MuggleNet’s Sneak Peek of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, the Wizarding World at Universal Orlando Resort’s newest roller coaster, is set to open shortly, and while we’ve been able to get some sneak peeks from other sources, MuggleNet was in Orlando, Florida, this past week to get a sneak peek of our own!
This writer was given a guided tour of the immersive queue, an interview with the creative director, and the chance to capture video and pictures at a few spots. Here’s everything we learned at this exciting sneak peek.
The ride and its queue showcase a set of ruins that are in the Forbidden Forest. According to Elaine Hinds, Show Producer, and Gary Blumenstein, Creative Director, these ruins (which are unnamed) used to be frequented by Hogwarts students who took to drawing on the walls while they visited. Now, however, the ruins have been taken over by Hagrid for his magical creatures. And the large hut that’s visible in aerial shots? That is not Hagrid’s hut, but an outbuilding where Hagrid keeps the Blast-Ended Skrewts.
Guests will enter the ride queue from Hogsmeade, across from Honeydukes. You will travel past Hagrid’s hut, which is located near the Flight of the Hippogriff ride, and toward the ruins. The main ruins entrance, which can be seen in a photo below, is a great selfie spot, according to the ride’s creatives. It features a gorgeous sculpture of a merperson and an excellent view of the ride to your right.
When you enter the ruins, you will walk through hallways and corridors with some more creatures and Hagrid’s tools for taking care of them. You’ll travel through a room with some “mysterious” eggs. “We don’t say what they are,” laughed Blumenstein, though the press release implies that these are dragon eggs. The walls of the ruins are covered in graffiti from Hogwarts students, but Blumenstein wouldn’t say exactly whose name you might find on the walls.
There [are] some fun little Easter egg moments in there that people would enjoy. […] We work closely with Warner Bros. in developing the correct creative content.
These corridors lead to a room where you will stop to watch a video, like in other Wizarding World rides. The video features Hagrid and Arthur Weasley. Hagrid explains that Arthur is here to enchant Sirius’s motorbike to fly and there are some fun hijinks when things go wrong – we won’t spoil the whole video for you, but it was a delight to see Arthur and Hagrid together, along with a few creatures.
Riders will then head to a room called the chamber. Blumenstein explained that this room is where Hagrid crossbred manticores and Fire Crabs to create the Blast-Ended Skrewts. The chamber holds the remnants of this experiment (you might notice a rotting fish smell!), along with some gorgeous art by MinaLima.
The focus of the queue is, of course, the ruins. Blumenstein said they worked closely with Harry Potter movie creative Stuart Craig to create them. They are “centuries older than Hogwarts, and it’s something that’s always lived in the forest, just never seen in the films.” Check out some photos of the ruins below.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is on 6.6 acres of land, and 1,200 trees were planted to create the beautiful Forbidden Forest. The team behind the ride is calling it a “family thrill story coaster,” but what exactly does that mean?
Blumenstein explained that the ride, which is the longest roller coaster in Florida, features some backward motion and a free-fall drop at the Devil’s Snare. In fact, this is the first coaster in the United States to include a free-fall vertical drop. The ride accelerates to speeds of 50 miles per hour and is around two minutes and twenty-five seconds in length. Blumenstein described one particular thrill moment.
When you accelerate, it’s about 40 mph through the tracery window. You actually turn onto your side and then dip down through this bend here. You go racing across the lake. It’s just a dynamic, exciting moment, a head-knocker moment.
There are “show moments” throughout the ride when the cars slow down and even stop for riders to enjoy these moments, but the ride is mostly outdoors.
As for the carts themselves, Blumenstein explained that you actually sit six inches higher on the motorbike, so it is a different ride experience.
You think that the sidecar is a [safer] experience, but it’s thrilling. And the motorbike is… You’re much more out in the open and exposed in the way that you sit up in the seat. It’s a different experience from each seat and from where you sit on the train. I would say that the front end of the train is much more thrilling. The back end is also thrilling, but you get more show in the back. And it switches places. When you go backward, all of that switches around.
You will have the option to choose either the motorbike or the sidecar once you reach the front of the line. Blumenstein said the views are slightly different depending on where you’re seated, but you will be able to see everything no matter where you are. The height restriction is 48 inches.
When asked about the timeline of the ride, Blumenstein stated, “We don’t really place it in a timeline. I mean, a lot of the elements take place in the fourth book, in the fourth film.”
As for why this story, he said, “We thought it was a great opportunity to expand on Hagrid’s story [and] introduce more challenging adventures to our guests and more challenging magical creatures.”
This writer took it upon herself to ask if they thought about Newt for the ride’s main character since it is about creatures. Blumenstein chuckled.
Newt is certainly something we think about very much. […] It just was perfect [to have it be Hagrid] and also the time period in which we’re in.
We also just had to ask about the length of the ride’s name, a question that also received a laugh. Blumenstein said that it was the most succinct way to focus on both the creatures and the motorbikes. “It really tells you everything that you need to know about the experience. […] Big name for a big guy.”
Check out our footage of the ride below and Universal Orlando’s sneak peek video here! Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opens June 13.