Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grand Opening Of The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Set For June 18 - Details on " Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey " ride !

One of the most widely anticipated theme park entertainment experiences ever created - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort - is set for a public grand opening on June 18. Universal Orlando Resort also revealed details about what is expected to be one the most exciting theme park experiences ever created: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The ride will be one of three themed attractions within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge.

Here is the Universal orlando press release with new pictures showing Hogwarts castle decor:

Grand Opening Of The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Orlando Resort Set For June 18

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the heart of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This all new adventure combines a powerful storyline with spectacular new technology so effectively that guests will be completely immersed in the experience.

And as they live their adventure, guests will feel things no one has ever felt inside a theme park attraction, move in ways no one has ever moved, experience film like no one else ever has, explore vast sets punctuated by amazing special effects - and have an adventure only possible in Harry Potter's world.

The new attraction lies deep within Hogwarts castle, a majestic structure that towers over The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - the only place in the world where the wonder, excitement and adventure of the Harry Potter books and films comes to life.

The Adventure


...meeting Harry, Ron and Hermione as if they were in person

...soaring over Hogwarts castle with Harry

...being swept into a Quidditch match

...feeling the chilling effect of a Dementor

...exploring your favorite places inside Hogwarts castle adventures you've only been able to imagine - until now.

The Story

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey draws you into the excitement and chaos of Harry's life. As you venture through Hogwarts castle, you meet Harry, Ron and Hermione who convince you to skip a planned lecture and follow them. Upon taking their advice, you travel by Floo powder, and begin the adventure as you soar over Hogwarts, narrowly escape a dragon attack, have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow, get pulled into a Quidditch match and more.

"Guests will experience firsthand a completely new adventure featuring the iconic characters, amazing creatures and recognizable locations they've only read in the books or seen in the films," said Thierry Coup, creative director for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The Location

The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey experience starts as soon as you walk through the gates of Hogwarts. Within the towering Hogwarts castle, you explore a truly magical place. You journey through iconic locations taken from the films and take in the extraordinary detail of each scene. They include:

- Dumbledore's office: Here, you meet the Headmaster as he welcomes you to Hogwarts

- Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom: Where you first meet Harry, Ron and Hermione
- Gryffindor common room: You meet three additional characters who prepare you for your journey
- Room of Requirement: Here, with hundreds of floating candles above, you take your seat on an enchanted bench and begin the Forbidden Journey

- Other locations: In addition, guests will pass through the Dungeon passageway and hallways of Hogwarts where they will have the chance to see hundreds of wizard portraits from the films, including several magical talking portraits created exclusively for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the four founders of Hogwarts. Guests will even get a glimpse of the Sorting Hat.

The excellent Mugglenet website have more details about this amazing room: "The portrait gallery is a very tall room perhaps only ten feet wide. On each of the four walls? Portraits of each of the four founders of Hogwarts.... and they move. And they talk. These portraits are unlike anything I thought was possible to do outside of the movies. For the portraits move, but their surface looks like dried oil on canvas. Also, they travel. Other portraits in this hall leave their frames and enter the portraits of others', often generating an immediate response of reproach from whoever is being disturbed. It is clever, and well-synced. It is J.K. Rowling's books brought to life."

The Innovation

This is more than just an attraction and it is unlike any theme park experience ever created. It's a revolutionary, 360-degree theme park experience and first-ever combination of live-action, advanced robotic technology and innovative filmmaking - specially designed and developed for this brand-new adventure.

"We have created an entirely new way to place our guests into the heart of one of the most compelling stories of our time," said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. "What we have done will forever change the theme park attraction experience."

The attraction's newly created ride system envelops guests in filmed action scenes and moves those scenes with them as they travel through the ride, allowing more time in the center of the adventure and with their favorite characters. This fusion of robotic technology and filmed scenes has never been achieved until now. In some cases, technology had to be invented to achieve the highest level of guest experience. The combination of pioneering, state-of-the-art technology, innovative filmmaking and surprises around every corner make this attraction the embodiment of the Harry Potter book and film series-and the future of theme park entertainment.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Quick Facts

- Storyline: As you venture through Hogwarts, you meet Harry, Ron and Hermione, who convince you to skip a planned lecture and follow them. Upon taking their advice you travel by Floo powder, and begin your adventure as you soar over Hogwarts, narrowly escape a dragon attack, have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow, get pulled into a Quidditch match and more.

