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Old 05-20-2019, 02:15 PM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
Post SnitchSeeker's tour of Universal's new Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

SnitchSeeker had the opportunity to explore Hagrid’s never-before-seen ruins, the highlight of the massive and immersive queue set to debut to the world this June with the opening of Universal Orlando Resort’s Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

Before we go into the intricate details of the queue itself, are you eager to see what the roller coaster ride - which runs nearly a mile in length and includes seven drop, side twists and backwards turns - looks like? Well, we had the chance to see the cars - which include both views of Hagrid’s bike and sidecar (just like Harry in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) - whizz past us near the end of the queue.

Yes, while you’re queued throughout the ride, you will see the actual coaster itself (which runs for 3:25 minutes with a dynamic 16 foot drop), mere feet from you, and almost close enough to feel the riders’ joy-filled shrieks as your own as they go by at up to 50 miles per hour. Take a gander below.

The entrance of the world’s first “story coaster” is in exactly the same spot as the now-closed Dragon Challenge ride, right by the entrance of Hogsmeade and across The Three Broomsticks at Islands of Adventure’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade. You enter through a dark, green, mossy arch, containing one of the many Green Man sculptures - a motif and inspiration for Hagrid. The entire new area takes up 6.6 acres of land and includes 1,200 trees rooted all around the park.

Explains Gary Blumenstein, Creative Director, Universal Creative: “Of course, we’re starting in Hogsmeade. This is a reimagining of our original entrance that we had here, and this is our grand statement into Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. It evokes Hagrid in the design, so the Green Man is a design motif.”

“J.K. Rowling patterned Hagrid after the Green Man, so we felt that was a great symbol,” Blumenstein continued. “It’s one that they used in the films throughout. We also have the stained glass, and that also evokes Hagrid. His hut, further in the queue, has stained glass windows. This is where you begin your journey. From here, we’ll move on in our journey to Hagrid’s Hut at the edge of the forest.”

During the first round of the queue, fans will get to see parts of the coaster fly by them before they walk toward the entrance of the interior ruins of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

Blumenstein: "Another great moment here, as you leave the outbuilding, you go racing up at about 40 miles an hour through that tracery window and then down out around this – we call it the peanut – out over the black lake and then into the forest; really dynamic motion here. We’re calling this a family thrill story coaster. It’s great."

Elaine Hicks, Show Producer, Universal Creative: "As you make your way through the grounds, here on the outskirts of the ruins, Hagrid kind of adopted this area, right? He’s using it to take care of the magical creatures. As you make your way through, you’re going to see garden implements and various other tools. You can tell he’s been here, taking care of the creatures. The ride itself is 3 minutes, 25 seconds. You’ll see little things along the way. This is my favorite thrill ride. For those of you who remember Dragon Challenge, the chains over the queue is significant."

We get to see the back of Hagrid’s Hut - the same one by Flight of the Hippogriff - which includes little nuggets from the books, including Hagrid's runner beans, massive pumpkin patch (and some of the veggies have been slashed apart by some of those magical creatures on site), gnome holes, and thestral carriages that are part of the stables in this structure. The story follows the ruins, which have been lurking in the background for decades as Hagrid works with his creatures while students are away from school over holidays.

The ruins, as mentioned before, are an addition to the Wizarding World, created by Universal with the help of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts award-winning production designer Stuart Craig, and art director Alan Gilmore. The entrance is marked by another Green Man motif sculpture, this time surrounded by two unicorns. As you walk past the arched entrance, you’ll see a rendering of a mermaid surrounded by grindylows; to your right is a distant view of the ride, while going left will take you into the inside queue of the ruins.

The familiar, soothing and kind voice of Rubeus Hagrid reverberates through the walls of the inside of the ruins, instructing and warning riders about the magical creatures they’re about to see - and to stay away from those more dangerous.

One of the first things spotted is a brand-new 4D interactive show - very similar to that of Bill Weasley’s office in the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride at Diagon Alley. This new one features Hagrid - yes, Robbie Coltrane reprised his iconic role once again - this time joined by Arthur Weasley (Mark Williams from the film series) as they get his motorbike ready for the ride. Arthur tinkers around with Hagrid’s bike - as he naturally would with any Muggle devices - with some wand work to enhance it (like he did in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), though a few issues come up.

The room is set on fire, thanks to a few Cornish Pixies wreaking havoc in the ruins, and Hagrid and Arthur are still prepped to get the bike working for fans to ride on for the roller coaster. Arthur duplicates the car thanks to a handy Gemino spell, and they’re off to get the motorbike geared up for the “story coaster.” The next room is a cozy one, kept warm with a massive, wall-length fireplace.

As fans continue through the interior queue, they’ll spot dragon eggs near hatching in one room, a rather rank-smelling room called “The Chamber.” In here - and yes, beware of the stench - Hagrid was well at work on the creation of his unique creatures, the Blast-Ended Skrewts (as J.K. Rowling described in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, they are a cross between Manticores and Fire Crabs). The inspiration of this particular room is based off the Goblet of Fire chapter where Harry and Hermione go help Hagrid with the young Skrewts.

Fans can take a look at the various versions of the Skrewts as they’re continuing their growth and move on to the next area. Here is another exterior area, from which all of the videos and photos from above came, and includes a great look at the Forbidden Forest mural drawn just for the ride - and the largest hand-painted one reportedly in the state of Florida.

Just a small note - this is just PART of the queue, and there are a few surprises to come for all fans starting June 13, including another storyline aspect with Hagrid and … who knows.

Up next are quite a few more photos from the ride, a firsthand look at the roller coaster, and SnitchSeeker’s chat with Hicks about the Warner Bros. team’s involvement, bringing the ride to life, and the love of the fans who brought Hagrid’s story to fruition.
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