Dragon Challenge removal


Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

I'm not surprised because of Potter. But this one hurts.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Further proof that I am not the Orlando parks target demographic.

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar


But looking at the plot of land that's opened up and the popularity of Harry Potter, I get it.

Still sucky, though.

I just realized that if these don't get relocated, they will be the only B&Ms to permanently cease operations.

Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Technically... Hulk became the first, right?

*Not gonna clean up the can of worms I just opened ;)

I feel like Universal is actually missing an opportunity by not trying to sell the ride (assuming they aren't). I still am surprised they didn't try to relocate and sell the two year old Aqua Drag Racer at Wet N Wild, which leads me to believe Dragons will be sent to the dumpster

I haven't been this disappointed in a closure since Geauga Lake.

eightdotthree's avatar

I am pretty much over this ride. Look forward to whatever replaces it.

Raven-Phile's avatar

Yeah. I haven't ridden it since it ceased dueling, but I can imagine I wouldn't be very interested

rollergator's avatar

If it COULD be sold, it would be sold. It's scrap metal at this point (like Hulk before it).

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

WOW! I had wondered if the days were numbered once Harry Potter moved.To me the ride felt kind of out of place and it had lost it's appeal once they stopped running the trains together. Individually, both layouts weren't quite as exciting as compared to other inverts, but together when they were timed correctly it was a really neat experience.

This is a ride that I will miss. With the dueling aspect, it was truly one of kind and I am left wondering if we will ever see anything like this again. The moments of when you felt like the train was going to collide, especially when you went through that barrel roll, with the other train was right across from you, I always felt the need to pull my feat back. Quite the feeling, even though you knew it was coming.

RIP Dueling Dragons. (To me it will always be remembered as the Dueling Dragons)

Sine Note: Thinking back on how much fun this ride was, really frustrates me with how folks throwing pennies (If I recall correctly) really ruined the experience of this ride. (Sorry for the rant)

There is no such thing as a terrible Coaster just ones that haven't been taken care of

matt.'s avatar

I know this is painfully subjective but I'd put the Fire Dragon right up there with the best American inverts even on its own.

The wrap-around Immelman is still one of the all-time great moments on any inverting coaster. I also think the first drop and then long straight section before the vertical loop are especially great.

Yeah but here's the thing. In the grand scheme of things those rides aren't all that old. As pointed out in the Hulk discussion, there's wear and tear due to the weather and constant use 365 days a year. At the very least it's due for a similar rehab.
But no, they're going to go and it seems like a strange choice. Again, it wasn't that long ago that they made the biggest splash ever with loads of attention from the media and from enthusiasts as well. Huge, dueling rides and a queue experience that at the time was unrivaled. They helped turn Universal into a destination park for thrill seekers.

Are they that outdated? Do they not fit into Potterville so well? And maybe the writing has been on the wall all along- when I stepped in the new land for the first time the Dragons seemed like the afterthought that came before. I thought they at least deserved a coat of paint to go along with the half assed re-theme. I hope they aren't scrapped, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are. My guess is Uni is exclusive enough that they won't have one of their rides relocated like that. But we can all think of plenty of parks that could use a marquee like that.

Now having said all that, if the new dark ride turns out to be, as rumored, one of those new systems from Mack I'd be just fine with it. The first installation was Arthur at Europa and it turned out to be one of my favorite rides there. It's a brilliant combination of indoors, outdoors, dark ride and coaster. The speed varies and the cars turn. Arthur is strictly a family ride but I can see the thrill factor upped for a Potter-themed scary house.

I love the Fire Dragon airtime hill over the Ice Dragon zero g roll. I think either of the coasters would be solid stand alones. The visual element of the dueling was phenomenal, don't get me wrong, but non dueling or separated they are still solid, top tier B&M coasters. When you've got the below average riding first generation stand ups like Iron Wolf/Apocalypse and Vortex at Carowinds still going strong and the Dragons are being sent to the scrap yard it's just, odd...

kpjb's avatar

I'm disappointed. I rode them last year and thought that they were really running well, unlike Hulk before its teardown.

With all the new stuff, and with my kids too short to ride, I didn't really pay much attention to them over the past few trips, but my oldest son was finally tall enough to go on them last year and loved both of them. I'll miss the chance to ride them with him again. It really sparked a renewed appreciation for them. They were both still great rides. They tracked well, no shuffling or roughness. What I did notice was that when they were new, I preferred Fire. Now I prefer Ice, but my son preferred Fire.

I love Mummy, but these are still my top two coasters at Universal. Yes, it was cooler when they dueled, but it's still a shame to see them go.


ApolloAndy's avatar

I will also miss these rides. My last trip to Universal (about 10 years ago) was just before they stopped dueling, but they were down for maintenance. I loved the camelback on Fire and the dueling element was so unique, thrilling, and innovative. It is sad to see them go. And I personally think both rides could stand alone and still be considered above average B&M inverts (not even counting Batmans, which I don't like).

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

TheMillenniumRider's avatar

Seeing as they are 18 years old and running a full 365 cycle I could see how they might be a maintenance headache. I remember rumors circulating that they were nearing the end of their service life and that they would need a major refurb anyhow. I am guessing Universal said scrap it instead.

I am surprised (well not really) about the addition of yet another dark/sim ride. I would really love to see a replacement coaster instead. You could theme one to the enchanted Ford Anglia, or maybe theme it to a Quidditch match, put a snitch on the front and all.

As was said earlier, I am certainly not the target demographic, as much of a shame as that is. On the positive side I will be there in August, so I can catch a few rides before closure.

Jeff's avatar

Hulk was EOL, so I wouldn't be surprised if DD wasn't far behind. Each side likely has less cycles than Hulk, but how much less?

But yeah, while solid rides, losing the duel was a bummer. Haven't been on them since 2011.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

If these rides are truly End of life, are Montu, Kumba, the Batmans, Raptor, etc far behind?

The first two mentioned are older and also year round and I doubt they're on the chopping block. I doubt Busch has put as many cycles on Montu as Universal has on their Beemers, but still. Cedar Point is only open half as much, but they literally beat the living hell out of their rides during the time they are open. I can't see Raptor going anywhere anytime soon.

Cedar Point just threw new trains on Mantis and branded it (a ride older than any of these three IOA rides) as "new."

End of life for some of the control systems or trains would make sense. But the tracks too???

I'm kind of sad and shocked to see two top notch coasters get the ax so soon. I get that Harry Potter seems to be where the money is of late for Universal, but this seems crazy.


99er's avatar

Bush Tampa takes their B&Ms down for long rehabs if I am not mistaken. I don't think IOA spends as much time with their B&Ms in rehab so they probably have much more time on the tracks. Obviously Raptor is older but I would assume the amount of time it spends out of commission would almost double its life span compared to a coaster that is running almost 365. This is something that worries me when it comes to Everest at DAK as it has not had any rehab time since the ride has opened. It has seriously been open basically every day since day one.

This really doesn't surprise me at all because it seems large theme parks look at rides differently than a seasonal park does. If they see better profits with a new ride over one that is getting by, then they cut it from the list unlike a seasonal park who will hang on to their investment until the very last replacement part is made. However we often always say the same thing when ride is cut from out favorite amusement park and I think it applies here too; "If the park is removing it, they must have a good reason". Maybe the ridership just isn't where it needs to be for Universal to keep the ride around? Or they just want to go in a direction with new technology and this is the land they need to do it. IOA is sorta landlocked so there isn't much room left in each land for a new ride to be added. Something will have to be removed for something new to be built.

Last edited by 99er,


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