- 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.
Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Review!
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...