‘Harry Potter’ fans battle crowds and lightning in 10-hour wait to ride new ‘Hagrid’ roller coaster

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Diehard “Harry Potter” fans are waiting up to 10 hours to ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, a twisting, high-speed flight through the Forbidden Forest led by the eponymous half-giant, on its opening day at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
Wannabe wizards and witches camped out hours ahead of the park’s opening to nab a spot in line. The wait already hit eight hours long by 8:30 a.m. ET and stretched to 10 hours by 10:30 a.m. ET, CNN affiliate WFTV reported. That’s half the time it would take to watch all eight “Harry Potter” films back-to-back.

Lightning (not the scar on Harry’s forehead) briefly delayed riders’ waits but quickly dissipated.

By noon, the line snaked out of Hogsmeade, Orlando’s version of the village that surrounds Hogwarts castle and contains “Potter”-themed rides and shops, and around the back of the park.

Universal Orlando executives promised the coaster would be the “most highly themed, immersive” ride at the park yet. No wonder Potterheads were willing to wait in a line slower than Snape’s potion class.

The new thrill ride stars Rubeus Hagrid, beloved Keeper of Keys of Hogwarts and magical creature maven, as he whisks muggles around its hallowed grounds. Riders either helm Hagrid’s bike or sit in the sidecar (and, as Universal’s hinted, the seat you end up in may decide the bumpiness of your ride).

Hagrid Motorbike Universal Orlando Roller Coaster

Riders embark on a high-speed journey around Hogwars’ Forbidden Forest in the new ride.

Courtesy Universal Orlando

The track is dotted with beloved wizards like Arthur Weasley and creatures benevolent or otherwise like Cornish pixies, massive spiders and the snarling three-headed dog Fluffy. Naturally, mayhem ensues.

Stars of the film series held a rare reunion at the park Wednesday to celebrate the opening, including Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood). Suffice to say, they didn’t need to wait in line.

Starting Friday, riders can save a spot in line using Universal Orlando’s app. Guests can enter the number of people in their party and the time they’ll return to ride it, then scan it once it’s time to ride. But for those undeterred by long waits, the thrill of opening day was worth all 600 minutes.

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