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Expecto (patronum) big changes at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The theme park announced Monday that it’ll be opening a new coaster in 2019. The yet-to-be-named Islands of Adventure thrill ride will replace the mainstay Dragon Challenge.
Universal won’t say much about Wizarding World’s newest ride, but in a blog post announcement, it promised it will be “the most highly-themed coaster we’ve created. It will combine a new level of storytelling with an action-packed adventure… and a few surprises along the way.”
What those lofty words actually mean is anyone’s guess, but if the Wizarding World’s action-packed robo-venture Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is any indication, the new coaster could be amazing. It’ll occupy the space left by Dragon Challenge, which takes the last ride of its 18-year run on September 4. As The Orlando Sentinel reports, Dragon Challenge first opened in 1999 under the name “Dueling Dragons.” Originally a part of the now-defunct Lost Continent section of the park, the ride was one of Islands of Adventure’s very first coasters — that’s more than a decade before Wizarding World opened its doors, and a full two years before the first Harry Potter movie even premiered.
Whatever the new attraction is, here’s hoping that it’s more unique than its predecessor. The Sentinel reports that Dragon Challenge’s two trains used to deploy simultaneously, whizzing past each other at mind-bindingly close distances, but that feature was adjusted in 2011 out of safety concerns, much to the disappointment of thrill-ride enthusiasts.
Featured image of the current Dragon Challenge coaster courtesy of the Universal Orlando Resort.
H/T: The Orlando Sentinel
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