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“Accio thrill ride!”

Carlye Wisel
July 24, 2017

Universal Orlando has just revealed plans for the first-ever Harry Potter-themed roller coaster to arrive at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.

The all-new attraction will take guests on a journey that incorporates the characters, creatures and transportative adventures of the wildly successful book and movie series when it opens in 2019.

In its announcement, Universal positioned the ride as one of the most “highly-themed coaster experiences” they’ve ever created — which is major, considering The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is already known for immersive attractions utilizing ride systems and technology in ways rarely seen at other theme parks.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios Florida throws guests into a wild adventure on a mine cart within the famed wizarding bank, while Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure sends riders soaring through Hogwarts Castle, coming face-to-face with some of the series’ most frightening nemeses.

The new Harry Potter coaster will replace Dragon Challenge at Islands of Adventure when it closes permanently in early September.

The set of intertwined roller coaster tracks, which debuted in 1999, was updated to stylistically match The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Hogsmeade when it opened at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in 2010, but never fully fit within its snowcapped village.

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Given that the new Harry Potter ride announcement boasts a new degree of creativity, ingenuity and next-level theming at the parks, it’s evident that Universal Orlando Resort is being proactive about their plans to compete with Walt Disney World when the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge themed land opens in 2019. (Consider it no mistake that this addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open the same year.) Last week, author and theme park expert Len Testa revealed Universal Orlando had even begun surveying guests to gauge their interest in Disney’s newly announced Star Wars Hotel, so there may be more to come as well.

No specifics have yet been announced for the forthcoming Harry Potter roller coaster, but if fan rumors are to be believed, it’s possible it will take guests within familiar beings and haunts of the Forbidden Forest. No matter which wizarding location the new attraction will envelop its visitors in, it’s sure to be nothing short of magical.

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