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First look: Meet Hagrid, the star of Universal Orlando's new roller coaster

Universal Orlando has released an image of what it is calling its most life-like animated figure yet for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, the highly themed coaster opening June 13. [Courtesy of Universal Orlando]
Published May 6

On Monday, Universal Orlando released an image of what it is calling its most lifelike animated figure yet for Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, the highly themed coaster opening June 13.

The Hogwarts gamekeeper, played in the Harry Potter films by actor Robbie Coltrane, is the gentle half-giant who will guide visitors into the Forbidden Forest as they encounter rare magical creatures during the ride at the Orlando theme park.

"Guests will come face-to-face with Hagrid during their journey as his hyper-realistic animated figure tries to contain his beloved Blast-Ended Skrewt," a Universal news release said.

The ride will be located in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Hogsmeade at Universal's Islands of Adventure. The two-seat attraction places one person in Hagrid's magical motorbike and another in the adjacent sidecar.

The coaster will move both forward and backward at speeds up to 50 miles per hour into the dark forest of Harry Potter's world among more than 1,200 specially planted trees.

Thierry Coup, senior vice president of Universal Creative, said the animated figure features an extensive motion profile of 24 different body movements and facial expressions, mimicking Coltrane's exact motions as Hagrid from the Harry Potter film series.

A digital scan of Robbie Coltrane's mouth was used to create Hagrid's teeth, and the face was meticulously sculpted by hand. Hagrid's costume was designed by the same team that created his on-screen wardrobe. And Robbie Coltrane recorded a custom script for the attraction.

"Hagrid is such an iconic character and an integral part of the Harry Potter franchise, so we were excited to develop a truly innovative and authentic animated figure to bring him to life for this experience," said Coup.

The height of the animated figure is 7 feet 6 inches tall — proportional to the character in the movies.

The ride replaces the Dragon Challenge, which closed in fall 2017.

"We worked tirelessly to make sure Hagrid's full essence was captured with the utmost attention to detail for our guests to feel completely immersed in this all-new adventure," said Coup.

Admission starts at $115 at UniversalOrlando.com.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

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