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Ride-along on the Dragon Challenge roller coaster at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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Our ride along series returns to Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Dragon Challenge is two separate but intertwined roller coasters at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Chinese Fireball dragon races along the red track. The Hungarian Horntail darts along the blue track. Here’s a view of Hogwarts Castle that we’ve never been able to share before.

Two of the roller coaster loops rise above the village of Hogsmead. The Incredible Hulk roller coaster and the Dr. Doom towers are on the horizon.

The entrance to Dragon Challenge crosses a moat and leads riders into the corridors of a dungeon under this fortress. This view has been flipped, during the ride you see this upside down!

At the top of the lift hill is a skyline of the Universal Studios park. Along the horizon at left are the Men in Black ride, and a crane rising above the former Jaws ride site. The Mummy roller coaster is inside the tall building left of center, and the New York City skyline facades are top-center. In between the dips of the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster is the crane at the former Soundstage 44 site.

Work on another unannounced project is also in progress here. This site is behind the Hogsmead train station. Rumors say the Jaws ride site in the Universal Studios theme park will be a Harry Potter-themed London section, and park-hoppers will be able to ride the Hogwarts Express train between Hogsmead and London.

A different look at the track elements seen in the previous photo.

This view shows how much the Dragon Challenge tracks criss-crosses and darts between the loops and twists.

Here the Hungarian Horntail dives under its own final brake run.

Into the same brake run, and our ride-along photos come to an end.

Now it’s time to ride-along in video. First on the Hungarian Horntail, then on the Chinese Fireball. Have fun!

Dragon Challenge roller coaster, Front Row, both sides, Universal Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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1 comment

Rob Rees August 18, 2012 - 9:32 am

Hi Don, nice video from those POV sunglasses. I was the guy sitting next to you on the Hungarian Horntail who had to remove the GoPro wrist-mounted camera. Will have to buy a pair of the sunglasses! What brand were they?

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