UPDATED: RUMOR: New “Harry Potter” Ride in Universal Orlando to Be the Ministry of Magic?
Yesterday, Universal Orlando Resort released its first look at the new Harry Potter roller coaster experience coming to Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure. The image the park released showed a twisting and turning track making its way through a misty Forbidden Forest toward Hogwarts Castle, with Cornish pixies guiding the way.
Ever since Dragon Challenge was demolished, rumors (hopes and dreams) of a Forbidden Forest ride have circulated the Internet. Why not? The ride is placed on the edge of the “castle grounds” – closer to the Hogsmeade station and the Hogwarts Express than Hogwarts Castle (appearing to come right up to Hagrid’s hut).
Update (October 11):
According to Attractions Magazine, the ride is, in fact, rumored to be centered around the Forbidden Forest. The magazine previously reported that the ride will include magical creatures, and the location of the coaster makes sense if it is a Forbidden Forest ride.
Sources for the magazine have said the ride will focus on a Care of Magical Creatures class taught by Hagrid, with Robbie Coltrane reprising his role. Sources also said that Arthur Weasley, portrayed by the movies’ Mark Williams, will be helping Hagrid. Guests will venture through the Forbidden Forest and encounter magical creatures.
The ride itself will allegedly allow guests to ride in Hagrid’s motorcycle for the three-minute experience. This location is a perfect place for this ride, and if Coltrane and Williams are involved, it’s sure to be a magical experience.
From aerial shots of construction photos, the coaster’s track seems to be partially indoors. At the time, we speculated that the coaster seemed to be another Hogwarts ride – part of the track dipping steeply out of the windows of a facade that looked very much like the Great Hall. However, based on the track’s elevation, the ride could also be entirely indoors.
An anonymous source – an employee from the park – left us a message on our contact page seeming to confirm our speculation. The source claimed that the ride was an “indoor interactive coaster” like Universal’s Mummy ride. The source also thought the ride was Ministry of Magic themed since they seem to have spotted a replica of a familiar statue (from Voldemort’s reign) of Muggles holding up witches and wizards.
If this rumor takes you by surprise, don’t worry – we’re right there with you. The ride is in Hogsmeade Village, and so far, we’ve been speculating about rides that fit the Hogsmeade setting. But perhaps the photo Universal released yesterday – with Hogwarts Castle looming in the distance – was hinting that the ride was farther away from the area than we thought.
A Ministry of Magic ride would be more fitting in Diagon Alley (in “London”) on the other side of the park. Inconsistencies with location haven’t stopped Universal before – the original Ollivanders theme park experience was located in Hogsmeade before Diagon Alley was built (and proper canonical order was restored). Perhaps, if the ride is indeed the Ministry of Magic, it will serve to tie the two parks together more – similar to the Hogwarts Express.
If this new ride is Ministry of Magic themed, what do you think the storyline of the coaster will be? Escape from the Ministry – similar to Escape from Gringotts? (Both of these rides are tied to Book 7.) What will carry riders through the Ministry of Magic? Giant magical memos flying about? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.