Universal Orlando’s newest roller coaster being constructed in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure is now at the point where nearly all of the track appears to be in place. When Dragon Challenge closed in September of last year it would have been difficult to imagine this much new track being built in its place in such a short amount of time.
In addition to the nearly full circuit of track, new steel supports are starting to go up, likely for a large covered bridge-type structure around a section of raised track. Also, structures for the inside scenes are starting to take shape. The largest of the show buildings can now be seen from Hogsmeade Village. Check out the complete photo update below for more details on this exciting new ride, as well as an updated track layout image. And stay tuned for more theme park news and updates coming soon!
Today, we’ll start our update with an updated look at the track layout. Included in this image are labels for supposed launches and braking elements throughout the ride. Also, the three rumored inside areas are marked in red. Keep in mind that the orange arrows are for backwards motion. The original image was provided by the amazing @bioreconstruct on Twitter.
Updated track layout with inside parts and launches labeled, based on aerial photo by @bioreconstruct
Moving on to photos from the ground, let’s take a look at how the area appears from Hogsmeade Village first, near the old Dragon Challenge entrance.
The old entrance to Dragon Challenge
View of the largest show building as seen through old ride entrance arch
View of work site as seen from Hogsmeade Village entrance
Large showbuilding from the ride peeking out from behind the train station
This show building will feature a drop-track section near the end of the coaster
Now, heading up the exterior queue for the Hogwarts Express, we can get a pretty good look at much of the coaster track as seen from the ground. Much of this will be blocked later by large trees and themed elements, so it’s great that we can get a nice look at the ride before then.
Overview of the area as seen from Hogwarts Express exterior queue
Fun little bunny hop near the Hogsmeade Village side
Launch section into a hill, plus a new piece of silver steel installed
Launch elements being installed are partially covered from the elements
Hill after that launch. New tall steel beam installed seen on right
Near figure-eight section of track after the hill, with banked curves
The banking on the turns looks incredible fun!
One more look at that new tall steel piece. This may be part of a big covered bridge style themed element
A peek at some of the unique track seen on the right side of the area
Several layers of track all seen in one shot
More banked curves!
Early part of the ride on left, middle on right, and end in the background as raised track
Small support building, will likely be hidden by foliage and theming later
View of the very tall “spike” where riders will rise, and then fall backwards
Closer view of the large spike. This area rumored to be enclosed in a cave later
Highly banked curve from end of the ride seen behind the spike
A look at the old Dragon Challenge queue building. Some theming has been stripped, but new themed elements have yet to be added at this time
Themed wall being constructed near opening in station building
One last overview of the area
Looking out by the lagoon and it looks like construction is making the water a little muggy
Luckily buoy boundaries are up to keep debris and dirt from spreading to main part of lagoon
That’s all for now! Be sure to follow us for more updates on this exciting project!
Check out the video above for more details. The new coaster is expected to open in the summer of 2019. For help booking your next trip to Universal Orlando request your free quote from Elizabeth at Destinations in Florida today! She’ll help you plan the perfect vacation with the best rates on ticket packages and on-site hotels, and her services are totally FREE to you.
Stay tuned for details about this new ride as they become available. Subscribe to the news feed or enter your email below to never miss an update. Photos: Alicia Stella (unless otherwise specified)
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Alicia has been visiting theme parks since the age of 3, has a knack for memorizing park maps, loves theme park renovations and cannot wait to ride something new. She can often be found wandering the parks and riding coasters!