Universal Orlando’s newest attraction, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, is now open. In this article we will give our impressions of the new coaster along with touring tips to minimize your wait in line.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a high-speed roller coaster ride through the Forbidden Forest. Guests will experience a twisty, turvey coaster experience that replicates the motions of a flying motorbike. The ride elements and sensations are unlike any coaster in Orlando.
Guests are students in the Care of Magical Creatures class, taught by the friendly Hogwarts Keeper of Keys, Rubeus Hagrid. Hagrid commandeered the forgotten buildings of Hogwarts for the breeding and storage of his magical creatures. Here Hagrid experiment to create a new beast, the blast-ended skrewt, and wants to take us on a field trip to observe them.
During the preshow we find Hagrid also roped in Arthur Weasley to assist us with travel. Arthur gives the iconic Sirius Black motorbike a full Pimp My Ride treatment. Full repairs? Check. Dragon breath boost? Check. Geminio spell to make dozens of copies? Check. After market DVD play and plasma TV? Ok, not that much. After a quick spell by Hagrid we are soon on our way.
On the way to board guests see fairy nests, laboratories, and an assortment of magical eggs. Thankfully Universal reworked large portions of the old Dragon Challenge queue, significantly shortening a half-marathon length queue. Like Forbidden Journey and Hollywood Rip Ride Rock-It guests board the ride vehicles on a moving walkway. Guests riding the motorbike stand on the right-hand side while boarding and the guests in the side-car on the left.
Once strapped in Hagrid quickly puts the pedal to the metal, blasting out of the thestrals stables and into our first launch. What differentiates this coaster from others is how the ride sensation feels like guests are actually riding a flying motorbike. The ride vehicle bucks, drops, and turns like its driven by a lead-footed teen learning how to drive a manual transmission. Yet unlike a driving instructor you will be thrilled as you experience what coaster-heads call lateral forces and negative g-forces (airtime).
While on your class trip guests will fly through ancient ruins, past the giant three-headed dog Fluffy, and stall mid-air before falling backwards. While trying to recover from stalling out guests find themselves in the Forbidden Forest where devil snare entangles their bikes. A quick spell loosens the plant’s grip and guests free-fall 17 feet to safety. If you feel like a confundus charm was cast on you after this description, it means guests should hold on and experience the wildest ride in Scotland.
Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure is a dragon-breath blast of a ride from start to finish, but one that might be too much for some guests. Guests who can ride Revenge of the Mummy or Expedition Everest should be able to handle this coaster. In terms of coasters in Orlando, the intensity is below Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, The Incredible Hulk, and Mako, but more intense than Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is the most unique rollercoaster in Orlando, only passed by SeaWorld’s Mako as the best overall rollercoaster. The ride sensations of flying through a forest combined with amazing set pieces make this a top five ride at the resort.
Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure requires guests be at least 48 inches (121 centimeters) tall to ride.
Due to the restraints, Universal is advising guests with waist lines larger than 40 inches to use the test seat before queueing. While guests with larger waists, hips, and legs have been able to ride they might not be able to fit in the side car seat. Taller guests or those with larger lower body proportions will will be required to ride in the motorbike. Friend of the site Banks Lee records his impressions and his ability to fit in the video above.
The Universal Attractions Assistance Pass (AAP) entrance for the attraction is located roughly 20-30 minutes prior to boarding the ride, in Hagrid’s lab. If the ride is experiencing extended downtime this wait may go above one hour. Keep this in mind as you reserve your return time.
Wheelchair transfers are available on select ride vehicles; the side car seat slides towards guests allowing for easy transfer.
A Word About Reliability
“MINIMUM SIX HOUR WAIT!”
getting in line at 9:03 am. pic.twitter.com/rogKrb150M
— caitlin (@caitlizgrace) June 16, 2019
All new attractions have periods of downtime and operations issues, but Hagrid is experiencing abnormal amounts of downtime. On June 17, Universal announced Hagrid will open “mid-day” for the remainder of June and into July. During this time maintenance and the technical teams will work increase the ride’s reliability. Until it returns to normal operations expect the ride to open between 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
This is, unfortunately, not totally unexpected. The ride manufacturer, Intamin AG, develops cutting-edge but downtime-prone attractions. Rides such as Infinity Falls, Falcon’s Fury, and Maverick all experienced delayed grand openings. Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point still experiences downtime 15 years after opening. We expect Universal to work out these issues through the summer and into the fall.
To Queue or Not To Queue (Long Lines and Virtual Queue)
Hagrid is the hottest ticket at Universal and will remain so for years. In its opening year expect it to draw lines that are hours long all day. After several days of operation, Universal’s input, and our own experiences there are three ways to queue for Hagrid.
- Queue Early: Arrive at least two hours prior to the park opening and immediately follow Team Members’ instructions to queue for the attraction. You will be among the first several hundred to ride once Hagrid opens with the park. Due to ride issues the attraction might not open with the park some days.
- Ride late afternoon: The queue frequently goes to “At Capacity”, where the line wait time has reached a point where the line is shut down for new guests so the attraction can close with the park. After the afternoon rain and before the queue reaches capacity is among the lowest waits of the day for the ride but requires guests to be flexible with timing. This option might not be available if the Virtual Line option is being used.
- Virtual Line: Universal announced they will be rolling out their Virtual Line system to Hagrid. Unfortunately they have yet to execute yet. Here is what we expect:
- Guests will early load into the Hagrid queue in the early morning.
- After enough guests have entreated the queue Team Members will request guests reserve a spot in line at a ticket kiosk or on the Universal Orlando app.
- Select your party size and select a return time window.
- Once the return time window is open come to the attraction and you will wait the posted wait time.
That is it, class. Do we have any questions? Leave your comments below and we hope to see you in the Forbidden Forest soon!