Also about Hagrid's, I hate myself. I feel dirty saying it, but I liked it more than Dueling Dragons. It's not perfect (mainly because of how fast you blow by the detailed animatronics), but we were smiling ear-to-ear and it was our favorite ride at the resort.
That being said, I wish they found a way to keep both Dueling Dragons (or even the non-dueling Dragon Challenge) and Hagrid's. I made sure to wear my Dueling Dragons shirt to the park and even the employees shared the same sentiments.
teacherkim wrote:Canobie, please let us know how it goes with the line. We will be there less than a week after you and while the main purpose of our trip is to do HHN for the first time, we certainly do want to get on Hagrid's as long as we are there. Trying to decide if we need to get up early which is not attractive with the late HHN nights or just get there when we get there and take our chances.
Where to begin with the line for Hagrid's?
The park map now has a warning that the queue for Hagrid's will close at 3 pm. Normally, I'd rope drop the brand new ride. However, I wasn't willing to waste walk-ons at other rides for a coaster that I noticed didn't always open with the park. That being said, it did appear that Hagrid's opened with the park both days per the app.
We ended up entering the queue around 1 pm on Monday. It was almost entirely filled. There is a single rider line approximately 1/4 of the way through the queue. It was tempting, but we decided to skip it for two reasons. One, there is no way to tell how long the single rider line is. Two, you're pretty much guaranteed to get the side car (more on that later).
The queue moved quite fast and there was a good amount to look at (not as much as Dragons though). After an hour, we had reached the second to last room. Then Hagrid's went down for a "short delay". That short delay then turned into an "extended delay". We stuck it out for an additional two hours. People were asking the employees what was wrong and they said this happens every day. I feel sorry for the employees because it's not their fault the ride basically skipped the testing phase.
It's also worth noting that Universal was giving out bathroom passes for anyone that needed to leave and re-enter. To re-enter the queue, at least one person in your party had to remain in line.
We weren't going to leave that line. Since it was now 4 pm, it was entirely possible Universal wouldn't reopen the queue. And we didn't want to wait until our last day to ride it. But then Universal announced the ride was closed indefinitely. To say the crowd was pissed was an understatement. However, Universal did compensate everyone in line with 2 free express passes. One was valid for Hagrid's. One was valid for everything else.
Now here's the odd part. Hagrid's was testing while they cleared out the queue. We decided to stick it out and sure enough, Hagrid's reopened a mere 15 minutes later. And then the masses flooded back in.
It would have been smart to use standby, but we weren't chancing the ride going down again. So we booked it through the Express line. We beat everyone in standby, but had a few Express people ahead of us. And since there was no one immediately behind us, Universal allowed us to wait an extra train for the front. This is something they said isn't possible if there's any sort of queue.
After we got off, we immediately got back in the standby queue. That way, both Emily and myself could try the motorbike. Our wait started in the room after the preshow (which is pretty far back I might add) and we were boarding in about 30-40 minutes. We contemplated going again, but they had already closed off the queue by the time we exited. If you're keeping score back home, they only kept the queue open for about 45 minutes after it was reopened.
We also speculated that only having one motorbike would cause some frustration among guests. I saw in at least two instances guests asking the greeter if they could ride in separate rows so they could both get motorbikes. Universal said no. I found the higher elevation of the motorbike to be really unique and I think 90% of guests would prefer the motorbike if you asked them. Thankfully Tron is coming in 2 years.
The ride's current operating state is embarrassing. I'd almost say they should take the ride down to get these issues sorted out, but they really can't with all the advertising they've done for Hagrid's. It really is a no-win situation right now for both guests and the park.