The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction in Universal Orlando is not quite the same as the one found in Universal Studios Hollywood. For one, it does not have the awesome Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride set inside the Hogwarts castle. Instead it had the Dragon Challenge (formerly Dueling Dragons) which was basically a rebranded thrill ride for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you haven’t already heard, it is gone now.
In fact, it had stopped operation in 2017 and subsequently demolished to make way for a new thrill ride called Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. The new ride, which was in the works two years now, has finally open its doors on June 13, 2019. And boy, are Harry Potter fans and thrill ride junkies going bonkers over it. But more on that later.
One of the unique aspect of this new thrill ride is the cars itself. It is modeled after Hagrid Motorbike – complete with the requisite sidecar. Riders can choose to hop on Hagrid’s motorbike or snug into the sidecar. Expect to experience rich sets featuring the rarest magical creatures like Centaur, the three-headed dog and more, an actual forest filled with over 1,200 trees, and ground-breaking coaster technology that takes you through a journey filled with twist and turns, no less then seven launches and a heart stopping 17 feet drop.
Also, expect to meet the man himself, Hagrid, as the most life-like animated figure Universal Orlando has ever created. Universal Orlando described the Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure as the “world’s first ‘story coaster’. How so? Well, I guess you will have to experience it yourself to be a judge if it really is worthy as a “story coaster.”
Here’s a video tour of the new Harry Potter ride:
Speaking of which, you can find Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. But be warned, before you get to experience one hell of a motor-coaster, there will be one hell of a wait. According to a report on June 14 by Movieweb, fans had waited up to 10 hours to get onto the new ride.
What kind of madness is this?! Though the wait was said to have dropped to five hours by midday, it is still absolutely mental to be queuing in line for one single ride that lasted for a couple of minutes. Universal Orlando advises visitor to use Virtual Line system available on The Official Universal Orlando Resort App, so you won’t burn your entire day for one ride.
That’s probably just the novelty factor at play here. I am sure the fever will subside to popular thrill rides usual waiting time of just 2-3 hours down the road. However, if you are fond of braving the unpredictable and often brutal weather of Florida and also don’t mind mingling with mosquitoes, you can head down to Universal Orlando this summer to have a go with Hagrid’s magical motorbike.
Personally, I would rather not. I will till everything returns to just another thrill ride status before having a go.
Here’s a video of Harry Potter‘s cast opening for the ride:
Images: Universal Orlando Resort.