Universal: Harry Potter faithful wait 10 hours in line to ride new Hagrid coaster | TribLIVE.com
Travel

Universal: Harry Potter faithful wait 10 hours in line to ride new Hagrid coaster

1288497_web1_ptr-HagridRide-061419
Universal Studios
Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s latest roller coaster, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, had fans waiting up to 10 hours in line at Universal Orlando.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Fans of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are waiting up to 10 hours in a long, slithering line as Universal Orlando opened its new roller coaster — Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure — to the public for the first time Thursday morning.

Potter fans and coaster enthusiasts queued up outside Islands of Adventure theme park in the predawn hours for the thrill ride. Eventually the line stretched from the entrance of Hogsmeade, through the park and well out into Universal CityWalk.

Fans faced a wait of multiple hours — up to 10 hours, according to the ride board — to ride on opening day. The crowds drew parallels to the first day of the land, which opened to mass crowds in 2010.

Universal has said it has the option of using its Virtual Line system for the Hagrid coaster.

Visitors will make reservations for the ride via an app, but that will start no earlier than Friday. Among the early festivities Thursday was coverage from NBC’s “Today” show, which included a ride-through on the new attraction with “Potter” actor Rupert Grint.

A limited number of people have been on the ride already. Universal employees and folks who attended a dedication ceremony have experienced the coaster, which travels through the Forbidden Forest at speeds of up to 50 mph.

Tyler Britt, who lives in Melbourne, said he arrived at Universal at 4:45 a.m. and was within the first 100 people on board. It was “amazing,” he said. “They totally outdid themselves.”

He was motivated by his desire to one day be part of a theme park creative team, he said.

“I’ve watched them build this from the ground up,” Britt said.

Some waiters were decked out in Hogwarts-style robes and garb, but the majority wore weather appropriate clothing for the temperatures in the mid 80s. Dark rain clouds loomed.

Non-riders were allowed into other parts of Wizarding World without getting in the giant line.

The posted wait time for the 9-year-old Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride was 30 minutes at mid morning.

Kevin and Jill Levett were in matching black Hagrid’s T-shirts. They came from their home in Northampton, England, specifically to experience the new ride. They had four hours of sleep, and arrived at Islands of Adventure at 5 a.m., but they said they had no regrets.

“Until you go on it, it’s hard to explain to somebody what it is,” Kevin said.

He said they were in the first official car to leave the station.

“It was worth flying all the way over here to do this,” he said.

Categories: Lifestyles | Travel
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.