Hagrid Coaster Now Plagued With Bees, As Well As Long Lines

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Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal’s Islands of Adventure just can’t seem to catch a break. The ride has been going through what some might call, growing pains. It has been closing early for testing and sometimes opening late due to technical issues. However, a little over a week ago the ride was delayed for a reason we hadn’t heard before: bees.

Last Tuesday, September 24th, reports that the ride was unable to open due to a nest of honeybees began to make their way onto the web. Honeybees have been deemed an endangered species here in Florida, so clearing them from the ride area is easier said than done. The issues seemed to be resolved by the next day, but some have noted that not only have they not gone away, but there’s now more bees on site than before.

The photos above were taken today, and were posted by Nathan in the Theme Park Stop Facebook Group. They show what he described as tens of thousands of bees swarming around the ride!


Last Tuesday, guests were waiting for hours in line hoping that the ride would re-open, but it looks like it never did. Guests waiting could spot technicians, and what we originally thought might be “bee specialists” on site to evaulate the situatuion. Photo below from Kmac on the Inside Universal Forums.


The following day, on September 25th, it looked like things were just as bad. The ride did not open with the park, and again there were reports that bees were the culprit. Finally, around 1:00 PM, the ride opened.

Not much was discussed online about the matter for the next few days, but I had heard here and there that bees could still be spotted around the ride. Cut to today, and there have been rumors of someone with an allergy being stung while riding, and those new photos showing potentially thousands of bees around the ride were posted.

The ride closed early today, most likely due to the swarm of honeybees around the area, and Team Members are telling guests that it would be pure luck if they’re able to reopen again today. I reached out to Universal Orlando on Twitter to see if they’re warning guests with allergies to avoid the area, but still waiting on a response.


This new problem comes after several months of ups and downs for the new attraction. Rumor has it the coaster ran into unforseen issues right before its grand opening that has led to it requiring additional testing time. This has meant the coaster opened late each day in the first few weeks, but has moved to the early closures in recent weeks. What’s most unfortunate is that the ride seemed to be running much more smoothly in the days leading up to this new problem, if you can bee-lieve it.

This is still a developing story, and this post may be updated as new information becomes available. I will be checking it out for myself in a few days, but if anyone has any information or photos, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The parks already deploy methods to keep bees away from guests, including man-made beehives in backstage areas, like the one at this link. However, this new problem may require some more strategy and care.

Update: Universal Orlando has responded to a reporter from MyNews13 with the following official comment: “Our team is working to resolve the situation. We will reopen the attraction as soon as we’re able to do so.” As of 5:20 PM the ride has reopened with a 60-minute wait, but this may continue to be an issue in the coming days and weeks.

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3 Comments
  • Diane Floyd

    Reply

    Just to let you know I rode it yesterday and was stung on the ride. There were no signs and I do have an allergy thank the Lord it is not a life threatening one. They continued the ride.

  • Casey

    Reply

    Pretty sure that was a rumor started by one of the employees trying to calm the crowd. I was standing right there that day and the employee told me it was bees, and I believed her for about ten seconds until I heard her coworker congratulate her on the good excuse. The ride closes so often and the employees are constantly bombarded with questions about what’s wrong and when the ride will open again while trying to manage the crowd mobbing the entrance. Not to say there aren’t bees around, but we never saw any that day let alone that week. The ride was open sporadically the whole week. We were told the real reason was that the ride overheats and the safety systems don’t allow it to run once it overheats. That’s why it may be open in the morning then close for a few hours. We were also told that to fix the problem the ride would have to be closed for an extended period of time. We didn’t think that was likely, but with the forced closure due to the governmental shutdown, maybe they’ll have had a chance to actually fix the problem (assuming it’s a fixable problem). I got to ride twice that week and it was one of the best rides I’ve ever been on. The first time we waited hours because it would close for thirty minutes or so but ppl were still in line. The second time we were lucky because it had just opened after an extended closure so no one was in line. Hopefully the craziness is over after the park re-opens.

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