ORLANDO — Magical creatures, flying motorbikes and the lovable half-giant himself: These are the things Muggle dreams are made of.
However, this week those fantasies will exist in real life, inside Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. On Thursday, Universal Orlando Resort opens its latest addition to the wildly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The new immersive roller coaster, located inside of Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure, revolves around Rubeus Hagrid, a character in the series who is the son of a human man and a giant woman. For Potter newbies, he’s the one who teaches the Care of Magical Creatures class (and often gets into trouble).
This over-the-top ride puts guests smack dab in the middle of his classes, which happen to be inside the recreated Forbidden Forest (a mysterious, and often dangerous place featured in the books and films). The elaborately themed area, which has been in the works for two and a half years, replaces the former Dragon Challenge coaster.
Theming to the extreme
Outside it’s a mishmash of 1,200 live trees and grassy shaded areas. As you enter the queue, the first thing you’ll notice is the graffiti on the walls, the next thing you’ll notice are the unidentifiable grunts and growls. That might be attributed to the fact that the ride includes things like gnomes acromantulas, cornish pixies, centaurs and Fluffy the three-headed dog.
Along the way you see remnants from Hogwarts, the wizarding school, and receive instructions on how to care for the blast-ended skrewt, a hybrid creature that is part scorpion, part crab. Next, you encounter Hagrid and Arthur Weasley, who has duplicated Hagrid’s motorbike and sidecar. Then, you pass artifacts, including “The Monster Book of Monsters,” broken cages, singed blankets and teddy bears. Hagrid is a softie, after all.