Rumor: Will Hagrid Be Featured in the New “Potter” Ride at Universal Orlando?
As previously reported, construction of the new ride to replace Dragon Challenge is still ongoing at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. While there has been no further press release from Universal Orlando Resort, Potterheads and theme park fans alike have been continuing to speculate about the new attraction. The most recent rumor involves Hagrid, a flying Ford Anglia, and a vertical drop!
If this rumor is to be believed, Dragon Challenge’s replacement is set to be an amazing roller coaster experience. However, before delving into the most recent theory to circulate online, let’s recap what we already know about the new attraction.
What We Know
After announcing the permanent closure of Dragon Challenge in July 2017, a press release from Universal Orlando promised that its replacement would be unlike anything else in the parks:
The new attraction will be one of the most highly-themed [sic] coaster experiences we’ve created. It will combine a new level of storytelling with an action-packed adventure…and a few surprises along the way.
Work began on the replacement attraction not long after the closure of Dragon Challenge in September 2017. Additional work permits were filed in February 2018, causing speculation that vertical construction of the coaster would start soon. Construction is now well underway and the parts of the track are now visible, causing fans to once again speculate about the ride.
The most recent (and most detailed) rumor originates from an article and video posted by theme park blog Orlando ParkStop. According to the blog, the theme of the new ride will be the Hogwarts grounds, situated mostly on the edge of the Forbidden Forest. The Weasleys’ flying car is rumored to make an appearance, as is Hagrid’s Hut, and an array of magical creatures. The video also suggests that Hagrid himself may make an appearance, which is something we’d love to see!
There is speculation that, much like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, the new attraction is expected to have a themed queueing experience. It has previously been reported that Universal’s construction plans included keeping the old queue buildings from Dragon Challenge and repurposing them for the new ride. Orlando ParkStop suggests that these will not only be rethemed for the new ride but also include a moving loading platform, similar to that of Forbidden Journey.
In terms of the coaster itself, the rumor speculates heavily about the track layout and ride experience. It is suggested that the new attraction will feature a backward section, similar to Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and end with a vertical drop, similar to Transformers: The Ride. Attractions Magazine shares a similar theory about the expected ride layout, giving yet more weight to this part of the rumor. Could these features be the “surprises” mentioned in the Universal Press release?
While we won’t know for sure what the new ride will be until an official press release, we can’t wait to see what Universal Orlando has in store for us!