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Flying Unicorn, Enchanted Oak close at IOA

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Published: July 9, 2008 at 9:50 AM

Construction continues on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure. And, as a result, the construction perimeter around the new Hogwarts Castle/Hogsmeade area has expanded to include the Flying Unicorn Vekoma Junior Coaster and the Enchanted Oak Restaurant.

Both locations are closed, though I do not know at this point if those closures are permanent, or if those facilities will be rethemed to become part of the Harry Potter land.

Harry Potter
Looking from the Flyring Unicorn toward Jurassic Park

Harry Potter
Looking west from the Flying Unicorn exit

A new walkway is open to Jurassic Park, bypassing this corner of Lost Continent, though a spur route is open, which dead-ends at the Dueling Dragons coasters.

We suspected that Flying Unicorn's days were numbered when we visited Orlando last month, so Natalie was sure to get a last ride on her favorite attraction. Then she blew her spending money on a stuffed unicorn afterward.

Unicorn

Readers' Opinions

From Robert OGrosky on July 9, 2008 at 10:23 AM
While the loss of The flying Unicorn wont be a major loss, it still was a ride the whole family could enjoy and reduces the options for the shorter crowd.
And its always bad when a park closes rides/rests. which reduces the value of your admission but never reduces prices when this happens, and IOA doesnt have alot of rides/attractions as it is.
From James Rao on July 9, 2008 at 11:56 AM
I thought the Flying Unicorn was an excellent youth coaster and would hate to see it go by the wayside. Maybe they can re-theme it and either keep it as part of HP Land or move it into the Dr. Seuss area where it should have been in the first place. Or, they can move it to Studios and tear down some (or all) of Fievel's Playland? It would be a nice compliment to the Woody Woodpecker Vekoma youth coaster. The Flying Unicorn does not have a huge footprint, so there should be room somewhere. I would just hate to see it go to waste. My under 54" kids loved that coaster.

The Enchanted Oak Tavern was a good food stop by theme park standards, but I am sure it, or something like it, will be part of HP land.

On the other hand, I am glad to see some HP progress. They need to get that expansion constructed before interest in HP related product reaches an all time low....

Someone pass me a butterbeer....

From Derek Potter on July 9, 2008 at 4:29 PM
I'll miss the Enchanted Oak when I go back. That was my favorite restaurant in the park. The bummer for me is this...I couldn't care less about Harry Potter. I just really don't care. I want a giant turkey leg with corn on the cob, ribs, cornbread, and potatoes. I still haven't forgotten how good that meal was.
From Anthony Murphy on July 9, 2008 at 8:48 PM
This is sad! I actually liked the Enchanted Oak. Nice theming and a Bar!!!

Anyway, why not keep them both? If anything, they seem to fit most in the Harry Potter theme

From Iris Hernandez on July 10, 2008 at 5:37 AM
Wow...I am so glad I got on it 3 days ago with my daugther. She's only 3 years old and she absolutely loved that coaster. I'm sad to see it go for now and I they will bring it back.

I cant believe they closed the enchanted oak! I loved the food there. I'll be going back there tomorrow to check out the scene. Oh, and is it me or does this construction seem to be going at a snail's pace?

From Robert Niles on July 10, 2008 at 9:55 AM
This is a massive project. As much as I hate to see Flying Unicorn closed, I'm glad that Universal's doing a real rebuild job here, and not simply slapping new signs around the area. (Was "Lost Continent"... now "Harry Potter's Lost Continent!" Ugh.)

As for Oak, when we ate there two weeks ago, I was pretty underwhelmed. Perhaps that was because the place's days were numbered. But I found the mac and cheese gummy and the corn dry. The turkey leg was okay, but not worth the raves that this place had been getting.

From Derek Potter on July 10, 2008 at 4:06 PM
A little off topic, but has anybody ever had "good" mac and cheese at any restaurant? I went about 0 for 5 at some respectable sit down restaurants and just stopped ordering it.

Robert I think that you were probably right about the reason your meal was a little subpar. Unless I've just been lucky, the food there was the best, and the bar was nice too.

From James Rao on July 10, 2008 at 9:56 PM
Hard Rock Cafe - Citywalk (but I think you can get it any any of their establishments):

Twisted Mac, Chicken & Cheese
A grilled chicken breast tops off twisted Cavatappi pasta tossed in a lightly spiced 3-cheese sauce, with garlic, roasted red peppers and Romano parsley bread crumbs. Served with a side of garlic toast.

Now, that was some darn good mac n' cheese! ;-)

From Marc Ricketts on July 11, 2008 at 1:38 PM
I recall reading some time back that the theming at one of the IOA restaurants was one of the reasons JKR felt Universal would do HP justice. I think it was the Enchanted Oak, though it may have been Mythos. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's just being incorporated into the HP island. Rumours have been floating around for months that Flying Unicorn and Dueling Dragons will be redone. Favorite speculations are Hippogriff (sp) for the former, and quidditch for the latter. Universal is being really tight lipped though, so it's all speculation at this point.
From Lynn Reed on July 11, 2008 at 2:53 PM
I wonder if they will reassemble the Enchanted Oak, with a few modifications to make it the Whomping Willow? Seems like that would be a good use of the tree.
From Robert Niles on July 11, 2008 at 5:11 PM
In my interview with Steve Jayson, he mentioned one restaurant. Given the number of dining locations mentioned in the books (the Great Hall, Hogsmead), I wouldn't think that they would choose a setting unrelated to dining in the books, such as the Willow, for the restaurant.

But the Oak would make a *great* Willow, so I wonder if it might be rethemed to something else for that.

FWIW, Natalie and I have been joking that the Flying Unicorn would become the Flying Buckbeak for about three years now.

From Kathy Whitaker on July 13, 2008 at 5:09 AM
Does this mean the Alchemy Bar is closing too??!!! Ohhhh Noooooooo....Favorite watering hole and great food in the Enchanted oak..went Fri, but missed IOA due to the Mummy hype going (Brendan Frasier) at Uni..Now I am bummed

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