Who hasn’t wished they could travel to the magical world of Harry Potter? Ever since the first book was released in the late ’90s, we’ve all wished we could eat in the Great Hall and explore all of the secret passages in Hogwarts. For many years, that was just a dream that all of us muggles and no-majs had, but thanks to Universal, we’ve been given a magical ticket.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter first opened in 2010 at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida. It wasn’t long before the park expanded and they built more in the neighboring park, Universal Studios Orlando. Harry Potter fans can explore Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, where they’re able to get a glass of frozen butterbeer and be fitted for their Hogwarts robes. After all of the success from the expansion, it should come as no surprise that there is yet another new ride coming.
Universal had to shut down the Dragon Challenge ride that was themed after the Triwizard Tournament challenge from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The ride was actually the only part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that wasn’t brand new during the 2010 opening. It had previously been the Dueling Dragons ride and it was re-themed to fit in with WWoHP. Due to issues of passengers not emptying their pockets when boarding the ride, it was eventually shut down.
Ever since the ride shut down in 2017, fans have been anxiously waiting to see what it would be replaced with. Many rumors have swirled over the last year or so, but until now, Universal had been pretty mum on what the new ride would be. People had speculated that it would be a Ministry of Magic ride, but others argued that it wouldn’t make sense in that section – as it is the Hogsmeade portion of the park. Well, those fans who argued were right, it isn’t the Ministry of Magic. The new ride will take Harry Potter fans into the Forbidden Forrest!
No details have been fully released yet, but Pottermore shared the first sneak peek at the park. The press release said:
The new coaster, which follows in the footsteps of the now-closed Dragon Challenge attraction, promises to immerse guests in an ‘all-new adventure’ in the ‘next instalment’ of the Wizarding World. Any guesses what it might be? The ride is set to join other iconic Wizarding World attractions at Universal Orlando, such as Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Stay tuned for more information on this mysterious new attraction, which will be unveiled in early 2019. Meet you in the queue?
— Universally_Driven (@UniversalDriven) October 1, 2018
From the image, we can see the Forbidden Forrest next to Hogwarts and while they didn’t confirm it in words, it is safe to assume the ride will take riders through the forest. It looks like riders will get to experience those devilish little Cornish pixies along the way. Hopefully, riders will also get a chance to see some Centaurs, Hagrid’s half-brother, Grawp, and a unicorn or two. We can only wonder if Aragog will be seen on this new ride, as riders already get a chance to see the giant spider up close on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
We’re going to sit here anxiously updating the Universal and Pottermore websites while we await new details. But, we’ll just have to wait until 2019 to actually get a chance to ride this new attraction!