ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - "Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure" opened at Universal Orlando Resort on Thursday. The attraction was supposed to open at 9 a.m. on Friday morning, with the rest of the park. But that didn't happen.
The ride was closed until about noon. Universal said it was for daily maintenance. Then people were supposed to be able to sign up for a virtual line, but that never happened either. After that, it was shutdown, after shutdown.
"Started boarding at noon. We ran into some technical issues where we had to ride a few times," said park goer Joseph Matt. "The ride would just shut down. I was stuck on several show scenes of the ride. They didn’t really say anything."
Matt says he waited six-and-a-half hours to ride.
"I was mostly angry, hadn’t eaten for a while. I enjoyed the ride, but it was a little frustrating."
"It was very frustrating, because they wouldn’t tell us what was happening," said park goer Brad Hughes, of Park Views with Brad Hughes.
He said he finally got on the ride after eight hours, when it stalled again.
"Everybody’s sitting on their phones, waiting for an announcement, and then it just zips. We literally just sat in the dark. They offered us another re-ride and that’s when we’re like, 'We’re done!'"
A Universal Orlando spokesperson said they extended park hours until midnight last night, so that everyone could ride. Park goers like Hughes said he understands there will be glitches, but he believes better communication can make a difference.
"Tell us why it’s delayed, give us a reason. The ride’s amazing, but the process is annoying."
Universal said that weather and guest flow affects how they manage their virtual line, but they never said exactly why it wasn't offered on Friday, as planned.
The ride, which is located right next to Hogsmeade at Universal's Islands of Adventure park, is the world's first story coaster. Hagrid, a character from the Harry Potter book and film series, takes guests through the Forbidden Forest to encounter magical creatures.
Riders have the option of sitting on the motorbike or the motorbike's side car, which moves at speed of up to 50 miles per hour. During the adventure, riders will be catapulted 65 feet in the air at a more than 70 degree angle and immediately dropped backward in motion. The ride also features the United States' first free-fall vertical drop.
The coaster, which is also the longest coaster in Florida, showcases several elaborate props. For example, there are centaurs, Cornish Pixies, Fluffy the Three-Headed-Dog, a Devil's Snare, and the park's most life-like animated figure yet, Hagrid.
Being a thrill coaster, the ride includes show scenes. "As you experience the thrills and the twists and the turns of the rollercoaster, there are also great moments where you actually slow down and experience a story and a moment with Hagrid," said Universal Creative Show Producer Elaine Hinds.
Before the ride begins, guests must enter the line queue behind Hagrid's hut. They will travel through the ruins he uses to go under and around Hogwarts as groundskeeper. Along the way are more detailed props and creatures to look at.
Universal Orlando Resort said that new ride will also feature a virtual line. With this, guests can make reservations through the park's official app. You select a time and a number of riders. While waiting for that time, you can go on other attractions. This will not be available on opening day.
Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opens on Thursday, June 13th.
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