Are you ready to conquer the incredible Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure?
If so, you’re in the right place!
Harry Potter fan or not, this roller coaster featuring one of JK Rowling’s most beloved characters is an absolute must do!
As you make your way over to Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure, be prepared to see what it’s like to be one of Hagrid’s students as you board the famous motorbike.
My goal in this article is to keep my fangirl bias tamed and give you the real deal on what to expect on this spectacular brand-new addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
In this Hagrid attraction guide, I’ll go through:
- The History of the Ride
- Opening Day Hype
- The Hagrid Roller Coaster Layout
- What to Expect in the Hagrid Motorbike Adventure Queue
- Ride Highlights and Facts
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure vs. Dueling Dragons & Dragon Challenge
- My Complete Review
- Tips to Make the Most of Your Time
- My Final Thoughts
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The Fascinating Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure History
Rumors of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter roller coaster began around the fall of 2017 with speculation spreading throughout the theme park community on what would replace Dragon Challenge at Islands of Adventure.
Harry Potter fans were all over the blogs to find out the latest details surrounding the ride that would soon replace Dueling Dragons.
However, Universal Orlando Creative Team kept their lips wide shut and all we could do as a community of loyal fans was wait and speculate.
Then it happened…
A credible blogger named Alicia Stella over at Orlando Park Stop posted a detailed video with a convincing layout of what was to come for the ride.
This video went viral and excitement spread throughout the Harry Potter community!
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Why did Dueling Dragons close at Universal Islands of Adventure?
The Lost Continent was split into three areas with Merlinwood being themed around the folklore of medieval Britain and Ireland.
A land filled with dragons and unicorns which open along with Islands of Adventure in May of 1999.
The transition from Dueling Dragons to Dragon Challenge seemed like a natural fit.
However, fans of the original attraction did notice some of the key features missing from Dragon Challenge which made Dueling Dragons a cult classic. Elements such as:
- Two ferocious dragons greeting you at the entrance
- The unique pre-show featuring a moving stainless glass effect
- A foreboding atmosphere of skeletal remains of the dragon’s victims either burned or frozen.
This incredible Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) coaster gave Universal guests quite an experience as both Fire (the red side) and Ice (the blue side) took its riders deep into their eternal battle.
On Dueling Dragons guests would encounter two different roller coaster experiences, three near misses, a dragon’s lair queue nearly a half a mile long, and a “Choose thy Fate” (ICE or FIRE) option.
Although this amazing roller coaster was a fan favorite, Universal would close it to make way for a new magical adventure!
Recommended: Read about another B&M roller coaster here!
The Birth of Dragon Challenge at Universal Islands of Adventure
In May of 2007, Universal Orlando announced that the addition of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be set to open in June of 2010.
During The Wizarding of Harry Potter construction, Dueling Dragons remained open. However, it did close for a brief time to be re-themed as Dragon Challenge.
The large iconic Fire and Ice dragons would be noticeably removed from the ride entrance for a more underwhelming entry.
The queue of Dragon Challenge now focused on the Tri-Wizard tournament with the champion’s cup in the area of the queue where Merlin’s book once was.
Instead of the battle between the Fire and Ice dragons, you now entered the battle of the Chinese Fireball and Hungarian Horntail with the lack of detailed theming seen in Dueling Dragons.
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Dragon Challenge Closes at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
In 2011 an incident occurred due to articles hitting riders on the opposite train where it was stated that one guest lost their eye.
This incident would prompt removal of the dueling feature for the rest of the coaster’s lifetime.
Medal detectors were then added as an additional safety precaution.
This addition took away the magic from Dueling Dragons and made it just another roller coaster and a shell of what it once was.
Possibly due to the unfortunate incidents, Dragon Challenge would close on September 4, 2017.
Hagrid’s Ride Comes to Universal Islands of Adventure
In early 2018, construction began for the new Hagrid roller coaster.
