- A new “Harry Potter”-themed coaster opened at Universal Orlando in Florida on Thursday, and it’s filled with details and references to the books and movies.
- INSIDER rounded up some of the finer details you may miss on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
- From a sweet reference to James and Lily Potter’s relationship to a nod to the ride Hagrid’s replaced, here are 15 items to keep an eye out for in the queue.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opened at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida on Thursday.
The coaster takes you on a journey through the Forbidden Forest at up to 50 mph as you soar through the sky on a motorbike or sidecar of your choosing (you can read our review here). If you’re a big “Harry Potter” fan, there are plenty of Easter eggs and references to the books and movies throughout the attraction’s queue before you even get to the ride.
INSIDER visited the ride Tuesday afternoon with media and again on opening morning. Before the park opened to the public Thursday, we dashed through the queue to gather some photos of graffiti and details you may miss throughout the several rooms and corridors leading up to the ride’s boarding area.
Some of them are obvious, like the artwork of the merpeople before you enter the official queue in the ruins. Others are easy to look over. From a nod to the ride Hagrid’s replaced, to the Triwizard tournament egg, keep reading to see what you should look out for while riding Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
When you first enter Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, you’re guided through an outdoor queue first. Keep an eye on some of the shrubbery for a familiar friend.
Before you reach Hagrid’s hut, there is a wooden hippogriff. Hagrid housed Buckbeak, who he nicknamed Bucky, out in his yard in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Harry, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley saved Bucky from execution when using a time-turner.
Buckbeak gets another nod when you first enter the ruins. It’s the words scrawled underneath you’ll want to take a close look at for a laugh.
Buckbeak was sentenced to execution after he attacked Draco Malfoy in the books and movie. Malfoy had been taunting and provoking the creature.
On the new ride, the words “Watch out Malfoy, there’s a hippogriff behind you” are scrawled into the wall.
Right near the hippogriff is a heart with the letters “J+L” inside.
You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled down to the lower left of where the hippogriff is located.
The initials are a reference to James and Lily Potter, Harry’s parents.
A Universal representative confirmed to INSIDER the initials were for Harry’s parents.
Close by are the words “I miss my owl,” which may be a reference to Harry losing his owl Hedwig.
Above and to the right of the Potter heart is the phrase, “Wit beyond measure is a man’s greatest treasure.”
The phrase is etched into the diadem for Rowena Ravenclaw, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Right past this, keep your eyes to the wall on the left for a nod to the ride that Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure replaced, Dragon Challenge.
Dragon Challenge ran from 1999 until it was closed in September 2017. It consisted of two coasters which were blue and red and was originally called Dueling Dragons. Each dragon on the wall represents one of the two coasters.
The Dueling Club was also a club run by former Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Gilderoy Lockhart.
Immediately as you leave the pre-show room with Hagrid and Arthur Weasley, turn around and look up and to the left of the door to spy the following: “H ♥ O.”
If you’re scratching your head over these initials it’s a throwback to “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” A Universal representative walking by us confirmed the initials are for Rubeus Hagrid and Madame Olympe Maxime, the headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic.
Hagrid and Olympe shared a flirtation and respect that extended into later books.
The ride makes it clear that Hagrid is into Olympe, but does Olympe return his affection? We’d like to think so, but we think they simply remained friends because, as far as we ever knew, Hagrid never married.
In “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” Harry does notice the two embrace for Dumbledore’s funeral.
In the same room, take a close look at the fireplace for footprints of another creature.
Salamander footprints are inside the fireplace. If you’re not aware this is here, it’s easy to disregard the fireplace element.
Our pro tip? Try shining a phone light into the fireplace to spot them more easily.
One of the best hidden details is in the next room. Hiding among the money eggs on the shelves is the golden egg from the Triwizard Tournament.
The golden egg was retrieved by Harry, Cedric Diggory, and others during the first task of the Triwizard Tournament in “The Goblet of Fire.” Harry had to figure out how to get it to open to get a clue for the next task. Diggory suggested he take it with him into a bath.
The golden egg isn’t sitting out among all of the other eggs to easily spot. It’s hidden inside an unsuspecting dark green cabinet. Unless you’re close, you probably won’t even notice it.
There’s another fun one in the egg room. When you first enter, turn around and look at the wall behind you. There’s a nod to singer Celestina Warbeck.
The caption on the wall reads, “Celestina is Brilliant!”
Warbeck is a popular singer in the wizarding community. JK Rowling wrote an entire entry for the character on Pottermore,which you can read here. Rowling added on Pottermore that Warbeck is one of her favourite “off-stage” characters in the series, who she imagined looked like Shirley Bassey.
Two copies of the “Monster Book of Monsters” are sitting on the table in the next room.
We were told this is where Hagrid has “been experimenting to make the Blast-Ended Skrewt” seen on the attraction for the first time.
Speaking of the Blast-Ended Skwrets, take a look inside one of the cages in the same room and you’ll spot a teddy bear.
This room serves as a nursery for the Blast-Ended Skrewts and Hagrid has filled their cages with teddy bears and blankets. What a sweetie.
A drawing of the Niffler, a “Fantastic Beasts” creature, can be seen on an illustration in Hagrid’s terrarium room.
He’s one of several illustrations you can spot in the room. A Universal Orlando representative told INSIDER all of the illustrations were made by MinaLima, a design studio which helped with graphic props on all of the films.
As you’re boarding the ride, keep an eye on the licence plates on the back of each vehicle.
Universal Orlando confirmed to INSIDER those are the initials of crew members who worked on the ride.
Here’s a little bonus Easter egg. While media checked out the ride prior to opening, there was a neat little sign straight from the Ministry of Magic.
The sign above mirrors the educational decrees from the book and the movie put out by the Ministry of Magic. It was located when we first entered the ruins.
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