hagrid roller coaster at universal orlando
Credit: Courtesy of Universal Orlando

Harry Potter fans, start planning your next vacay, because a new roller coaster is opening at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and it’s better than anything your muggle brains could dream up. If you’ve been to Harry Potter World at Universal Orlando before, you’ll know that the theme park has four main attractions: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff, Hogwarts Express, and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts in the more recently opened Diagon Alley section across the city walk in Universal Studios.

It’s hard to imagine that any ride could top Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a ride that takes you flying above the Hogwarts grounds in virtual reality with Harry and friends, but the new Hagrid ride somehow manages it.

You start by boarding either a motorbike or a sidecar, and then you’re rocketed at up to 50 miles per hour through the Forbidden Forest past a life-like Hagrid robot and all sorts of other magical creatures, including a Blast-Ended Skrewt, Fluffy the three-headed dog, Cornish pixies, a centaur, and a mom and baby unicorn.

All the while you hear Hagrid’s voice. As you crest the top of a steep hill, the friendly half-giant says you’ve run out of fuel, and you’re shot backward down the slope. Oh, and there’s also a 17-foot free-fall vertical drop at one point—we won’t spoil the surprise of exactly when it happens.

Credit: Courtesy of Universal Orlando

As warnings posted around the ride note, it’s a “high speed roller coaster that includes sudden dramatic acceleration, climbing, tilting, dropping, and backwards motion.” It also notes that you need to be at least 48” to ride, so younger kids may need to sit this one out.

At the opening celebration for the ride on June 11th at Universal Orlando, Harry Potter stars Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, Evanna Lynch, Warwick Davis, James Phelps, and Oliver Phelps made an appearance, and there was a special message from Hagrid himself, Robbie Coltrane.

We sure did, and you will too.