The early reviews are in for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, and the new storytelling coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is drawing almost universal acclaim.

After previews for Universal employees over the weekend, the attraction was open to members of the media on Tuesday. Videos and photos on the ride itself were not allowed, as loose items will need to be stowed away in free lockers, the same as Universal’s existing coasters and Dragon Challenge, which closed two years ago to make way for this new “Harry Potter” experience.

The ride is particularly drawing praise for its extensive use of animatronics. This represents a break with Universal’s recent design preference for screens, with nine out of the last 11 rides added to Universal Orlando since 2008 prominently featuring screens (the two exceptions being 2009’s Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster and the Kang & Kods Twirl ‘n’ Hurl spinner), including 2018’s much-maligned Fast & Furious: Supercharged.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure takes guests through the Forbidden Forest at 50 miles per hour, and will reportedly set several coaster records, including:

  • Most launches of any roller coaster in the world (7 launches)
  • First U.S. coaster to feature a free fall vertical drop (17 feet)
  • Longest roller coaster in Florida (5,053 feet)

The attraction will open to all guests on Thursday, with Universal already preparing for huge lines by setting up a temporary queue that stretches into Suess Landing. Beginning Friday, Universal will offer its Virtual Line reservation system for the attraction. The Universal Express pass will not be accepted for the ride.

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