Destination

New Generation of Thrill Ride Coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

July 24, 2017
Experience Dragon Challenge at Universal's Islands of Adventure

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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.

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66 Comments

  • Reply Josh July 24, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Everyone knew it was coming, but still, so sad to see it announced that Dragon Challenge will go, and go soon. Even without dueling still two of the best rides at the Universal parks.

    Here’s hoping the best for Universal (and even more hoping selfishly that the new attraction is genuinely a thrill ride for once, and not just yet another 3d darkride that sprays you with water) but either way, RIP sweet, beautiful B&M dragons… I will miss you both.

  • Reply Breezanemom July 24, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I hope it’s a ride that truly is “family-friendly”. Not EVERYONE likes roller coasters or can handle “thrill rides”. Make it something that even the youngest Harry Potter fan will be able to ride on.

  • Reply Claude Cayer July 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Will the ride be calmer than the current one that gave me dizziness after trying it out

    • Reply Jim July 24, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      We better hope not

  • Reply Mariana July 24, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DUELING DRAGONS/DRAGON CHALLENGE IS MY FAVORITE ROLLER-COASTER SINCE I WAS TALL ENOUGH TO RIDE IT </3

  • Reply Caitlin Garland July 24, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Is there an estimated debut date/year?

    • Reply eXo July 24, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      It says right in the article – 2019

  • Reply Paul Lalli July 24, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    The phrase “coaster experience” is worrisome. Can you clarify whether this is actually going to be a roller coaster, or merely an attraction in which a 3D screen in front of us is supposed to make it *look* like we’re on a roller coaster? Thank you.

    • Reply Austin July 25, 2017 at 10:33 am

      I would think “Revenge of the Mummy” qualifies as a “coaster experience”. So hopefully it’s more like that than 3D screens.

  • Reply Thomas Patrick July 24, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    It’s a shame that we will be loosing 2 great coasters. 2 coasters that have completely separate track layouts but were interactive with each other. I’m sure the new experience will be a great ride while expanding the Harry Potter story. So very much mixed emotions today.

  • Reply BOB July 24, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Really bad move. Orlando looses one more thrilling adult coaster. Hope the replacement will be a real coaster and exclude annoying screen based technology……

  • Reply DENISE July 24, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Awww…..I love Dragon Challenge. Sorry to see this one go!!

  • Reply WizardEric July 24, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Heck yeah, the dragon coaster isn’t a good fit anyway.

    More Harry Potter please!!

  • Reply Abiram July 24, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Oh yes!!!! Oh no!!!!!!!

    I don’t know how I feel… I definitely love dragon challenge (even Daniel Radcliffe said it was his favorite ride in the WWOHP) however, I’m looking forward to more themed experiences (sounds like some Fantastic Beasts will make it in this new ride)

    Will this new ride also make it to USH?

  • Reply Natalye July 24, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    The Dragon Challenge was a fun ride but I can’t wait to see what the new ride will be! Universal is doing a fantastic job recreating the Harry Potter world!

  • Reply Yavi July 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    PLEASE NOT ANOTHER 3D RIDE. PLEASE.

    • Reply April July 24, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      I agree with this sentiment completely!!

  • Reply chris smith July 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    An indoor and outdoor rollercoaster ride themed to the dark forest. Hagrid’s hut will definitely be much more prominent in this new vision.
    Hopefully they will have net bags inside vehicles to secure items and expand this to other venues as the loose items issue has hampered their ride attendance numbers post 2014.

  • Reply Chris Lambert July 24, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    I’m so excited for this new attraction, and yet sad to see Dragon Challenge go. I wonder what wonderful secrets are coming to Hogsmeade and can’t wait see what is in store. Is there a projection date for the new attraction? I hope there is a tribute to Dueling Dragons and Dragon Challenge on the new ride!

