Attraction Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

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Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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OK. So, I really don’t understand why they can’t manage the lines for this ride. Regardless of the issues with the coaster, itself, this isn’t their first rodeo. Based on Forbidden Journey and Gringotts, they have to have known what the crowds would be like. They have virtual queues elsewhere, and used comeback times in the past, as well.

This looks like amateur hour. I can’t decide if it is cynical marketing, incompetence, or indifference.
 
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Apr 29, 2011
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Incompetence mostly.

A lot of TMs that were asked to be ride-ops whether it be permanent or temporary have become disgruntled working on this ride because of the lack of communication and guidance from UC and upper management so most of the TMs were in the dark and trying to handle pissed off guests with no clue of what was happening. And at one point, if anyone asked the TMs why the ride was down, they were supposed to say that a dragon got loose and Hagrid is dealing with it! 😱

Apparently that didn’t go over well and they just started apologizing for the delay.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Incompetence mostly.

A lot of TMs that were asked to be ride-ops whether it be permanent or temporary have become disgruntled working on this ride because of the lack of communication and guidance from UC and upper management so most of the TMs were in the dark and trying to handle pissed off guests with no clue of what was happening. And at one point, if anyone asked the TMs why the ride was down, they were supposed to say that a dragon got loose and Hagrid is dealing with it! 😱

Apparently that didn’t go over well and they just started apologizing for the delay.
Awwwwe I actually kinda like that!

Honestly IMO it sounds like UO/IOA were never ready for the opening of this. Almost feels like Intamin handed the keys over and someone higher up went "just open the damn thing!" As for the TM's asked to be ride-ops: How early/late in the processionals was that? Are they doing actual disboarding/dispatching? Or are they more crowd management? I think if you had them do in-character crowd management things would go much smoother. When I was in line for FJ, I always felt that more 'interactive' elements would fo it well. Like in the herbology area have TM's dressed as professors/students doing a 30 minute 'class' loop. Maybe for HMCMA they should have spots in the queue setup with team members doing some type of 30 minute looped skit so people can stay entertained while waiting.
 
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Nicole

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That is sorta my point. They in theory have the experience and tools to manage huge lines at predictably popular, highly themed rides.

At an absolute minimum, is there a reason they can’t just set up some flat panels and play the first movie?
 
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I have no inside info, it just feels like sprung on them with no warning. There are so many easy ways IMO to improve these wait times. Virtual Queues outside of the actual entrance, entertainment in the queue. Even going outside the box, have certain hours of the day allow only certain tickets in line. Do the early start for resort guests only, around Noon-4 only let single day or multi-day-non-resort tickets in, around 7 to close only pass holders. I dunno I know that excludes some groups depending on when the could be there but even that works.

Shit, they could even do a 'magic pass' like thing for resort guests. Show up, and when you check in you schedule 2 time blocks to ride, and those are the only times you can get on.

I think there are so many ways to reduce the times of the ride. But the biggest issues seems to be communication. Cutting off the line that early either sounds like they don't know how quick the ride can eat up people or they are just being lazy at that point of the day.
 
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Sep 24, 2018
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Honestly if you ask me I think that the first few days was a combination of poor planning and Universal deliberately trying to make the line as long as they could for the publicity. Since then I think it's largely the ride having issues and Universal being absolutely terrible at communicating what's happening.
 
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And yet they are still advertising constantly... heard a commercial on TV at least 3 times this weekend (and I don't even watch much TV).
 
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Nicole

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So, through a combination of patience, planning, and luck, @Zachary and I rode Hagrid’s Motorbike this week. It was a fun family coaster.

My overall opinion is that it is a better dark ride, but less forceful coaster than Verbolten. So, depending on what you want, it is either better worse. I think I enjoy Bolt more physically.

We were eating at Mythos, when everything shut down, because of thunderstorms in the area. I think we saw one or two drops of rain, but the threat of lightning kept everything closed for about an hour. Regardless, it seemed like the perfect time to queue for Hagrid, so we headed over to Hogsmeade. What we experienced was barely controlled mayhem.

When we got there, the area from the front of the lockers to the back of the owlrey was roped off. That meant that people who arrived after the ride closed due to weather could not access the test seats nor stow their stuff. The people who were in line before, were hanging out inside the roped-off area. As an aside: we discovered that the bike and sidecar are different enough that you should try to find out which is the most comfortable before you get in the queue, as you can’t easily switch, once you load.

