Ever since Universal Orlando’s announcement in July stating that a new Harry Potter-themed roller coaster would replace Dragon Challenge, fans and theme park enthusiasts alike have been left wondering what exactly is coming to Islands of Adventure in 2019. We here at Attraction Insight speculated in an article last year on several possible coaster types that could be used for this new attraction (the post was based on rumors floating around at the time), but new information has recently been introduced among insiders that may finally paint the clearest picture of what this roller coaster could be like.
Based on information received from Alicia Stella of Orlando ParkStop, this new roller coaster will be quite unlike anything currently featured at Universal Orlando Resort.
Starting with the ride station: The new coaster will reuse the existing Dragon Challenge loading area, but rather than featuring two separate tracks on opposite sides of the station, the track would connect in an “L” shape that starts from the site of the former Chinese Fireball section and begins the journey out of the Hungarian Horntail exit. Whether or not a “show scene” will take place within the station building is unclear at this point. Stella goes on to mention that the ride will use several buildings scattered throughout the layout where effects will take place, including at least one launch, a reverse section, several drops, and a unique effect featuring the Ford Anglia driving alongside you at one point during the ride. Stella also adds: “The outside sections will be somewhat divided by trees, height differences, trenches, rock work, and other themed elements.” These details make for a coaster that doesn’t fit the list we mentioned here last summer. When we compile everything Stella says, we have a thrilling, low-to-the-ground roller coaster that is fit for all ages, incorporates indoor and outdoor scenes, and, of course, is heavily themed to the Wizarding World.
As far as manufacturers go, Universal could be working with coaster designer Intamin (they collaborated for Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts). Additionally, Universal could be joining other companies together with their in-house Universal Creative team to make one unique attraction. Existing roller coasters that can be used as a comparison for this ride are Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsburg (featured in the above video) and Th13teen at Alton Towers (featured in the below video), located in the U.K.
One aspect of this brand-new Harry Potter coaster that has not yet been revealed is its storyline. Recent rumors have stated that the coaster may not take place exclusively within the Forbidden Forest. Instead, it may take guests to other Harry Potter locales, such as the Shrieking Shack, Hagrid’s maze from Goblet of Fire, the Black Lake, and possibly the Quidditch stadium. With the story elements missing we also do not know what the ride vehicles will look like just yet.
When the yet-to-be-named Potter roller coaster opens next year, it will certainly become a smash hit with Harry Potter and theme park fans alike. These new details could not have come to light without the amazing theme park community and Alicia Stella in particular. Stay tuned to Attraction Insight for the very latest on the Harry Potter roller coaster and more news around the universe.
DISCLAIMER: This article is tagged as a rumor. Please be aware that the information in this report can change or may not have been planned at all. Attraction Insight shall not be held accountable for the accuracy of any rumors.