  • Reply LC July 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    The Dragon Challenge has been one of my favorite coasters at Universal for many years, before Hogsmeade was there! Very sad to see it go, so glad we have passes so we can overload ourselves before its gone!! 😔😔😔😭😭😭

  • Reply Val July 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    My kids loved Dragon Challenge! Why not close Flight of the Hippogriff instead?

  • Reply Hernandez July 24, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    I am going to go ahead and guess it will be a VR experience similar to what SW did with Kraken.

    • Reply John Rothenbuler July 27, 2017 at 10:44 am

      uh no

  • Reply Derek C Wohlust July 24, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Why would you get rid of the best ride in the park to replace it with another ride. There are plenty of places to build another ride without getting rid of that masterpiece.

  • Reply George B July 24, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Very saddened to see this. Understand expanding Potter, but hate that it’s at the expense of such an incredible ride like Dueling Dragons/ Dragon Challenge. The wails of unhappiness from my college age kids sums it up well. This was one of our favorites anywhere in Florida and we hate to see it go. Wish there had been another way to put the new ride in without having to remove something that was so good, and a cornerstone of the park.

  • Reply Stacey Hengy July 24, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Terrible mistake!! I love that ride!! It is so much fun!! One of the few fun real coasters in the park! Such a shame! 🙁

  • Reply theTom July 24, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    I absolutely love Dueling Dragons and would hate to see it go but if it is the rumored Mack inverted powered coaster then it will be an amazing replacement that will be enjoyed by the whole family.

  • Reply April July 24, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    I am excited about the new ride; but, I am upset that you have to remove one of the best rides to replace it with a new ride. I love the dragon challenge ride and will hate to see it go.

  • Reply Jeff July 24, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Don’t get rid of theDragon Challenge. It’s one of my favorite rides

  • Reply Anita July 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    I do not believe! I am from Brazil and I will go for the first time on October. I am so sad!

  • Reply Adam July 24, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    With the confidence of a Champion to be I walk through the archway and wind my way along a garden path. There are banners exulting those who are challengers for the Triwizard Cup. As I navigate my way past the Security Trolls a Ford Anglia revs it engine and honks plaintively in the woods. Past the Trolls and the errant vehicle I make my way across the drawbridge. In the darkness of the castle entrance I see a small light beckoning. What I could not know, nor dare not guess, was that it was the Goblet of Fire itself blazing in the center of the room! As each contestant makes their way past the Goblet they each wonder if their name will be called; will I be a Triwizard Champion today? As I pass the Goblet and hear my name called I look down and see that I do not have the Ministry approved Express Pass trinket needed to take the magical journey directly to the Challenge. So on this attempt I head left around the Goblet of Fire towards a path deeper into the castle.

    It is scarcely to be believed but the first room on the path holds the prize! High up and just out of reach is the Triwizard Cup! Far atop a pedestal in the center of the room a chalice of great beauty and splendor radiates power and light. Try as I might I cannot reach the cup, nor can the others! It is of no matter, for when I win the Challenge I will have the cup to myself; imagine the places a Cup like that could take the winner!

    Emboldened by the Cup’s presence I move onward and find myself face to face with 3 Golden Eggs. I imagine they will prove part of this Challenge but only time will tell. As I continue through the ever darkening corridors and great halls lit by floating ethereal candlelight I cannot help but feel a cool sense of dread approaching. Passing through the great hall I quench my thirst in a rejuvenating fountain and make my way further into the caverns beneath the castle.

    A winding path leads me near what can only be described as an enraged beast! Could it be a dragon? I dare not stop as the path leads ever downward into the darkness and I fear that the flimsy doors may not hold back a dragon for long. After what seems an eternity of lefts and rights in the caves beneath the castle I make my way toward my choice. Passing up on the chance on a second rejuvenating fountain I now know that the time to choose will be at hand. A few more twists of the cave and finally the time to choose has arrived.

    Do I go left and fight with the Chinese Fireball or right to battle with the Hungarian Horntail?

