Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster daytime testing at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

in Islands of Adventure, Movies, Theme Parks, Universal Orlando

I staked out a spot in front of the still-blocked entrance to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for a couple hours this morning, hoping for a soft opening of the Islands of Adventure expansion (it didn’t happen).

But what I did see upon walking across the bridge from the Lost Continent to Jurassic Park was that the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster was being tested, with several Hippogriff-adorned trains running the tracks, some with a Universal employee or two riding, some empty:

It’s interesting how Islands of Adventure’s Flying Unicorn roller coaster has been around for several years, often seen as a “kiddie” coaster and ignored by older guests, but now has suddenly become a focal point by being re-themed to Flight of the Hippogriff.

There didn’t appear to be much hope for an early opening of any part of the Wizarding World during regular park hours today. While the Hogwarts Express train was blowing its steam whistle regularly, nearby a loud noise of a power tool also sounded for a short moment, indicating that construction continues, at least in small doses. A walk through the Dueling Dragons queue (still leading up through the exit) let me spot a man working on some electrical wiring on the wall outside Dervish and Banges.

I was also told that there would be another private party tonight inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and there was a possibility that some Universal team members (employees) would get to ride the Forbidden Journey attraction very soon. In the meantime, team members posted outside the blocked Hogsmeade Village entrance archway still emphasize to all approaching guests that there are no scheduled soft openings and that the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is June 18. But with some Wizarding World special vacation package holders arriving as early as this Friday, May 28, I still have a feeling we’ll see a lot more of the Wizarding World before its official opening date.

4 Comments

  1. Robert Bish

    Thats JohnPaul riding the coaster. FYI He was also in Half Blood Prince as well as the next two movies. He plays a death eater in the films.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      It sure looks like him, but are you sure? The person riding also seems to be wearing a name tag, like those worn by Universal team members.

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