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    I have never been a fan of Harry Potter and I don’t think I will ever be , but when I heard they had a dueling roller coaster at Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida in the United States, this caught my attention. It’s the only dueling roller coaster in the world.  The ride has a theme of two dragons battling out on steel tracks. One being the “Chinese Fireball” and the other being “Hungarian Horntail”. The two trains share adjacent lift hills which separate at the top before the drop, into two separate rollercoasters. The great thing about this ride is that it feature three near misses between both trains, which brings the riders feet inches away from collision. That’s quite scary no?

    You have probably guessed who manufactured the ride by now. Yes of course it is! Bolliger & Mabillard.  Both rides run at different speeds to keep the duration of the ride the same on both tracks, making it last for two minutes and twenty five seconds.  “Chinese Fireball” dragon reaches a top speed of 63mph and the “Hungarian Horntail” reaches top speeds of 57 mph.

    The ride opened on June 1, 2010 and officially opened with “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” area on June 18, 2010 with its grand opening. When the park opened on May 28, 1999, the ride was called “Dueling Dragons” and was situated in The Lost Continent area with the two coasters named ‘Fire and Ice’.

    The rides queue has great theming, but extremely long. God I hate queues! It splits into two,  for the different coasters. At this meeting, riders would turn right to ride on the Ice Dragon and left for Fire Dragon. You see that would not bother me really, I would just go on the ride with the least amount of people on it, as they are practically the same.

    The restraints on the Chinese Fireball trains are yellow, and the Hungarian Horntail trains’ restraints are blue. However, the front row restraints on both sides are pink, as they represent the dragons’ mouths. Every train has two seats (rows 3 & 6) designed to fit guests with “certain larger body dimensions. In other words, If your fat, use those seats!

    At the top of the lift hill, Chinese Fireball drops to the left, away from Hungarian Horntail , into an Immelmann loop. Leaving the Immelmann, the ride passes over an airtime hill, crossing over Hungarian Horntail’s Zero G-roll which is the first near miss! Chinese Fireball then proceeds into a unique element called a warp around Immelmann, which is like an Immelmann loop but with a sharper pull-out curve. Riders on Chinese Fireball then enter a straight section of track, with front seat riders seeing the Hungarian Horntail Dragon train speeding almost right towards Chinese Fireball’s train. At the last second, the Chinese Fireball train pulls up into a vertical loop which is the second near miss. Leaving the vertical loop, Chinese Fireball riders round a left hand turn leading into the first corkscrew, which interlocks with the only corkscrew on Hungarian Horntail Dragon. That’s the third near miss. After another turn, the track passes through the second corkscrew, before hitting the final brake run.

    At the top of the lift hill, Hungarian Horntail drops to the right, away from Chinese Fireball. Unlike other Bolliger and Mabillard inverted roller coasters, Hungarian Horntail does not feature an inversion right

     

    Quick Info:

    Current Coaster Name: Dragon Challenge
    Current Park Name: Universal Studios
    Previous Ride Name(s): Fire & Ice
    Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
    Status: Operating
    Links: http://www.universalorlando.com/home/harrypotter.aspx
    Cost: N/A

    Technical Info:

    Type: Steel Inverted Dueling
    Opened: May 28th , 1999
    Designer: Bolliger & Mabillard
    Features: Dueling Themed

                                         Chinese Fireball                           Hungarian Horntail

    Height:                        125 ft (38.1 m)                                          125 ft (38.1 m)
    Max Drop:                 115 ft (35.1 m)                                           95 ft (29 m)
    Length:                      3200 ft (975.4 m)                                    3200 ft (975.4 m)
    Max Speed:               60 mph (96.6 km/h)                               55 mph (88.5 km/h)
    Acceleration:           N/A
    Inversions:               5                                                                   5
    Duration:                  2.25                                                              2.25
    Trains:                        3                                                                   3
    Capacity:                   N/A

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