As one would predict, a large crowd formed outside this (impromptu?) holding area. We were told that when the ride re-opened, the one section of the chain would be dropped, but no one knew which. I thought about sucking up the inevitable cost and finding a different locker for my bag, but was worried that they would start the queue, while I was gone. When the ride did reopen (a while after everything else in the park), the chaos really began.

With no warning, they told people to enter through the two locker areas. The inevitable pushing and shoving was exacerbated by the very narrow openings. Once we were clear of the locker area, we entered a second scrum of people funneling into the actual line. Apparently, the park didn’t think to monitor the outside queue, so a ton of people ran up the single rider lane and cut in front of everyone else. The guy behind us was especially pissed. He told a ride op that he had been given an 8:20 come-back time and didn’t understand why he was forced to wait in line behind people who had arrived in the interim. She seemed unable to offer a coherent explanation, leaving him even more disgruntled.

It was pleasant and breezy outside, so for me it still wasn’t awful. Then we entered the ruin.

Forbidden Journey has one of the best queues I’ve ever experienced, and Gringotts’ is great as well. Unfortunately, Hagrid’s doesn’t live up to that tradition. With a few exceptions, we spent the majority of our hour and a half inside the building in endless, narrow, faux stone hallways. It was very reminiscent of BfE, but much, much longer.

On the one hand the pre-show was a relief from the monotony of the hallways to nowhere. On the other hand, unlike Forbidden Journey, people were not kept in a queue. Predictably, this led to a third round of Haunted Mansion-style jockeying for position and more pushing and shoving. Of course, once we were all back in the hallway in a completely different order (so people could get to the ride two minutes faster), groups once again cut the line, because the had inevitably gotten separated in the mayhem. Do you know what is worse that interminable hallways? Sharing them with a ton of very angry guests, who just got pushed out of the way by other selfish people.

After several more hallways and cutbacks, we came to yet another open area. There was no obvious reason for the break in the queue. Perhaps they planned to station a grouper in the middle of the line to slow it down further. Or maybe Uni just likes creating scrums. Anyway, everyone once again mobbed the area like the transition from the outside to inside queue at Tower of Terror. In yet a completely new order (maybe Uni wanted to give us all a chance to meet as many other tired and irritated guests as possible by moving us around in line?), we entered the first in a series of rooms with actual decorations. It was nice to have something to look at.

After a few more hallways, we finally made it to the station. The loading system is like Hollywood Raging Red Racketeer’s. You step onto a moving walkway and mount the bike. They reasonably insist that each group know which side they want, before getting to the station.

As a said up front, the ride, itself, was a lot of fun and most of the effects were working for us. The dark ride aspects were excellent, but Bolt’s drop-track element seems longer and more effective.

Overall, I really enjoyed Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure, but Uni really needs to do rethink their queue management.
 

Zachary

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With no warning, they told people to enter through the two locker areas. The inevitable pushing and shoving was exacerbated by the very narrow openings.
To elaborate, it was like those clips you see on the news of Walmarts on Black Friday. Hundreds upon hundreds of guests forced into an 8 food wide opening around metal railings at the drop of a hat. I was shoved into a railing, hit in the shin by a family who was trying to climb under the stair railing, shoved aside by a father who was leaving all of his kids behind, etc.

Uni setup a legitimately dangerous "process," there was zero attempt at any crowd control anywhere, and guests all around us were FURIOUS. Line jumping via the single rider queue was a chronic problem until we entered the building while Uni staff looked on and did nothing. It was a truly disgraceful display of general incompetence and lack of any care for the experience of the park's paying patrons.

I expect general stupidity and laziness from Universal management—it's why I don't hold a Uni pass anymore—but I don't expect Universal to put me into legitimately dangerous situations.

The coaster is legitimately great, but it's hard for my impressions of it to not be marred by the overarching experience of trying to ride it which was, to put it simply, totally and completely unacceptable.
 
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lce

in the end i just want you to be happy
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I've never thought about the bee issue at more major parks.

When it happens at BGW, sure it's annoying you can't ride that ride. There's always next time though.

At Universal or Disney, if the reason you couldn't go on the headlining ride at the park is because of God damn bees, I'd be livid. Universal or Disney aren't everyday parks, so if I took the trip to go there for the only time in 2 or 3 years I'd be pisssseedd if the only reason I can't ride is bees.

I'd just arm guests with a can of raid and say "enter at your own risk"
 
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