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Fan-Favorite Attraction at Universal Orlando Causing Severe Reactions in Guests

hogwarts castle, harry potter, universal islands of adventure
Credit: Brian McGowan, Unsplash

One of the most popular attractions at Universal Studios Orlando Resort is being blamed for creating severe reactions in guests who experience the attraction.

universal globe and free signs

Credit: Universal/Canva

Central Florida Theme Park Wars

In 1990, Universal Studios Orlando opened its first theme park, and with the opening of the park, the Central Florida theme park wars officially began. For the first time since 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort had major competition in the Sunshine State, and the battle hasn’t ended yet.

In the years since Universal Studios first opened in Florida, Disney World and Universal have played a giant, public game of ping pong. Disney World would add a new ride, a new land, or a new park, and sooner or later, Universal would answer that challenge with a new addition of its own.

diagon alley harry potter dragon fire, universal studios orlando

Credit: Brian McGowan, Unsplash

But on June 18, 2010, Universal Studios Orlando made perhaps its largest and most significant addition with the debut of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park, which opened in May of 1999.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The new themed area of the park allowed Harry Potter fans to step into the world of the young wizard in real life at the Central Florida Universal Resort. It was so popular that it was only the first Harry Potter-themed land to be added to the resort.

On July 8, 2014, a second Wizarding World of Harry Potter area, which served as a re-creation of Diagon Alley, opened at Universal Studios Florida theme park.

universal diagon alley

Credit: Universal Studios Orlando Resort

Harry Potter’s Wizarding World Gets A Plus

In 2019, Universal Orlando Resort gave its first Wizarding World a boost with the debut of the multiple-launch steel roller coaster.

The new attraction, located in the Hogsmeade section of Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando, cost the entertainment giant a cool $300 million, and when it opened to guests in June 2019, the wait times for the new experience were hours long.

hagrid's motorbike

Credit: Universal Orlando

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure quickly became a guest-favorite attraction at Islands of Adventure. But recently, riders of the popular attraction say that Hagrid is making them sick. More specifically, they say the ride is bringing on panic attacks.

Universal Orlando Resort invites guests to join Hagrid as he dares to go into the Forbidden Forest:

Now’s the time to join Hagrid as you fly deep into the wilds of the Forbidden Forest, beyond the grounds of Hogwarts Castle, on a thrilling roller coaster ride that plunges into the paths of some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures. Experience Universal’s most highly themed, immersive coaster—only at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

hagrid on his motorbike with harry potter

Credit: Warner Bros.

Roller coasters are generally considered thrilling attractions, but some guests have begun complaining that the level of thrills at Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure is a bit much–and that those thrills are responsible for inducing panic attacks in unsuspecting guests.

As part of the experience, riders sit on Hagrid’s famous motorbike, which also features a sidecar. The ride takes them high, low, backward, and, of course, very fast. Watching a point-of-view video of the ride is enough to make some viewers a bit nauseated.

top roller coaster orlando hagrids-magical-creatures-motorbike-adventure

Credit: Universal Studios Orlando

Panic Attacks at Hagrid’s?

Fans of the ride shared their stories in the comments under one such video. One fan shared an experience aboard the attraction, writing, “This ride is so intense I had a panic attack coming off, vomited, and was held in the medical facility for like five hours. It was fun tho, but never again!”

Another person who has yet to experience the ride–but wants to have the experience shared, “I’ll definitely puke in no time, wow,” while another user shared, “This was probably the best ride I have ever been on. Not the scariest, but the most fun.”

Harry Potter

Credit: Universal Studios

One user shared concerns over the queue for the Hagrid’s Motorbike attraction, saying she witnessed someone having a panic attack while waiting to board the attraction:

The first time I rode Hagrid’s, a lady like 15 people behind me had a horrible panic attack in the first narrow hallway after the egg room. A TM appeared instantly and escorted her out of an emergency exit and to a much larger waiting area. They stood and watched everyone go by via another emergency door, and then when she started to see people she recognized, they allowed her and her son to rejoin just after the test seats. Can guarantee they are there and labeled, but the ambiance is so captivating that you don’t focus on them if you needed them, you would see them, and TMs are all over, ready to come help in an instant.

harry potter and the forbidden journey

Credit: Universal

Another user named Eshalyn shared her experience, saying she felt “the EXACT same way” about the queue for Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure.

People don’t understand those with anxiety and those who overthink. OBVIOUSLY a giant resort will have safe rides, queues, and other things to ensure safety for the guests. They don’t want to be sued. But considering the increase in shootings, I am constantly on alert of my exits in case of an emergency. Do people on this thread not understand that in an emergency people don’t think straight? Who knows if the person behind me won’t instantly shove me and knock me over, leading to multiple falls, and now I’m stuck in this caved queue and more and more people trip, push, shove, etc.? My anxiety makes me think of these situations. In an emergency, personally, Hagrid’s queue does not seem that efficient. HOWEVER, the people responding are right, it is obviously safe, more than we know. But I understand! You’re not crazy. Especially with so many tragedies happening lately.

hagrid's motorbike making people sick

Credit: Discover Universal

Despite some guests’ concerns about the magical experience at Universal Orlando, the popularity of the ride likely means that no changes will be made to the experience, especially since it has retained that popularity since it first opened nearly five years ago.

Have you or a family member ever experienced a panic attack at Hagrid’s Motorbike? Let us know about that experience in the comments section below!

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

3 comments

  1. People with anxiety and other panic attacks should not go on the ride or rides I can’t go on certain rides because I get claustrophobic and heights don’t ruin it for others that enjoy the rides

  2. Initially, I was like, the ride is fine, what is this about panic attacks?
    Then I remembered.
    It’s not the ride.
    The queue…
    When you get inside, and are all packed in like sardines. I remember feeling very anxious, there were too many people in too small a space. Very claustrophobic. Disney’s boat ride in Norway pre Frozen reno had a similar feeling, but not as intense.

  3. We were there in November 2023, and yes my son had a massive panic attack. He was fine until we hit the large incline before going backwards. His attack was so severe that he was almost passing out.

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