Here are more details about Universal's new Harry Potter ride

March 12, 2019, 8:19 AM · The Harry Potter series' Draco Malfoy, actor Tom Felton, this morning officially introduced details about Universal Orlando's upcoming new Harry Potter coaster, Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

Felton welcomed Universal Creative's Alan Gilmore, who worked as an art director on the Harry Potter films, who confirmed what we'd told you earlier about Universal's purchase of more than 1,000 trees for the attraction. He also said that the coaster's top speed will reach 50 mph.

Magical creatures on the ride will include Fluffy, Cornish Pixies, and centaurs, Gilmore said. He also promised a Devil's Snare, please a new creature that hadn't been featured in the films.

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opens June 13 in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure in the Universal Orlando Resort.

Replies (29)

March 12, 2019 at 9:12 AM

"He also said that the coaster's top speed will reach 50 mph."

Seems awfully speedy for what is being billed as a "family" roller coaster. I sure hope they don't end up with the same issue that BGW ran into when they opened Verbolten as a "family" coaster, but had a 48" height requirement.

March 12, 2019 at 10:18 AM

Is there an academy award for "Best Performance in a Promo"? Tom Felton is really giving it his all. He's acting all genuinely enthusiastic and fun here. And it works. He didn't have to do that. He coulda phoned it in. Props to you, Tom!

(I'm now even more excited about this attraction.)

March 12, 2019 at 10:41 AM

My husband was a Universal Orlando Hotel Sales Manager when Hogsmead opened. One of his responsibilities during the premier event for Hogsmead was assisting at the hotels with arriving VIPs to ensure they got into their rooms without any issues. He said that with one slight exception all of the cast members from the Harry Potter films he encountered were absolutely delightful and a pleasure to meet and work with.
To this day, he still goes on and on about how wonderful Tom Felton was. He said he was the most gracious and down to earth of all of them. Jamie recounts how Tom introduced his parents to him and just seemed completely thrilled to be a part of the opening event, genuinely excited to be involved. Based on that, I feel like Tom isn't acting at all here, he's still a fan of the Potter-verse and is excited to be involved in its growth.

March 12, 2019 at 10:56 AM

Young Master Felton has always been generous in his promotion of all of the Potter attractions. I have said two or three times that Hagrid will be one of best themed coasters in Central Florida. I am guessing the 50 MPH is related to the launches featured on the attraction. And I am not sure if this has been promoted as a "family coaster".

March 12, 2019 at 11:13 AM

"Universal has not yet confirmed the ride system for the new attraction, other than to say it will be a family friendly "coaster experience.""

That's a direct quote from a number of articles back when Dueling Dragons/Dragon Challenge was closed. They have not used the term "family" recently, so perhaps the design has gone through some modifications to make it more intense (or they recognized that a ride that accelerates to 50 MPH is probably not very "family friendly").

As I noted when Verbolten opened, any attraction with a 48" height requirement is decidedly not family friendly. There's nothing wrong with building roller coasters and other attractions with more restrictive height requirements, but parks need to be careful what they market as "family" attractions, especially in the Orlando market where families account for a majority of a park's attendance.

March 12, 2019 at 11:24 AM

What could that creature be that isn't featured in the films? I can only think of two off the top of my head--a sphinx and a blast-ended skrewt. I really hope it's the skrewt.

March 12, 2019 at 12:08 PM

A skrewt would be awesome!!

I'm really excited about this coaster... and very curious what the queue will be like... Says something for Universal's talent with immersive environments that I'm even looking forward to the line :-)

March 12, 2019 at 12:12 PM

On a coaster with launch elements, including a blast-ended skrewt seems like low hanging dirigible plums. It's blast could be the thing that sends the bike racing forward.

March 12, 2019 at 12:16 PM

From what has been revealed so far, this coaster sounds like the perfect in-between for the WWOHP. Not as extreme as Dueling Dragons or subdue as FOTH, but a good, thrilling coaster. Very excited!

March 12, 2019 at 12:56 PM

I am beginning to believe that "family friendly" for coasters now simply means "no inversions."

March 12, 2019 at 1:26 PM

Assuming a 75 MPH Intamin with a top hat over water in the back half is as good as it sounds on paper, I'm not sure any park in the world will be able to beat IOA's top five of Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Forbidden Journey, Hagrid's...Adventure, and the Jurassic World coaster. Stunning stuff.

