The infamous motorcycle and sidecar from the Harry Potter series, used by Hagrid and Harry when escaping death eaters during the Battle of the Seven Potters, makes its return this week, albeit in a slightly less chaotic way. The new Hagrid-themed ride at Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida, had its soft opening yesterday, and opens to the general public tomorrow.
Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure replaces the Dragon Challenge roller coasters (itself a reworking of the old, non-Potter Dueling Dragons coasters), and will take riders out of Hogwarts and through the Forbidden Forest. The ride is voiced by Robbie Coltrane, who portrayed Hagrid in the film series, and unlike many other rides in the park, it does not feature any CGI or videos, and instead relies on old-school, albeit hyper-realistic, animatronics for both Hagrid and the creatures.
As multiple Twitter users pointed out, going on the ride at night will give it a more authentic and immersive feel, as the pitch-black sky and surroundings will make you feel like you’re truly soaring through the forest. Like the other rides at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the queue is also an experience in itself, one you can expect to experience for quite a long time before reaching the ride.
— Alex Zalben (@azalben) June 11, 2019
As a family friendly ride, there are no crazy drops or loops, but there are multiple launches and one elevator-style drop. The engineers got creative when designing the ride, with parts of the ride going vertical and backward as a real vehicle would. You can either put yourself in Hagrid’s shoes and sit on the motorcycle, or you can be The Boy Who Lived in the sidecar. Pretty much everyone is in agreement that the motorcycle seat offers a better experience.
After a second ride I have the following observations: the Motorbike side is better, a nighttime ride makes it a lot more thrilling, and I noticed there are some areas where just as you think it can’t go faster, it kicks into a higher gear. Really spectacular!
— Andrew Sims+ (@sims) June 12, 2019
In anticipation of the public opening, here’s what fans are saying.
Some are counting down the days until they can visit:
Literally counting down the minutes until we are on that plane heading to @UniversalORL in August to ride Hagrid’s!!! IT LOOKS AMAZING!
— The Petras Family (@thepetrasfamily) June 12, 2019
I’m so excited I’m going to @UniversalORL for the next few day and I can’t wait to ride the new Hagrid ride!
— DJ (@DJC_2015) June 12, 2019
I’m so glad to hear that Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure is good. Can’t wait to ride it in September!
— Maxwell Haddad (@cinemaxwell) June 11, 2019
Others are holding off on learning more to experience the magic completely blind:
It’s going to take a lot of strength and self restraint but I’m not going to watch any POV videos of Hagrid’s until I get to ride it in October! Wish me luck 🤞🏼
— Lewis🦖 (@Lewis_2991) June 12, 2019
Those who were lucky to ride it early feel nothing else can compare:
I got to go on the new Hagrid ride and saw some of the Harry Potter cast so essentially I peaked and nothing I ever do will be good enough than this day pic.twitter.com/tIkTX6anez
— nicole 🔨 (@quidmom) June 12, 2019
Got to ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and WOW. Gonna make a bold statement and say that it’s the BEST Florida ride I’ve been on. Get yourself a virtual queue reservation and ride this!!! pic.twitter.com/KipEhT0c7E
— Tabatha Marks (@tabatha_marks) June 12, 2019
You guys! You guys! You do not want to miss Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure! Easily the best ride in Universal Orlando right now… So much fun! Going back for more rides tonight. pic.twitter.com/iuYgYFIBbI
— Screamscape (@screamscape) June 11, 2019
Hagrid. I have no words except, WOW! Easily one of my favorite rides at @UniversalORL now. Loved the animatronics, loved the effects, loved the whole ride. Can not recommend this ride enough. A solid addition to Universal that is all sets and no screens!
— Banks Lee (@BanksLee) June 11, 2019
Though, some are sad that the ride has replaced the Dragon Challenge:
Pour one out https://t.co/qibWqp5RtY
— Shan (@Shannon_Lyver_) June 12, 2019
Y’know, having not been to UOR in a while (since Dragon Challenge was still open actually), without having been on the new Hagrid ride… Dragon Challenge will still be infinitely better don’t dare @ me! https://t.co/6WLdsQhreH
— Calvin Zanetti (@Calvin_Zanetti) June 12, 2019