- A new immersive coaster, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, is opening at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida on Thursday, June 13, 2019.
- INSIDER attended a special preview Monday night in New York City to hear more about the new attraction. Guests will sit in a motorbike where they will get to ride a motorcycle or sit in its sidecar.
- Guests will have different experiences on the ride depending where they choose to sit.
- The coaster will travel up to 50 mph as park guests whiz by characters from the world of “Harry Potter,” including Fluffy the three-headed dog. It will also go backwards.
INSIDER was among a select group of press to hear about Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. The new attraction will let guests soar through the Forbidden Forest featured in the “Harry Potter” series as they join Hagrid through a Care of Magical Creatures class. They will also run into a lot of magical beasts from the Wizarding World.
“This will be an epic new addition to the ‘Harry Potter’ world at Universal Orlando Resort,” said senior director and executive producer of Universal creative, Mike West.
“This will add a whole new layer, a whole new vista for J.K. Rowling’s incredible stories and will really take the whole Wizarding World to a whole new level.”
“Harry Potter” actor Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the series, was also on hand to talk about the ride, and how much he wants to be among the first to try it out. Keep reading to see what to expect when the ride opens on Thursday, June 13, 2019.
This story has been updated with new images from the ride.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will be in the Hogsmeade section of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
The attraction replaces Universal’s previous coaster, Dragon Challenge, which closed in fall 2017. INSIDER was told Universal Orlando Resorts early concept work on the ride started around September 2016.
On the ride, guests will join Hogwarts’ groundskeeper Hagrid during one of his Care of Magical Creatures classes where he takes them into the Forbidden Forest.
If you’re familiar with the books, the Forbidden Forest is located on the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In the park, it will be located not too far from the Hogwarts Castle.
“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling has said her favourite chapter in the books involves the Forbidden Forest, so it’s little surprise we’re finally getting to see it brought to life.
Guests will come face-to-face with a lifelike animated Hagrid on the ride.
According to Universal Orlando, the creative team worked closely with actor Robbie Coltrane, who plays Hagrid in the “Harry Potter” movies, to bring the character to life.
How realistic is Hagrid?
The Hogwarts’ groundskeeper’s face was sculpted by hand while Coltrane recorded his voice for the new ride. Coltrane’s mouth was even scanned to make Hagrid’s teeth look spot-on.
“We worked tirelessly to make sure Hagrid’s full essence was captured with the utmost attention to detail for our guests to feel completely immersed in this all-new adventure,” said senior vice president of Universal creative, Thierry Coup.
“Harry Potter” movie art director Alan Gilmore worked on the ride to make it feel as authentic as possible.
“As is often the case with Hagrid, things don’t go quite as well as planned,” said Gilmore in a video presentation.
The Forbidden Forest is more than just a name. Universal built an actual forest for the attraction with 1,200 live trees.
Those definitely aren’t fake.
On a journey into the Forbidden Forest, park guests will board an enchanted motorbike where they either sit on the motorcycle or the adjacent sidecar.
You’ll most likely want to go on this ride twice. INSIDER was told depending on which seat you choose on the motorbike, you’ll have a different experience.
In order to board, you’ll need to be at least 48 inches tall.
The ride itself will travel up to 50 mph as you venture into the forest, twisting and turning.
The over three-minute ride will also send riders backward on the coaster.
Here’s an overview of the ride from above.
If you look closely, you can spy a unicorn and Ron’s father’s car, the 1962 Ford Anglia 105E Deluxe. That’s the same one Ron and Harry steal to head to Hogwarts in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” It winds up in the Forbidden Forest.
Funny enough, an Easter egg for the car exists on Universal’sStudios’ “Fast & Furious” ride. During a tour of the ride in 2018, INSIDER was shown the title deed to the Weasley’s car on the single rider queue. Perhaps it was a little preview of things to come.
If you’re familiar with the books, the Forbidden Forest is home to a lot of magical creatures, which guests will get to run into on the new ride.
Not only will riders come across a Centaur and the mischievous blue Cornish Pixies, you’ll also get to see Fluffy, the three-headed dog. The ride will also feature a creature that has never been seen before in the films.
And these won’t be animals you merely see on screens. An Universal Orlando representative told INSIDER the ride will feature live animatronics.
Don’t expect to see Fluffy on a screen. He’s going to be the real deal.
The Blast-Ended Skrewt will be another one of the live animatronics.
Hagrid illegally bred and created the cross between a scorpion and crab.
Universal Orlando also unveiled centaurs will be in the Forbidden Forest.
According to the text, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” centaurs usually live in herds ranging from 10 to 50 members. Don’t surprised if there’s more than one on the attraction.
Riders will also get caught in the Devil’s Snare, a magical plant that strangles anything near it.
What happens when you’re caught in it? One way to defeat it is sunlight. Another is is if you stop trying to wrestle out of its entanglement and calm yourself. I wouldn’t be surprised it guests may have to cast a spell to get out of the plant’s grasp.
The ride will also feature a few more surprises we’ll have to wait and hear more about.
Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” franchise, was at the event and said the Forbidden Forest scenes were among the first he filmed in the movies.
Draco and Harry have to go into the Forbidden Forest in the first movie, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” to serve detention.
“This is actually one of the first shots that we did,” said Felton, speaking of the Forbidden Forest scene. “It was pretty terrifying to be honest with you. There’s something very eerie, very magical about the woods. Without Hagrid, I would have been even more terrified.”
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will open to the public Thursday, June 13, 2019.
For ticket information and pricing, you can visit Universal Orlando’s site here.