March 12, 2019 at 1:39 PM

I mean, let's be honest... what else is on Tom Felton's calendar these days.

March 12, 2019 at 2:44 PM

We are going (again) in late July. Looking forward to seeing this.

March 12, 2019 at 2:52 PM

Your own family may vary;)
I know I will enjoy it regardless.

March 12, 2019 at 4:59 PM

You can't use speed alone to decide if something is family friendly or not. For example, Test Track goes 65 MPH and is definitely a family attraction. Meanwhile, Mine Blower over at Fun Spot tops out at 48 MPH and that is a pretty intense roller coaster. Hagrid's is going to be largely low to the ground turns with a few hills and special track features thrown in, so unless it pulls some serious g's it's definitely going to be a family friendly ride.

Sounds like Universal has a real winner on their hands. I'm definitely looking forward to checking it out the next time I visit, though that is likely going to be at least a couple years away.

March 12, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Clayton - if you check his IMDB page, I think you will find he's been working rather regularly on film since 1997.

March 13, 2019 at 10:51 AM

The speed does not have age references. It's the G-forces. And actually, the promotion does not talk about G-forces. A 25 mph short turning coaster could have much higher G-forces then a 75 mph smooth scenic coaster.
When doing 75 mph (legal or not :-) ) in the family car on the motorway, there is nothing special about it.

March 13, 2019 at 12:25 PM

Weird calling something so intense a family ride ... Hmmmm ... Trying to bait and switch to draw some love from the family demo maybe? ;o)

March 13, 2019 at 12:26 PM

By the way, Herwig Delvaux -- current fave TPI profile pic.

March 13, 2019 at 3:34 PM

I'm so excited about this coaster. Universal deserves praise too for keeping Intamin coasters going in the US, it blows my mind that no other American parks are installing Intamins right now, and for some years now. Going by the rumors of what the JP/JW coaster will be like it obviously won't be them (I'm guessing another B&M like Hulk), but how much fun would it be if RMC was doing that new coaster using either their Raptor or T-Rex track designs? Too on the nose for sure but then the park could also claim to have coasters built by all three of the world's best manufacturers. And seriously, an RMC Raptor or T-Rex track coaster for a JP/JW ride would be so perfect, lol!

March 13, 2019 at 6:14 PM

I met Tom Felton at Mega Con a few years back during breakfast - stayed at the same hotel as all the artists/talent, and he was super nice.

What has he done lately? I don't know. But it must be better than whatever Daniel Radcliffe is up to. Emma was great as Belle, but The Circle was awful.

This attraction is going to be fun, I have little doubt! I love inversions, but I don't feel like this is one that needs any, as I think it's more of an experience than thrill ride. I can't wait to get back to Orlando late this year to check out everything that's been added (both to UOR and WDW).

March 13, 2019 at 10:51 PM

Tom doesnt look so good. Poor guy.

March 14, 2019 at 8:04 AM

Felton is probably most recently known in the US for his recurring role on CW's The Flash (DC Comics). His character was killed off at the end of season 3, but the way that series, and other DC series, jump through time and resurrect long-dead characters, there's always the chance he could return. I would agree that puberty was not terribly kind to little Malfoy, but he still has that awkwardly sinister look.

"Universal deserves praise too for keeping Intamin coasters going in the US,"

Well, Intamin deserves some blame for so many of their coaster installations having major problems. From the collisions on their hypers and gigas (Superman at SFNE and Millennium Force) to their flawed designs requiring significant alterations after completion (Maverick, I-305, and Volcano) to their continuous reliability issues (Dragster, Kingda Ka, and Xcelerator), it should be no surprise that US theme parks have been hesitant to chose Intamin, particularly for high-profile attractions that need to have high levels of reliability and throughput. I'm honestly a bit concerned that this is an Intamin and that it will spend months getting broken in, and even after it finally reaches optimal capacity, it will have issues sustaining daily operations under sustained peak crowd levels. With the emergence of Mack and Premier as reliable LSM-powered coaster designers/manufacturers, Intamin has become a risky choice, especially for what appears to be such a complicated and intricate coaster (granted UC may have grown frustrated with Premier after the complications surrounding Gringott's, and soured on using them again). UC has seen some serious issues with their most recent coaster installations (Rip Ride Rocket - Maurer and Gringott's - Premier), so maybe Intamin can step up and deliver, which would help restore some of their reputation in the US market.

