The closer we get to the 13th June the more information Universal are going to be revealing about their new attraction! Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will be found at Islands of Adventure in the Hogsmeade section of the park and is the replacement for the much loved coaster, Dragon’s Challenge.
Today Universal gave us an up close look at Hagrid’s favourite canine Fluffy.
Fluffy is a giant three-headed dog that’s known for being the trusted guard dog of the Sorcerer’s Stone. And, as many of you know, Fluffy has a weakness – he falls asleep to the sound of music.
In Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, you’ll confront this gigantic, beloved creature deep in the Forbidden Forest. Proceed with caution – he’s a guard dog first and foremost. And in this new adventure, Fluffy weighs 8,000 Ibs., which is roughly as big as two standard Muggle cars.
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Fluffy belongs to Hagrid, who adopted him from a “Greek chappie” he met in a pub
Experts on Pottermore say Fluffy was inspired by Cerberus – the dog that in Greek mythology guarded the gates of the Underworld – and, just like Fluffy, he fell asleep to the sound of music
Fluffy made his first and only appearance in the film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
We’re expecting more creatures to be revealed all this, our guess is Cornish Pixies tomorrow…
First of all, check this out (i’m sure you’d rather listen to Draco Malfoy and the Art Director of the Harry Potter films talk about this than me writing about it.. 😉 )
Opening on the 13th June this year I think it’s fair to say that it is going to be one hell of a coaster experience!!!
Here’s what Universal also had to say..
It begins when you join Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class and board magical motorbikes specially designed to make you feel the freedom of flight. For your journey you can either ride the motorcycle or board the adjacent sidecar, providing two unique experiences. For the first time, you will soar through the Forbidden Forest and come face-to-face with some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures… but as often the case with Hagrid, things don’t go as planned.
This new experience combines a new level of storytelling and innovative coaster technology with rich environments and sets – including an actual forest with 1,200 live trees!
Experience a freewheeling coaster flight where you’ll twist, turn and rush forward – and backward – at speeds of up to 50 mph into the dark forest
Encounter some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures, such as a majestic Centaur; a swarm of mischievous Cornish Pixies; Fluffy the three-headed dog; and even one that’s never been seen in the films
Hurl past challenging obstacles, drop into an endless pit of Devil’s Snare and so much more …while encountering a few surprises along the way
Some things Universal have still not revealed are the queue and the pre-show experience. Is this going to be a surprise or are we going to find out more soon?? I also wanna know what else we may encounter in the forbidden forest, what are the other ‘challenging obstacles and surprises’? I suppose an element of surprise can make it a lot more thrilling but i’m super intrigued!
Who’s excitement is building the more we get to know this coaster? Mine is!!
Yeah Star Wars Land is a cool idea and everything but for me the new attraction I’m most excited about is the new Potter ride. Due to open this year at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, we’ve had little to no formal information about what we can expect from the new attraction not even a name.
So we’re hearing that the icon for this new ride will be Hagrid and therefore the name will be based around the character played by Robbie Coltrane. Last week the strongest rumour was Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure which yep I agree is a bit of a mouthful but does tick boxes in terms of IP. We’ve already seen what we believe are the ride vehicles which look remarkably like Hagrid’s motorbike and side car (pictured below).
This week several sources on the internet have been suggesting that the name maybe shortened to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures which is perhaps catchier but doesn’t really tell a newbie anything about the attraction.
I’m not 100% in love with either of these suggestions to be honest and to remind you all these are just rumours.
What will it look like?
Well we might have more information on that, orlandoparkstop.com yesterday received what they claim is an artistic rendering of how the area will look.
From this leaked image I think it’s fair to say that this is going to be an extremely detailed and beautifully designed ride.
Hagrid’s hut instantly stands out as to me it is the most recognisable part of this concept art (and is the main link between the ride theme and the name). Images taken by OrlandoParkStop show how the hut is coming along in real time. It looks as though in the Scene involving Hagrid’s Hut that riders will shoot out of a hole that has been burned in the ceiling of the hut – possibly caused by a mis-hap when Hagrid was showing off his Blast Ended Skrewt (which is said to be one of the scenes we will see)
Another cool part of the ride experience is the below ruins and the way the coaster will shoot through them. If you look closely at the photo on the left side of the rendering you can see how the track takes a sharp left turn as it travels down and out of the ruins.
