When Islands of Adventure opened in 1999 one of it’s best attractions was Dueling Dragons. This was one of those rides that started the moment you entered the queue and never fell short at any moment. When entering the queue line, you walked through a castle that had been attacked by two dragons; one breathing fire and the other ice. After walking among both the frozen and charred corpses of knights who had challenged the beasts you picked one to ride into battle.
Jump forward to 2010, just seven years ago, a young wizard came and performed a transmogrification charm on one of my favorite attractions at Universal Studios Orlando…or at least that is what I had hoped for. In reality, he just gutted the best queue in the park before his castle was built and threw a few triwizard knickknacks into it before changing the name. However, finally it appears that the park is going to give the Dragon Challenge aka Dueling Dragons section of Hogsmeade the full Wizarding World treatment we have been waiting for.
On Monday June 24th, Universal Studios Florida announced that the Dragon Challenge will be roaring into battle one last time on September 4th, 2016. Then, it will be replaced by a brand new Harry Potter attraction opening in 2019. According to a post on the Universal Orlando’s official parks blog the Universal Creative Team will be working with Warner Brothers and its design team to bring this new attraction to life. “
“This ride is going to redefine the category and transport you to thrilling places, drawing you into even more exciting adventures within the wizarding world” – Kristen Clark
With the success of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts attractions I, for one, am excited to see what the Wizarding World has in store for us in the years to come.