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Dragon Challenge at Islands of Adventure Closing In September


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https://blog.universalorlando.com/whats-new/new-ride-wwohp-hogsmeade/

 

The new attraction will be one of the most highly-themed coaster experiences we’ve created. It will combine a new level of storytelling with an action-packed adventure…and a few surprises along the way.

We’re permanently closing Dragon Challenge on September 5 to make way for this all-new ride. The last day of operation will be Monday, September 4.

 

I only rode each track once in 2011 and they were my favorite coasters at Universal. There is going to be a new coaster, probably with lots of screens like so many other rides at the 2 parks. I had no plans to return to Universal any time soon and this ride removal just makes it easier to stay away. I can understand their reasoning even though I hate to see such great coasters removed. The coasters might be too intense for much of the Harry Potter fan base and the coasters take up a lot of room.

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I think the plan is to use the inverted dark ride system (currently on an Arthur and the Invisible themed ride at some small German Park owned by Mack) to bring the Forbidden Forest to life.

 

 

Are they scraping them or selling to another park? That's a lot of coaster to toss away

Knowing Universal, no, be a shame though to put 2 still pretty functional coasters into the garbage (the trains would still be garbage tho).

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I was thinking the ride would be like coaster in Germany.

 

Why would the trains be trash? they aren't worth selling as spare trains for parts? there are plenty of parks with inverts

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There are a LOT of rumors about the replacement.

 

The three most interesting are the Mack powered coaster/dark ride, an Intamin wing coaster where the seats are like brooms, and a motorbike coaster where one side is the bike and the other is a side car like this:

 

Hagrids-bike-1.jpg

 

If it is the broomstick coaster or the motorbike coaster, it will be highly themed and opening two years before Disney opens their Tron motorbike coaster which has minimal theme elements.

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Sad to see them go. I preferred pre Harry Potter Dualing Dragons when the queue was done up as catacombs with skulls and skeletons everywhere.

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If this indeed gets scrapped, I think this will be the first B&M to ever be scrapped completely. (I'm not really sure how to categorize the Hulk situation. While the physical steel parts were scrapped, not everything was removed and almost the same ride is essentially still there. Going by RCDB entries, Hulk is still there, and Dragon Challenge will be the first removed and not relocated)

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With Hulk, wasn't it the track was replaced but the supports were left in place?

 

My guess is Dueling Dragons' track is probably worn out like the Hulk from running nearly 365 for 18 years. That is a lot more wear than seasonal coasters get. Probably decided its better to invest in a whole new ride rather than overhaul Dueling Dragons. I used to like those coasters but Universal's no loose item policy sucked a lot of joy out of the ride by making it such a hassle to ride let alone reride. In the pre HP days, DD was easy to reride with special marked doorways.

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That is surprising. Maybe metal fatigue from launching?

 

At Moreys, they replaced Nor Easters track, but seemed to reuse the supports. Even the lift hill is still the old track, its smoother than it used to be now, while Hulk seems rougher after the rebuild.

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  • 1 month later...

There are plenty of places that could have used it, but finding a buyer for something as large as Dragons was is not that easy. On top of that, Universal is most likely using this as a huge tax write-off which will save them more money than they could have got from selling it. 

 

Yes, the ride is less than 20 years old, but it also operated 365 days a year for all of those almost 20 years. It easily has had more wear and tear than other coasters built at that time because it never got the downtime that others get. 

 

It was running in a diminished capacity since they had to stop the dueling for safety. It was a problem for the park because it spoiled some of the site lines in Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the license holders (JK Rowling and Warner Brothers) were not happy with the metal detectors at the ride entrance that Universal Operations deemed necessary after several incidents at the park. It's not great losing two really good coasters (they were great when they dueled), but the business model of Universal is much different now and the replacement coaster will be a huge improvement for families (wider range of riders) as well as beating Disney to the punch by 2 year (2019 opening when Tron and Guardians of the Galaxy won't be ready until 2021).   

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