Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
INTAMIN | Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Universal Creative once again waves a magic wand, leaving riders spellbound, and in the process, creates a new genre of roller coaster.
“People have never done a ride like this before,” says Elaine Hinds, the executive producer of the attraction.
“Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure” is not just a roller coaster, it’s a “family thrill story coaster,” as dubbed by Universal Creative’s team. While the launched coaster’s ride system incorporates speeds of 50 mph, the experience is infused with show scenes, much like a dark ride enjoyed at a slow pace.
“We’ve been able to take both of those elements and combine them in such a way that takes your breath away,” says Hinds.
“Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure” at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida takes up residence on the site of the now-retired “Dragon Challenge” inverted roller coaster. While the famed castle queue follows a similar path, the exterior, interior décor, and ride system are different. The new ride uses trains designed to resemble a motorcycle, with an attached side car. Guests pair up and choose who will ride atop the motorbike or in the sidecar (resting 16 inches below the motorbike’s seat).
Riders will encounter two hidden elements. The first sends ride vehicles up a vertical spike, where the motorbikes lose momentum, stall, and then reverse direction and speed backward into a cave.
“It’s so immersive in terms of the way we’re telling the story. We have onboard audio and various thrill elements, but they’re not just gratuitous thrill elements, they all tell the story as you go,” says Gary Blumenstein, creative director.
Inside the cave, the motorbike trains come to a complete stop on a piece of track that moments later plunges downward, much like a drop tower.
“Riders freefall about 17 feet into the cavern below while they’re still sitting on the ride vehicle,” explains Blumenstein.
When Hinds sees riders wiping away tears, she knows “Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure” exceeded all expectations. “It’s one of those moments I will never forget,” Hinds says with pride.