We have heard rumors for the past few months of a new ride coming to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando resort. Today, it is official as is the closing of a longtime, fan-favorite coaster. On September 5, 2017, the Dragon Challenge roller coaster(s) will be permanently closed. The last day to catch a ride on this coaster will be on Monday, September 4, 2017. Known as Dueling Dragons when this opened in Orlando on May 28, 1999, this attraction had two roller coasters, named Fire and Ice. The theming was a first for such a coaster for not only the ride itself but while waiting in line also. Reaching top speeds of 60mph, these coasters would duel with each other, bringing riders within 18 inches of each other. On June 18, 2010, the ride reopened after undergoing a long refurbishment and a retheming to match with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and became known as Dragon Challenge. Located at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter section, the park has announced that it will be constructing a new roller coaster for 2019. According Kristen Clark from the Universal Orlando Resort blog, “I can’t tell you everything about the new ride just yet, but here’s what I can share:
- This all-new thrill ride will take you deeper into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, where you will encounter some of your favorite characters and creatures. It’ll be unlike anything we’ve ever done before and it will be fun for the entire family.
- The new attraction will be one of the most highly-themed coaster experiences we’ve created. It will combine a new level of storytelling with an action-packed adventure…and a few surprises along the way.
- Our award-winning Universal Creative team is once again collaborating with Warner Bros. and the production design team from the Harry Potter films to bring this new coaster experience to life.
- This ride is going to redefine the category and transport you to thrilling places, drawing you into even more exciting adventures within the wizarding world. It’s going to be the perfect addition to Hogsmeade.”
We will be following this closely because we noticed something in this release of information. They used the words “coaster,” “thrill ride,” and “fun for the entire family.” Could this mean new restraints to hold smaller, younger riders? Could this be a much smaller coaster than what is currently there? The timing of when this new coaster experience opens will coincide with everything happening down the street at Walt Disney World over the next few years. We are sure Universal is prepared to give everyone another yet, beyond magical experience on a coaster that will want us coaster addicts returning over and over again. Check back for more as new details become available!