Thousands Denied Access to ‘Harry Potter’ Coaster Despite Paying Admission

in Harry Potter, Universal Studios

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in action

Credit: Universal

Universal guests, be aware that one of the most popular rides in the theme park may no longer be available to you.

Back in 2010, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort, bringing the Harry Potter franchise to life in a way that it has never been before.

The Three Broomsticks at Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Credit: Universal

The film and book series have amassed a colossal fan base, consistently breaking box office records with each new film release. This fervent fandom has sparked Harry Potter-themed attractions worldwide, including Universal Orlando Resort’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, as well as a surge in licensed merchandise. This expansion has now reached global proportions, with various themed areas like Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, and soon, The Ministry of Magic at Epic Universe, the latest addition to the Universal Orlando Resort.

In 2019, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opened up to a 10+ hour wait of Harry Potter fans looking to take a new Hogwarts class with Rubeus Hagrid through the forbidden forest and other iconic Harry Potter locations. The coaster was one of the first in Orlando to introduce a bike-style ride where riders could lean forward during their ride.

On-ride experience on Hagrid's
Credit: Discover Universal

It has launches, dark ride scene elements, backward launches, and a massive Tower of Terror drop tower-style drop while giving riders an incredibly smooth ride, which has made it one of the most popular rides in the park. Even though Jurassic World: VelociCoaster is a newer and more intense coaster, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is still the ride that tends to have the longest wait in the park.

Typically, if a guest cannot ride a ride at Universal Orlando Resort or even Walt Disney World Resort, it is because the ride is closed, either as a planned refurbishment or a temporary maintenance closure that will likely be resolved before the end of the day. That being said, this past week, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure turned all additional guests away as the coaster hit capacity.

Christopher (@TRhodes2319), a guest of Universal Orlando Resort, shared photos of the coaster as well as the signage that noted the coaster was at capacity for the day.

you wouldn’t last an hour in the asylum where they raised me

[if I had a gif of Row 4 blinking, that would be here too]

When Hagrid’s is at its longest wait, the extended queue will come out and will extend out of the Wizarding World and into The Lost Continent, which is the land next to it. For the coaster to hit capacity, that means that the influx of guests looking to ride was exceptional, and only continues to prove the popularity of the ride as unmatched.

In Hogsmeade, visitors to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter can experience three main rides.

Harry Potter flies over the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey takes guests on an immersive journey through Hogwarts Castle, where they encounter magical creatures and characters along the way. Flight of the Hippogriff offers a family-friendly roller coaster experience, allowing riders to soar through the grounds of Hogwarts on the back of a Hippogriff. For a more thrilling adventure, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure takes riders on a roller coaster ride through the Forbidden Forest, where they encounter Hagrid and various magical creatures.

When it comes to dining in Hogsmeade, visitors can enjoy traditional British fare at the Three Broomsticks Tavern, which serves dishes like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and butterbeer. Adjacent to the Three Broomsticks is the Hog’s Head pub, offering a selection of drinks, including the famous butterbeer. For sweet treats, Honeydukes candy store offers a variety of magical sweets and treats, such as chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.

Hogwarts train wizarding world
Credit: Aunesty Janssen / Flickr

In terms of shopping, visitors can purchase their own interactive wand at Ollivanders wand shop or explore Zonko’s Joke Shop for a selection of prank items and magical jokes. Dervish and Banges offers Hogwarts merchandise, including robes, scarves, and other wizarding accessories.

Related: Heartbreaking News: Cherished ‘Harry Potter’ Star Suffers Tragic Passing

Moving on to Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, guests can experience the thrilling Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts roller coaster ride, which takes riders through the Gringotts bank vaults, encountering dragons, trolls, and other magical creatures. The Hogwarts Express train ride connects Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade, offering a scenic journey aboard the iconic Hogwarts Express.

In Diagon Alley, visitors can also witness a magical wand choosing ceremony at another branch of Ollivanders wand shop or explore the dark and mysterious Knockturn Alley, featuring shops like Borgin and Burkes, known for its dark magic artifacts.

For dining options, guests can enjoy traditional British pub fare at the Leaky Cauldron or indulge in magical ice cream flavors at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour.

Guests Shopping in Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World at Universal Orlando Resort
Credit: Universal

Shopping opportunities in Diagon Alley include Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, a colorful shop filled with magical joke items and toys, as well as Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, where visitors can purchase Hogwarts robes and other wizarding attire. Quality Quidditch Supplies offers a range of Quidditch equipment and merchandise for fans of the magical sport.

As we mentioned, Epic Universe will extend the Wizarding World of Harry Potter via The Ministry of Magic tying in the Ministry from the Harry Potter films, as well as the Fantastic Beasts franchise. The land is set to have one major attraction that will whisk guests back into the world J.K. Rowling created. 

The Future Fate of the Harry Potter Films

As for the future of Harry Potter, things are a little controversial due to J.K. Rowling, the creator of the franchise, having such stark political views and opinions on the LGBTQ+ community, showing her distaste for inclusivity, which has not done well with fans, in fact, many have boycott the franchise.

wizarding world of harry potter guests on bikes
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Even the new award-winning game Hogwarts Legacy received a ton of hate due to its affiliation with Harry Potter, even though the game creators placed a transgender character in the game in an attempt to “stick it” to Rowling.

Hogwarts Legacy serves as a loose prequel to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 (2010), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 (2011), as well as the three Fantastic Beasts films.

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zazlav recently discussed the Harry Potter franchise, highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses.

Screenrant noted, “After the failure of Fantastic Beasts, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zazlav is speaking out about the viability of the Harry Potter franchise. Over the course of eight movies, the Harry Potter franchise brought in $7.7 billion at the box office alone. Capitalizing on the popularity of J.K. Rowling’s books, these movies created a new generation of fans. The Fantastic Beasts franchise, meanwhile, proved to be relatively listless and brought in a comparatively low $1.865 billion across its three movies while garnering mostly mixed reviews.”

A dramatic scene in 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' where a flying car, with its door open, soars above the Hogwarts Express crossing a lush, green hillside.
Credit: Warner Bros.

Zazlav appears to suggest that discontinuing the franchise was an error, as it prevented the original story and the primary revenue source from further expansion. Instead, subsequent storylines within the same universe struggled to maintain momentum. The CEO remarked:

“One of the other real strengths of Warner Bros. is we talk about the great IP that Warner Bros. owns. But, for us, the challenge is that our content, our great IP — ‘Harry Potter’, DC, ‘Lord of the Rings’ — that content has been underused. We haven’t done anything with ‘Harry Potter’ for more than a decade. We haven’t done anything with ‘Lord of the Rings. We think there’s a lot of shareholder value in attaching a 10-year DC — a real plan around DC, bringing ‘Harry Potter’ back to HBO for 10 consecutive years, doing multiple movies of ‘Lord of the Rings’… When you put those franchises in, it’s the best performing studio in the world. We need to deploy our best capital, and we need to do it with the best creative people in the world.”

So, even with its surrounding controversy, with the attractions at Universal Orlando Resort hitting capacity, and love for the story and characters of the franchise still alive and well, Warner Bros. is keeping the door open for the Wizarding World to continue to expand within the story of Harry Potter. 

Have you had the chance to ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure?

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