Harry Potter Fans Queue For 10 Hours To Experience New $300 Million Hagrid Ride
After nearly two years under construction, and just one hour into opening, the queue for the new Harry Potter ride at Universal’s Orlando resort was up to 10 hours long.
The ride is called Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Ride, at the Islands of Adventure in the Orlando park. It represents a $300 million investment from Universal, and takes rollercoaster riders on a mile-long journey through the fabled Forbidden Forest on Hagrid’s infamous motorbike.
It replaced the previous ride, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Dragon Challenge – originally called Dueling Dragons – and was under construction for nearly two years.
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However, for those eager to be the first to ride Hagrid’s bike, the new ride proved so popular fans were faced with a 10-hour wait before they could hop on.
Photos from the theme park show the queue snaking back through the Lost Continent and back to the Dr. Seuss area of the resort, as CNBC reports.
As such, those who just wanted to visit the Hogsmeade section of the Harry Potter land had to be rerouted through the Jurassic Park section, on the opposite side of Islands of Adventure. With all these different franchises floating about it’s no wonder people wanted to get on Hagrid’s bike and ride away.
To the relief of excited rollercoaster-ers though, from today, June 14, the park will be using a ‘virtual queue’ system, so fans don’t have to wait in line, but rather be alerted when it’s time for them to return to the attraction.
The new ride isn’t the only attraction in the Harry Potter area of the park, of course. There’s also the Forbidden Journey ride through Hogwarts Castle, the Escape from Gringotts ride through the bank and Diagon Alley, as well as all the features of the Wizarding World park-goers can wander around.
Hagrid’s ride is something special, however. More than 1,200 trees were planted to make riders feel like they’re really in the Forbidden Forest, while a host of props and features from the films were installed around the theme park too. As rollercoasters usually cost around $100 million, it seems no expense was spared getting Hagrid’s bike ride up to scratch.
According to Ryan Roth, IBISWorld’s lead industry analyst, yearly attendance at Universal Studios Orlando has increased from 12 million guests to around 20 million, as USA Today reports, with the park’s revenue increasing by around 50 per cent in the last ten years.
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