Universal Studios Orlando brought a little extra magic to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
On June 13, the theme park introduced its new ride, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. If you follow Universal, I’m sure you are aware that they have been hyping this ride up for some time now. As with any time something is largely promoted, guests begin to wonder, Can it live up to the hype?
I found myself asking this same question, but on opening day the public answered with a resounding YES! On it’s first day in operation, the ride was flooded with muggles that were willing to wait +10 hours for the magical adventure. Despite waiting in the heat and humidity, the general consensus is that it was worth the extended wait.
I was dying to see how a ride could be worth all the trouble, so Timothy and I hopped in our car and took a spontaneous trip to Orlando. We made our game plan and crossed our fingers.
5:30am: Head to Universal!
We hoped to be one of the first people in line, and left our hotel before sunrise. Embarrassing confession: In the excitement of the morning, we forgot our Universal passes at the hotel! We had to turn around once we got there, and I can assure you I did not think this was funny at the time(pre-coffee). Despite our hiccup, we ended up at the Universal entrance at 6:51am.
The park itself was not set to open until 9:00am, so we joined all the fellow potterheads in line.
Thankfully, the Team Members ushered us in around 8:00am. I was pleasantly surprised by how organized the whole operation was, because I was honestly expecting a Hunger Games type of experience.
The second we walked through the gates, they had everything roped off into a single file line. This way there was no running or racing to get to the Wizarding World.
They brought us all the way up to the entrance of Hogsmeade, which is where we waited until the park officially opened at 9:00am.
The wait time was 360 minutes at the time of park opening.
The beginning of the queue takes you right past the ride’s tracks, which only increased our excitement for the ride.
On the left, we passed Hagrid’s hut.
This is the same hut that we have seen before near Flight of the Hippogriff, but now we are seeing the opposite side. I loved all of the little details that captured the spirit of Hagrid.
Next, we crossed over a bridge before we entered the inside queue.
Near the entrance we got a great shot of one of the creepiest Potter creatures: the mermaids from Goblet of Fire.
Unfortunately, this is where we hit our first snag. The ride broke down for about 7 minutes, but once it was resolved it stayed running for us.
I loved the amount of detail that Universal put in the line.
Obviously waiting for 2-10 hours is not going to be very exciting, but I loved that they sprinkled in little nods to the movie so that we stayed entertained.
We were led to our final waiting room, where we saw Hagrid’s shadow riding his motorbike on the ceiling.
The Team Member then asked if we were going to ride on the motorcycle or the side car. My gracious husband let me take the motorcycle, which I can confidently say added to the experience! We stepped on the ride at 9:42am.
Here it is…the moment that we had driven 6+ hours for. At this point, I am sure you will not be surprised to hear that I loved this new attraction. Within seconds, I was whisked away to world of Harry Potter. It was more than just a roller coaster, it was truly an experience.
Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure takes us through numerous magical set ups that are bound to bring on the nostalgia. Some of these include fluffy, the car, blast ended skrewts, cornish pixies, centaurs, unicorns, and devil’s snare.
As you race past the magic, you find yourself launched forward on 2-3 different occasions. Let me tell you, the speed was one of the best parts. If you are a Disney fan, it is very similar to the launch on Test Track.
Next up, we have the highly anticipated free fall. Your motorbike soars past the car and through the mist. You will find yourself going up a 90 degree angle and falling backwards on the track.
*Tip* This section was not nearly as death defying as I was afraid it would be, but if you are still nervous I suggest you get a seat in the back. The back section barely goes up the track and will not have big drop.
*Favorite part- Spoiler*
Though I knew about all of the other little tricks, Universal had a surprise up their sleeve. Towards the end of the ride, you learn that you are surrounded by devil’s snare. Hagrid instructs everyone to say lumos solem, but the vines continue to move all around you in the dark. Then it happens…
The track completely drops. While everyone is distracted and struggling to see in the dark, you suddenly fall through devil’s snare. It feels like you have the floor pulled out from under you and drop quite a few feet. My heart may have skipped a beat, but boy was it worth it!
This ride was everything I wanted and more. In my opinion, it is by far the best ride that Universal has to offer.
The only downside to this attraction is that they are still working out the kinks. I have heard many passholders say that the ride has been breaking down numerous times an hour. Luckily, we only stopped once, but I have heard stories of people waiting 6 hours and not getting to ride.
Universal released a statement earlier this week, saying that they have decided to only run this attraction from afternoon-close for the next few weeks. They want to spend time on maintenance and fix a few things to avoid it breaking down further. Hopefully they will have everything running smoothly by next month.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is currently my favorite coaster, and I have no regrets about taking the journey down to Florida to experience the magic for myself.
You can watch a video of the ride here.
Have you had a chance to ride this gem yet?