The cave is an interesting one, as we are not too sure what this part of the ride could entail. However from the rendering and ariel view you can see that the track goes directly into the cave which looks as though is going to be a very dark section of the track. There was also a rumour surrounding a ‘spike’ element, which if the rumours are true, could be part of the cave section. As you can see, the back of the cave is surrounded by dense foliage which could be covering the high point of the spike which was also rumoured to have a ‘fall back’ feature. This means riders will climb up several stories and then immediately fall back down. There are however no clear pointers to this element in the concept image which is the newest piece of information that we have.
There has also been some speculation regarding ‘Fluffy’ – Hagrid’s famous three-headed dog and we think he is going to feature during the ride, maybe in a hidden rocky building (circled in red is where we think Fluffy may be hiding)
Something else we have had a long chat about here at OAT today is what we think the queuing experience is going to involve. Here’s an idea that we think would work best with the theme.. (remember we aren’t qualified coaster designers even if we like to think we are) ..a pre-show experience involving a lesson on magical creatures, maybe even being taught by the big hairy man himself. This would fit in so well with the rumoured name ‘Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure’ and i’d love to see Hagrid be the star of the show as he’s one of my favourite characters. Another thing to think about is that when you’re queuing for Gringotts you know you’re in the bank and when you’re queuing for Forbidden Journey you know you’re in Hogwarts.. so surely when you’re queuing for this ride you should know and feel exactly where you are. And to us this would be the forbidden forest.. could we see the Weasleys car, unicorns, centaurs, pixies, Hippogriffs and spiders?.. there is so much that can be featured in the forbidden forest!!
What do you think the queuing experience will involve? What bit of the ride that you can see from the leaked image are you most looking forward to?
I didn’t think it was possible but i’m more excited than ever about the new potter ride! Remember the above is still just rumour as Universal haven’t confirmed (nor denied) and of the information or the name of the coaster but we will of course let you know as soon as they do!
We do always try our best to bring you good news from within the world of Orlando theme parks however sometimes we cannot avoid bad news…
This time we aren’t basing off rumours.. Universal have confirmed that A Celebration of Harry Potter isn’t going to return to their parks in 2019. Here’s the official press release:
Universal Orlando Resort is working on exciting new experiences for guests to continue to celebrate the Wizarding World next year. These include the all-new thrill ride coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and additional fan experiences that have yet to be announced. While our focus on these fan experiences means we will not be hosting A Celebration of Harry Potter in 2019, we and other Universal theme parks will always be looking for opportunities to host special Wizarding World experiences.
This poses the questions of ‘is it being replaced by something new?’ or ‘are they too busy with the new ride to host it?’ Gavin thinks that they could be replacing it with something Fantastic Beasts themed ♀️ Universal have also said that there are going to be ‘additional fan experiences’ like the Back to Hogwarts event hosted on the 1st September.
Now we don’t know if it is just 2019 that Universal have pulled the plug on or future years as well as that isn’t mentioned in the press release. It is quite unusual though, A Celebration of Harry Potter has been going 5 years and each year seems to become more and more popular so surely it cannot be a case of it not bringing in enough witches, wizards and muggles?
Lets take a look back at some of the cool shots we got from last years event.
It’s a sort of bitter-sweet feeling as we don’t like to say goodbye to a fantastic event but we can look forward to what Universal are going to surprise us with in the near future..
So Gavin and I let you in on some secrets we know about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter the other week on OAT Live and I’m going to tell you all my favourites including some new ones we didn’t have time for…
Universal hired a large amount of its staff from Britain to ensure the experience is as authentic as possible. Each staff member also has to sit an exam to test their knowledge of the books and films to make sure interactions with guests are as seamless as possible.
Harry and Hermione’s voices in Escape From Gringotts aren’t actually their real voices
We all know that the Leaky Cauldron serves as a gateway between the magical and muggle world and Universal have added a hint of this to the sign of the Leaky Cauldron. Lets just say be careful of drips if you’re standing underneath the sign..
The perfume advertisement that can be found in Kings Cross Station at Universal Studios is not exactly the same as the one in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The advert in the film says ‘Tonight make a little magic with your man’ however the one used in Kings Cross says ‘make a little magic’ so it is a little less suggestive.
In Zonkos Joke Shop you can hear whispering coming from the Extendable Ears which can be found hanging over the registers. If you wish to purchase one, you can however there is a sign warning you of eavesdropping.
Also in Zonkos you can buy your very own Pygmy Puff – if you do decide to buy one the attendant will ring the bell and announce your Pygmy Puffs name to the whole shop!
