Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, a new family thrill coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, is coming June 13! We were recently invited to preview the attraction first-hand.
First, the basics from the posted signs: This roller coaster type attraction will feature sudden dramatic acceleration, climbing, tilting, dropping and backwards motion. It has a height requirement of 48 inches.
Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure is located in the Hogsmeade section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure, in the previous Dragon Challenge and Dueling Dragons location. Hagrid the half giant will be star of the show, but he is far from the only familiar face.
The ride vehicles are Hagrid’s motorbike and sidecar that is featured numerous times in the films. Guests will sit both on the bikes and in the sidecars. Both have a similar restraint system, but according to Gary Blumenstein, creative director for the project, each seat offers a different feel and viewpoint that boosts re-ride ability.
During our recent tour, we noted how quiet the coaster vehicles are. They move swiftly with minimal noise from the ride system. But, the motorbikes themselves make an engine rumble via on-board speakers. Universal Orlando Show Producer Elaine Hinds told us the attraction will feature on- and off-board audio that will help enhance the numerous show scenes guests go through.
While the coaster was built with families in mind, we were told numerous times this is no kiddie coaster. With speeds more than 50 miles per hour and a dropping-track element, it’s certainly built to incite thrill. In fact, there will be seven different launch elements, more than any other coaster anywhere. It’s also the longest roller coaster in Florida at nearly a mile long (5,053 feet), and the ride lasts more than three minutes.
Speaking of thrills, many of those exciting elements can be seen above. From the over-water turns, to the sudden launch elements that thrust guests upward into the ruins and around the track, there are plenty of unique track maneuvers. In the far background, you can see a large blue show building peeping above the trees. This show building just took the Florida state record for the largest hand-painted mural, which was done so to make it blend into the rest of the Forbidden Forest.
Inside, guests will be met with a drop-track. The actual track itself will disconnect from the rest of coaster path and fall 16-feet straight down before sending guests into another launch element. (Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsburg has a similar drop.) This drop track procedure features two separate drop rooms to increase efficiency and is the first coaster in the world to do so. Blumenstein mentioned the two rooms are slightly different as well.
Partially through the attraction, guests will also be faced with a 70-degree incline as they rise 65 feet into the air towards a dead-end track. From here, the motorcycles will fall backwards and will continue backwards for a significant portion of the track as guests head into the drop-track show building.
Spoiler warning, this next section of the article will feature details about the queue and a show scene. Scroll down to the next photo of the motorbikes to skip the queue spoilers.
From Hogsmeade, guests will enter the same entrance that was used for Dragon Challenge, but the entrance has been updated with a ruins-esque ride marquee and a tester seat.
Guests will continue up through the outdoor queue past Hagrid’s Hut and newly-added garden. This garden will feature bite marks in the growing plants, one of the first signs that magical creatures are afoot. Only those who have read the books may recognize some of these vegetables Hagrid has planted. Guests will continue until they come to the ruins seen above. A bridge leads to the ruins that wizard students hang out at in-between classes at Hogwarts.
The entrance and indoor queue area are filled with a plethora of nods to the books and films. Guests entering the ruins quickly learn they are soon to join in on Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class. While we were unable to take photos of the queue, we can say it will feature dragon eggs on the verge of hatching and lots of dark rocky hallways. The first room guests enter features a nod to the attractions previously in its place. Red and blue dragons are painted on the walls and there is a sign that says “Dueling Club”, which harkens back to Dueling Dragons, the previous name of Dragon Challenge.
There are also numerous indicators that unicorns will be a part of the guests’ journey and while it wasn’t officially announced that unicorns are part of the attraction a previous helicopter photo update proved just that.
Guests continue through the indoor queue while Hagrid narrates about the Wizarding World, the Care of Magical Creatures class and his own creatures. Eventually guests enter the first pre-show room. It features the same projection style effects that are in the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts pre-show room with Blordak and Bill Weasley. Word of warning, you will get misted with water.
The show itself features Hagrid and Arthur Weasley. Weasley is working on Hagrid’s motorbike, and in true Weasley fashion, it doesn’t work exactly as it should. The motorbike roars to life with a spurt of fire and soon cornish pixies are loose causing mischief. We expect these cornish pixies may be the cause of most of the mishaps during the attraction. The Harry Potter actors, Robbie Coltrain and Mark Williams, both reprise their roles.
Hagrid and Arthur get the cornish pixies mostly under control before explaining that you’ll need to continue on to a more suitable place to clone the motorbike. After passing through some dark hallways, guests will come to the Chamber room where Hagrid fed and cared for the blast-ended skrewts before they grew too big. He’s since moved them to a hut out on the edge of the Forbidden Forest. It’s this charred hut that many have speculated as being Hagrid’s, but his is where it always was. We also learned that the blast-ended skrewts have a strong odor to them that guests will smell.
While we didn’t see the load area, we were told there would be a second show scene there. It will most likely feature Weasley cloning the motorbike to create the coaster train guests will ride on the track.
And that is the end of the queue and pre-show spoilers! But not the end of new information about this upcoming attraction. During talks with Hinds, it was also mentioned that some creatures from the Fantastic Beasts movie series may also be seen out in the attraction.
We were told the ride was designed to accommodate as many guests as possible, with seats that are friendlier to guests of larger body shapes and sizes that may not be able to enjoy other attractions.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will officially open June 13, 2019, and we will be back to get even more coverage. As usual, watch for some technical rehearsals (aka soft openings) in the days and maybe weeks ahead of the grand opening.
This ride is sure to be a major addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort and we expect large wait times this summer. Thankfully, the ride will also feature a single-rider queue.
Want to learn more? Be sure to watch the May 23, 2019 episode of The Attractions Show and check out our articles on the cornish pixies, Fluffy, devil’s snare, the previous helicopter update and Hagrid’s animatronic on the attraction.
Here’s a video behind the construction walls of the motorcycles running on the track and a partial POV. You can also watch it on our YouTube channel.