After much online speculation, in April of 2019 Universal Orlando gave us the first-ever look at Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
Grand Opening Day of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
The highly anticipated opening day of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure came as suspected with 14-hour plus wait times and fans proving their Potter allegiance by waiting patiently in line.
Universal Teams Members were awesome in helping keep everyone hydrated and in good spirits with DJs and character meet-and-greets as the hours went by.
The first 200 riders were even welcomed to a grand opening celebration where film stars:
- Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)
- Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)
- Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick)
- James & Oliver Phelps (Fred & George Weasley)
- Robbie Coltrane (recorded video appearance)
This further hyped up the crowd as the gates to Hagrid’s classroom had officially opened.
Technical and Opening Day Issues with the Hagrid Ride
Because of the sophisticated technology of the new coaster and the extended hours of use, Universal had to delay the opening of Hagrid’s roller coaster to midday during the first week.
The delay ensured that the attraction would have the proper rest, care, and maintenance needed to support its continued use during the demanding hours.
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Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Queue
This queue is divided into 4 areas: the outdoor section, the entrance corridor, Hagrid’s pre-show, and the final corridor which leads to the loading zone.
Outdoor Queue for Hagrid’s Motorbike Ride
You’ll be greeted to a curvy outdoor path with views of Hogwarts students speeding by on Sirius’ motorbike.
The wooden signs in the queue are there to help lead the way on the winding road.
Be sure not to miss the whimsically carved wooden creatures along the way and Hagrid’s pumpkin filled yard reminiscent of the scenes from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
As you take in the detailed moss work, you’ll be happy to hear the music from the films on your journey as sounds of mysterious creatures complete the background noise.
On your final stop of the outdoor section, you’ll be greeted by a statue of a Merperson surrounded by grindylows as you begin to enter the indoor queue.
Hipster Power Tip: If there is lightning within 5 to 10 miles of Universal, any outside attraction will be temporarily shut down.
The Entrance Corridor to Hagrid’s Ride at Universal
You’ll feel happy in your accomplishment of finally making it to the indoor portion of the queue themed around the ruins behind Hogwarts Castle.
Be sure to notice the empty creature cages above you and the wall paintings that give tribute to the old Fire and Ice dragons from Dueling Dragons.
There’s also another nod to Dueling Dragons as you pass the words written in the classroom wall stating “Dueling Club.”
Hagrid’s Motorbike Roller Coaster Pre-show
Once the pre-show begins, you’ll be introduced to Hagrid and Arthur Weasley as they try to figure out eckeltricity.
Better known in the muggle world as electricity.
Hagrid then goes over the special Care of Magical Creatures class for you.
He states that we’ll be able to take Sirius’ motorbike deep inside the Forbidden Forest where Hagrid wants to show us some Blast-Ended Skrewts and other magical creatures.
Arthur then tries to replicate the motorbike for us all to enjoy when some devilish Cornish Pixies are released and began causing trouble.
Trouble that causes a few little surprises along the way…hint, hint Aguamenti!
Loading Area of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
In the final portion of the queue, you’ll pass through a cozy cellar into another dark corridor.
This is where you’ll see dragon eggs neatly stored upon a shelves and wizarding tools and books laying around.
You will then end up in the loading area of the queue where you can see shadows of the motorbikes zooming above you along with some other creepy magical creatures…
How to Load into the Motorbikes of Hagrid’s Roller Coaster
In the queue, you’ll see a video giving you instructions about the vehicle.
If you want to ride on the motorbike side, then you’ll stand on the right while the sidecar person stands on the left.
The reason why you have to stand on the right side is because you’ll be the first one to load. There’s only one way in and out of the vehicle and it’s on the sidecar area.
The loading zone moves on a conveyer-like system similar to Forbidden Journey, but much slower to give you enough time to get situated.
Hipster Power Tip: Sit in the sidecar if you want to be closer to Hagrid’s animatronic.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Roller Coaster Layout
If you’re like me, then you want to know what you’ll be getting yourself into when experiencing this fantastic roller coaster.