    Today, on the day of my Dragon Challenge, I go right.

    The queue to duel with the dragon has ended and my turn to duel begins. As the tension ratchets up with each raising of the dragons head, I and other Challengers begin to understand the folly of our choice to compete. What happens next is a blur of whipping tails, near misses, and stunning blows. The challenge with the dragons can scarcely be described, it really must be experienced. As such I will leave detailed description of the challenge itself to other Champions.

    As the Challenge comes to an end and I gather my wits I realize that I’ve made it out alive! Huzzah! But did I win? No one has handed me the Triwizard Cup. No one is cheering my name. I must have not won this time. Perhaps another time I will be victorious. As I make my way out of the castle with the thrill of the Challenge still resonating through my body I see a small path to my right. The path promises to be a way back in time; a way that one can try again at becoming the Triwizard Champion.

    I take the path to the right. Up the steps and back in time. On this attempt I will go left and eternal glory will be mine!

    • Reply Robyn July 25, 2017 at 10:38 am

      That’s a beautiful tribute to this ride…alas, as the popularity of it dwindled, I heard the little details and finer touches went very unnoticed and the lines were so short people would just rush through the twists and turns to ride, barely caring about all these wonderful touches.
      May the new attraction have similar detail and small touches that make it as special and unique to the Wizarding World. RIP Dragon Challenge 🙂

  • Reply Chris July 25, 2017 at 12:09 am

    Universal please don’t mess this up….Dragon challenge is such a fantastic thrill ride that gives something highly thrilling to the adults who visit your parks. There are already plenty of family friendly rides.

    Fast and exciting movements like the Hulk, the mummy, dueling dragons and rip ride & rock it are all rides that made me fall in love with the parks when I first visited. Since the addition of these newer rides with digital mind tricks, I don’t know…..they just don’t put out the same energy for me. I enjoy riding them once but that’s enough.

  • Reply Joseph July 25, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Well…I’ve been wanting to ride Dragon Challenge ever since I was 10. Now I’ll never get to 🙁

    • Reply Danny July 28, 2017 at 4:00 am

      Same here, planning to visit Universal Studios since my love for RollerCoasters & Themeparks began (20 years ago). Now ik so sad that we didnt fly from our west-coast trip to Orlando…

      Hulk and Dueling Dragons are the reasons for me to go US: IoA
      We now probably never go there 😕

    • Reply LCMUNC September 4, 2017 at 3:00 am

      I got the chance to ride both! And, now, I’m more upset that you may not get the chance to experience should awesome attractions. Lets just hope another park purchases them for others enjoy and soon!

  • Reply Mark July 25, 2017 at 5:39 am

    I’m all for new attractions, but don’t close Dragons. It’s one of the best coasters in the state.

  • Reply Janet July 25, 2017 at 6:11 am

    This sounds great! One request, can we please move all the cool stuff thats in the que line somewhere else during construction so we people can still see it. I can’t ride the coaster, but I always loved walking the que to see the props! Thanks!!

  • Reply Eric July 25, 2017 at 9:24 am

    disappointed. dragon challenge was my favorite attraction in hogsmeade and to hear they’re replacing it with a more “family-friendly experience” disappoints me further. understand why, but would’ve preferred if you had done this where flight of the hippogriff is.

  • Reply Tom July 25, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Loved the Dueling Dragons ride when I went to Florida when the park opened in the late 90’s. Looking to go back, so its a shame will no longer be there. Was upset when wet ‘n’ wild was closed also. That was probably my favourite place out of all the parks in Florida. =(

  • Reply Agustina July 25, 2017 at 10:48 am

    HELLO IM FROM CORDOBA ARGENTINA MY FAMILY AND I, AFTER A LOT OF EFFORT GOT THE PLANE TICKETS SO I COULD MEET THE WIZARDING WORLD, AND I WAS HOPING TO GET ON THIS RIDE. AND ITS CLOSING BEFORE I GET THERE. I GOT THE PLANE TICKETS TWO MONTHS AGO AND IM GOING ON JANUARY SO IM NOT GOING TO GET TO MEET THIS ROLLER COASTER. IM VERY DISAPPOINTED

    • Reply LCMUNC September 4, 2017 at 3:02 am

      Maybe a park in Argentina, or some other South American country, will buy this ride and relocate it there!

