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 in the park's Lost Continent area. 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.
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 been confirmed whether they were to be closed and re-themed as of that time.
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. The attraction was closed off to the public and listed as Standing But Not Operating (SBNO).
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.
The attraction soft opened on June 1, 2010 under the new name of Flight of the Hippogriff. It officially opened with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on June 18, 2010.
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.
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. The cars then travel over a track, to the top of the lift, where riders have a full aerial view of The Wizarding World, 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.