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When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter first opened in 2010, the immersive theme park experience was changed forever. Universal Studios wasn’t the first to try its hand at creating magical themed rides and “trips” to other lands, but they were the ones who catapulted guests to places that make you feel as if you have left the confines of the theme park.
Now, Universal claims to have conjured up the most immersive and highly themed roller coaster ride … ever. Given its history with the previous Harry Potter attractions, we are inclined to believe them. We already know that the brand-new Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ride will open on June 13 at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando as one of the most anticipated new rides at Universal theme parks across the world for 2019. But, we now know more than just a date — we know enough details to start planning a trip to be one of the first on this immersive ride.
Inside the Brand New Harry Potter Ride
To set the stage inside the Forbidden Forest, there are 1,000 live trees that create an actual forest, not mere fakes dabbling the landscape. That’s where Hogsmeade’s favorite giant wizard will launch his motorbike on an adventure that reaches speeds of up to 50mph (for reference, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Disney World tops out at 34 mph). The new Harry Potter ride will travel in multiple directions (ahem, backwards) at breathtaking speeds. And, in a twist, the experience will be different whether you’re riding on Hagrid’s motorbike or in the side car. Double the fun, though probably at least double the amount of time waiting in line if you want to ride twice (more on that in a moment).
This ride will plunge you into a pit of Devil’s Snare after whisking by Fluffy, the three-headed dog, and a swarm of Cornish pixies. There are more surprises in store because, as you know with all things Hagrid, things don’t always go as planned.
Along with the high speed come pretty big height requirements. Sorry young wizards, but you will have to be 48 inches for this one. That’s the same as for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, but less than required for Escape from Gringotts (42 inches) and Flight of the Hipporgriff (36 inches).
Peeks at Construction
If you want more than just a peek at what is in the official release, as construction nears completion, more details are emerging from folks with an industrious eye in the sky. Theme Park Insider points to some images of Fluffy and other elements of Hagrid’s new playground:
Reduce Your Wait Times for Harry Potter Rides
Not only can the streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley get very crowded, but waits for the existing Harry Potter rides at Universal can be hours long at times — and that’s before the newest attraction opens.
While there have been no formal announcements about the availability of Express or Single Rider Lines for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures, there are ways to reduce your wait time for most things Harry Potter.
- Stay on site at a Universal hotel to get into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at an hour early. Options include places like the new Aventura Hotel (hello, family rooms!), the well-done Loews Sapphire Falls and more.
- Get included Universal Express Passes at the highest ‘tier’ of Universal hotels including: Loews Royal Pacific, Loews Portofino Bay and the Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando. It is unknown if Express Pass will help you get on Hagrid’s ride upon opening, but it will certainly help your overall Universal/Harry Potter experience. Staying at these hotels and getting included passes will save a family hundreds of dollars over buying them outright.
- Consider a Universal VIP tour. There are very expensive Universal VIP tours, but there are more affordable options, too. If you want lots of Universal without the waits, VIP tours start at $189 per person. Also, keep an eye on this year’s Daily Getaways Deals as discounted Universal VIP experiences are often included in that annual line-up.
We can’t wait for Hagrid’s new attraction to open in Orlando. On top of being an epic new Harry Potter experience, it may help spread out the crowds a bit more in Hogsmeade (after the opening rush, at least). And, this awesome new attraction boosts the value of a Universal Studios annual pass, which already is a compelling offer for a fan of all things Harry Potter.
Read on for more Universal Studios tips and reviews:
- Why Now is the Best Time to Buy Theme Park Tickets
- How to Get the Most Out of One Day at Universal Studios
- Is Universal Studios Orlando Getting a New Theme Park?
- 5 Ways Universal Studios is Better Than Disney
- Inside a $3,000 Universal Studios VIP Tour
Featured image by Summer Hull / The Points Guy
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