|Park||Islands of Adventure|
|Park section||The Wizarding World of Harry Potter|
|Opening date||June 18, 2010|
Ride history Edit
Dueling Dragons (1999-2010)Edit
Dragon Challenge originally opened in 1999, and was one of Islands of Adventure's opening day attractions. The two coaster tracks were named Ice and Fire, and the ride operated on the Lost Continent island of the park.
In 2007, Islands of Adventure announced their plans to build The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the park's seventh island, themed after J.K. Rowling's famous Harry Potter series. It was announced that Dueling Dragons would be rethemed into Dragon Challenge, and the nearby Flying Unicorn would be rethemed to Flight of the Hippogriff.
Dragon Challenge (2010 - Present)Edit
On May 1, 2010, Islands of Adventure closed Dueling Dragons in preparation for its retheming. Queue construction began in the final trimester of 2009. Ice and Fire were renamed to Chinese Fireball and Hungarian Horntail, two dragon species featured in the Harry Potter series. Two weeks later, on March 18, 2010, the coasters soft opened with their new theming. On June 18, 2010, alongside the entire island, Dragon Challenge opened to the public.
Before being rethemed, the queue was themed as an old castle/dungeon where the dragons lived. The present attraction's queue has many references to Harry Potter. Guests can view a numerous amount of banners promoting the Triwizard Tournament, showing support for the four contestants. Next, guests encounter the famous enchanted Ford Anglia crashed by Harry Potter and Ron Weasley into the Whomping Willow on their way to Hogwarts. They then enter the Champions' Tent. From there, guests pass a large pedestal, the Triwizard Cup sitting at the top, and several "dark" tunnels which eventually lead to the two stations. Just before entering the ride, guests must select which coaster to ride.
The train makes a slight left turn and starts its ascent up the 125-foot lift hill. The train then enters a small pre-drop, famous on B&M coasters, before making a 115-foot, right-hand drop to the ground, followed by a 270-degree overbanked turn to the right. Following the overbanked turn is a zero-g roll, one of three near-miss points with Hungarian Horntail. The train then makes a small right turn heading straight for a wall before entering a cobra roll, before making a slight downwards left turn into an Immelmann loop. After a downwards right helix, the train enters a vertical loop, the second near-miss point. The train then finally makes a right turn and enters the final near-miss point, a corkscrew, followed by a small drop and another corkscrew. Next, the train makes a right turn, followed by a left turn into the final brake run.
The train makes a slight right turn and starts its ascent up the 125-foot lift hill. The train the enters a small pre-drop, famous on B&M coasters, before making a 95-foot, right-hand drop to the ground, followed by a 270-degree overbanked turn to the right. Following the overbanked turn is a zero-g roll, one of three near-miss points with Chinese Fireball. The train then makes a slight right turn heading straight for a wall before entering a cobra roll. The train then enters the second near-miss point: a vertical loop. Next, the train makes a right turn leading to the final near-miss point: a corkscrew. Next, the train makes a left turn, followed by a right turn into the final brake run.
- During its time as Dueling Dragons, the coaster was the only fully dueling coaster in the world.
- The majority of guests prefer the Chinese Fireball track.
- The ride has not been dueling since two accidents occured in Summer 2011.
- Dragon Challenge is mainly themed after the Triwizard Tournament featured in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth book in the series.
- One cycle on both tracks last 2 minutes, 25 seconds.
- Both tracks are approximately 3,200 feet long.
- Chinese Fireball is faster by 5mph and is 20 feet longer than Hungarian Horntail, courtesy of the drop.
- Both trains resemble dragons of their track's representative colors.
- The weight of the trains determine which coaster is dispatched first, so the coasters meet at the trio of near-miss points along the ride layout.
References to Harry Potter Edit
The ride, in many ways, references the world-famous series, Harry Potter.
|Item||On-Ride Location||Book/Film Appearance||Story|
|Flying Ford Anglia||Queue||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets||After missing the Hogwarts Express, Ron and Harry enchant Mr. and Mrs. Weasley's Ford Anglia to transport them to Hogwarts. Upon reaching Hogwarts, the car crashes into the school's infamous Whomping Willow, and is immediately destroyed.|
|Triwizard Tournament||Ride theme/Queue||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire||Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory participate in the Triwizard Tournament, a wizard tournament with obstacles such as retrieving a golden egg, flying a dragon (thus the ride theme), etc. Harry and Cedric both win alongside two other people, but Cedric is killed by Voldemort shortly after.|
|Hungarian Horntail & Chinese Fireball||Track names||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire||In the Triwizard Tournament, Harry Potter performs the Second Task aboard a Hungarian Horntail, and Viktor Krum, a Triwizard contestant, faced the Fireball in the First Task.|
Golden Ticket AwardsEdit