Look out for the Pots and Pans cleaning themselves in the window to the left of the Three Broomsticks.
If you need to make a pit stop at the single restroom in Hogsmede you won’t be alone… Moaning Myrtle can be heard complaining in the men and the women’s loo’s!
It’s not just the Dragon that comes to life every 15 minutes.. every 15 mins a owl will pop out the top of the Owlery just like a cuckoo clock.
When in line for The Forbidden Journey if you stop by the potions classroom door and listen very carefully you will be able to hear Neville Longbottom being told off for not performing a spell correctly.
Keep an eye out for Kreacher in the window of 12 Grimmauld place if you decide to knock…
So there you have it.. some secrets to impress your mates with the next time you visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Some are tried and tested and some aren’t so let us know if you know of any more!!
I was lucky enough to attend this years A Celebration of Harry Potter, after reporting about the event for the past few years from the UK I was so excited to finally get the opportunity to sample the atmosphere in person.
On top of being present at the media event for the talent Universal invited (Ginny, Weasley twins, Tonks and Victor Krum), the opening ceremony and a special night time visit of Diagon Alley I also got access to some of the amazing people that attended. Here is a selection of some of my favourite pictures.
Jay McDougall (@ragingstormcosplay ) won best costume and for me was a worthy winner. His attention to detail is amazing and I believe the costume took just under 2 years to design and source.
My Favourite Photo
I grabbed this pic on the fly. I happened to be talking to a colleague when I spotted the girls walking down the New York section of Universal. I practically sprinted to grab their picture. The girls were amazing too, they really played up to the camera and I have a few shots of them being awesome but this was my favourite. They’re dressed as the Holyhead Harpies, the all girl quidditch team that play in the British and Irish league.
If you come to an event dressed as a couch then for me you’ve won this award hands down.
This gentleman was roughly 6′ 5″ and dressed as Professor Umbridge. I watched him try and walk through Diagon Alley and literally every step he took someone stopped him to take a picture. He handled the attention very graciously.
There’s so much to love about this picture. When I approached them they were sitting chatting to each other quite normally, as soon as I raised the camera they were straight into House Elf mode.
…. took me a while to get this one…. but it’s when Neville faces the Boggart and uses the Riddikulus spell on his worse fear, Professor Snape.
I love this one, it totally looks like just two old mates hanging out in Diagon Alley plus the costumes are amazing.
Best of the rest
If you get the chance to visit A Celebration of Harry Potter next year then I would encourage you to not only do it but dress up and get involved. I really wish I had.
I’m sure Gavin and I jinxed this. 🙁 The minute we finished OAT Live Universal announced a new nighttime Light show at Hogwarts Castle!
Grab your wands and robes because an all new projection mapping experience called The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle is coming to Universal and will have guests celebrate all four houses in all their glory by transforming Hogwarts Castle with special effects, music, lights and much more.
Each of the four houses – Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and HufflePuff will ‘wrap itself around the castle’ as they showcase their pride in their own unique ways in time with the moving music from the films. This will definitely give me goosebumps (maybe even a tear 😉 )
The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle is set to debut on Wednesday 31st January through to Monday the 5th February as well as from Wednesday the 7th February through to Monday 12th February. Universal have said that additional dates will be announced later so don’t fear if your holiday date isn’t above. Guests to A Celebration of Harry Potter (27th and 28th Jan) will get to see a preview too! (lucky Gavin!)
The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Caste looked absolutely A-MA-ZING so if it is (and it will be) as fabulous as this then guests are in for a right treat! Just picture it now.. Hogwarts lit up in your house colour, wand in hand, soundtrack blaring, tear in your eye… Ahhh! 😀
Who’s going to Universal in Feb and will get to see this?!
We’ve speculated, you can read it here, and at the time the link looked solid however on Saturday we were informed about a reddit thread that might be shedding even more light on what we can expect at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
User Miker_Incredible (according to himself) is an active employee of Universal Orlando Resort and had this to say;
black supports have arrived and footers have been poured for the new Wizarding World roller coaster. It seems like it is going to be a suspended/inverted coaster, as the support-to-track connectors are “underneath” the support structure.
Hmm interesting. The revelation that the coaster would be a suspended/inverted type has led to speculation about exactly what the ride could be. The major theory which is supported by quite a few bloggers, is that Universal are looking to build something similar to Arthur at German theme park Europa Park.
ARTHUR is an inverted-spinning dark ride roller coaster which has been praised for its theming (Universal are all about the theming).
