OI Center

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Location
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

Opening date
June 13, 2019

Restrictions and access
48 inches; no Express Pass access; has a single-rider line

Two-sentence insider summary
This state-of-the-art, family-friendly roller coaster – which Universal brags is the most themed one it’s ever done – takes you deep into the Forbidden Forest, joining Professor Rubeus Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class as he introduces you to the various rare fantastic beasts that call the woods home (with the star of the show being the never-before-seen Blast-Ended Skrewt). It replaces the former (and beloved) Dragon Challenge coaster, which was open for Hogsmeade’s first seven years.

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure concept art
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure track layout

Fear factor
4 out of 5. Hagrid is thrilling (much more than, say, the kiddie Flight of the Hippogriff), but not anywhere near as intense as Dragon Challenge was (which was riddled with inversions and massive hills). But it doesn’t go upside down, and its 16-foot drop is straight down, which is more fun than overpowering.

Wait times
Check back soon!

In the meantime, however, please be aware that Universal has been heavily modifying Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure’s hours of operation (due to its popularity and its daily maintenance and technical-support demands). From June 17 through July 10, the company didn’t open the ride until midday each and every day; from July 11 onwards, it’s resumed opening Hagrid in the morning (well, usually, at least), but it’s still shutting it down in the evenings, before park close.

What you wish you knew before you experienced it
How many Easter eggs there are all throughout the ride, starting with its queue. (The most obvious one is also our favorite: the Dueling Club artwork on the ruins’ wall is a loving callback to Dueling Dragons, the original incarnation of the coaster that would eventually be called Dragon Challenge.) Be sure to keep your eyes peeled at every stage along the way.

OI fun fact
This is the very first Harry Potter ride to not feature the Boy Wizard himself, a trend which started with Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, when Harry just pops up for a moment or two in both the queue and ride experience proper. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this continue in the years ahead – all the child actors have aged considerably over the course of the last decade, after all.

Review
You can read our full review of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure here.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – setting

Although the Forbidden Forest is quickly experienced in both Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff (where the front of Hagrid’s hut can be spotted), Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is the first attraction to be exclusively set in this environment, replete with its mysterious beasties, new-to-the-mythology abandoned ruins, and myriad trees (there’s over 1,200 of them!). We explore why this is such a great location for adventure and why it’s such a perfect complement to everything else in Hogsmeade in our detailed write-up.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – protagonist

As we’ve already mentioned, Rubeus Hagrid takes the leading role away from Harry Potter himself in the first Wizarding World ride in five years. And in order to bring the Care of Magical Creatures professor to life, Universal has created its most detailed and lifelike audio-animatronic figure yet, working with actor Robbie Coltrane in order to capture his appearance and essence – his face (and, even, his teeth!) were digitally scanned, and his performance provided the basis for the robot’s 24 different body actions. And just in case that weren’t enough, the animated figure’s face was “meticulously” hand-sculpted, all of its individual hair strands were carefully placed (including the eyebrows and lashes), its costume was designed by the same team that furnished Coltrane’s attire in the various Harry Potter movies, and its now-iconic pink umbrella is an exact replica of the film prop.

It’s no wonder Universal is calling the seven-foot-six-inch Hagrid “hyper realistic.”

There’s still more to sink our (digitally scanned) teeth into, though. To understand just why the passing of the narrative torch from Harry to another Wizarding World hero is such a massive, potentially game-changing deal, please see our in-depth feature.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – queue

Walk down paths that take you past the back of Hagrid’s hut, near the Black Lake (the first time the body of water has been present in Orlando!), into ancient ruins, and past a smorgasbord of Easter eggs – and that’s even before you meet Rubeus Hagrid and his good friend, Arthur Weasley. We explore the grounds with you in our guided tour.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – ride experience

Each roller coaster “car” features two different seats, the motorbike and its side car, which Universal promises will result in two different ride experiences. While in these unusual seats, guests will surge through multiple launches and hills, going as fast as 50 mph – including backwards!

Along the way, riders will encounter a whole manner of different magical creatures, including centaurs, Cornish pixies, and the iconic Fluffy, the three-headed dog. But what should get Harry Potter fans positively giddy with anticipation is the chance to come across a never-before-seen-in-the-movies beast: the Blast-Ended Skrewt, which will shoot “actual” fire and smell a little something like rotting fish. (Oh, yeah – there’s also going to be other “challenging obstacles” lying in wait in the Forbidden Forest, as well, including Devil’s Snare, the entangling plant.)

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – magical creatures

Universal has released photo highlights of the main audio-animatronic creatures that you’ll encounter during your Motorbike Adventure with Hagrid. First up: Fluffy, the giant three-headed dog, who weighs 8,000 pounds in his robotic form.

Fluffy from Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Fluffy from Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Then there are those mischievous little Cornish pixies, 20 of which will appear throughout the ride – mostly clustered around the Weasleys’ flying Ford Anglia, which has been lost in the Forbidden Forest for the past few years (and which was originally spotted in the former Dragon Challenge’s queue).

Cornish pixies in Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Cornish pixies in Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Devil’s Snare, that treacherous plant, will – well – ensnare you at some point during your journey through the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid.

Devil's Snare in Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Devil’s Snare in Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

A lone centaur will encounter you on the ride, as well, and though he keeps his distance, that doesn’t make him any less (potentially) dangerous.

Centaur in Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Centaur in Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

And, finally, making his “on-screen” debut, we have the Blast-Ended Skrewt, which stands up to 10 feet tall (with his tail) and eight feet long. That’s a big ‘un!

Blast-Ended Skrewt in Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – photo gallery

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