Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2020

Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: Attraction

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Universal Orlando, USA

This “story coaster” at Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ puts guests onto the motorbike of Hagrid - one of the most beloved characters in the Harry Potter canon - for a mile-long, wild ride through the mysterious Forbidden Forest of the wizarding world. The bike has been bewitched by the befuddled Arthur Weasley and the ride takes immersive experience to a new level in its combination of storytelling and innovative roller coaster technology with rich environments and sets - including an actual woodland of more than 1,200 live trees, populated by many of the story’s most infamous creatures.

This new roller coaster attraction is located in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, on the prior site of the Dragon Challenge in Universal Studios' Orlando park. Dubbed a “Story Coaster,” this thriller puts guests in the driver’s seat, or the sidecar, of a reproduction of Hagrid’s motorbike. Vehicles get up to speeds of 50 mph, experience seven separate launches, travel in multiple directions and plunge in a surprise 40-foot free-fall drop, all to an emotional score. On their journey with Hagrid, guests encounter such creatures as the devilish Cornish pixies, a Centaur, a blast ended screwt, Unicorns and last but not least, the oversized Fluffy, the three-headed dog!

This ride is not only packed with incredible thrills, but also amazing visuals. Great care was taken to create an ambiance of the dense and populated forest of the stories. Every creature and set is beautifully created in high production detail, just as fans would expect them to look. Care was taken to have the vehicle slow at these scenes, so guests have time to take them in and enjoy. The musical score adds yet another layer of the senses. This unique ride truly delivers in a new and fun way on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter experience, where the audience has high expectations.

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