Riders are suspended beneath the steel roller coaster track in one of nine, 12-person vehicles. The 550-metre-long (1,800 ft) attraction features a theoretical hourly capacity of 1,600 riders. The ride features seven scenes both inside and outside the show building. Unlike most roller coasters, Arthur – The Ride does not require gravity for movement, instead it is powered by motors inside the trains. It begins with a spiral lift hill. The ride features animatronics by Life Formations and Heimotion, as well as other 4D effects such as water, wind and scents
The Arthur coaster is made by MACK rides and recently won the THEA Award for the Best Ride System. Arthur is most definitely a family ride with some thrills which does kind of fit the little information we’ve had from Universal. Take a look at this video to see what we might expect…
We’d expect Universal to ramp up the thrills a little bit but the mix of dark ride and coaster with both an indoor and outdoor experience does feel right.
Universal have announced some more details for A Celebration of Harry Potter…
Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) has been confirmed as another film star to join the line up for next years highly anticipated event. Universal also announces new content and returning favourites for all you witches, wizards and muggles to join in on at the Harry Potter Expo:
NEW: Wizarding Costumes from Harry Potter: The Exhibition”
You’ll be able see some of the most stunning costumes from the Harry Potter series and walk the runway to pose for a one-of-a-kind keepsake photo.
The Sorting Hat Experience
“ If you don’t know your Hogwarts house, you’ll have the chance to find out if you’re a Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor or Slytherin at The Sorting Hat Experience.
Start practicing your Harry Potter trivia because Audible Recall is back with updated questions. And, you can even play against your fellow housemates with house-specific rounds each day of the event. #HogwartsRules
Scholastic is celebrating 20 years since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was first published. You can write your favourite Harry Potter memory on the Muggle Wall, step into a life-sized recreation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and enter to win one-of-a-kind Harry Potter prizes.
Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima are back this year to share their graphic designs of Weasleys Wizard Wheezes and so much more.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
The Making of Harry Potter is back to give you the opportunity to see first-hand some of the incredible effects that were used in the Harry Potter film series.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
As the play gets ready to open on Broadway, you’ll get an exclusive, never-seen-before look at the costumes, designs and imagery from the production.
Also, get ready for three brand-new panels you won’t want to miss:
Discover Behind-the-Scenes Secrets with Award Winning Special Effects Supervisor, John Richardson The magic comes alive as John Richardson Special Effects Supervisor on all eight Harry Potter films shares with you how flying broomsticks, floating candles, wand explosions, fire-breathing dragons, and more were created on the Harry Potter film set.
Graphic Design for Film: Creating the Weasleys Wizard Wheezes Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina of MinaLima are here to chat about what went into bringing Weasleys Wizard Wheezes to life.
The Magic of Costumes in Harry Potter Join Jany Temime, award-winning costume designer behind the last six films, and Eddie Newquist, exhibition curator, to talk about the amazing costumes in the Harry Potter films.
Harry Potter is EVERYWHERE at the moment and I LOVE it 😀
Sooo Universal have just bought a further 101 acres of land on Sand Lake Road which makes the new total amount of land they now have a whopping 575 acres!
This would be more than enough room for a fourth theme park AND a new hotel. There is no word yet on what Universal are going to fill this space with.
Universal have already got 3 new hotels on the go – Aventura hotel and at least 2 more planned for the site of Wet ‘n Wild and I do think they will be planning to build another hotel on this land also.. they have enough room, so why not?!
We will be seeing a new park for sure and with more hotels comes more guests so maybe even a second City Walk. I’d love to see a new park or two, the amount of land they have is more than the other 3 Universal parks put together so the possibilities are pretty endless. Of course the biggest speculation is around a whole Wizarding World of Harry Potter park and i’m totally all for that. I’ve been chatting to the other guys here at OAT towers to see what their ideas for new parks / attractions would be and i’ve created a list:
The Walking Dead
Jurassic Park / World
How to train your Dragon
Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them
Although very unlikely I would LOVE to see a whole land dedicated to horror, perhaps a year round horror themed land.. Now that would be unlike any other park! (Maybe I just love Halloween Horror Nights too much)
The locations of the newly purchased land and current resort location has left us wondering how Universal plan to move guests to and from parks to hotels. There’s been a few rumours surrounding monorails or buses with dedicated lanes.
The above is purely rumours and speculation as there has been no word or confirmation from Universal surrounding it. What would you like to see built on the newly purchased land?!