Universal Orlando’s newest roller coaster will race backwards and forwards through the Forbidden Forest, guided by Hogwarts’ mishap-prone gamekeeper Hagrid, encountering rare magical creatures from the world of Harry Potter and his wizarding friends.
New details released Tuesday by Universal describe a coaster that is a little slower, a little more themed and a little more child-friendly than the dueling coasters it will replace when it opens at Islands of Adventure in June.
The coaster, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, features the towering Rubeus Hagrid, half-human wizard, half-giant, who is both gamekeeper and groundskeeper at Hogwarts. The ride vehicle, a string of motorcycles with sidecars, is based on a motorbike Hagrid rode in one of the Harry Potter movies.
Universal planted 1,200 live trees to recreate the Forbidden Forest, one of the most dangerous places at Hogwarts —and the place where Hagrid felt most at home, Alan Gilmore, art director for the Harry Potter films who was involved in bringing the movies to life at Universal Orlando, said in a promotional video.
The adventure will begin in Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class, where riders will board the enchanted motorbikes. But then, says Gilmore, “As is often the case with Hagrid, things don’t go quite as well as planned.”
Riders will encounter creatures that live in the forest. They are magical, but aren’t necessarily friendly to humans: Centaurs — half man, half horse with a skill for divination; Cornish pixies, tiny, bright blue flying creatures that like to play jokes on humans (including picking them up by their ears); Fluffy, the giant three-headed dog that looks fearsome but is easily put to sleep by music; and Devil’s Snare, not an animal but a plant that traps and chokes people with its tendrils. Plus a creature that hasn’t been seen in the movies, Gilmore teased.
Hagrid’s motorbike will run backwards and forwards through the forest at speeds up to 50 miles an hour, a little slower than the Dragon Challenge’s dueling coasters, one of which topped out at 55 mph, the other at 60 mph. It also has a lower height requirement for riders — 48 inches tall, which opens the ride to kids in the 7-8 age range. Dragon Challenge’s minimum height requirement was 54 inches.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will open June 13 at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Hogsmeade.