For many years Dueling Dragons (in particular Fire) @ Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida, was my favourite steel coaster – quite a claim when I had ridden over 700 coasters. It wasn’t one particular thing about it I liked, but the combination of the whole package, from the entrance, to the queue line to the ride itself. I spent my 40th birthday riding it and, on the last ride of the day, all the operators gathered around the returning train and sung me “Happy Birthday”.
When Universal transformed the area into “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” DD was re-themed to Dragon Challenge. The familiar entrance was lost forever. Don’t get me wrong, I love the whole new area but a part of me was also lost with the remodel. The original re-ride entrance (used on quieter days) doesn’t seem to be used any longer, meaning a long walk through the castle for each re-ride. On my last visit, only one-train operation each side and only 2-3 rows filling each train, yet we still had to do the entire walk each time.
Finally, in late 2001, the Orlando Sentinel reported Universal had decided never to duel the dragons again. To me, this was the final straw and the end of a big part of my coaster life. I’m sure Universal have their reasons and I don’t want to use this website to explore that. These pages are all about remembering those years Dueling Dragons gave us all so much fun and enjoyment. If you have any pictures / video / memories to share / comments etc. you wouldn’t mind sharing on these pages then please get in touch.
Lance Hart, Screamscape
"Universal Orlando's twin dragon coasters will never 'duel' again"
Jason Garcia, Orlando Sentinel