Let’s go through the ride layout of Hagrid’s Motorbike Roller Coaster:
- Your motorbike heads out of the loading dock and turns right passing threstrals
- A few seconds later, you get ready to curve as you’re pushed into the first launch
- Throughout the ride you go through 6 additional launches accelerating and decelerating as needed for the storyline
- You’ll also encounter twisty turns, steep climbs and bunny hill rolls throughout your experience
- Don’t miss the Blast-Ended Skrewt shooting smoke at you and the magnificent Hagrid standing there trying to tame it
- While passing Fluffy, be sure to look out for the Ford Anglia where you’ll see the Cornish pixies being mischievous as usual
- Another acceleration launches you deep into fog when your motorbike loses power
- You’ll begin to powerup going backwards at high speeds as Hagrid repairs your motorbike only to find yourself in the Forbidden Forest
- You see some familiar faces as you begin to get tangled into Devil’s Snare
More Fun for You On Hagrid’s Ride
- Hagrid helps you escape with a surprise feature only to avoid being blasted by the Blast-Ended Skrewt
- You’ll experience more twists and turns at a high speed before the roller coaster train enters the final brake run
- As your ride comes to an end, you pass a couple of familiar creatures on your way back into the Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure station
There you have it. You have officially experienced Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure!
Watch the Complete Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Video here on YouTube.
The Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Train
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a steel roller coaster manufactured by Intamin.
There are 7 cars per train with each car able to carry 2 riders across in a single row for a total of 14 riders per train.
Once you approach your train, you’ll have two options:
- The motorbike
Universal states that each side will result in two different ride experiences.
The Amazing Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Stats
Before you embark on this epic Harry Potter-inspired coaster, you should know a few little details about Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure.
Ride Stats for the Hagrid Roller Coaster at Universal:
- Duration– 3:25
- Roller Coaster Type – Steel Launch Coaster
- Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure Height– 65 feet
- Number of Inversions– 0
- 17-foot free fall drop
- Riders per Train – 14
- Number of Launches – 7 Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM) Launches (a world record)
- Manufacturer – Intamin
- Length – 5053 feet (longest in Florida)
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Speed – 50 m.p.h. (miles per hour)
- 1,200 trees planted to hide the roller coaster
Remember: Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Height Requirement is 48 inches.
Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure vs. Dueling Dragons & Dragon Challenge
As with many roller coaster and Harry Potter enthusiasts, there are quite a few debates as to whether the park should’ve changed Dueling Dragons to Dragon Challenge.
Although the closure of Dragon Challenge was bittersweet for many park goers, the change was welcomed.
However, we believed that the Universal Creative Team could brings us something innovative and unique to the theme park world.
And they did!
Whether you’re a Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure fan or a Dueling Dragons diehard, I thought it would be great to give you a comparison chart of the two roller coasters below.
Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure vs. Dueling Dragons
|Dueling Dragons/Dragon Challenge||Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure|
|Dueling inverted roller coaster(s)||Steel Launch Coaster|
|Opened 1999||Opened 2019|
|Red (Fire) and Blue (Ice) Color||Brown Color Scheme|
|Height 125 ft||Height 65 ft|
|Speed 60 mph||Speed 50 mph|
|Duration 2:25||Duration 3:25|
|Inversions 5||Inversions 0|
|Launches 0 (Chain Lift System)||Launches 7|
|Length 3200 ft||Length 5053 ft|
|Number of Riders per train 32||Number of Riders per train 14|
My Honest Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Review
To say that Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is amazing does not do this one-of-a-kind roller coaster justice!
I mean wow!
On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this ride an 11!
The Universal Creative Team kicked butt on this attraction.
It’s definitely not the fastest roller coaster at Universal Orlando Resort, but the additional ambiance, story-telling, and unique coaster vehicles makes up for it.
