I'll just sum up my thoughts here in an easy to digest bullet-point format since people seem to be putting words in my mouth:
- Overall, the ride is fun... a lot of fun.
- What is there on the ride looks great.
- If you are expecting a ride as thrilling or as intense as Dueling Dragons, this is not your ride.
- If you like coasters such as Taron or Cheetah Hunt, you will most likely enjoy this coaster as well.
- I'm VERY HAPPY this is not a screen based attraction.
- While the theming that is there looks "good" I did expect more from it based on how much they were hyping the figures, the "story coaster" and the indoor section. And that's really the only part of the ride that didn't live up to expectations.
So I got to ride Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure yesterday at the media preview and here are my thoughts on the ride...
It's fun. It's twisty. The launches are "good." The backwards spike is great. The drop-track is overrated. (As are all drop-tracks, not just this one!)
Keep in mind that these are the comments of a somewhat jaded roller coaster rider who has been on over 2,000 different roller coasters...
I came away really liking the ride, but also felt the same way I did about Taron, Helix, and many other coasters that other people absolutely LOVED but I felt a *bit* underwhelmed about.
Here's my biggest issue with Hagrid's... it's a "family" coaster. And that's fine... it's actually a DAMN GOOD "family" coaster... but it replaced Dueling Dragons. And this is NOT a replacement for Dueling Dragons in any way.
The ride felt a LOT like a less-thrilling version of Taron or Cheetah Hunt, and that's not a bad thing, I like both of those rides quite a bit, I just don't think they are as good as people have hyped them up to be.
It's a lot of low-to-the ground twisty bits with "boosts" (I'm not sure I'd really call them launches) here and there.
And none of those things are complaints, in fact, the only real criticism I have of the ride is I was actually surprised how little theming there really was on this coaster.
Most of the track is out in the open and you fly by the themed elements so quickly you hardly see them. It's like the Yeti on Everest. You see Hagrid for a total of five seconds (I counted on my third ride) and you see the three-headed monster thing for even less. I almost totally missed the blue flying creatures inside the car because you go by that so fast you almost don't notice the car let alone the creatures inside of it.
The only really themed section is the indoor drop-track area and that part was kind of weird. When you first enter the building, it's almost totally unthemed (like as though it wasn't finished) and there is nothing hiding the fact that you can look around and see you're in a giant building.
As you go further in, it just looks like you're in a cave with a bunch of moving vines. It didn't look bad, but it also wasn't a "OH WOW, GREAT THEMING" moment either.
And then there is the drop track. An element that I describe as the "shortest drop on Tower of Terror" or something about as thrilling as a Frog Hopper. It's not "thrilling" it's just slightly "startling" if you don't know when to expect it. But since all these drop track elements are EXACTLY THE SAME on every coaster I've ever been on (and I've been on five of them since 2006...yes, that's how long this element has been around) I knew exactly when it was going to drop because the timing has never changed on any ride that includes this element. Fun, yes, especially for the first-time rider, but when you've been riding coasters like this for 14 years, it has lost its "thrill moment."
I actually think my favorite parts on this ride are the backwards spike because it feels JUST LIKE Montezooma's Revenge (and I love that ride) and the launch just after the drop track is probably the best of them all.
The park boasts that this ride has "seven launches" but to me you really only feel three of them as any significant launch. The initial one at the start of the ride, the launch right after you see Hagrid, and then the launch after the drop track. The rest of them just sort of "push the train" along a bit faster.
I rode both the side car and the motorbike and I actually found that, other than your seat being higher on the motorbike, both seats gave pretty much exactly the same ride experience. I honestly didn't prefer one over the other. The motorbike seat isn't a real "motorbike ride vehicle" like Tron or the other Vekoma and Zamperla Motorbike coasters are, it's just a regular roller coaster train with themed elements around it to make it look like a motorbike.
There is the initial moment where you go "Oh, I'm higher/lower than the seat next to me" but once the ride starts, you notice that less because you are focused on the action of the ride and not the seat next to you.
