Article by Brandon Perkins, GOCC Member
Photos courtesy of Universal Orlando

Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure 1

Universal Studios has a history of record-setting attendance and revenue with their Harry Potter themed lands and attractions. The design of these magical lands is quintessential, making visitors feel as if they are right in the movies themselves. The disparity and distinctiveness of these lands appeal to a vast range of people. From roller coaster enthusiasts to the general public to diehard Harry Potter fans; the large majority of visitors are impressed by the detail and attractions found in the recreations of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. 

Nonetheless, when Universal Studios Orlando announced that a new roller coaster would be coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in July of 2017, suspicion and a lot of preliminary excitement were aroused. The resort waited nearly a YEAR AND A HALF before announcing any details, letting people try to predict and anticipate what the next great Harry Potter-themed attraction might be.

Construction could be seen in the park, where the former Dragon Challenge closed in September 2017. In late 2018, the park finally released details about the ride, which was met with huge enthusiasm and excitement. It was revealed that the ride, produced by Intamin of Switzerland, would have a 2-minute 55-second duration, a 70-degree vertical angle, a 17-feet drop, 5,053-feet of track and a maximum speed of 50 miles per hour. The ride cost $300 million to manufacture and install. Leading up to its opening, Universal described the ride as, “a highly-themed roller coaster that will take us into a different corner of the wizarding world, where guests will encounter some of their favorite characters and creatures.”

Early this year, the opening day was finally announced for June 13, 2019. The new roller coaster opened with a ceremony, featuring popular characters of the Harry Potter series in attendance to celebrate the attraction. Despite a lot of kinks that needed to be worked out, fans and other patrons waited upwards of 10-12 hours to ride over the first few days the ride operated.  For a while, Universal was opening the coaster later in the day to give the techs time to work out the glitches early in the morning. WIth a ride system so complex, it was clearly going to take a bit to get it up and going with minimal downtime, but they seem to have it running quite well roughly three months into its lifespan in the park.

Harry Potter Film Stars Open HMCMA

The ride experience starts with a pre-show in which Rubeus Hagrid (the groundskeeper and Keeper of the Keys at Hogwarts) takes Muggles (people without magical ability) through a Care of Magical Creatures class. He procures the help of Arthur Weasley to duplicate Hagrid’s magical flying motorbike to take it into the Forbidden Forest (an untamed forest on the grounds of Hogwarts school that is home to magical creatures). The motorbike is successfully copied. Then, Fang (Hagrid’s giant-yet-cowardly pet boarhound) releases cornish pixies and takes Arthur’s wand, burning the motorbike, causing it to explode. 

Harry Potter Talent Guests Ride Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

The ride then takes Muggles on a magical journey through the Forbidden Forest on Rubeus Hagrid’s motorcycle. 

Each motorbike plays music composed by John Williams for the Harry Potter films. The vehicle is modeled to closely resemble Hagrid’s motorcycle, with 7 rows and 2 passengers in each row. There is a total of 14 passengers per motorbike.  Interestingly, each row has one seat that resembles a motorcycle, handles and all and a second, slightly lower seat that resembles the sidecar. From reviews, it would appear the two seats offer a fairly different experience in terms of the feeling of the ride elements themselves.

Harry Potter Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

During the ride, you come face-to-face with several creatures of the Harry Potter world. You will travel as fast as 50 miles per hour encountering Fluffy the three-headed dog, cornish pixies, Devil’s Snare, a centaur, and the Blast-Ended Skrewt, which was never featured in the Harry Potter films but did appear in the books.

The ride includes not one, not four, but SEVEN launches! This statistic is very impressive and markets the ride as the roller coaster with the most launches in the entire world, as of September 2019. It features a 17-foot free-fall vertical drop, making it the second coaster in the world to do so after Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. In addition, it is the longest roller coaster in Florida at 5,053-feet. The ride features a catapult 65-feet in the air up a spike at a 70-degree angle followed by a reverse section of track.

When the ride was built, Universal knew they would probably not be able to get the main trio together to film again, as many of them have “moved on from Potter” in their own words.  Choosing to use the Hagrid motorbikes and the Forbidden Forest setting was a perfect match for what they were working with. 

In closing, Universal Studios did a wonderful job on this attraction! Even if you aren't a Harry Potter fan, the ride is thrilling for all ages.

Other than some general information, I didn’t want to give any spoilers for those who have yet to experience the attraction themselves.

Until the queue line is less than 4 hours,  here’s a POV video if you want to see the ride for yourself.

Video courtesy of The Potter Collector on YouTube.