Flight of the Hippogriff

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Flight of the Hippogriff
Flight of the Hippogriff - train front.jpg
One of the newly rethemed trains.
Previously known as Flying Unicorn
Islands of Adventure
Park section The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Coordinates 28°28′21″N 81°28′26″W / 28.472454°N 81.473803°W / 28.472454; -81.473803Coordinates: 28°28′21″N 81°28′26″W / 28.472454°N 81.473803°W / 28.472454; -81.473803
Status Operating
Opening date June 29, 2000 (2000-06-29) (As Flying Unicorn)
June 18, 2010 (2010-06-18) (As Flight of the Hippogriff)[1][2]
Closing date July 7, 2008 (2008-07-07) (As Flying Unicorn)[2]
Universal Studios Japan
Park section The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Status Operating
Opening date July 15, 2014 (2014-07-15)
General statistics
Type Steel – Junior
Manufacturer Vekoma
Model Junior Coaster (335m)[2]
Height 42.7 ft (13.0 m)
Length 1,099.1 ft (335.0 m)
Speed 28.5 mph (45.9 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 1:06
Height restriction 36 in (91 cm)
Trains 2 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 16 riders per train.
Ride Host Rubeus Hagrid
Flight of the Hippogriff at RCDB
Pictures of Flight of the Hippogriff at RCDB

Flight of the Hippogriff is a junior roller coaster at the Islands of Adventure theme park, in Orlando, Florida, United States. The ride is located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of the park and is a mild alternative to the land's more extreme rides including Dragon Challenge and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. It was one of the first attractions to open with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on its grand opening on June 18, 2010.[3] A second installation is operating at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Japan.

History[edit]

Islands of Adventure[edit]

The former Flying Unicorn roller coaster at Islands of Adventure
A vehicle ascending the lift hill on Flight of the Hippogriff. An animatronic Hippogriff can be seen in the background, to the left side of the lift hill.

Flying Unicorn was one of the first rides to be added to Islands of Adventure after its grand opening, debuting on June 29, 2000[2] in the park's Lost Continent area.[4] The ride took place in an enchanted forest, like something from a fairy tale. Various signs along the queue tell the story of a wizard who found a baby unicorn's horn, which it shed (once every thousand years). He then used the horn to create this ride. The magic from the unicorn's horn is used so that it can fly. Guests rode in carts designed to look like mechanical unicorns, and travel over a track, to the top of the lift, then dropped through various dips and turns before being deposited at the start of the track.[5]

Following the announcement of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter section in May 2007, both Flying Unicorn and fellow previous incarnation Dueling Dragons were shown to be in the new area, but it had not be confirmed whether they were to be closed and re-themed as of that time.[6]

After eight years of operation, Flying Unicorn was closed on July 7, 2008 to allow construction to proceed on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.[7] The attraction was closed off to the public and listed as Standing But Not Operating (SBNO).[2]

On September 15, 2009, Universal officially revealed the attractions which were to open in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter section, confirming that Flying Unicorn would be refurbished and re-themed into Flight of the Hippogriff.[8]

The attraction soft opened on June 1, 2010[citation needed] under the new name of Flight of the Hippogriff. It officially opened with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on June 18, 2010.[3]

Universal Studios Japan[edit]

A duplicate of the attraction is being installed at Universal Studios Japan as part of their Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The attraction opened on July 15, 2014.[9][10]

Attraction summary[edit]

Entrance to the attraction.
Track layout

Queue[edit]

The roller coaster's new backstory is that Hagrid is teaching young wizards how to fly a Hippogriff by using fake replicas of the creature. The queue line weaves through Hogwarts Grounds, past Hagrid's Hut and the Forest, and leads into an open canopy where Care of Magical Creatures Class is taught, and riders board the vehicle.[11][12]

Ride[edit]

The roller coaster takes passengers on a test flight of the Hippogriff over the Forbidden Forest and Hagrid's Hut. Riders are instructed to bow to the Hippogriff before the ride progresses up the lift hill.[11] The cars then travel over a track, to the top of the lift, where riders have a full aerial view of The Wizarding World,[13] and then dropped through various dips and turns around Hogwarts Grounds before being deposited at the start of the track, where Hagrid thanks riders, who then disembark.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Universal Orlando. "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter". Universal Orlando. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Roller Coaster Database. "Flight of the Hippogriff (Universal Studios Islands of Adventure)". Database entry. RCDB. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "NOW OPEN! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort". Orlando, Florida: Universal Studios. June 18, 2010. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Orlando Florida. "The Flying Unicorn - Universal's Islands of Adventure". Orlando Florida. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Attractions Magazine. "The Flying Unicorn POV ridethrough (Before it was Flight of the Hippogriff)". Video. YouTube. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Fly the Ford Anglia at New Harry Potter Theme Park?". Leaky Cauldron. Retrieved 2 July 2010.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  7. ^ Universal Orlando. "Special attractions for children". Universal Orlando. Archived from the original on 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  8. ^ Universal Orlando. "Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Highly Anticipated Details about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter". Universal Orlando. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  9. ^ Marden, Duane. "unknown  (Universal Studios Japan)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter". Universal Studios Japan. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c Inside the Magic. "Flight of the Hippogriff ride POV with Hippogriff animatronic at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter". Video. YouTube. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  12. ^ olduniversallover. "Flight of the Hippogriff - Queue [HD]". Video. YouTube. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  13. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (June 10, 2010). "What's up with Wizarding World?". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 

External links[edit]