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Old 05-20-2019, 02:22 PM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
Post Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure new details of story experience, more

In addition to taking a tour of Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure's massive queue, SnitchSeeker had the chance to speak to one of the creatives behind the creation of the new "story coaster," Elaine Hinds, who spoke at length about the initial conceptualization of the ride to what we'll see in June.

It should be noted that this interview took place during the final exterior queue area of the ride, where fans can see the coaster speed right past them, with the majority of the Forbidden Forest in clear view, including the massive mural made as part of the attraction.

On part of the ride, it looks like you’re going to Hagrid’s Hut. What we passed in the queue … is that not his hut?
Elaine Hinds
: It is not his hut. That scene is actually an outbuilding – more like a barn. In the literature, if you kept up with the literature and kept up with the films, you know that the Blast-Ended Skrewt grow incredibly fast. Hagrid is trying to figure out what the eat, what to feed them. Meanwhile, they’re fighting and tackling each other and killing each other off. They get so large that he has to take them out of this main ruin and out to an outbuilding to store them. So it’s a really exciting scene out there.

That’s where we’ll see Hagrid animatronically?
Might. Might see him. Might see him there.

SnitchSeeker: Outside of Hagrid and Arthur Weasley, are there any other familiar faces we might see?
Not in so many familiar faces, but you will see some creatures.

SnitchSeeker: So in terms of the creatures, how did you pick and choose which ones to be in the ride? We’re looking at all the water and thinking, what a great opportunity for the giant squid.
I can tell you it was very difficult. So for the past two years, in collaboration Warner Bros.’ team, the UK film team, it was a struggle. Because all the creatures have so much depth, you want to include all of them. We debated at length about which characters to include, but we also wanted to make sure that we included the characters that are so beloved to all the fans. So we believe we’ve achieved that. I cannot wait for you guys to come back and ride.

It seems at some point we skipped where you get on the ride. Where is that? After that last chamber?
So after that chamber room, you go through another set of tunnels and that will take you out to the load area. So that’s a surprise yet to come.

SnitchSeeker: What’s the age limit, size limit for this ride?
48 inches tall.

SnitchSeeker: Compared to, say, Forbidden Journey or the Hippogriff ride, in terms of intensity, where would you put it?
Oh my goodness, this ride is so very different from those two attractions. It’s interesting because it’s a roller coaster but it also has show scenes, which is really, really different. It’s a different dynamic. It’s very thrilling to ride. I’ve ridden many times as we program. It’s also over three minutes long. So, I think the overall experience in the immersion into the forest will be very unique against some of the other attractions we have within the Wizarding World.

We’ve seen it like we’re going to slow down over there to go see the blast ended skrewts. Do we slow down when we get to Fluffy and some of the other creatures or is that the main show scene that we’re going to have?
No, there’s multiple show scenes. I think that’s what makes it so exciting is that you have the speed and thrill of a roller coaster — obviously going through that rose window is crazy — but also you do slow down and you do get to experience a show scene that plays out in front of you. So, it’s really exciting and there’s multiples of those.

SnitchSeeker: Can we go back to the beginning in terms of how you conceptualized this and where the idea came about?
Well, when we decided that we wanted to expand upon the Wizarding World product, we looked at everything we had delivered thus far — again in partnership and collaboration with the Warner team. We decided that one of the most popular, beloved characters is Hagrid.

People have always wanted to know more about him, right? Everybody, ever since, within the literature and within the films, when he became a teacher, everybody wanted to be that student. Everybody wanted to go out to the edge of the Forbidden Forest and be able to participate in his class. We thought, how fun would that be to bring that to our guests and let them be the student and experience that class firsthand.

Since there’s a lot of trees you’ve planted here, do you expect this area to grow and the trees to get bigger or will they be kept the size they are now?
Absolutely. We want it to begin to overgrow. So, yes, we’ve planted over 1,200 trees and then, of course, all the lush grasses and the shrubbery and that sort of thing. The goal here, as you can already see because we’ve had such terrific rains, everything is starting to get that wild forest look to it. We’re absolutely encouraging that.

SnitchSeeker: Are we expecting any surprises or jump shocks in the actual ride? We know so much already. Are there any extra surprises?
: Of course there’s extra surprises! I can't tell you.

So do you like riding in the sidecar better or the motorcycle?
You know what? It is so different. You guys have all been on lots of rides, right? What is really interesting about this attraction is how very, very different the experience is in the sidecar versus the motorcycle. Even riding front cabin, center cabin, end cabin – very, very different experiences. I think that’s what makes it really, really exciting. I like both, but for different reasons.

Since they’re a little bit different, are the seat restraints different. Will there be one that’s more larger-person size-friendly?
: Everyone can ride. The restraints are pretty much the same on both. But it’s very fun!

(coaster goes past) It’s quiet, too.
It’s so quiet, isn’t it?

SnitchSeeker: So there was mention that Stuart Craig had a hand in this. Can you elaborate further on that like how much involvement he had with the creation of this?
So we’re very fortunate in that Stuart Craig collaborates on everything that we build for the Wizarding World. So we were able to collaborate with him in the UK – have him look over our designs, review the story with us, give us some guidance. He is the most interesting person I’ve ever met. He’s just delightful. He was instrumental in helping us. Our ideas were great; he made them better. He understands how to make that magic happen, right? Working with him was like a once in a lifetime opportunity, really.

SnitchSeeker:We have magical creatures now in Fantastic Beasts expanding, so slowly going to merge one into another?
I don’t know. There could be some hidden little things out there. There could be some secrets out there.

SnitchSeeker: Did J.K. Rowling have any direct feedback or opinions regarding this ride?
So again, our Universal creative team always partners with the entire Warner Brothers team and the entire UK team that builds and directs the films, right? And everything that we work on comes from her breadth of work. So, it’s been a delightful experience. What I love is this is going to be a unique story. So for an uber fan, right, who knows the literature and knows the films, or for someone who this might be brand new to them, this story is going to be amazing. I think it’s great – especially for the fans – because it’s something entirely new.

Did we see all the show scenes, besides the load area, when we walk through the queues?
No. You did not see one last scene. There’s one last scene before you load the vehicle.

What’s the main difference in the ride experience on the sidecar versus the motorcycle?
Well, think about it. If you take a look at the ride vehicle itself, the sidecar versus the person on the motorcycle there is that height difference, right, which really changes the dynamic of how the vehicle works and how you experience the overall ride. So, it’s fun. It’s really fun. And it’s interesting to me when we’ve been programming to get everyone’s feedback on which car they like better. But I enjoy both of them. They’re very different.

SnitchSeeker: Were there any challenges, roadblocks in bringing this together?
No, not a single one. (laughs) Everything went perfectly – so smooth.
Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opens to the world on Thursday, June 13 at Universal Orlando Resort. Stay tuned for much more to come about the ride and experience in the weeks to come.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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We have peeked at this ongoing construction over the fences and have been very excited for the grand opening. What I HOPE will be the case is a lot of stuff to look at as you wait in a very long queue to get on the ride. The ride times can peak out at 3 plus hours long!
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