Operations Update for Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure

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Guests continue to rave about Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure, but experiencing this hit attraction has remained challenging. After opening this summer the coaster started opening later than the rest of the park and ran at reduced capacity. Since then the attraction moved to closing before the rest of the park, experienced periods of extended downtime, and continued to post long waits.

Since our last update on the attraction several circumstances have changed that could impact your touring plans and experiencing the attraction. In this article we will cover new tips learned from my most recent visit that will help you save time.

Operating Hours

This summer Universal made the choice to close Hagrid in the early evening to allow maintenance and operation teams time to improve the coaster’s reliability and capacity. When this occurs the attraction is listed as “At Capacity” on the display board and in the app. Starting in September, Universal modified these plans to increase guest satisfaction.

Universal advises guests to enter the queue prior to 3:00 p.m. to ride Hagrid. Based on our observations the entrance sometimes closes later on weekends, up to as late at 6:00 p.m. If you are visiting, enter the queue prior to 3:00 p.m., with the possibility of the line closing at 6:00 p.m. on weekends.

Note on Universal Orlando’s website regarding Hagrid closing at 3:00 p.m. (Taken October 14, 2019)

Downtime

Hagrid is a state-of-the-art roller coaster that combines seven launches (the most of any coaster), two fast switch tracks, a backwards section, and free-fall drop. These complex components cause issues resulting in a delayed opening or delays during the day. Additionally the coaster will shut down in heavy rain and if lightning is detected around the resort.

On days with extended delays in the morning (“Delayed” on the display board and app) the ride might stay open later into the evening. For example, on a recent day with a Delay into the afternoon the attraction remained open till park close (despite the app still listed the attraction as “Delayed”). If the ride is Delayed we advise moving onto the next step of your touring plan and returning once the attraction opens, before 3:00 p.m.

Photo courtesy Alicia Stella.

Capacity

Universal is running Hagrid with fewer trains than originally designed. By running fewer trains the ride will operate with fewer shutdowns; so while fewer guests will ride an hour the overall daily guest throughput will be higher.

The good news is Universal and Intamin have not given up. Since opening, the total amount of trains on the track has increased, leading to reduced wait times. Universal is using the reduced operating hours during the week to continue testing and adjusting the ride programming. At this time a full queue, with no delays, is approximately a two-hour wait.

Virtual Queue

Prior to opening Universal announced Hagrid would use a Virtual Queue when lines spill into Hogsmeade. So far we have not seen Universal offer this, even when lines extended into Hogsmeade or the rest of the park. We expect this is due to unpredictable downtime. As such do not plan on Universal offering Virtual Queue when you visit the park for the foreseeable future.

Touring Suggestions

Hagrid is experiencing similar growing paints to Flight of Passage, except when a theater for Flight of Passage would go down there would be three others to cover the slack. Despite our warnings and updates, riding Hagrid is no longer an all-day affair. We have seen posted wait times inflated about 25% compared to actual waits. A 90-minute posted wait is actually closer to 60-75 minutes and a 120-minute posted wait is closer to 90.

Try following these tips in addition to your Touring Plan to save time and have fun:

  • Arrive at the park 60 to 90 minutes prior to advertised opening. Upon entry follow Team Member directions to the queue for Hagrid. The quickest way is to hug the lagoon path through Seuss Landing, following to the left of Green Eggs and Ham. Experience Hagrid.
  • If the attraction is Delayed at park opening skip Hagrid and follow the rest of your touring plan, checking in on the Universal Orlando app or wait times boards around the park to see if the ride is open. Ride once the attraction opens. Note: Wait times will be inflated the first hour the attraction is open.
  • Be prepared to be in the line for Hagrid prior to 3:00 p.m. to experience the attraction.
  • Instances where the ride is closed all day, close out your Touring Plan and return to Islands of Adventure for the final hour of the park. Enjoy Hogsmeade while keeping an eye on the attraction for a late opening.

Operating conditions can change at any time with no notification. Check with Universal Orlando and Guest Relations for the most up to date information.

Have you traveled to the Forbidden Forrest with Hagrid? How was your lesson? Post below with your tips and tricks.

Joseph Matt

Avid amusement park and video game fan. Enjoys picking up rare beers at breweries, exploring cities, cooking, and leading the young men of his fraternity.

6 thoughts on “Operations Update for Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure

  • October 16, 2019 at 1:43 pm
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    I recall Jim Hill mentioning an upper height limit (6’3?). Am I remembering that correctly and if so is there still a maximum height restriction?

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    • October 16, 2019 at 2:05 pm
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      JB, I heard that episode and scratched my head. There is no height limit for Hagrid that I know of, my understanding it is body shape and lap bars might be the issue.

      I’ve talked to several people who are 6’2” and find they can ride. One person with a larger waist line finds the side car tight but can fit in the bike. So for someone who is 6’3” the height won’t be the issue but long legs or a large waist line in the side car.

      There is a test seat outside the queue, my suggestion is to test in that to make sure one can safely ride.

      Reply
      • October 23, 2019 at 11:44 am
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        My husband is 6’5″ and fit great on the bike, too tall/big for the sidecar, but the bike worked out fine!

        Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 3:24 pm
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    So I wonder what is considered worse: Opening a ride that is not fully ready (like Hagrid) or delay the opening of a ride (like the rumored delayed opening of Rise of the Resistance) until it is fully ready?

    Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 5:10 pm
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    I went to Universal Studios Florida just over 3 weeks ago. I had a fabulous time and did ride the Hagrids ride and was fantastic ,though times for the ride did vary day by day . Check costomer sevice or a employee at entrance to the Hagrids ride for times and hours to ride the Hagrid ride ,it changes day by day . This was my 6th time visiting Universal Studios Florida and will return next year . I do reccomend not only this park but at least try the ride once . You will not forget it ,good luck and have a fantastic time.

    Reply
  • November 8, 2019 at 5:53 pm
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    We arrived at 8:10am Wednesday 11/6/19 to line up before the park opened at 9:00am. Walk-ran into the opening line and made it into the castle portion, but then heard the “experiencing technical delays” for almost an hour while everyone sat on the floor. Finally got through and rode first car- phenomenal ride! Exit time was 10:35am. Came back on Friday 11/8/19 and again lined up 40 minutes before open. Got in line and into the castle when we heard the same recording “experiencing technical delays”, but we also had a real person come over the PA system and apologize (this was a bad sign as it didn’t happen Wednesday.) The second time a real person made an announcement ~9:45 saying “extended delay” and we bailed along with a good amount of other people. The ride didn’t open until after 3:00 that afternoon. They appear to have two prerecorded announcements: the first we heard Friday morning saying something like “short delay and will open soon” (note- it didn’t) and then the “experiencing technical difficulties” which we heard probably 8 times (every 5-8 minutes) on Wednesday before it actually opened. My advice: go 60 minutes before IOA opening and make the dash to Hogsmead, while waiting during a delay, if you hear a live person say anything about a long delay then bolt out of the line. We saw posted waits of 90 minutes mid-afternoon during the week and would gladly wait that long to ride what it an awesome experience… when it’s working. PS- it’s absolutely unacceptable that Universal is not putting round the clock engineers on this to restore the ride at the end of the day and then test in the early morning. I can understand mid-day breakdowns, but they have over 12 hours most days to get their prime attraction ready for the next day guest. It just doesn’t seem to be a priority for the customer experience which speaks volumes about Universal overall.

    Reply

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