In the magical place known as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, a new ride features a creature who never made it into any of the Harry Potter movies. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, an immersive roller coaster, opened on June 13—and according to Polygon, one factor that makes the ride so special is that it includes the Blast-Ended Skrewt, a creature from the books who never managed to make the jump to the big screen.
Avid readers will remember meeting the Blast-Ended Skrewt in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when Hagrid teaches his Care of Magical Creatures class. The creatures are a cross between Manticores and Fire Crabs. Since they are a hybrid and potentially dangerous, the Skrewts are illegal.
Sneaky Rita Skeeter becomes interested in the creatures when she promises Hagrid she’ll write a feature on them for the Daily Prophet if he lets her interview him, but it doesn’t happen. The Skrewts also show up in the third task of the Triwizard Tournament, and it becomes clear that they were bred for the purpose of competition.
The creatures also appear in the video game for Goblet of Fire, yet Warner Bros. never included them in the film adaptation. Instead, during the competition, the hedges become the threats to the competitors. (Boring!)
But the Skrewts are finally having their moment as part of the new roller coaster. “Skrewts aren’t afraid to attack other Skrewts they encounter and have incredibly strong armor that can’t be penetrated by spells,” Universal said in a statement.
On the ride, the creatures function as the "main lesson for the day" and have a distinct smell of rotting flesh. Immersive indeed!