Dragon Challenge Closing at Islands of Adventure

Dragon Challenge closing at Universal's Islands of AdventureThe Universal Orlando Resort blog confirmed a bombshell rumor that has been circulating for months: Dragon Challenge, formerly known as Dueling Dragons, will be removed from the park this September.

The iconic dueling inverted coaster’s removal will make room for a “new generation of thrill ride” that will open in 2019.

The blog post reads:

“This all-new thrill ride will take you deeper into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, where you will encounter some of your favorite characters and creatures. It’ll be unlike anything we’ve ever done before and it will be fun for the entire family.”

The new attraction will be one of the most highly-themed coaster experiences we’ve created. It will combine a new level of storytelling with an action-packed adventure…and a few surprises along the way.

“Our award-winning Universal Creative team is once again collaborating with Warner Bros. and the production design team from the Harry Potter films to bring this new coaster experience to life. This ride is going to redefine the category and transport you to thrilling places, drawing you into even more exciting adventures within the wizarding world.”

Dragon Challenge’s last day of operation will be September 4, 2017.

The Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) dueling inverted coasters opened with Islands of Adventure on May 28, 1999 as “Dueling Dragons.” It was renamed “Dragon Challenge” in 2010, coinciding with the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Both inverted coasters stand 125 feet tall and feature 3,200 feet of track. The red “Chinese Fireball” track reaches a top speed of 60 mph while the blue “Hungarian Hortail” reaches 55 mph. Both feature five inversions.

For many years, the two coasters actually dueled and featured many “near-miss” moments. But the dueling ceased after flying loose objects from one train injured two riders in another train (in separate accidents).

If the coaster is not reopened, it will become the first B&M coaster to be removed. Seven B&M coasters have been relocated, and Islands of Adventure’s Incredible Hulk had all of its track replaced in 2016.

What are your thoughts on Dragon Challenge’s removal? Discuss in the comments section below.

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8 Responses

  1. zachary blauch says:

    another park should buy them

  2. Zachary says:

    Zachary Blauch, it would be very costly for another park to buy them, and it would take all of the good stuff out of Dueling Dragons if parks bought them seperatly.

  3. Heidi says:

    I think they should leave the ride alone and if they want to add a new ride take out The Lost Continent.

  4. Zachary says:

    I agree Heidi!

  5. Nick says:

    If the tracks our at the end of their fatigue life then they won’t be selling them to anything but the scrap heap. Rumored replacements are a Mack powered inverted spinning coaster or an Intamin motorbike coaster.

  6. Anthony says:

    Hmmm, I think the Mack powered inverted spinning coaster would work well with the theme, but I can’t really see the Intamin motorbike

  7. James says:

    They could maybe do something with a quidditch theme if they go with the Intamin motorbike

  8. Yongster says:

    I hate that such a iconic coaster will not be around any more. I last rode these two in 2007. I probably got spoiled by Montu just down the road at BGT back then but I never got to ride it again.

    BTW, I thought Flashback at SFMM was the first B&M coaster to be removed.

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