Beloved Universal Coaster Dismantled, Found in Ruins

in Universal Orlando, Universal Studios

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in action

Credit: Universal

If you are a fan of theme parks in Orlando, you surely know of all the “big guys”. Walt Disney World Resort sits on land large enough to fill San Francisco, fitting four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT), two water parks, and a eating/shopping District, Disney Springs. If you drive down the I-4 highway, you will eventually hit SeaWorld Orlando, home to aquatic fun and massive thrill coasters. Continue toward Downtown Orlando, and you arrive at Universal Orlando Resort, a theme park haven filled with Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida, and soon, Epic Universe. The theme park also encompasses Volcano Bay, their water park.

Universal Studios
Credit:Universal Studios

Although Disney World is the most popular theme park in town for many, Universal Orlando Resort comes in a close second, with many Guests crossing between the two on their vacation more often than not. Universal Orlando Resort is home to more thrill-style attractions, such as VelociCoaster or The Incredible Hulk. Most recently, the theme park expanded into the Harry Potter IP, creating the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, housing both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley in both of their parks, with the Ministry of Magic set to open with Epic Universe.

Mummy ride at Universal
Credit: Discover Universal

Related: Universal Theme Park Slashes Hours, Guests Infuriated

But, when things are added, others must come down.

When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was added to Islands of Adventure, the attractions available were Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, as well as Dragon Challenge (also known as Dueling Dragons). The coaster was re-themed to fit the Harry Potter aesthetic, fitting into the fourth film and novel, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The ride was a fan-favourite for it’s dueling aspect, where Guests would go through an inverted loop where riders on each side of the coaster would pass through at the same time, leaving their legs a mere 18 inches apart. This did cause injury, however, when a cell phone slipped out of one Guest hands and cut open another Guest face on the opposite coaster, ending the “dueling aspect of the coaster for life.

Dragon Challenge at Universal Studios Florida
Credit: Universal

Universal made the decision to close Dragon Challenge permanently on September 4, 2017. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opened in its place in 2019.

The coaster was, however, beloved by many, and even inspired films such as Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007), where the cheer squad used the coaster to come up with their complicated finale cheer move. So, seeing it go after remaining in the park since 1999 was a big blow.

Recently, fans were able to see the coaster again in a very different light. AndrewOfPeace took to Twitter (X) to share a video of the dismantled track of the coaster, posing the wreckage as a potential Halloween Horror Nights house.

#HHN32 SPOILER: The Dueling Dragons house is just a giant scrapyard with the track all mangled and Hagrid in the corner laughing at it.

Fans in the comments spoke out on the attraction, saying that they hope a piece of the track is somehow hidden in Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, while others expressed how much they miss the attraction.

A statue of the dueling dragons at universal orlando resort
Credit: Universal

In the past, we have found other iconic Universal attraction scraps abandoned to make way for the Wizarding World, such as the giant and terrifying JAWS animatronic. 

More on Halloween Horror Nights

A performer on stage at the Halloween Horror Nights event in Universal Studios Florida
Credit: Universal Studios Florida

If you are entering the fog this year at HHN, here are the houses that will terrorize you:

The Exorcist: Believer
Two missing girls have been found with no memory of what happened to them. But wherever they went, the ultimate evil has returned with them.

Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count
Chucky, the serial killer doll, is back for a new gorefest! He’s hijacked his own haunted house with all kinds of bloody hijinks. You and your friends must try to survive his ultimate kill count.

Universal Monsters: Unmasked
Descend into the Paris Catacombs, where you and your squad will face a new horde of monsters: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Phantom of the Opera, the Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Invisible Man.

Stranger Things 4
Band together with your squad to resist Vecna’s gruesome curse as you take on the scariest season of Stranger Things yet.

The Last of Us™
You and your squad must stay silent if you want to survive Clickers and more as the gritty world of Naughty Dog’s video game comes to life.

Dr. Oddfellow’s Twisted Origins
Your Soul is a Price He’s Willing to Pay
You won’t be able to resist going inside Dr. Oddfellow’s menacing menagerie of twisted oddities. But the price for you and your friends is steep: the cost of your souls to feed his immortal power

Dueling Dragons: Choose Thy Fate
No Matter Who You Choose, You Lose
Two warlocks of great power were turned into dragons after trying to take Merlyn’s spell book. Now you and your friends are caught in their epic battle. You must choose a path and a victor.

YETI: Campground Kills
Yeti or Not, Here They Come
You and your friends are about to venture into a 1950s campground overrun by huge, menacing yetis who rip apart anyone who gets in their way. You must flee to the ranger tower to escape.

The Darkest Deal
Fame is Fleeting. Fear is Forever.
Blues musician Pinestraw Spruce will have to face the music after meeting with The Collector and trading his soul for musical glory. You and your squad learn the terrible price of fame.

Bleed for the Blood Moon
Bloodmoon: Dark Offerings
In a Colonial-era village, moon-worshippers witness a blood moon at their fall festival. They take it as a sign to hunt down any non-followers, including you and your scream squad.

What do you think of Dragon Challenge/Dueling Dragons? Were you a fan? 

When visiting Universal Orlando Resort, Guests can enjoy attractions such as Rip Ride Rockit, MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack, Transformers: The Ride, and more. Visit Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can venture into Gringotts!  Islands of Adventure has some fantastic attractions like the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and more! Volcano Bay is also open for those who want to get their splash on. 

At Universal Studios Hollywood Guests can enjoy WaterWorld, The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Super Silly Fun Land, Silly Swirly Fun Ride, Kung Fu Panda Adventure, Universal’s Animal Actors, Special Effects Show, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff, The Simpsons Ride, Studio Tour, Jurassic World — The Ride, Revenge of the Mummy — The Ride, Transformers: The Ride-3D, and more!

 

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