The intense g-forces, perfectly added drop track, out-of-this world launches, and incredible show elements are all spectacular additions that make Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure an enjoyable experience.
Is Hagrid’s Roller Coaster more or less intense than Forbidden Journey?
It depends on your definition of intense. If you’re more prone to motion sickness, then I say Forbidden Journey is more intense.
Even if you’re not a big roller coaster fan, you’ll enjoy this attraction as it’s not all about speed.
It has stopping points to keep you engaged in the story. Making it a perfect family adventure ride!
The Hagrid ride was smooth and very polished in its transitions to me. Plus, the animatronics throughout the attraction rivaled something you’d see over at the Disney Parks.
But for some reason, seeing the 7-foot-6 half-giant Hagrid and the majestic centaur in my face made me so giddy inside and reminded me of why I fell in love with the Potter franchise.
If you love the magic of the Harry Potter universe and are a fan of thrill rides, then you must experience this motorbike adventure!
Hipster Power Tip: Be sure to hit the purple button on your motorbike when Hagrid tells you to for a special surprise.
12 Beginner Tips for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Now that you know what to expect on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, let’s go through my top tips to help you have the best day ever!
1. Buy Tickets in Advance Online & From a Trustworthy Website
This one tip will save you both money and time!
It’s best to buy your tickets ahead of time. This prevents waiting in the long ticket line once you arrive at Islands of Adventure.
2. Download the Official Universal Orlando App to Reserve Your Ride Time
Route your path around the park in advance by retrieving the Islands of Adventure park map on the app.
View the Islands of Adventure Map Below
3. Get to Islands of Adventure Early
Out of all the Islands of Adventure tips, this one will save you time on your trip!
Try to arrive one hour prior to the park before opening time. If you’re eligible for early park admission, then take advantage of the opportunity.
Best Times to Visit Islands of Adventure
These months are closely followed by early March, May, September, and October as still pretty decent visiting times.
4. Pack Light or Wear a Fanny Pack
To save time I recommend packing light. This will allow you to skip the locker area commotion and make it easy for you to go straight to the attraction entrance.
I recommend bringing the basic necessities that can easily be stored in your pockets or fanny pack.
Yes, I did say fanny pack!
They’re back and I’m so happy they are.
At this time, Universal will allow you to bring a fanny pack with you on the ride. However, it has to be one with 3-prongs.
What to pack for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade?
- Sun Protection
- Small Umbrella
- Hand Sanitizer
- Theme Park Ticket
- Small fan
- Your phone
- A small backup charger
- Lip gloss
5. Know What to Leave in the Lockers
Although you may bring a fanny pack and other basic items such as your phone, you must leave bags, cameras, and other larger items inside of the lockers.
Once on the ride, you’ll notice that there’s not an “official” area to store your things. I recommend leaving items that are valuable to you inside a locker.
You can retrieve a locker in either one of the two sides where you can use your theme park ticket to store and get your things.
The lockers are free for up to a certain time period. The time period will depend on the wait time of the attraction.
If you go beyond the time frame for holding your items, you will be required to pay a small fee.
Hipster Power Tip: Be sure to take your theme park ticket with you and don’t leave it in the locker as you will need it to get your stuff out.
6. Test the Motorbike Seats
If you have any concerns as to whether you’ll be able to fit in the motorbike, Universal has some test seats at the entrance of the ride.
These seats will signal green to let you know that you’re good to go on the ride.
There’s debate as to which side is best for a particular body type. Some state the sidecar is good for hippy people, while the motorbike is good for people with a larger lower body.
Overall, you’ll have to be the judge of what makes you feel the most comfortable.
7. Look for Harry Potter Hidden Secrets and Easter Eggs in the Queue
- A classic Ravenclaw quote
- Arthur’s tea cup
- Student writing on the walls such as: Celestina is brilliant, H “heart” O (Hagrid & Olympe), Watch out Malfoy. There’s a hippogriff behind you!
