Take a Virtual Ride on the World's Best Coaster

February 9, 2021, 5:41 PM · Universal Orlando Resort has just uploaded an official 360-degree on-ride POV video of Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure - the multi-launch Intamin "storycoaster" that topped our readers' roller coaster poll this year.

Hagrid's features seven launches, a spike... and another track surprise along its 5,053 feet, during which riders speed up to 50 mph. But it's not the specs that make Hagrid's a fan favorite. It's the pacing of its thrill and storytelling elements, creating a unique hybrid attraction that appeals to more than just roller coaster fans.

Executive Producer Elaine Hinds and Engineering & Safety Director Bill McGehee talked about the development of the award-winning attraction in one of the Themed Entertainment Association's Digital Case studies last year. I also talked with Hinds and Creative Director Gary Blumenstein about Hagrid's before the coaster opened in 2019, if you would like more of the backstory behind this high-speed ride through The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's Forbidden Forest.

And if you haven't yet seen the results of our coaster poll, you can check out how Theme Park Insider readers ranked the world's top coasters on our Top 25 Coasters page, which now includes the Hagrid's on-ride video.

We also have added the video to our guide to Universal's Islands of Adventure, which includes location descriptions, other on-ride videos, our free visiting strategy advice, as well as links to resort hotels and where to buy discounted tickets for the Universal Orlando theme parks.

Finally, if you would like to be part of our next roller coaster and Theme Park Insider Award surveys, please subscribe to our free, twice-a-week email newsletter, which is where we share the annual poll links.

Replies (19)

February 9, 2021 at 7:44 PM

Has this ride finally become reliable and not so plagued by breakdowns?

February 9, 2021 at 10:07 PM

@Still A Fan yeah a long time ago. Actually runs really well now, at 10 or 11 train ops (built for 12 but, pretty damn close). Blame Universal for that one, they set the opening date and didn't want to change it despite Intamin's insistence that they needed to do more testing first. It's why they're being MUCH cagier about Velocicoaster. Also it's an absolutely wonderful ride and, for now, the most fun coaster in Florida (seeing what VC and Iron Gwazi do....) but as much as I love it I still can't put it as the best coaster in the world. Not even close. It's a superior attraction than most elite coasters but.... come on, it's a family coaster.

February 10, 2021 at 1:02 PM

Must be a lot more fun in person, I'm not seeing anything in that video that looks particularly interesting. I mean, even among family coasters the Incredicoaster has more theming and action, ffs, and obviously Thunder Mountain blows it out of the water.

February 10, 2021 at 2:17 PM

@thecolonel - having ridden both a number of times this is head and shoulders better than thunder mountain. The theming is best I’ve ever seen on a coaster.

February 10, 2021 at 3:13 PM

This is clearly the coolest themed coaster on the planet. The animatronics, the indoor forest scene, the audio, and the actual coaster elements (surprises) makes this my favorite ride in all of Orlando. Universal didn't hit a home run with this, it was a walk-off grand slam during game 7 of the World Series. It's a fun ride no doubt.

Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot, you're up next. Let's see if the Disney folks can top Hagrid's!

February 10, 2021 at 5:09 PM

I'm sorry, did I read that right?

.... did he just say that Incredicoaster has better theming?

February 10, 2021 at 5:58 PM

I thought the same thing, Postcott.

February 10, 2021 at 6:04 PM

Nothing but respect for the opinions put forth here. I agree that Hagrids is a master class in theming, though I’d personally prefer more tree cover separating the coaster form outside view. I’d also like to submit for consideration the mighty Everest. Even without a working Yeti AA, the theming and story this coaster tells is right up there with anything in the world.

February 11, 2021 at 6:31 AM

i've been on hagrid's dozens of times by now (over 50 for sure)...it's not the biggest, fastest, tallest or whatever, but it is hands up, the FUNNEST coaster i have ever ridden. i never fail to have a smile on my face from start to finish. regarding still a fan's question on reliability, yes it does still go down from time to time but the downtimes don't seem to last that long. although last thursday 2/4/21, it was down 90% of the day and we had to leave before getting a ride. that was a first.

February 11, 2021 at 1:13 PM

Definitely the funnest coaster I’ve ever been on - this POV is misleading because it over lays the actual noises of wishing air and screaming riders with the narrative - even the drop feature is presented nothing like it actually feels like.

February 11, 2021 at 3:05 PM

I mean, I'm going off the video here, have not ridden the ride, but I don't see much of any theming beyond the station and the two dark areas, and even there you can't see any animatronics; etc.

Are there characters you can see on the ride? This video must be missing a lot from the way you're all so into it.

February 11, 2021 at 5:40 PM

This coaster really does have to be experienced to be truly appreciated. As others have said, I’ve seldom come off a ride feeling the sense of pure joy and glee that I do on Hagrid’s. I think it’s a combination of all the elements, not just one thing.

Another poster mentioned Everest and I completely agree - that coaster has the best overall theming of any ride I’ve ever been on; I love everything about it and Everest definitely makes my top 5. But there’s something about Hagrid’s that just has to be experienced to be understood.

February 11, 2021 at 11:50 PM

Universal was originally referring to Hagrid's as a family coaster....before they tested it. After ride testing they realized it was significantly tougher than a family coaster, and they changed the designation to a 'thrill' attraction. I rode it a number of times. It 'feels' much faster than it's mph indicates, probably due to the multiple launches, and sitting on what feels like a real motor bike instead of the traditional coaster car. And the theming is really great. It's a fantastic attraction. I had really high expectations, and it surpassed those expectations.

February 12, 2021 at 2:25 AM

This is beyond incredibleeeee! Take my money Virginia LLC

February 12, 2021 at 5:54 AM

@thecolonel The video Robert posted is a 360-degree video, so you can move the view around on your phone with your finger or computer with your cursor by dragging. The animatronics for Hagrid, Fluffy, and the unicorn are to the left. If you just watch the video without moving the view, you miss some of these elements. Hope that helps.
I haven't ridden Hagrid's yet. Was suppose to last year, but pandemic. Hoping to do so this Fall.

February 12, 2021 at 10:32 AM

Melanie Howe, your words "Pure Joy and Glee" describe Hagrid's perfectly. I've never experienced a ride in my entire theme park life that just gives me such pleasure. as a kid, i used to love to ride the runaway mine train at six flags over texas at night. back then, it still had the scenic elements and the old cave with the waterfall (which are sadly long gone). lit up at night it was magical. that's how i feel every time i ride hagrid's, day or night. Pure Joy!

February 12, 2021 at 10:40 AM

World's Best Roller Coaster? It's a track with bad sound effects and annoying dialog. It goes up, a little, and goes down, a little, it fakes you out, a little, and it's boring, a lot. I'll pass.

February 12, 2021 at 1:03 PM

Have rode this over 10 times and it put a big smile on my face every time! Heading back tonight for a long weekend. Hope to ride again.

February 16, 2021 at 8:03 AM

Thanks for sharing this great and fun article to read. SAM Renewals

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive