After opening-day crowds and capacity problems swelled wait times to 10 hours, Universal put the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter coaster on an indefinite delayed-opening basis. While that kept people from rushing to the coaster when the park opened, encouraging visitors to spread throughout the park instead, focusing the ride's operating hours during the afternoon didn't help its overall uptime given Central Florida's abundant late-day thunderstorms during this time of year.
Now it's possible that Universal saw that as a feature and not a bug as it looked to minimize what's been speculated to be overheating problems related to the coaster's record seven launches. Less run time means less wear on the trains and track, after all. Opening late also allowed maintenance crews to work on the ride in daylight and without having to wait for crowds to clear.
Universal has announced that it is switching up the timing on Hagrid's operations and now will be opening the ride earlier in the mornings, but closing it earlier in the evening in return.
OPERATIONS UPDATE: pic.twitter.com/5yCAvZ7SLr— Universal Orlando Resort (@UniversalORL) July 10, 2019
Universal had been cutting the queue at the point when the estimated wait time equaled the amount of time before Islands of Adventure was scheduled to close for the night, so that the coaster would not need to run past closing to clear its queue. Now Universal will be closing guest access to the ride earlier than that, so that maintenance and testing can begin before park close.
I've been checking the posted wait times for Hagrid's several times a day since the ride opened and have noticed a general decrease in the past week or so, with wait times averaging between two and three hours. Today's announcement suggests that Universal might be moving toward increasing the number of hours that the coaster runs each day, as the chance of weather-related delays should be much lower with earlier starts.
Featuring a record seven launches and Florida's longest roller coaster track, Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a narrative-driven adventure through The Forbidden Forest, featuring encounters with animatronic creatures from the Wizarding World, including centaurs, pixies, unicorns, and a Blast-Ended Skrewt. It's currently our top-rated ride at Universal's Islands of Adventure and hovering in the top 10 of our readers' favorite roller coasters overall.Tweet
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