experience, I also felt that it was slightly disruptive. Imagine vibing along the beautifully lit path, and suddenly, lights from multiple phones punctuate the experience. You too, decide to pull out your phone to scan the symbol, only to get a paragraph of information that you might not need. There are some flourish and short video clips too, though halfway through I just decided to stop using my phone to scan the symbols because I didn't feel like I'm missing anything.

Some fun elements to punctuate the walk

One point of praise is the animatronics, which when executed right, is plenty of fun. Case in point: near the entrance, you'll find a hippogriff chilling around. Bow to it, and see what happens!

Bow to the Hippogriff and maybe, just maybe, it'll bow back. (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)
Bow to the Hippogriff and maybe, just maybe, it'll bow back. (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)

I just wished more would happen, especially when we finally encounter Aragog, the elderly spider that resides deep in the Forbidden Forest. We also got a glimpse of the magical creatures featured in the books, but most of them are merely stagnant displays. Watch for the golden foal of the unicorn – which is one of the more interesting spots during the walk.

Pretend you're actually casting a spell. (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)
You can pretend you're actually casting a spell, which makes for a great photo. (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)

Along the path, you'll also get to cast spells (even a Patronus!) and see objects come to life. Those few experiences were undoubtedly for me the highlight of the entire walk, though it feels quite far and few in between. Plus, when I factor in the possible queues that might happen on a regular walk, I question how much I may enjoy the experience.

After the walk, you can get some light refreshments from the Village, where you can obtain merch and try out some of the Harry Potter-inspired food items. They are, again, pricey, and may not be as impressive on the palate as the price point.

With so much fandom and dollars behind the franchise, I just cannot help but feel a little shortchanged by the walk, even though I went in wanting to love it utterly. For a Harry Potter fan, is enough being done to keep the magic, instead of just the pockets, alive?

General info to Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience in Sentosa Island

Date: from February 3, 2024
Time: 7:45 pm – 11pm (last entry at 10:15pm)
Duration: approx. 45–60 minutes (the walking trail will take approx. 30–45 minutes)
Location: Siloso Point, Coastal Trail, Sentosa
Age requirement: all ages are welcome. Children ages 3 and under enter free of charge
Accessibility: please be aware that this is a park trail. The pathway is paved, but there are narrow sections towards the end of the trail which can make it difficult for wheelchair access.
Parking: Park at Beach Station (15min walk to the experience, or 10min by Bus/Beach Shuttle). There is also parking at Southside, Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa and Imbiah Walk, however parking slots are limited and parking charges may vary.

Get your Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience tickets here

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