Yesterday, I had the opportunity to get in line with my cousin and try to ride “Hagrid’s,” for the first time. After four and a half hours in the sun, another hour and a half inside the ride queue and becoming part of the nice family in front of us who was in town from Ireland, we made it! I have to say that while I would not wait six hours again, the ride was amazing,
First off, I would like to say that Universal has an operating system for waiting that may need some fine tuning and better shade but overall works in this situation. They are not opening the ride until the afternoon after they test it a few times and each day that opening time varies. In order to accommodate people who want to wait and be in line for the moment it opens, they have a roped off section over by Poseidon’s Fury and behind the talking water fountain.
They had water coolers set up and passed out water and they had a food cart with snacks so everyone could stay hydrated and fed. Now yesterday they estimated two o’ clock, so after four rolled around, they gave everyone in line a fast pass for the inconvenience. I cannot speak to this being a regular thing, but it was nice of them to acknowledge those of us that waited. They basically kept us there until it was open, then they moved some barriers around and closed off a section while we walked over. Once you put your stuff in the lockers that are for the ride, you get in the queue and that is where the ride truly begins.
We walked up the long path up to the queue entrance that was full of homage to the dueling dragons coaster and showed Hagrid’s creature collection all throughout the halls. While we did not get to see the pre-show for the ride with Arthur and Hagrid, we did see Fang the dog walking around on the screen. We also were stuck in a room with all sort of eggs from different dragons and different pictures and creatures all across the wall. Then we walked through the halls and got to the pre loading dock area that had all sorts of effects going on too. Personally, the queue is fun in certain spots but bland in others. Once the ride has the kinks worked out and the pre-show is consistant it will be better. Not to say that is bad though, plus it leads to a great ride with a fun story.
So once you board and are either on the motorbike or sidecar (I was on the Motorbike) you take off through the forest to find Hagrid. Now being on the motorbike gives you the higher spot to see, but I think having the height difference helps get different perspectives, but next time I will ride sidecar. You also have an interactive part on the motorbike having to hit a button which is fun. Personally I can see where the sidecar would feel more secure but the motorbike is more fun.
Now the ride starts with you finding Hagrid and he has a Blast-Ended Skrewt standing next to him. He starts his lesson of running you through the forest. You see fluffy the three-headed dog and then the Ford Anglia covered in Cornish Pixies and the bike stalls. You fly backward and you run into a centaur and while trying to dodge him, you end up in some Devil’s Snare. Hagrid teaches you an incantation to say and once you both say it, the bike drops. As the motorbike driver, you hit a purple button and the bike blasts through and Hagrid ends the lesson and gets you out of the forest.
The technology is so advanced on this ride that I can see why it takes some time to get this thing running. The track has amazing speed and the feeling of the ride is smooth. I also like the different forces you feel going backward and when you drop, so if you like coasters, you cannot go wrong. I also love the story and how it feels perfectly Hagrid as you go through all of the different scenarios. Hagrid would put himself in these situations but would also remain calm and manage to get out, and I totally love and felt like this would be a class with him if he had control.
Overall if you can get out there and ride it, go. This is a great coaster and a great addition to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As if you needed me to tell you…
Well that is going to be it for today folks. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my review! Please feel free to comment and tell me how you felt about my review and the ride itself if you have gotten to go. Until next time, see you at the parks!