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Dragon Challenge Closing in September to Make Way for New Harry Potter Coaster

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I’m super excited to tell you that a new generation of thrill ride is coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in 2019! 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’re permanently closing Dragon Challenge on September 5 to make way for this all-new ride. The last day of operation will be Monday, September 4.

Stay tuned to the blog or sign up for email updates – more details will be released in the future.

In the meantime, make sure you come out and take your last ride on Dragon Challenge before it closes.

https://blog.universalorlando.com/whats-new/new-ride-wwohp-hogsmeade/?__source=sm.awr.ao.FBPAGE&linkId=40128016

RIP Dueling Dragons.

May the 3D screens and water sprayers that inevitably replace you be as uninteresting as every other new addition this park makes nowadays.

Hoping for a relocation, but not expecting one.

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Dang, Universal is the only park that has removed/renovated B&M’s


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I loved this ride when I rode it many years back.  I am sad to see a fun invert leave a park.  Hopefully they can relocate the ride somewhere or sell it and not just scrap it.

I think it became a victim of the success of the Harry Potter area and how immensely popular that area has been and how much that has boosted Universal`s attendance and revenues.

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If it gets relocated, I imagine it'll relocate as separate rides unless some park actually has the cash and space to take on both tracks.  I imagine there would be some new supports needed as well if some of the 2 tracks share supports.

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I'm torn about this announcement. I absolutely love Universal and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, as well their innovative use of technology and special effects to create immersive experiences. However I thought Dueling Dragons (both ride layouts) were among some of the best B&M inverts so I hope they get relocated rather than simply scrapped. Regardless, I will be excited to see what the replacement is. It sounds like it will be yet another groundbreaking and innovative ride.

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Dang...I never got to ride these. Whatever they decide to replace it with, it better be good.

 

Plot twist: It's replaced with a heavily themed Vekoma Boomerang

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I agree with Ride on_17. Dueling Dragons were such fun coasters and a great thrill in the parks that will be missing with the replacement. Really down to just Hulk for a big high thrill ride now for Universal Orlando. Would be nice if it got relocated but I doubt it. Not sure the condition of the track right now either as it was as old as Hulk and they have since completely replaced that coaster, so it might be time for it to be retracked anyway so that could be part of the reason for removal too.

However, I am really curious to see what replaces it. At least we know it will be some type of coaster still and highly themed and iersive like the rest. As much as I enjoyed DRagon Challenge it was really alckin in theme/imersion compared to everything around it and stuck out like a sore thumb in that regard. Given the minimal lines it had, the lack of real theming/immersion, and the land it will open up I am not at all surprised to see Universal replace it. I'm assuming it will be themed to the Frobidden Forest as it's the biggest untapped area that would fit the Hogsmeade section. Either rumored idea (Mack powered inverted coaster or launched motorbike coaster) could be really good, but the fact that they kept talking about it being a thrill ride makes me think it will probably be the launched coaster idea out of those rumors. And woudl fit in well too. Theme the vehicles to Hagrid's bike as he is the logical choice to lead a tour or visit through the Forbidden Forest (also the could theme the trains to the Ford Anglia). 

The land that will be opened up could even accomadate a second attraction too. Would be cool to have a walkthrough for the Shrieking Shack. Could be a permanent haunt style attraciton like they did for Waling Dead in Hollywood. Coudl see it fit in the area between the train station and shops leaving a vast majority of the land for the main attraction. All that would really be left now to cap off the Harry Potter lands would be a Ministry of Magic dark ride next to Diagon Alley (in the Fear actor spot). I'd imagine something like Mystice Manor at Hong Kong Disney but have you going through the Department of Mysteries. Could update the Sinbad show and use that theatre for a HP stunt show and have dueling wizards. MAybe Dubledore's Army/The Order vs. Death Eaters.

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Both coasters still run extremely well and from an outsider's perspective should easily be in good enough condition to be moved.  The two coasters share a lift hill so for them to be separated the purchaser would need new supports manufactured but that should be easily done.  But if both are moved and installed together then that should not be a problem.  Either way new stations will have to be designed and built.  Having said that, I doubt Universal has any desire to even attempt to sell the coasters.  It will be very obvious quickly if they are going to try, just watch how the ride is taken down, if it is done in the same way Hulk was by cutting the ride apart then it will obviously be scrapped.

The lack of line for Dragon Challenge was largely due to the massive capacity of the ride.  With the same number of seats per a train as Banshee, separate load and unload area, and two completely independent tracks the ride has a massive capacity.  They only have to dispatch a train every 75 seconds from each track for the ride to carry over 3000 people an hour.

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After they stopped deuling and you started having to go through metal detectors, it became not worth riding.  It was a good ride, but I don't go to Uni for coasters, I go for immersion.  I'm hoping that this is more like Forbidden Journey than Gringots (as far as screen are concerned) but I do have faith that this new attraction will be fantastic.

You also have to remember that Hulk was completely replaced last year.  That was because it ran every day for 15 or so years and was simply getting worn out.  I imagine that this is the case for Dueling Dragons but they simply opted to replace the attraction.

By the way - my sources tell me that this ride will in fact be scrapped, not moved.

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I love Universal, but they really dropped the ball with this announcement, Ice was awful but I enjoyed Fire, even if it is one of my least favorite inverted coasters, Potter was the death of this ride, it never really fit in with the area. When it stopped dueling that should have been a sign that things were not working out for that ride, to me Dragon Challenge was a ride I would ride every visit, but the pain with the metal detectors are awful, for those who have never been, here are the steps to ride!

1. Wait 5-10 mins for a locker because the poor design of how many lockers they actually need for the area.

2. After you put your stuff in the one locker available, go through the entrance and shortly after, go through a metal detector to find out you might have loose change! If you have anything in your pocket, sorry, can't ride! If you don't have anything in your pockets well congrats you get to ride!

3. Walk through the insanely long queue.

4. Choose your side 

5. Walk right on.

Overall, I don't think I will miss it, but if another motion simulator is taking its place, I don't think many of us (including me) would like that. 

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More screen based rides coming.  This will be an upgraded version of Gringotts.  While fun it is no longer unique and is a tired concept at Universal.  Sorry Im a bit jaded towards Universal.  Was down there last Summer and so much of the attention has been focused on Harry Potter the rest of the parks have suffered.  Especially IoA outside of Harry Potter.  The park just felt tired and worn out for a big Orlando park.  The only other new addition the park has seen since opening was Kong and it was randomly shoehorned in to Jurassic Park.  

 

Look at their last few rides and upcoming ride (Fast and Furious) All screen based or screens play a major role.  It becomes very tiring after a few days and rides like Dragon Challenge were a much needed break from all of the screens.

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