- First-ever combination of advanced robotic ride system technology with innovative, immersive filmmaking

- Award-winning composer John Williams oversaw the creation of the attraction's score

- The queue includes the following Harry Potter book and film elements: Headmaster Dumbledore's office, Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, Gryffindor common room, Room of Requirement, and the greenhouse; talking portraits including the Fat Lady and the never-before-seen four founders: Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Helga Hufflepuff and Rowena Ravenclaw; the Sorting Hat, the One-Eyed Witch statue and the Mirror of Erised

- Duration of ride: The full attraction experience, including the queue, takes about an hour

- Number of scenes in the attraction: 12

- Characters (featuring Harry Potter film talent): Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid and Draco Malfoy

- You may also catch a glimpse of Fred and George Weasley, Ginny Weasley and Neville Longbottom

That's the end of the press release but Universal also released today this short video where actors and President of Universal Creative talks about the ride.

Also released this CGI video takes you through Hogsmeade Village to Hogwarts castle.

I strongly recommand the reading of the Mugglenet article as they had a preview of the sets and you will find many more details about the ride (show and pre-show).

My feeling is that WDW should really worry about this new Harry Potter land as i think the land and specially the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride will be awesome and probably extremely successful!

Pictures and Videos: copyright Universal Studios Orlando


Anonymous said...

People come to Orlando for Disney. No doubt people will try to get a visit in to IOA. But it is only 2 new attractions and a repurposing of an existing one.

The new attraction SOUNDS great but many people pumped up how great The Mummy attraction was and that was a real snoozer. I hope it is as good as people are hoping. Real innovation and competition means better things for theme park consumers.

Owen said...

OMG - Amazing!

Been looking at this for a while now and never seen it look or sound this good. If it is what they are promising - it may become THE best theme park.

Anything is possible.....

Anonymous said...

This definitely blows the meet and greet expansion with The Little Mermaid at The Magic Kingdom out of the water. I’m thrilled to see no photo opportunities billed as attractions in the new Harry Potter expansion of Islands of Adventure and this new land looks amazing. Even the re-themeing of Dragons Challenge and Flight of the Hippogriff are miles above the experience of dancing with Cinderella then getting her autograph and two spinning Dumbo rides. The main attractions list of innovations is something Walt Disney would have done rather than another dark ride based on another property such as The Little Mermaid. My three kids are so excited about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and could care less about the Fantasyland expansion in the Magic Kingdom. That’s a sad statement for the innovation level of Imagineering.

Regarding the Mummy comment. Let’s see . . . are people more impressed with the new Space Mountain renovation or the Mummy? What do you think a kid would prefer, a family style roller coaster in a dark room or a coaster filled with a animatronics, sets, environments, and special effects? Besides, the Mummy won a THEA award, the equivalent of an Academy Award for the theme park industry, that dose not happen for an attraction that’s a ‘snoozer.

Anonymous said...

I agree... the expansion of Fantasyland at WDW is nothing compared to The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter. Potter is mostly a whole new theme park experience, fans or not, people will flock over to see it. Heck, their was a Super Bowl ad spot for it.

Fans would love just to visit and walk the streets of Potter world. Just like JP fans love walking in the Visitors Center in the JP area!

Now, come on, one must admit. The expansion at WDW is a waste of money. Plus, MOSTLY targeted to FEMALE girls. Do boys really want to meet/greet & dress like Disney princes? No! (unless there gay) Does WDW really need 2 Dumbo rides? No! Etc, etc. The only E-Ticket attraction will be the copy cat of The Little Mermaid ride, which California Adventure will get first!


Alain Littaye said...

I wish i could tell you more about the Little Mermaid ride for WDW, but you might be surprised how some elements will be different from the DCA version.

The ride itself will probably be the same than at DCA, but at WDW the Little Mermaid exterior decor will be totally different AND most of all the queue decor and the boarding room will be unique and GREAT, believe me. The queue decor will be almost an attraction in itself. The best Little Mermaid version will be definitely the one at WDW.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous. Last time I checked it out, females were girls and vice versa! lol
I think both attractions are exciting - I don't even try to compare them.

Marco Antonio Garcia. São Paulo, Brazil. said...

I think that there is no point in discussing each one is the best (Disney or Universal), since they are both great and one completes the other.
The expansion that I am more looking forward in Disney is the California Adventure one, cars land seems amazing, and it is certainly aimed towards boys.
Anyway, the MK expansion also looks good and I am sure that it is going to be a big success, especially amongst the young female public.