Eric Anthony Rodriguez

Eric Anthony Rodriguez

After a short line through security and another to show our tickets and get fingerprinted, the adventure began. I have been to Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando before, but I went on Super Bowl Sunday this year in order to ride the new Hagrid ride at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We decided to ride several rides on our way around to the new ride.

The first ride of the day was the Hulk. It was chilly and there was hardly any line at all before we were shooting through the air and looping a couple of times. I am not sure if the Super Bowl being in Miami this year kept the crowd in the park from being as large as it otherwise would have been. There was almost no wait before we were riding the Spider-Man ride. This ride has riders riding in a large car and following the adventures of Spider-Man versus Doctor Octopus on large screens. Riders are given pairs of 3D glasses which add to the intensity of what is being depicted on the screens.

Since we did not have any children in our group, we were able to walk trough Toon Lagoon without stopping. That brought us right to the Reign of Kong ride. We were all amazed at how short this line was as well. This ride has large groups riding trough a virtual forest and being pursued by dinosaurs. This ride also makes good use of 3D technology. King Kong comes to everyone’s rescue and ensures we were able to safely exit. We then continued towards the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Our next stop was the Forbidden Journey ride. We rode this next because the Hagrid ride line sign said the wait would be 150 minutes. We enjoyed riding the main Harry Potter ride again and all agreed the line was about as short as we had ever seen it. It is hard to describe the attention to detail inside the Hogwarts castle. Riders on this attraction feel like they are flying through the air on broomsticks, evading dragons and playing quidditch. Let me warn you that this ride makes me feel right on the verge of having motion sickness; plan your meals accordingly.

After enjoying an early lunch, we got in line for the main attraction of the day, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. The sign was changed to show a wait time of 180 minutes just as we were getting in line. We got in the queue with the hopes of the wait not taking the entire three hours. Unfortunately, it took us an hour to get inside the castle that is the starting point of the motorbike adventure. Then, the line winds around and around inside and, just over two more hours later, we were making our way onto the motorcycles and sidecars.

This ride is amazing. It is the biggest evolution to the rollercoaster that has happened in my lifetime. One of the people in our group, Kary Black, agreed that it was the best rollercoaster she had ever ridden. It is very much like riding a high-powered motorcycle on an empty, twisty road without having to worry about dying because some jerk ran over your motorcycle while texting. There are a few other surprises that take place on this ride, but I don’t want to ruin the entire experience for those who will be traveling down to Orlando to experience this for themselves. We left the park not long after the motorbike adventure so we could watch this year’s Super Bowl. That game turned out to be almost as exciting as the new attraction at Universal Orlando.

Eric lives in Suwannee County and is a public school educator. He is an independent contractor. You can reach him at

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