- Laboratory area with different skrewts and creatures
- Dueling Club reference to the Dueling Dragons roller coaster
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8. Explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade
Join muggles, witches, and wizards while discovering the magic hidden in Hogsmeade.
Don’t forget to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and Flight of the Hippogriff.
Hipster Power Tip: Ride Hagrid’s Magical Motorbike Adventure at night for a different experience.
9. Try EVERY type of Butterbeer
In case you’re a Muggle, Butterbeer is a drink mentioned several times in the Harry Potter books.
It is the drink of choice for many of the adolescents throughout the famous Wizarding story.
It’s a staple drink and a must have beverage whenever you visit Islands of Adventure.
How is Butterbeer served?
- Cold Butterbeer
- Frozen Butterbeer
- Hot Butterbeer (seasonal)
- Potted Cream Butterbeer
- Butterbeer Fudge
- Soft Serve Butterbeer Ice-Cream
- Vegan Butterbeer
Where to find Butterbeer in Islands of Adventure?
You can find a Butterbeer offering of some sort inside the Hogsmeade section of Islands of Adventure at:
- Three Broomsticks
- Hog’s Head pub
- Butterbeer Street Carts
10. Buy Your Wand at a Cart
You can get the same wand at one of the outside carts or inside one of the shops of Hogsmeade instead of waiting in line at Ollivander’s!
11. Take Advantage of the Single Rider Line
This line can cut your wait time in half and that’s always a benefit of going to a theme park alone.
It allows you to get around to most of the attractions quickly, because you don’t have to wait in the normal ride line.
This is one of the top Islands of Adventure tips if you are traveling to Universal Orlando solo.
Hipster Power Tip: Express Pass is currently not available for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at this time.
Single Rider Lines at Islands of Adventure:
- The Amazing Adventure of Spider-Man
- Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
On Hagrid’s roller coaster, the Single Rider Line occurs right before the pumpkin patch area of the outdoor queue.
I had success using it on this ride once before, but ask a Team Member what the Single Rider Line wait time is before you use it.
You could end up waiting longer than the Hogwarts students in the regular queue line.
Plus, you’re going to miss all the unique gems and the pre-show shown in the queue.
Hipster Power Tip: If you select the Single Rider line, you will not be able to choose which side of the vehicle you’d like to experience.
12. Ride Hogwarts Express from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley
This is the best way of taking the footsteps of the famous wizard, Harry Potter. The Hogwarts Express is located inside Hogsmeade Station.
In order for you to experience this attraction, you’ll need to have a park-to-park admission ticket.
Hipster Power Tip: You’ll want to ride the Hogwarts Express on both directions (Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley and Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade) as you get a slightly different experience each way.
My Final Thoughts on Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure
I do recommend riding it on your next visit to Islands of Adventure, and I do think it’s worth the wait.
Where does it rank among other Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides?
- Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
- Forbidden Journey
- Hogwarts Express
- Flight of the Hippogriff
Is Hagrid’s roller coaster worth the wait?
I ended up waiting a total of 4.5 hours for it on opening day, which I think is good compared to the 10+ hours some people waited for.
You will have to be the judge on just how much time you’re willing to sacrifice in order to experience this incredible attraction.
So yes, it’s worth the wait!
When you hop into your motorbike and hear Hagrid’s voice, embrace the suspense and take in all the stunning views surrounding Hogwarts.
You’ll then understand why Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is the best ride in Orlando!
Let me know in the comments section below, let me know how long you’re willing to wait for Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure?
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
About the Author
My name is Nikky. I’m a wife, a mother, a pharmacist turned theme park blogger, and a writer who loves ALL things amusement park related!
Traveling alone to the parks has changed my life and I want to show how you can create your own solo theme park memories.
Connect with me on Instagram!
(Original Article Date: June 21, 2019/Updated July 25, 2023)
Heading to Harry Potter World soon, listen to the 7 tips you need to know here.