March 14, 2019 at 9:51 PM

Just FYI, Gringotts was actually a partnership between Universal Creative and Intamin. Premier was not involved with that attraction in any way. Also, from what I've been told by a couple reliable sources, the new Jurassic World coaster will not be an Intamin Blitz but instead a Mack Launch coaster (think more Copperhead Strike than Maverick), and Mack will be providing two major coasters for the new park. Universal isn't really bringing Intamin back, they're just using Intamin for this project because they were the best fit. Personally, I'd look toward SeaWorld for future Intamin monstrosities (the new BGW coaster looks slightly insane).

March 14, 2019 at 10:50 PM

This is what I wrote in the Volcano closing topic:
"This is a perfect example of why Intamin sales have been so low for 7 or so years, and why ever since Kinzel retired pretty much all of Cedar Fairs big coasters have been B&M. I consider myself lucky to have been on Volcano, it was a cool ride, but the cost just didn't equal the returns. The industry went through a phase where buying the big fast Intamin was the cool thing to do, i'm actually kind of amazed Volcano lasted this long (to be fair it didn't operate much of the time and was SBNO its entire last year), but as George W Bush says "fool me once." I know some guys that had try and maintain those impulse coasters with their Six Flags budgets, very tough thing to do lol. They would NDT the trains and find cracks all over them and then the ride would be closed for months.

Buying an Intamin coaster like this is like buying a Lamborghini, you feel like a bad a** when you get it but reality comes crashing down the first time it needs repairs and you realize its going to be an endless money pit."

I standby my original statement. So many of their coasters were either extremely unreliable, needed major modifications after they were built, or both. Superman the Escape - disaster in every way possible. Every impulse coaster needed to add supports because they were falling apart. Volcano is gone. People flew out of both SFNE and SFDL's Supermans. You think oh well that must be the parks fault for not enforcing the rules properly...but someone flew out of Perilous Plunge at Knotts which had the same restraints...and then someone flew out of the same ride at Oakwood a few years later. Dick Kinzel said that Top Thrill Dragster was the worst decision he ever made as CEO, then Maverick had to be modified after it was built, Shoot the Rapids only lasted a few years. Kingda Ka was an epic disaster (SF should've known that was coming based off how TTD was performing at the time), Xcelerator at Knotts has been there for 17 years now and is still always closed. Intimidator 305's wheels were melting like crazy so added trim brakes and ran 1 train for much of its opening year. And then that offseason they removed the whole first helix. Cheetah Hunt was a mess when it was new (how do you mess up such a slow ride??)

It won't be as big of a deal for Universal because they got that big Comcast checkbook but still I don't forsee seasonal parks going back to large Intamin coasters anytime soon.

March 15, 2019 at 4:11 AM

Ahhhhh, TH Creative ,
Perhaps because of the beer ? :-)

March 15, 2019 at 4:49 AM

Intamin signed the contract and now in design-build phase, for a new mega coaster in Belgium (Walibi). So, it seems, some business partners still give them full trust !?

March 15, 2019 at 8:57 AM

Are you sure about that AJ? I was speaking with some representatives from Premier last fall (their corporate headquarters is in Baltimore), and the conversation eventually segued to Gringott's, and how disappointed they were that the coaster did not perform out of the gate. Perhaps they were generally speaking from a coaster industry perspective, but the discussion we had was primarily in regards to their installations around the US. If nothing else, the trains on Gringott's are from Premier (or UC in-house using Premier designs)- Intamin has been using hydraulic-locking restraints for over a decade now, while Gringott's trains use mechanical-locking restraints with overall features more like The Revenge of the Mummy than any modern Intamin installation.

March 15, 2019 at 1:06 PM

Russell, I did a little more research and it seems I may be partially mistaken. The track and ride system is definitely Intamin (though UC designed some of the special features like the motion base track), and almost everything I've found on the ride backs that up. However, the vehicles appear to be designed by Universal Creative with little/no input from Intamin. Given how similar they are to the trains used on Mummy, it's quite possible that Premier built the passenger compartment and then UC mounted it to their rotating chassis. I have not found anything definitive to support that, but it certainly fits.

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