View Full Version : Islands of Adventure - Harry Potter Coaster Construction Update

June 20th, 2018, 21:05
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Forest / Dragon Challenge Replacement - (6/17/18) Time for a new update on the new Harry Potter coaster under construction, thanks to new aerial photos posted on Twitter by "bioreconstruct" that you can see embedded below this article.
You'll want to zoom in and look at all the progress taking place throughout the site, and in particular a couple of interesting structures going up. Based on my previous drawings and explanation, you can see the track leaving the station and venturing out along the perimeter of the site along what would have been the old Dueling Dragons entrance pathway, moving past that to enter into a extremely tight turn just north of the Hogwarts Express station. This section stands out a bit more because in addition to regular coaster footers holding the track up, they have even poured a large circular concrete foundation slab which means something larger is going to be here... likely a small round building, or perhaps a large animatronic creature. Some have speculated that it could be Hagrid's Hut, but technically that already exists over in the middle of the Flight of the Hippogriff coaster and that they would want to avoid duplication. Either way there should be some kind of thematic element that takes place here.
The other area I want to point out again in the large steel building structure rising on the opposite side of the Hogwarts Express station. As I pointed out before, this is where you end up after flying up the vertical spike and end up falling backwards... eventually spiraling up inside this structure where "something" magical transpires that results in the coaster train being launched forward again out of lower floor of this structure into the finale portion of the ride's layout. I've zoomed in and blown up a portion of one of the aerial photos (See my thumbnails above) where you can now get a much clearer look at what will take place, track-wise, inside the building structure, based on how the steel is being laid out.
Once you roll backwards into the structure, you can now see how the track will enter a "Y" split, dividing the building into having a separate track for the left and right sides. This is likely because you will be inside this building for longer than you expect, likely for some kind of major thematic scene to transpire, but also to allow for the ride-hardware to reset for the next train coming which will use the mirror-image side of the building. As I pointed out before, you can now see how the coaster will launch out of the structure at the ground level below, which means that the trains must somehow get from the top to the bottom... as well as merging the two sides back into a single track once again.
For this I would look to the large empty pit just behind the "Y" split where they have yet to install any kind of building or ride hardware at all. While I don't know exactly how things are going to go-down in there, one thing is certain... the trains will be dropped down to the lower level here. It could be a section of "freefall" track, much like what was used on "13" in Alton Towers or "Verbolten" at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, or this could simply be some kind of quiet elevator system that quietly moves you while you are wowed by a scene taking place all around you, much like what happens when you switch floors on Transformers. If it were me though... I'd not want to miss the opportunity to install that freefall drop track effect as it is something no one has seen in Orlando yet.
The interesting thing is that we are expecting this ride to open in just under a year and Universal Orlando has still not made an official full announcement about it as of yet. I'd expect that to change by the end of the month however, as I'm sure they are just waiting for Toy Story Land to open across town to drop their next big Harry Potter announcement right on top of it. Tick tock... wont be long now.