  • Reply John July 25, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Love the Harry Potter stuff but highly disappointed in this. Orlando has tons to do but too few really good coasters, and the Dragons have always stood out, not just here but against other top parks in the US, and personally I still felt they rode smooth as of last HHN. Really felt if they needed to change it they could have done countless VR updates to include the existing Potter-verse and what may yet come. Holding out hope that Universal may have plans to store and rebuild in a future park with the new land purchases they’ve made, maybe they could bring back the old Dueling Dragon theme-ing as well, surely the old Fire and Ice Dragons are in storage somewhere. Probably no chance, but we can always hope these B&M champions get a stay of execution or move on to another challenge.

  • Reply Hajara July 25, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Hello. My name is Hajara, and I am a citizen of the Orlando area. I am not a pass holder to Universal currently, but I have visited many times in the past twenty years. I would have to say though, that my favorite ride would have to be The Dragon Challenge. It is the very best roller coaster your parks have to offer. They are very thrilling. Every time I have visited your parks, I have made sure to ride those coasters several times for the thrill. I am also a very big Harry Potter fan. I think what you guys have done with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is absolutely amazing. It truly feels as if I am in the world of the books when I visit. When I first learned that The Dragon Challenge was part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I immediately decided it was the very best section of the park. It had everything a thrill seeker and Harry Potter enthusiast could want. I love how you guys incorporated the Dueling Dragons into the new section of the park. The best of the old fit in with the incredible new. I was hoping I could budget for an annual pass soon just so I could visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But now that I hear that you are closing the Dragon Challenge, I seriously have to reconsider the value of an annual pass. I believe removing the Dragon Challenge with greatly hurt the value of the park, in not only my eyes, but in the eyes of most coaster lovers who have visited your parks. I seriously hope that you all will reconsider closing down your very best ride. Based off of the description of the new ride, it sounds fun, but it sounds like you will lack the diversity the Dragon Challenge currently provides. Please hear me out, and the others I know who are also upset by this plan.

  • Reply Barbara July 25, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Leave it alone! The graphics for both the HP ride and Gringots Bank ride are really bad considering this is Universal Studios and we don’t need yet another one of those! As for ‘family friendly’ – please! This park is for families with older kids and already offers enough variety for the younger ones.

  • Reply Colin July 25, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Please let this be a roller coaster and not a 3D Simulator “Roller Coaster Experience!”

  • Reply Anna July 25, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Wow, two coasters lost all in one go. 🙁 This coaster was the first “official” roller coaster I ever experienced. Not cool.

  • Reply Hilary July 26, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I just really hope they keep it a roller coaster, I mean I love all the other rides but dragon challenge is one of the last coaster rides in universal, everything else is 3D or screen incorporated…not to mention how much I’ll miss the triwizard theme for dragon challenge line…waiting by the door to feel the dragon rumble and shake, the blue flame of the cup, 😭😭😭😭💔

  • Reply Den July 26, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Let’s just hope it’s better than the Dragon Challenge.

  • Reply James July 26, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Universal Take Note: If your design development team is planning yet another 3D simulator or movie screen ride or anything of the ilk – the category of which is already tired and falling out of favor due to saturation and the reaction of “once an done” then you better scrap it and start over. If you build anything short of an actually honest to goodness full fledged roller coaster then you will have failed. Enough with the “family friendly” rides. There are too many of those and not enough legit thrill rides. Legit thrill rides is THE thing that differentiates you from Disney above all else. All of you who work there know exactly what this means – even behind the rhetoric of your tweets and press releases. You better get this right if you have any integrity to your role.

