By Ryan Shrout
The new Wizarding World of Harry Potter will soon open at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. Many are already calling it the greatest single addition to a FL theme park since Disney built Animal Kingdom back in 1998. But I myself am not a fan.
Sure I know the epic back story created through the skillful writing of J.K. Rowling and the masterful screenplay adaption courtesy of Warner Bros. and I'm not saying it isn't a great addition. But the new area will not be an addition so much as a retooling and a replacement of the majority of the Lost Continent.
A long time FL resident, I've spent quite a bit of time at Universal Orlando and my favorite area by far was the Lost Continent. And the primary reason for that was the absolutely epic Dueling Dragons. The old queue line still stands far and away the best line for any roller coaster I have ridden (a sizable amount).
Further more, there's just something mystifying about these two dragons which you don't fully understand, yet are setting out to battle and the sense of foreboding the first time to the queue is truly special. All of that will be gone with the new storyline however.
Bringing in the Hungarian Horntail and Chinese Fireball dragons from the movie lend the ride a more familiar sense. We all know that at the end of the Dragon Challenge (the ride's new name) that the dragons are defeated. Furthermore, the dragons don't duel in the movies, nor in the books.
Let is suffice to say that I am not a fan. Also, the Flying Unicorn is going to be turned into the Flying Hippogriff. Quite a tame little coaster for such an awesome creature. I just hope that the big announcement on March 25 will finally give me something to be happy about.