Actually my only other criticism is that I don't think it should be a 48" height restriction. 42" or 44" would have been perfect. And that would have put it more into a "family" coaster category where it belongs.
Overall, it's a very fun ride. While it exceeded some expectations, it also met the expectation that it wouldn't deliver the same level of thrill or excitement that Dueling Dragons did, and the fact that a perfectly good "world's top ten" roller coaster was pointlessly demolished for this ride still really bums me out, especially after walking through a mostly changed Dragon Challenge queue... it's just kind of a sore reminder about what once was there...
And hey, if Draco Malfoy is having an awesome time riding Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, you KNOW it has to be amazing!
Here's a video we did featuring a complete walk-through of the queue and some offride shots:
And here is the pre-show video that is the first thing you see when you walk into the castle...
Last edited by robbalvey on Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:57 am.
Thanks for that great review! I've been waiting to hear one that cuts out all the Potter hype and focuses on the coaster elements, as that's what I've been most curious about. It still sounds like a fun addition, and I'm looking forward to trying it out myself this weekend.
NickC wrote:Thanks for that great review! I've been waiting to hear one that cuts out all the Potter hype and focuses on the coaster elements, as that's what I've been most curious about. It still sounds like a fun addition, and I'm looking forward to trying it out myself this weekend.
Yep, I'm not a Potter person so I can really only speak to the coaster part of the ride. In fact, I didn't even know I had a pic of Tom Felton, or who he even was, until someone else pointed it out to me!
While this does look like a fun attraction, it is a small shame about the level of theming considering how much the park has marketed the theming. And I think no one really expected this to be better than Dragons.
I saw on one of your socials that you weren't able to shoot on ride pov footage at the time. Do you know if that will be coming from either you or the park in the future?
CaptainUnknown wrote:I think no one really expected this to be better than Dragons.
I didn't expect it to be better than Dragons, but that still doesn't ease the fact that a world's top tier coaster was destroyed for a ride that doesn't live up. I'm not usually one to get all bummed out about attractions leaving, but I refuse to believe that Dragons was at the "end if its life" or that these two attractions couldn't have co-existed.
CaptainUnknown wrote:I saw on one of your socials that you weren't able to shoot on ride pov footage at the time. Do you know if that will be coming from either you or the park in the future?
We were told no POVs because the park didn't want to give away the ride. So I guess whoever is the first person to sneak their phone on and get a crappy shaky cam video of the ride will be the one that showcases the attraction!
Last edited by robbalvey on Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:47 pm.
Sounds about like what I was expecting aside from the lack of theming, though as construction progressed it did start to look like most of the ride would be outdoors and be continously moving rather than slowing down for show scenes. That's a shame.
I definitely want to ride but it'll be tough not to lament about the loss of DD. I was fortunate enough to get to ride it A TON back in its glory days when they still dueled. At its prime, absolutely a top 10 coaster. RIP!
Looks fun and there's no doubt it'll be very popular and successful. Still insane to think they just bulldozed two perfectly good B&M inverts though. Speaks to how much of a cash cow Potter really is for them.
One question, is there no pre-show or backstory in the queue? I really thought this ride was going to tell a story. But you only see Hagrid, I assume in his hut, for 5 seconds? I'm not a Potter fan but I do like a ride that tells a good story.
Thanks for the review, Robb! Appreciate the openness and honesty about the ride experience. All of my Orlando friends keep saying that the coaster is “WAY more intense than anyone expected” and “the park is considering dropping ‘family’ coaster from marketing materials.” But I think most of them enjoy riding the hype train or have forgotten what an intense coaster feels like. Lol
prospekt88 wrote:One question, is there no pre-show or backstory in the queue? I really thought this ride was going to tell a story. But you only see Hagrid, I assume in his hut, for 5 seconds? I'm not a Potter fan but I do like a ride that tells a good story.
Ahh, yes... I forgot to post it. During the day when I shot the queue walk-through, they had the pre-show room closed because they were doing interviews with the film celebrities, but in the evening I did film it...
Last edited by robbalvey on Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:18 pm.