Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Mon May 12, 2014 9:31 pm

Official Press Release:


Grand Opening Date for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley to be Announced at a Later Date

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 13, 2014) – Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed details about Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – the revolutionary attraction found in the heart of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. The Grand Opening date for the spectacularly themed environment will be announced at a later date.

Imagine being part of the iconic moment from the Harry Potter film series where Harry, Ron and Hermione break into one of the most guarded places in the wizarding world – Gringotts bank – to retrieve a magical object that will help defeat Lord Voldemort. You’ve seen the action on-screen, and now you get to be part of it.

Universal’s creative team worked hand-in-hand with Stuart Craig and his production team from the Harry Potter films to immerse guests in this pivotal scene from the final Harry Potter book and film.

During an action-packed, fully-immersive journey on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, you will:
- Marvel at the 60-foot, fire-breathing Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon atop Gringotts Wizarding Bank
- Tour Gringotts bank and pass through the marble hall where you’ll see goblins hard at work
- Race through a labyrinth of underground Gringotts vaults
- Encounter the villainous Death Eater, Bellatrix Lestrange, as she attempts to send you to your doom
- Come face to face with He Who Must Not Be Named
- Experience even more mind-blowing moments

The multi-dimensional, multi-sensory attraction, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, will revolutionize theme park entertainment. This next generation thrill ride seamlessly integrates a compilation of the most innovative technology ever created, 360-degree themed sets, 4K digital high-definition animation, state-of-the-art 3-D Infitec projection systems and live special effects with beloved characters and breathtaking moments from the Harry Potter books and films.

“Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts will change the way you think about theme park attractions,” said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. “We’ve created an entirely new type of ride that propels guests into the story like never before, and guests will remember it long after their visit to Diagon Alley.”

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley will bring even more of Harry Potter’s adventures to life. The new area will double the size of the sweeping land already found at Universal Orlando, expanding the spectacularly themed environment across both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Inside the land, guests will enjoy themed shops, dining experiences and the groundbreaking thrill ride – Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
For additional information about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit http://www.UniversalOrlando.com/WizardingWorld.


And check out this video, too!

Another article: http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog/2014/05/death-eaters-dragons-goblins-your-insider-guide-to.html?page=all

Trolls, dragons, Death Eaters and He Who Must Not Be Named!

Have I got your attention? Well, those are some of the things Universal Orlando Resort guests will see on the new Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley.

I talked to Universal Creative's Thierry Coup on what guests can expect on the main ride at the upcoming expansion — which has yet to reveal its summer opening date, but will provide a key economic boost to Central Florida's $50 billion tourism and travel industry.

"Gringotts, I always said after watching the first film, was a ride waiting to happen. Everybody would say we had to do a ride on this," he told me.

The ride's story kicks off during the events of the final Harry Potter book where (spoilers) Harry, Ron and Hermione are searching the labyrinths — sans creepy David Bowie — of Gringotts Wizarding Bank to find a tool, called a "Horcrux," to defeat Lord Voldemort.

It just happens Muggle guests — that's you and me — are entering the marble halls of Gringotts at the same time looking to open new accounts when we are thrown into the mix of a magical battle between Harry and his friends and tons of dangers. That includes a 60-foot, fire-breathing Ukranian Ironbelly dragon atop the bank.

"You will run into some serious trouble because [Death Eater] Bellatrix Lestrange finds out there are imposters trying to impersonate her and trouble starts. That's when we are sent deeper into the lower parts of Gringotts under London, and we run into security trolls, dragons, Bellatrix and, eventually, the dark Lord Voldemort," Coup said.

The dark coaster ride takes about four minutes and each car fits 12 people. However, he said the experience starts in the pre-show where guests will interact and see the goblins of Gringotts working hard at counting the contents of their vaults.

In addition, guests will see a marriage of animatronics and special effects, 360-degree themed sets, cutting-edge digital animation and 3-D projections all together at once in the ride to truly understand the magic Harry and his friends experienced in the movies.

The opening date for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has yet to be announced, but it is expected to happen sometime this June and will have a major economic return for tourism businesses.

