Are you looking forward to riding the famous Flight of the Hippogriff at Universal Orlando?
Flight of the Hippogriff is a junior rollercoaster located in the Hogsmeade part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Islands of Adventure. This ride is inspired by the iconic scene of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where Harry took a flight on the mighty Hippogriff – Buckbeak and had quite an adventure soaring through the vast grassland and Lake of Hogwarts. It is quite a popular ride in the wizarding world as it isn’t too extreme and an excellent way to enjoy with your family while witnessing several hidden Easter eggs of the harry potter universe throughout the ride.
The Flight of the Hippogriff Ride History
The Flight of Hippogriff was built along with the rest of Hogsmeade when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Universal in 2010. The ride features the mythical creature – A Hippogriff. This ride was once The Flying Unicorn at Universal that functioned from 2000 to 2008. The Flying Unicorn was a part of the Lost Continent area of the park, and the seats were shaped like mechanical unicorns that journeyed through an enchanting forest with a classic fairytale set up. It had signs and directions along the queue by a wizard who had a rare baby unicorn’s horn. This magical horn created the illusion of the unicorn ride taking flight into the forest with subtle dips and turns. The ride was re-themed and refurbished as the flight of hippogriff in later years. The same ride is also present in Universal Studios Hollywood and Japan.
What is a Hippogriff?
Hippogriffs were first introduced in the third book of the Harry Potter series. They look like an eagle and a horse hybrid and are said to be quite proud creatures. In order to get a ride with a Hippogriff, you must approach them respectfully, bow down and wait for their approval. You’ll be relieved to know that you have to do nothing of the sort to ride this magical coaster. It is however recommended to follow proper etiquettes of approaching a Hippogriff when you take this ride, as you don’t want to disappoint Hagrid.
The Flight of the Hippogriff Attraction Information
This ride is themed after Hagrid’s pet – Buckbeak, a beloved Hippogriff who was sentenced to be beheaded by the Ministry of Magic, but rescued just in time. The entrance of the ride is set up like the gamekeeper’s ground at Hogwarts. Guests are welcomed by the warm and cozy sight of Hagrid’s hut and Fang’s restless barking. It is designed like a Care of Magical Creatures lesson where Hagrid guides and instructs the guests on the proper way to approach the majestic creature. The roller coaster is made to resemble a Hippogriff, with the head, front legs, and wings of a giant eagle and the torso extending as eight comfortable two-seaters.
There are many wonderful sights that can be witnessed throughout the ride. You get to see the Hogwarts castle in all its glory from various angles. The beautiful snow-clad Hogsmeade village is also visible from the ride. Standing in a queue isn’t a dull event either. Hagrid is one of the most beloved characters of the Harry Potter universe. His cozy hut, grounds, motorcycle and pumpkin patch is a treat to watch. You’ll also see Buckbeak nestled in between the trees and branches with a fixed, proud look on its face, and slightly bowing his head as the visitors pass by. The ride has several turns and dips along the way that carry you around the Hogwarts Ground. At the end of the ride, Hagrid thanks the riders as they disembark from the magical journey.
Details of the Ride Flight of the Hippogriff
It is a slow coaster with a speed of 28.5mph, a height of 42.7 ft. and length of 1,099.1 ft. The duration of the ride is one minute and six seconds. It does have a mild thrill factor but doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping like the incredible hulk coaster, or the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. The subtle and relaxing speed gives you enough time to enjoy and soak in the magical wizarding world around you.
The height limit for this ride is 36 inches. You’ll need adult supervision for individuals of under 48 inches height as they are not allowed to ride alone. It is essentially a family ride that you can enjoy with your kids. Universal Express Passes are available for this ride, but it doesn’t have a single rider line.
You won’t find the waiting time to be that long for the ride, even on busy days the wait time is 40 minutes at most because of the swift nature of the ride. It is wheelchair accessible, and the individuals should transfer from the wheelchair to the ride. Assistive listening and closed captioning is also available for the guests. You can opt for child swap if you want to ride the coaster alone and leave your little one on the loading platform, accompanied by another adult of the family.
There are test seats available to check if you can ride this coaster, as it can’t accommodate certain body dimensions. You can ask the greeter to assist you with the test seats if required. It is a great outdoor family roller coaster with a decent punch and mild thrill factor.
How Long is the Wait for the Flight of the Hippogriff?
The wait time for this ride is 40 minutes on average, even on busy days. During slower days, you can hop on the ride within 15 minutes, but during peak hours on busy days, the wait time can go up to 75-90 minutes. It is best to ride this coaster when the park opens or late afternoon after lunch. If you are staying within the property, you can access the early park admissions exclusive to the guests staying at one of the Universal’s resorts and have a go on your favorite rides before the crowd starts pouring in.
The ride is located at a prominent spot in Hogsmeade, so you can’t miss it. Even if the queue is long, you’ll enjoy the views and experience along the way. It is quite a treat for all the Potterheads. The ride and the area surrounding it is intricately detailed to give you a real wizarding world experience. The helpers and greeters are also strictly in character at all times.
Another great time to have a go at this ride is when the Forbidden Forest and the Hogwarts castle sparkle at night. Even if you’ve taken the ride several times during the day, it will seem entirely new with this breathtaking view.
Tips and Considerations for the Flight of the Hippogriff
You can take your bag and belongings with you to the ride along with any other loose articles as the speed isn’t as fast on the ride. The leg space is not very spacious though, so make sure you are not too stuffed at your seat. There are two people per row, and with extra stuff and handbags, the seats can get too congested and take away from the relaxing and fun experience the ride has to offer.
There are many things that a Potterhead can spot on the way to the ride. For example, you will find Buckbeak perched between broken branches along the queue. You may take a minute while passing by the Hippogriff to approach it and bow down gently as a reenactment of the Harry Potter scene. Hagrid will be teary and proud! Of course, being a fan of the series or having knowledge about the backstory isn’t necessary to enjoy this fun ride. That’s the beauty of Universal; it welcomes the wizards and muggles alike.
The dining options around the Flight of Hippogriff include the infamous Hogs Head Pub and the Three Broomsticks where you can enjoy large jugs of warm and frothy Butterbeer. Hogsmeade also has a great line of shopping options, filled with harry potter merchandise and memorabilia to take back with you after the vacations. Don’t forget to get a Buckbeak plush from one of the shops at Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley as a keepsake.
Is Parent Swap Available For Flight of the Hippogriff?
Yes, parent swap is available although you can go with one of your kids. In our case, that means the older two only get to go once but the younger one kids two rides one with dad and one with mom.
Sometimes you get lucky and can the older two get to ride it twice. But, this doesn’t always get to happen.