Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opens in just a few short months, on June 13th, in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Hogsmeade, inside of Universal’s Islands of Adventure. (Whew, that is a mouthful!) As the clock ticks down to the grand opening, final touches are being added around the ride. Landscaping is being meticulously refined, animatronic creatures have appeared, and even props and set pieces are showing up around the area.
Our good friends over at Reverse Imagineering have graciously allowed us to share some amazing aerial photos they recently captured of the entire ride. In these photos we can start to see new details we hadn’t been able to prior. Plus, they’ve also created a 3D model of the ride you can rotate and zoom in on in 3D space. Check it out below and prepare to be amazed!
3D Model of Hagrid’s Motorbike Construction
The photos were taken on April 6th, and then compiled together to create this incredible 3D interpretation by Reverse Imagineering. You can click here to see it in its own browser tab. Explore by using ALT, SHIFT, and CTRL keys while click/dragging your mouse, as well as zooming with your mouse wheel. Don’t forget to continue on below for close-up photos of the ride with descriptions as well.
Construction Photo Update
First, let’s start off with a wide shot of the coaster. See our previous update for a scene by scene breakdown and complete track layout for the new attraction, and then come back to see all of the details below! Remember, all of these photos come to us from Reverse Imagineering, so be sure to check out their website and Twitter as a way to say thank you for sharing this great close-up look! You can click on any image to see a larger version.
This angle, taken from the back of the ride, shows just how many trees are being added to create the Forbidden Forest, which the back half of the ride takes place in. Universal has said they are planting over 1,200 trees on the ride. You can also see a mural of trees on the building to the left.
Here’s a closer look at the tree mural. This building houses a dramatic drop track section that takes place deep within the Forbidden Forest.
On the front-facing side of the building, painting continues on a larger mural of trees. In front of the mural we can see a spiral up into the building. This spiral will have us traveling backwards from the previous section!
There’s even a small mural above the entry into this spiral. Since we are traveling backwards, we will be facing this small mural as we spiral up backwards away from it.
Here’s a great shot of the Weasley’s Flying Ford Anglia from the films. It looks to have crashed here into this cave entrance. We will pass under it on our way to a large spike.
And here’s the spike we will be launched up on as we travel below the Ford Anglia. As we reach the top of the spike we will lose momentum and fall back down, backwards!
Here’s a broader view of the spike and other sections of coaster. It is amazing how so much track will be on this ride, and yet most of it is separated from other sections and therefore not as visible from scene to scene.
Just before the spike is one of the stand-out moments from the ride — and certainly one that is getting a lot of buzz. Of course, I’m speaking about the 3-headed dog, Fluffy!
By now you may have noticed that everything on the ride is covered in green moss, lichen, and vines. I’ve started to wonder if that may be part of the ride’s story. Perhaps the area has been cast with some sort of spell?
Here is a round structure we will enter early on in the ride. Inside will be a full size animatronic Hagrid, as well as a creature, rumored to be a Blast-Ended Skrewt, which has never been seen in the films.
One of the biggest mysteries for the ride is what exactly are the massive Gothic ruins meant to represent? Is this a new location created just for this ride, or is it an old section of Hogwarts that’s been left decaying? One thing is for sure, the coaster track passes through this area several times throughout the ride.
After visiting the round structure with Hagrid, we will be launched up into the window of the ruins here.
Look at just how many times the track passes below, through, and over the ruins here!
Zooming in on all of the details around the ride is really breathtaking to me. The rockwork and brickwork along this edge on the left side of the ruins just knocks my socks off.
Another creature that is only rumored, and not yet officially confirmed, is the unicorn. I believe the unicorn will be the last animal we see on the ride, perched along the curve right before we re-enter the load building. Unfortunately, she’s been hidden under an orange tarp so we can’t get the best look at her currently.
If you look really close in the next image you can kind of make out the white legs and back section of the unicorn. She has a black blanket over her mid-section, but she does appear to be entirely white in other photos, under the blanket.
The following image shows the first scene after exiting the building. This scene seems to feature the carriage stables, but there are a ton of other interesting details as well. It’s hard to see from this angle, but at the bottom-right is a thestral carriage hidden under a brown tarp. What can be seen are some pumpkins scattered about, and what look to be several pots or dishes of some sort, as well as a large galvanized metal bucket or trough.
After the first scene outside, we will encounter this wavy turn before heading into our first launch around the corner on the right. What’s interesting is there is a street sign and lamp, very similar to the ones in Hogsmeade and by the Hogwarts Express train station.
The three directional signs on this lamppost point to HOGSMEADE on the left in the image below, HOGWARTS straight ahead, and STABLES on the right. The stables are likely that area shown above in the first scene with the pumpkins.
Also, next to the streetlamp is a cart wagon with barrels and other items. Maybe the pumpkins, pots and barrels could be for making the popular Wizarding drink Pumpkin Juice?
Before we end this update, let’s take a quick look at the entrance work going on now. The image below shows where the former arch entry to Dragon Challenge was located. The scrims and scaffolding are blocking the view, but the entire arch has been removed. Rumor has it a new more Gothic style arch, now featuring a carving of the Green Man, will take its place.
The Green Man, which is a symbol of nature in mythology, already appears above the entryway into the interior queue, along with carvings of unicorns. The image below shows this entryway. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe somehow this area has received a spell that covers everything in green moss and vines — and the Green Man is an indication. Or, a more simple reasoning for the iconography, is that these are the areas and quarters for the groundskeeper and Magical Creatures expert, which explains both Green Man and the Unicorns.
That’s all for now! A big thank you once again to Reverse Imagineering for sharing these original photographs with us. Be sure to check out their website and podcast with fun looks at what could be done to fix Tomorrowland at Disneyland and Epcot’s timeless issues, the history of projection mapping, and so much more. Subscribe to them on Twitter as well for more theme park construction photos and insight. And of course, be sure to check out that 3D model of the Hagrid coaster by clicking here. They also have one of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World that is super cool!
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motobike Adventure officially opens June 13, 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.