Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure roller coaster at Universal Orlando's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade no longer will open with Islands of Adventure each morning for the time being, the resort announced today.The new
In effect, Hagrid's is going to a "delayed opening" status until further notice, with the ride opening at some point in the middle of the day. Here is the official announcement:
Even since Hagrid's opened last week, crowds have been flocking to the park hours before its opening, flooding the ride's queue and backing up the wait time to three, four, five hours or more shortly after 9am. That has put Universal's operations team on the back foot with a ride that had no public soft opening period to allow ops and maintenance crews to fine-tune the ambitious "story coaster," with its synchronized on-ride audio, animatronics, and world-record seven launches.
Delayed openings will give those teams the opportunity to test and adjust in daylight and also while the Orlando-area weather tends to be pretty good. The flip side is that by opening at mid-day, you're running straight into prime time for Florida's summer thunderstorms, which have been closing the mostly outdoor ride almost daily since its debut.
Opening at an unannounced time in the middle of the day also should help keep crowds from overwhelming the queue, as fans will have dispersed around the park doing other stuff by then. But given the enthusiastic reaction of early visitors, it's possible that some fans will just hang around the Forbidden Forest's entry all morning, awaiting the delayed opening and defeating one of the purposes for the delay.
Universal's announcement might encourage some fans to delay their visits to the park to ride the new coaster, further relieving pressure on it until Universal can get it operating at its full, people-eating capacity.
Universal also could use the Virtual Line that it had said it might deploy for the ride as early as last Friday, but never did. A virtual queue would allow fans to enjoy the rest of the park while still holding a place in line for Hagrid's, satisfying some of the complaints about the new attraction. But Universal had said nothing about the virtual queue in recent days, including within this latest announcement.Tweet
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