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First, Universal unveiled Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure’s setting. Then the company gave us the new ride’s name, main character, and opening date. What more could possibly be left to discover?
Well, how about the actual premise of the ride?
Today, Universal has revealed that guests will be joining Professor Rubeus Hagrid for a session of his Care of Magical Creatures class out in the Forbidden Forest, one that will require them to board enchanted motorbikes in order to “soar” over the fun-but-potentially-dangerous terrain. However, since this is both a Universal attraction, generally, and Hagrid himself, specifically, things go awry, and trouble ensues – trouble that may still be left rather ambiguous at this stage in the game, but which we now know will be filled with the likes of Cornish pixies, centaurs, and Fluffy, the three-headed dog who made only one (albeit memorable) appearance in the source material, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Oh, yeah – there’s also going to be a never-before-seen-in-the-films critter, to boot, although this one was left open-ended.
These fantastic beasts may fit with fan expectations, given both familiarity with the source material and with the concept art that’s already been released, but it’s still a welcome confirmation, and a way to further differentiate the new roller coaster from the other two major Wizarding World rides, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts; having constant encounters with such unusual creatures, especially if they’re realized primarily through audio-animatronic form, will be a breath of fresh air in an area that is already almost a decade old. (It helps that, of these beasties, only one has appeared before in a Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction: the centaurs, who make a brief cameo in the Hogwarts Express.) And when one adds in the several launches and hills from the track’s layout, well, this really will be an adventure.
Speaking of the roller coaster’s track, Universal was kind enough to offer some more details on the ride experience, as well. The company is promising that Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure will combine “a new level of storytelling and innovative coaster technology with rich environments and sets,” something which is already quite easy to see: guests will make their way through 1,200 real, live trees and will do so on ride vehicles that were designed to maximize the feel of “the freedom of flight” – which should only be accentuated by the fact that the coaster will go up to 50 mph, including, at times, backwards(!). Re-ridability will also come strongly in play here, as both Hagrid’s motorcycle and the bike’s sidecar will provide two different experiences – and what are sure to be small details and hidden Easter eggs placed all throughout the attraction, from its queue to its unloading station, will only be icing on Hagrid’s (“happee birthdae”) cake.
What else, at this point, is left to be divulged before Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure’s June 13 debut? A whole lot, actually – the queue and preshow experience, logistical questions like whether the ride will employ either a single-rider line or Express Pass access, and, perhaps, another peek or two at what other specific elements may be awaiting passengers in the Forbidden Forest (Universal is already promising “challenging obstacles,” Devil’s Snare, and “a few surprises”). With all of today’s little morsels (including Hagrid’s height requirement, which is 48 inches), however, we’re satiated enough to happily wait for the next round of reveals… right?
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will open on June 13, 2019. Also expected this year is the new Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle projection-mapping show and the Today Cafe, which will open over at Universal Studios Florida.