Harry Potter Roller Coaster at Universal Orlando Opening in 2019

A Harry Potter roller coaster is coming to Universal Orlando resort!  You may be saying, “wait, I thought Universal had a Harry Potter roller coaster.” Yes, in fact, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade already has not one but two Harry Potter roller coaster attractions, the family coaster Flight of the Hippogriff and the dueling coasters of Dragon Challenge (so does that technically make three coasters?).  Continue reading for all we know about the new Harry Potter roller coaster, and what we think may be coming.

John Saccheri at Universal Orlando Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Universal Orlando Resort announced this Harry Potter roller coaster would be a “new generation of thrill ride” and the “most highly-themed coaster experience” they’ve ever created.  Teaming up with Warner Bros. Studios, Universal promises the Harry Potter roller coaster will “transport you to thrilling places, drawing you into even more exciting adventures within the wizarding world.”  Alas, to make way for the new Harry Potter roller coaster, Dragon Challenge will close on September 5, 2017 (last day of operation September 4).

wizarding world of harry potter - dragon challenge

Dragon Challenge “debuted” with the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2010, but was a “re-themed” holdover from when Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park first opened in 1999.  With two roller coasters “dueling” each other on separate tracks, Dragon Challenge was consistently ranked as one of the best roller coasters in the country.  Created by pre-eminent roller coaster designer Bolliger & Mabillard, each separate track had five inversions on the intense ride.  Perhaps too intense for some Universal Orlando visitors? Initial descriptions of the new Harry Potter roller coaster promises, “fun for the entire family.”

wizarding world of harry potter - dragon challenge

So what can we expect from this new Harry Potter roller coaster?  It’s hard to say right now.  Universal says this Harry Potter roller coaster will be the “perfect addition to Hogsmeade.”  Assuming Universal is not adding the Great Lake (or Black Lake) to their theme park, one possible addition to Hogsmeade could be the Forbidden Forest.  This is an enchanted forest full of magical creatures including centaurs, unicorns, Acromantula (gigantic spiders), and more.  The Foribben Forest played a large role in many Harry Potter books and films, and the Forbidden Forest film set was just opened to visitors on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour outside of London.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter London

So whether we will “follow the spiders” on this new Harry Potter roller coaster remains to be seen, but you have until September 4th for your one last chance to follow in Harry’s footsteps and get past the Hungarian Horntail to capture the golden egg.

wizarding world of harry potter - dragon challenge

We’ll continue to update this post as more information becomes available.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on instagramtwitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.