Monday, May 20, 2019

Hagrid's Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure May 20 Update

Photo courtesy of Inside Universal.

Hagird's Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure officially opens in three weeks. In our latest, and last, update we'll look at the finishing touches along the ride path, the outdoor queue, the indoor queue preview released today, and speculate on Team Member and guest previews. As always many thanks to Inside Universal and Bioreconsturct for the photos and coverage. If you do not already make sure to follow them.

The entrance sign for Hagrid is nearly installed and complete. Moss has been applied and the fiber-optics are installed!

What I like is the small bit of stained glass below which brings some color and pop to the sign, something sorely missing from Dragon Challenge.
Construction is nearly done! Staining of the sidewalks is finishing up on May 7 and the sound barrier mural painting has started. Continuous testing started this past week and trains are dispatching roughly every 20-30 seconds, giving this ride an hourly capacity of over 2000 guests an hour.

The outdoor queue is complete and installed and follows a similar path to the Dragon Challenge outdoor queue. And yes, there are NO metal detectors, so while you will need to store bags you won't have to empty out your pockets.
What's that? Yes, it's a unicorn! Hidden during the final portion of the ride the unicorn will bid us good luck and farewell after we touchdown in the ruins.

This past week several media outlets were invited by Universal Orlando to preview the queue. Hagrid took over the ruins on the outskirts of Hogwarts Castle and uses them to take care of his creatures. Inside guests wind through a newly laid out queue finding equipment, books, and creatures. Soon guests enter the first preshow where Hagrid and Arthur Weasley repair and discuss the motorbike that guests will ride on. After the first preshow there is another bit of queue before a second preshow, one that Universal is keeping secret for now.

Inside Universal has a great write up of the event and Orlando Informer put together a fantastic video looking at the ride and queue (see above).
Photo courtesy of Inside Universal.
With the ride quickly approaching opening everyone is wondering when the ride will preview for all guests. At this point the only guaranteed date to start riding is June 13, the grand opening date. But if you're traveling prior to then there's a possibility the ride will open for limited previews.

Right now the ride is still under the control of Universal Creative. The final major milestone for the attraction will be when the control of the ride is transferred from Creative to the Universal operations team. Rumors point to this occurring on Memorial Day weekend. After transferring to operations the ride will continue to run through testing and training the team members. Once the operations team feels comfortable with the ride they will begin Team Member previews for the attraction. These usually last a handful of days with the final day of Team Member previews ending in the late morning. Only then, and if they feel comfortable, will the ride open in the evening for guest previews.

To speculate it is likely Team Member previews will occur the week of May 27 with guest previews starting the following week, the first full week of June. Guest previews are unlikely to occur the few days prior to June 13. Islands of Adventure closes at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11 for the media event. June 10 and 12 the ride will likely be closed for media impressions, on ride photography, and to prepare for the grand opening for guests.

It has been fun to share with you all the construction and of this attraction and hope to see you in the parks!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour 170 - Brit in a Speedo

It's Alex and Joe this time to talk about news, rumors, and trip reports! We cover the Kings Island giga coaster, Dollywood's newest addition, Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, more Hagrid, and more! Then we discuss Alex's trip through the south, including his first ever visit to Animal Kingdom, before Joe talks about Kennywood's pass holder preview day and a quick stop at Hersheypark.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Unannounced Jurassic Park Attraction Update 5/7/2019

Construction on the unannounced Jurassic Park attraction continues with land clearing continuing in the area formerly home to the Triceratops Encounter and Raptor Encounter. Along the lagoon front deep pylons and footers are installed for the new bypass bridge and coaster.

For a reminder this is the rumor coaster layout.

The eye in the sky Bioreconstruct is back with updates from the construction project.

Here you can see the three former Triceratops Encounter enclosures are in various states of demolition. The old Raptor Encounter area is totally gone and the two buildings at the top of the image are the old queue for the Triceratops Encounter attraction that was used as a break and changing room for Raptor Encounter.

Current status of the new bypass bridge opening this summer. This new bridge will act as access to the new attraction in front of the Discovery Center and as a way to cut between Lost Continent and Jurassic Park during nighttime shows in Hogsmeade.

While under construction the Raptor Encounter has moved next to Pizza Preditoria in the old Jurassic Park River Adventure extended queue.

The unannounced Jurassic Park attraction is expected to be a new roller coaster designed by Intamin AG. The coaster is rumored to be the fastest in central Florida once it opens in early 2021. It will feature multiple inversions, two high speed launches, and extended airtime.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour 169 - #dadstuff

Everybody rock your body right, Banks Lee's back, alright.

Joe, Mike, and Banks talk about Universal Classic Monsters house, HHN29's leaked rumored lineup, the Today Cafe, avocado toast, Disney Hollywood Studios' 30th Anniversary, the bad new DHS logo, and Banks' tour of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Hagrid's Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure April 20 Updates

We are seven weeks away from the opening of Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Islands of Adventure on June 13, 2019! The project is quickly entering the final phases of show installation and construction and there are lots of updates. Lets dive into the magical creatures we'll see on the ride, the latest arial photo updates, and ride testing!


This past week Universal revealed some of the creatures featured on the attraction. Fan favorites from the movies, such as Fluffy and Centaurs, return while a new create only from the books, the Blast-Ended Skrewt, are finally represented in real life! Universal also teased several other creatures we will see throughout the ride: thestrals, gnomes, a unicorn, and more! We expect most of these creatures to be programmed animated figures or simple animated figures.

Arial Updates

Our eyes in the sky Bioreconstruct provided us several updates to the exterior construction. Since our last update more trees and landscaping was added to the north west portion of the land by the final overbooked turn. More themed elements such as wagons, barrels, and directional signage was added to the first portion of the outside of the ride.

Access walkways are receiving their final pavement and theming after the construction equipment was removed. Final touch ups, painting, and landscaping is occurring throughout the ride. The back sound barrier is also being painted a neutral green pattern with more trees coming soon.

In Hogsmeade the new entrance archway is under construction. The previous design was scrapped with a new, distinct triangular archway being built. Some new pavement work is also being worked on, possibly to add a queue between the entrance and lockers for busy days.

Coaster Testing

We have testing! Full circuits with one ride vehicle were running for weeks at night but recently Universal has started daytime testing. See the above video for a sample of what type of speed and forces we will expect to see on this ride.

That's not all, the coaster has crossed a major milestone: human testing has begun! In the above video you can see what is likely Universal and Intamin employees testing the attraction. This is a huge milestone as the attraction is now safe for human riding. Additionally we can hear music, sound effects, and Hagrid's narration are running, meaning the attraction is running with show elements in place.

What remains in this project? The queue is likely the last thing to be completed with set design, effects, and show elements to be installed. Final elements are still being added to the attraction such as landscaping, trees, painting, and completed animated figures. The last components of the attraction, running multiple trains and operations training, will occur in the next month. Universal probably doesn't know when Team Member or guest technical rehearsals will occur but I would bet a Hogs Head Ale on Team Member testing immediately after Memorial Day weekend and guest testing shortly after.

As this project wraps up and approaches the grand opening we plan on posting one more final update followed by photos, videos, and our review of the attraction shortly after opening. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour 168 - $8 Champagne

News Team Assemble!

Joe, Lane, Mike, and Nick talk about Duffy's friends, Rock'n'Rollercoaster overlays, trains, Magical Creatures, LargeFlames, Halloween Horror Nights, Endless Summers, Cars, Disney+, and YOUR QUESTIONS!