Just a heads up~ this review is FILLED with spoilers. If you don’t like spoilers.. then leave!
I can start off by saying that I miss Dueling Dragons. It was a great coaster. Many of us didn’t agree with it’s unfortunate closure and demolition, but all good things must come to an end. Rumors, and later confirmation, pointed to the construction of an “All New Highly Themed Roller Coaster Experience”…
And that it was.
Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure is one of the most immersive roller coasters in the world. The queue alone was so heavily themed and that is nothing compared to the ride itself. Some detail work was done to the entrance of the old castle, which is now a building in ruins, according to a Team Member, but nostalgia will definitely hit upon walking up to it. You’ll look to your right and can almost see and hear the old Cobra Roll ramming into the castle walls. Before entering the castle is Hagrid’s hut, which is surrounded by pumpkins and cocoons in the trees. There are then 2 lines that split off into the castle; the stand-by line to the left, and single riders line to the right. Entering the castle, you walk to your left and enter the former circle where the Tri-Wizard Cup(Goblet?) used to be. Except it’s gone, instead there are faded drawings of different mystical creatures on the rocky walls, and above us are cages that house those different animals. All empty of course. On your way out of the room be sure to pay attention to your left hand side, as there is a drawing on the wall that says “DUELING CLUB” with of course a red and blue dragon. Cheers and even TEARS from team members as they passed and saw this wall.
The next room is the one and only preshow. Arthur Weasley waits for all of us to get comfortable as we stand shoulder to shoulder. In this demonstration Arthur shows that he has tinkered with Sirius’s MOTORBIKE to help us Muggles get to our magical creatures lesson. During his demonstration Hagrid walks in and stops him just in time to see if Arthur was doing everything safely. A typical Weasley error causes the motorbike to light on fire attracting CORNISH PIXIES to the flames. Even Fang himself makes an appearance! Hagrid dismisses us into the next room, which is FILLED with easter eggs. No seriously, the room is surrounded by Eggs of all shapes and sizes, from multiple creatures. Hidden in one of the cabinets is the Golden Egg. First house to find it is awarded 300 points!
After a few switch backs in this rather humid room, the queue finally enters the caves. Reminiscent of the old caves of the Dragons queue, but much brighter. After what felt like endless miles and miles of caves leading nowhere, we finally arrive to what looks like a classroom setting. Different posters scattered around the room featuring different Magical Creatures such as the Salamander, Unicorns, and more. On our way out of the classroom we’re back into the endless maze of tunnels. But to our left, a large screen. Depicting the safety procedure on how to safely board the vehicles that Hagrid and Arthur are providing us with. (See blurry image)
We finally arrive to the grouping area next to platform. Before entering the stables where our vehicles are held a team member was selecting guests who seemed tall or with larger body dimensions to try out the test seats prior to riding. Unfortunately, most of them were sent back due to height or size. Universal had mentioned that guests with dimensions of 40” or higher may not be able to ride. There were many, many, MANY team members that normally ride coasters like Escape From Gringotts or Revenge of The Mummy that COULD NOT get the restraints all the way down on Hagrid’s. It was very unfortunate for the team members that waited 3 or more hours just to be told at the end that it wasn’t safe for them to experience the attraction. Universal does plan on setting a test seat OUTSIDE THE QUEUE by the entrance, like most rides, so it’ll be up to the team members to be extra vigilant and prevent these situations before guests wait countless hours to be told NO. Let’s not forget, no loose articles are allowed. There is no metal detection system like Hulk and Rockit, but lockers are still required for all bags. (Fanny packs are okay to ride!)
Now for those of who got to ride, we moved on to center platform. Above us were wooden boards with projections above them of the different creatures roaming around. Such as spiders, pixies, and more. When we got to the grouper, they ask how many are in your party, which one wants to ride the Sidecar, and which one wants to ride the Motorbike. This is entirely up to you and your party. Person on the left will be boarding the Sidecar, person on the right will board the Motorbike. The Motorbike rider enters the vehicle first, followed by the sidecar. The station has a moving platform like the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit or the Forbidden Journey attraction.
Once on the ride we leave the stables with a right turn and head to our first coaster segment where we helix downwards slightly into a long track, then launch forward while low to the ground, brakes later hit and we enter a hut. Inside is a MASSIVE Hagrid animatronic! Hagrid tells us about the creature he has in front of him, which is the Blast Ended Skrewt. Listen very closely because we do fly by this scene and the audio was very hard to hear.
After that we hit the next launch which propels us over a building and drops us into this very intense helix (watch out for airtime) right over the water. As we zoom on through we reach our next slowdown, which is where we encounter our 3 headed pup-friend by the name of Fluffy. This animatronic was massive and honestly very intimidating, but once again like Hagrid’s hut this can be easily missed due to how quickly the vehicles zoom through the scenes. Another launch shoots us into the forbidden forest where we fall into a dip, then another launch where we approach a strange element. The Motorbike tries to fly us up and over the forest, but it “breaks down” and stalls out resulting in us “falling out of the sky”, going backwards down a huge spike, back up the bunny-hop launch until suddenly you’re in the indoor section of the ride. Here is the darker part of the forest where we find spiders, centaurs, and yes, the Devil’s Snare. This is where the ride literally took our breaths away. The 17 foot drop track. Only a few in the world, it is the first in Florida, and the first Dual-Drop track in the world. Very similar to the sensation you would feel on any of the Tower of Terror attractions around the world in the Disney parks, but on a roller coaster. It was an incredible feeling. Hagrid joins us once again and safely launches us out of this tunnel and back to the forest where we sprint around a few turns and approach our final brake run as we see a lovely Unicorn and it’s newborn bowing to us as we return to the station.
The ride is an incredible addition to not only The Wizarding World, but to Universal Orlando Resort as a whole. After years of some not-so-well attractions, they certainly set the bar with this one. They proved to neighboring parks and even the world that you can definitely tell a story without SCREENZ along with the thrills and chills of a roller coaster. Even us Die-Hard Dragons fans can all agree that this was a phenomenal addition and replacement. Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure opens on June 13th, and I cannot wait for everyone to enjoy this the way I did. It’s a win in our books.