Universal Demolishes "Invisible" Attraction, Gone Indefinitely
in Universal Orlando, Universal Studios
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort
If you are a fan of theme parks in Orlando, you surely know of all the “big guys”. Walt Disney World Resort sits on land large enough to fill San Francisco, fitting four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT), two water parks, and a eating/shopping District, Disney Springs. If you drive down the I-4 highway, you will eventually hit SeaWorld Orlando, home to aquatic fun and massive thrill coasters. Continue toward Downtown Orlando, and you arrive at Universal Orlando Resort, a theme park haven filled with Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida, and soon, Epic Universe. The theme park also encompasses Volcano Bay, their water park.
Although Disney World is the most popular theme park in town for many, Universal Orlando Resort comes in a close second, with many Guests crossing between the two on their vacation more often than not. Universal Orlando Resort is home to more thrill-style attractions, such as VelociCoaster or The Incredible Hulk. Most recently, the theme park expanded into the Harry Potter IP, creating the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, housing both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley in both of their parks, with the Ministry of Magic set to open with Epic Universe.
But, when things are added, others must come down.
Recently, Universal removed one attraction that felt both abandoned and invisible for quite some time, as barely any Guests ever used the paid offering. Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure originally offering rock climbing to Guests at an added cost. At Universal Studios Florida, you could find them in the streets of New York, and in Islands of Adventure, it was next to Jurassic Park River Adventure.
Although these two attractions existed, their lack of popularity made them look more like an obstruction than a ride option.
Now, we can see it has been totally removed.
Inside Universal (@insideuniversal) shared a photo of both locations now missing the rock climbing attraction.
No more rock climbing at Universal Orlando.
No more rock climbing at Universal Orlando. @UniversalORL pic.twitter.com/Ph8x9yhSWQ
— Inside Universal (@insideuniversal) August 18, 2023
If you were someone who enjoyed spending the $15.00 to climb these rock walls, then you may need to begin to look elsewhere as it seems to now be gone forever.
When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was added to Islands of Adventure, the attractions available were Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, as well as Dragon Challenge (also known as Dueling Dragons). The coaster was re-themed to fit the Harry Potter aesthetic, fitting into the fourth film and novel, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
The ride was a fan-favourite for it’s dueling aspect, where Guests would go through an inverted loop where riders on each side of the coaster would pass through at the same time, leaving their legs a mere 18 inches apart. This did cause injury, however, when a cell phone slipped out of one Guest hands and cut open another Guest face on the opposite coaster, ending the “dueling aspect of the coaster for life.
Universal made the decision to close Dragon Challenge permanently on September 4, 2017. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opened in its place in 2019.
The coaster was, however, beloved by many, and even inspired films such as Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007), where the cheer squad used the coaster to come up with their complicated finale cheer move. So, seeing it go after remaining in the park since 1999 was a big blow.
Recently, fans were able to see the coaster again in a very different light. AndrewOfPeace took to Twitter (X) to share a video of the dismantled track of the coaster, posing the wreckage as the future Halloween Horror Nights house.
Fans in the comments spoke out on the attraction, saying that they hope a piece of the track is somehow hidden in Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, while others expressed how much they miss the attraction.
Will you miss the rock climbing attractions at Universal Orlando Resort? Or were they invisible to you as well?
in Universal Orlando, Universal Studios
Orlando theme park lover who loves thrills and theming, with a side of entertainment. You can often catch me at Disney or Universal sipping a cocktail, or crying during Happily Ever After or Fantasmic.Will you miss the rock climbing attractions at Universal Orlando Resort? Or were they invisible to you as well?