And yet another article:

Slashfilm also has a VERY interesting article with a few more details:

I took note of this part, though:
The Unexpected Second Ride in This Attraction: The Gringotts Elevators

The Gringotts ride is not the only ride guests will take inside this attraction. Guests will board a set of elevators which will take them down “30,000 feet to the subterranean Gringotts vaults.” Gilmore says these elevators are a ride in themselves:

Thats a very cool trick that Universal has designed with the filmmakers — where you actually ride elevators. They are really cool elevators, and thats a really cool show in its own right. You arrive in a little station in the caverns where you board your car.

That description of the elevators and the boarding area could be word for word how I would describe Journey to the Center of the Earth at Tokyo DisneySea. Not that that's a bad thing, but I guess I hope it plays out a bit more "original" and different than that, you know?

And Universal now seems to be backing off on calling it a "roller coaster"
Don’t Call It a Roller Coaster — Its a Completely New Ride System

12 guests will board a car on tracks for the four-minute long Harry Potter and Escape from Gringotts ride, but Universal Orlando officials are refusing to call the attraction a “roller coaster.”

Its a new system, it replicates the tracks below Gringotts from the movie — you feel like you’re on those tracks spiraling around. Because the ride is fully 3D, the scenery is very big in this one, the 3D screens are much bigger than normal, so its a new way to pass through a ride. Its a whole new system. You can go very quickly. You go various speeds, and there are scenes and you pick up many moments from the story. When you’re going at high speeds it can be very exciting. The whole thing is quite new.

The ride also features new projector technology and a nearly 360-degree screen which will help immerse riders in the story at one point.

And apparently Universal have released the height restriction for the ride: 42" aimed at being a little more of a "family ride" than Forbidden Journey.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts — the signature attraction found in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando — will open this summer.
The ride, which takes guests through the underground labyrinths of Gringotts, lasts four minutes and will seat up to 12 people.
Guests will come face-to-face with dragons, maybe even that Ukranian Ironbelly that's perched above the bank's exterior.
Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange isn't going to let us get away with trying to bring an end to her master, Lord Voldemort.
Universal Orlando will also be able to show off the detail of its Gringotts goblins animatronics, which are pretty realistic.
Guests will interact with goblins as they are there to help the Muggles open up accounts.
So what is your policy if I plan to close my Gringotts account? Oh, I get to meet that dragon? Gotcha, no thanks.
HP and the Escape from Gringotts 2.jpg
Higher Res Version of the ride vehicle.
Last edited by robbalvey on Tue May 13, 2014 12:02 pm.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Jew » Mon May 12, 2014 11:37 pm

I don't know what any of that means, but the detail looks to be impressive again.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby KBrylczyk » Mon May 12, 2014 11:47 pm

^ It means something that will be a ton of fun that I'll wait about a year to bother visiting so as to avoid 6 hour lines.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby rosscoe » Tue May 13, 2014 1:01 am

Sounds amazing, haven't been since 2010, might need to make a return in the fall of this year.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby arby » Tue May 13, 2014 5:24 am

Looks great! I hope that Universal continues to step up their game in the future.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby robbalvey » Tue May 13, 2014 5:36 am

And apparently Universal have released the height restriction for the ride: 42" aimed at being a little more of a "family ride" than Forbidden Journey.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Chris Benvenuto » Tue May 13, 2014 6:28 am

September 2015 can't come fast enough! I've been looking forward to hearing more about this. It looks really nice and still tickles at my dormant love for Harry Potter all these years later. :p

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Hilltopper39 » Tue May 13, 2014 7:02 am

robbalvey wrote:And apparently Universal have released the height restriction for the ride: 42" aimed at being a little more of a "family ride" than Forbidden Journey.

It will be interesting to see how "intense" the ride will actually be. I'm imaging a physical ride experience similar to the Mummy but it sounds like some of the interactive elements might be pretty intense (dragon, Voldemort, etc.). The detail looks amazing regardless.

I might have to finally open my bank account and get a room at the Hard Rock with a 2 day 2 park ticket later this summer and check out all of this stuff I've missed over the years...

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby The Westate » Tue May 13, 2014 8:37 am

Funny how when I first saw the movie, I thought that scene would make a great coaster.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby krakenmaniac » Tue May 13, 2014 8:59 am

I was expecting more of a roller coaster with a chunk that is motion based, but now I'm feeling its going to be mostly motion based with rollercoaster parts at the beginning and end. I'm not dissapointed but it just wasn't what I was expecting. But overall from what we have seen this ride looks amazing. This new technology looks insanely fun, and a great combination of two ride systems!

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