Universal Orlando has released a brief clip of point-of-view video showing Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, the replacement to Dragon Challenge/Dueling Dragons (that rolls right off the tongue). The ride opens on June 13.
Sometimes I wonder what Universal's marketing team is thinking.
This is a highly-themed ride with several show scenes and big sensory elements. So to introduce this thing and hype the ride, they release some snippets of generic twisty roller coaster track as a first look? It's not even nighttime. It doesn't look spooky. The only thing that places it within the Potter universe is the soundtrack and the intro graphic. This video makes the ride look like something generic my local amusement park, not Hogwart's. Wasn't that the public's issue with Dragon's Challenge once Potter showed up? I understand not giving away the farm, but this "sneak peek" doesn't come close to doing this thing justice.
If you ask me, Universal Orlando needs a little more "twisty roller coaster" and a little less "show scenes and big sensory elements." My son and I were disappointed in how similar so many of the rides were. And that they were all nothing more than motion simulators. To the point where Fast and Furious and Kong even used identical ride vehicle buses.
I know what they’re thinking. “We are a movie company- Our rides and attractions should include elements that immerse our diverse audience into a story line that captures the flavor of the motion picture on the marquee. It’s what sets us apart from every other theme park experience on earth.”
Maybe I’m the only one, but I can’t be too cranky about this. Coaster enthusiasts continue to bemoan the loss of the high-thrill Dueling Dragons ride. I get that. But truth told, when I walked into Hogsmeade for the first time, I saw how they incorporated the former attraction into the new land and thought it was a bit of a fail. The ride itself was weird looking there, there was massive amounts of bright colored metal sticking up behind transplanted evergreens, and any trace of story was lost the second the trains hit the lift. It could’ve been a parking lot coaster at any Six Flags and did nothing to contribute to the environment the park had so skillfully crafted. Hagrid’s ride will be mysterious, unique, and be pleasing not only Potterphiles but will be attractive to a wider range of park guests. I think it’s exactly what was needed to complete that corner of Hogsmeade.
Those who desire more of a thrilling attraction should hold their pants up until the Jurassic coaster arrives. I think (hope) it will be the right step toward balancing the park, with more of the original IOA flavor in mind, but perhaps with a little more thought.
I haven't attended Universal in a few years, but when I was in Orlando in February I met friends for drinks at City Walk after their big day at the park. I also struck up conversations with strangers that week. The sentiments I heard echoed was exactly what our Tommy just stated. Many of the rides, while good, seemed “the same”. I see evidence that the park is finally climbing out of the set-it-and-repeat-it mode.
I’m a Uni fan. While Disney is doing a spectacular job of upping their game, it’s still nice to have a different kind of well-done experience just ten miles away.
Honestly, looks pretty cool. I bet the show sections will really bring it all together.
Still bitter Dragons are gone, but looking forward to checking this out regardless.
To clarify, my criticism was of the video, not the attraction itself. It is possible to market this as a tactile (not screen-based), highly themed roller coaster; this video does not do that.
And I'm familiar with and agree with the "Universal has too many screen-based attractions" conversation. No one is disputing that here.
It's a teaser. It's meant to tease. They're purposefully not showing the whole kit and kaboodle now to generate anticipation just as theme park marketing departments have been doing since forever. And the big set pieces will be spoiled either way by new marketing or first-hand accounts and videos in a couple of weeks.
It would be easy to write this off as rumor if Intamin didn't have a horrible reputation. I mean, Maverick they had to yank out a barrel roll at the last minute.
Yeesh. What is so special about this ride that would be causing so much wear on the track though? The two different riding positions? Is the weight not balanced?
Another blog took them to task on that article, so who knows what is actually happening?
Intamin has improved a lot recently. Their new layout designer is amazing and their recent train design fixed a lot of the issues of the old ones. I rode Coaster Through the Clouds in China and it was amazing. The new train style is very comfortable.
On the topic of issues, it seems every manufacturer have had their issues recently. Take for example Mack: most expensive ride manufacturer on the market, yet... they've had to remake 2 million euros worth of track for a Blue Fire clone in China that was deemed defective by the local safety commission. Over in Australia, they've had to take down track sections from DC Rivals Hypercoaster during an annual closure to either replace or refurb it after barely 7 months of operation.
One manufacturer that became a leader and that carried a bad reputation? Vekoma. They also hired a young designer a few years back and he's a genius.
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