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Ride / Dueling Dragons

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"Past this point of no return, your only choice is freeze or burn."

Dueling Dragons was the name of a former pair of dueling roller coasters at Universal's Islands of Adventure. It opened with the park on May 28, 1999.

The story of the attraction centered around two dragons, Pyrock and Blizzrock, one of fire and one of ice, who are locked in everlasting combat over control of the land's castle and its loot. The wizard Merlin, having lost much of his magic over the years, is powerless to stop them and is only able to warn people looking to slay the dragons of the fate that awaits them. The riders served the role of these people, seeking to either stop or tame these dragons and bring peace to the land once again.

In 2010, the attraction's surrounding Merlinwood area was replaced with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As a result, it was renamed Dragon Challenge and re-themed to focus on the Hungarian Horntail and the Chinese Fireball from the Tri-Wizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In 2011, due to two separate incidents believed to be caused by loose objects falling from the ride, the dueling aspect of the coasters was removed. Six years later, the coasters closed permanently on September 4, 2017 to make way for a new coaster called Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Another six years after that, Universal Studios Florida temporarily resurrected the ride's story as a haunted house at Halloween Horror Nights in 2023, Dueling Dragons: Choose Thy Fate.

Dueling Dragons provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Title: Dueling Dragons.
  • An Ice Person: Blizzrock is a dragon with the ability to breathe ice rather than fire.
  • The Cassandra: Merlin is this, as the knights that ignored his constant warnings of the dragons met with either a fiery or icy end.
  • Color-Coded Elements: The fire coaster was colored red, while the ice coaster was colored blue.
  • Dolled-Up Instalment: The Dragon Challenge version of the ride, which is very lightly rethemed to fit the world of Harry Potter but is otherwise the same.
  • Dragons Are Demonic: Both dragons in the coaster were depicted as entities of pure evil.
  • Dragon Riders: To restore peace to the Merlinwood, guests are tasked with becoming these by taming the dragon of their choice, represented by the appropriate coaster.
  • Elemental Rivalry: The plot of the coaster centered around two dragons of opposite elemental abilities that are forever locked in combat.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Both of the fighting dragons are as equally sinister as one another.
  • Fire/Ice Duo: The attraction starred dragons of fire and ice.
  • Gratuitous Latin: There was a sign that read "Choose thy fate" that was written in both English and Latin. note 
  • Last Chance to Quit: Just as guests approached the point where they would choose a side, Merlin's voice could be heard warning them that now is their last chance to turn back.
  • Meaningful Name: The fire and ice dragons are respectively named Pyrock and Blizzrock.
  • Public Domain Character: Along with the rest of the Lost Continent, this ride was not based on any type of owned intellectual property, instead drawing inspiration from various types of mythology.
  • Rewatch Bonus: With two coasters, this attraction was essentially two rides in one. In turn, guests could get in line twice to experience both.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Merlin in the queue line spoke almost entirely in rhyme, saying things like, "If you continue along this path, you will face the dragons' wrath."
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: The queue line was set in a ruined castle that had been overtaken by the two dragons.
  • Spell Book: The queue contained Merlin's spell book, filled with his attempts at making the dragons go away via incantations.
  • Tagline: "Choose thy fate."
  • This Way to Certain Death: The queue line was filled with the bodies of the knights who had previously tried to slay the dragons, leaving out a warning to all those coming to the castle.