    • Reply Ali August 30, 2017 at 8:35 am

      I wish I could vote for this more than once.

    • Reply LCMUNC September 4, 2017 at 3:08 am

      And, besides, isn’t that’s what the “other” side the park is for, the MOVIE studio! Maybe you should have purchased a larger area so you could actually grow the park. That was the first mistake!

  • Reply KR July 26, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    I think this is a serious mistake. While I think most Universal Orlando fans love the idea of new WWOHP rides, this is clearly a ride that most people don’t want to lose. One of the most unique and well designed inverted roller coasters in the world is vanishing into our memories??? Really Universal? You can do better. There are other ways to expand without losing arguably your most incredible ride experiences in this park. And there is a lot worth celebrating in this park, so that’s saying something. My only hope is that you listen to the masses and reconsider, but I’m afraid it’s far too late. Don’t do this!

  • Reply Jay C. July 26, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    This is sad, mostly because I’m going to be on vacation in Orlando in the middle of September this year, and this is simply adding to the long list of closures at multiple parks.

  • Reply Sandi July 26, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Glad I was able to ride them this year. They are good roller coasters. Sad

  • Reply Amelia July 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I am sad but excited. I have been on the challenge ride more times then I can count. However something new is always intriguing.

  • Reply Carol Murphy July 28, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    wow really surprised to see two coasters go…..esp ones that are dueling….and fit into the Potter theme with dragons………you have all the dumb things like earth quake, twister and lots of useless buildings to walk past………..why not get rid of them. I am not a fan of these types of coasters but young folks are……..so not a good move unless this is going to be a coaster to top them all.

  • Reply JayKay July 31, 2017 at 1:44 am

    Will the new ride be fluffy friendly? The only Harry Potter them ride I got to go on was the Hippogriff. Most if not all your 3D rides are fluffy friendly. Btw by fluffy I mean plus size and by plus size I mean a size 26 in pants.

    • Reply JW August 30, 2017 at 1:48 am

      Yes this is what I want to know as wsll, it seems like Plus Size folks have beeb left out of The Wizarding World!

  • Reply Shannon August 1, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    I understand you guys have change things every one in a while, but don’t you have like the rest of your lot to use? All the space behind the train and hogsmeade?? Interesting. but still can’t wait 2 years to see what we will be getting. I’m am still excited!

  • Reply Krystal August 7, 2017 at 4:42 am

    My all time favorite roller coaster is closing 11 days before my birthday… *deep sigh* I’m ok.. I promise.. 😐

    • Reply Krystal August 7, 2017 at 4:43 am

      I’m still excited for the new ride though!

  • Reply jrafcb August 28, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Removing a great coaster to put another random “3D experience” is an extremely big mistake.

    For me the main (or maybe only) reasons to visit this park were Hulk and the Dragons.

    I will still go to IOA if I ever go to Orlando, but now it has become just what I call a “park with only one ride” (in this case, Hulk), just another Holiday Park or Happy Valley Tianjin.

    I know officially there are other rides in the park, but at US Hollywood I already could “enjoy” many of these “3D interactive experiences” (not really so different than any random IMAX cinema), to the point that at 2 pm I was already going out of the park (none of this kind of rides is worth a re-ride).

  • Reply JW August 30, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Will bigger folks be able to ride or will we be left out like Gringotts and Hogwarts?

  • Reply Ava August 30, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    This breaks my heart!!!!!!! This/these ride/s are sure to be missed by thousands…I just wish I could’ve ridden it again with my two oldest children. My youngest and I must’ve ridden it thirty times a few years ago, after I told her it was my favorite from a previous visit with a friend. Just so sad…

  • Reply kate August 4, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    any news on what month it will open? as im going to Florida in feb,really hope it opens when i go as im from the UK as I cant visit often. 🙁

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