June 13, 2019 will be a day I will never forget. This is the day Universal Orlando opened Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. More importantly, this is the day I waited 10 and a half hours to ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

You read that right. It was not a typo. It was not an exaggeration. I waited 10 and a half hours to ride this new attraction. The entire experience was quite an adventure, and I shared it all on Twitter as it happened.

With a posted wait time of six hours, I was feeling just crazy enough to jump in line. A line that began at a different attraction. In an entirely different land. I probably should have seen the signs that this was a bad idea. But instead I began my adventure.

After about a half hour, we were greeted by some of Universal’s characters. Actually, I have to say, all things considered, Universal Orlando really did a nice job accommodating guests who dealt with this whole crazy situation. At least, from what I saw.

As more time passed, food vendors and more characters scanned the line to keep guests fed and entertained. Not that I was willing to shell out $9 for a hot dog, but it was nice to have the option. I did however partake in the free high five from Puss in Boots.

After one hour I reached a water station, another nice touch from Universal. At the time though, I stated that I only had five more hours to go. Words that would come back to haunt me.

The second hour consisted of some dark clouds and a DJ playing Smashmouth (which some would argue is a very different kind of dark cloud). Not too bad, but it was about to get worse.

Rain was a theme of my 10.5-hour experience. It was wet. Everything was wet. And of course the ride would not operate in the rain so that resulted in multiple delays. This is when it became apparent that I would be waiting longer than 6 hours.

An hour and a half later, the rain stopped and we began to move again. And at about the 4-hour mark, I saw team members holding a sign saying the ride had hit capacity. They were no longer allowing guests to get in line for the attraction. This was at 5 PM, four full hours before the park would close.

Just shy of the 5-hour mark, I was just getting into Hogsmeade – the land which houses the new attraction. This is where I caved and got myself a butterbeer. By the way, I was by myself for this adventure. I hadn’t eaten since 7 AM that morning nor did I once leave the line for a restroom. I’m not entirely sure what happened to my body during this experience.

Shortly after, I had done it. I had reached the entrance to the attraction. It was only a short wait until I was one the ride from here. Or so I thought.

I shared some of the sights from the outside portion of the queue and you can see them in my review of the new attraction, but the next step in my adventure was much less fun.

This is where my wait truly became an experience. At this point, six hours after I had gotten in line, everyone seemed to know each other. We were suddenly all in this together and the frustration we had all been feeling for so long strangely turned to excitement. I became acquainted with a pair of young brothers from Australia in front of me, who were on their first trip to America. Behind me, there was a large group which began calling themselves Hagrid’s 11, a sort of play on Ocean’s 11. You see, there were 11 of them. I probably didn’t need to explain that.

Seven hours in, the drama of it all took over for a minute. It was a long day and I was very wet. You’re lucky I was even forming complete sentences at this point.

At about eight and a half hours, we got some bad news. We learned the delay was not only caused by the most recent rain, which had since stopped, but also by a mechanical issue with the ride. We were told there was a chance we wouldn’t get to ride and it seemed as though that was a very good chance. The positive energy was sucked out of the crowd, but not replaced by frustration. There was simply no energy at all.

Then, with the simple passing sound of a functioning motorbike, all of that positive energy and emotion came flooding back and the crowd let out what I can only assume was a totally involuntary cheer.

First it was the sound of the ride, then another reaction followed when guests were seen riding the attraction. This next part is not a joke. This is something that actually happened. The voice of a small child called out from behind the trees in the queue “the line is moving!” and the crowd cheered louder than before. It was like something out of a very strange movie that I would not pay to see in a theater but would consider watching for free when it came to a streaming service.

After eight hours of waiting, we were once again moving. While we still weren’t sure if we were going to get on the ride, at least now we had hope.

See? I told you those words would haunt me.

After a brief delay inside, we moved into the pre show room. The show had already begun by the time most of us got in, but no one really minded. We just wanted to keep moving at that point. From what I saw, the show had some cool effects including an explosion and even a water effect, which the rain-soaked crowd did not appreciate at that point.

We took in some more of the queue, which again you can see more of in my review. I tried my best to share some of the details at the time but at this point I was waiting nearly nine hours and the ground was starting to look pretty comfortable. Egg puns was pretty much the best I could do. My brain was a bit… scrambled. Sorry.

How had I not learned my lesson yet? Good thing I said “at least” this time.

At this point, I probably would have shelled out those $9 for a hot dog. You could have had me here Universal. Missed opportunity.

A full hour later, we were just one room away from the loading platform when we heard the announcement of another delay. The crowd let out a collective groan that quickly turned into a laugh. At this point, it was just starting to get hilarious. We were starting to think of each other as roommates.

During that delay we crossed the 10-hour mark, a full four hours longer than the posted wait time when I got in line.

The room before the load platform featured Hagrid explaining how the motorbikes work as one drove above us, which was cool for about 30 seconds. To be fair though, nothing but the ride itself would have been interesting to us at that point.

Then, at 11:26 PM on Thursday, June 13, 2019, we had finally reached the load platform. You’ll notice I said “we” and not “I.” This was a group effort that included everyone around me. I was a single rider and 11 is an odd number, so  Hagrid’s 11 became Hagrid’s 12. We had made it. We were riding Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

It was a truly unforgettable experience, for both positive and negative reasons. One of my favorite positive reasons though, was the responses I received from those following along on Twitter. People genuinely seemed entertained by and invested in the story as it progressed and that made sharing it a lot of fun.

Thanks to everyone who followed along with my #HagridWait adventure and thanks to Universal Orlando for creating an amazing new attraction and taking care of the guests who waited so long for it. Now please excuse me, while I go sleep for 14 uninterrupted hours.

Laughing Place recommends UniversalFanTravel.com for all your Universal Orlando Resort travel planning
 

Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”

 

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