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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 621: 2022 Holiday offerings announced!

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Hi, I'm new, and I'd like to add my two cents...

Universal never said it would be a whole theme park, and theme park enthusiasts should know better than to think others will be disappointed. Disney would have done a very crummy job in my opinion, they would have had all baby rides... Universal is perfect for this, they can do big thrill rides. And for another thing, it's not the size of "half an island". It's about the same size as most of the other islands.

 

Universal has not let me down so far, and I'm not only a Harry Potter fan, I'm a huge theme park fan (duh). People who are NOT fans may be even more amazed at it because of the things they are going to have. They are going to have the craziest things there, and if anyone wants info on the section, I am up to date about info on the park, so anyone needing info can ask me.

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^Would they have put a giant water fountain show in as well!!?

 

One can only dream.

 

Universal never said it would be a whole theme park, and theme park enthusiasts should know better than to think others will be disappointed. Disney would have done a very crummy job in my opinion, they would have had all baby rides...

 

First off Welcome to the site!

 

I think the biggest problem is the people who not not the die-hard harry Potter fans or theme park enthusiasts, and Elissa summed it up perfectly with her mom, is the way it's being advertised makes it seem like it's a whole new park being built instead of another Island (regardless of it's actual size). While I doubt it'll lead to miles of angry guests complaining, I do feel a lot of those "not in the know" will be slightly disappointed by it's size.

 

I like the you also equate Disney with baby rides only LOL!

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Sorry about my comment about Disney only housing baby rides, that was out of line... I actually quite like Disney, I just think that a Harry Potter section is more suited to Universal mainly because of the Harry Potter darkness factor... And yes, while the commercials were a bit misleading at first (theme park within a theme park) they are not misleading now. If you only judged from the commercials now, and you think it's a whole extra theme park, you jump to conclusions to quick. However, the immersion in this will make you feel like it's a whole separate park and I'm relatively sure it will cause other non fans to become interested in the series. I hope everyone visits it and likes it, I really honestly believe it's going to be, if possible, more fun for non-fans of Harry Potter...

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I really don't think it is being overhyped I think they are doing things just right with the marketing. And they don't say it is a new theme park but people just seem to be reading it off as such.

 

Personally I am excited for this. I enjoy the series (Books and Movies) and am looking forward to seeing how they bring out the Harry Potter experience in the new area.

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I too am excited. As a fan of the books, I'm very happy that I will be able to experience this world... And it's not the big things in this park, it's the little things from the books, like butterbeer, and omnioculars, that make it very exciting...

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However, the immersion in this will make you feel like it's a whole separate park and I'm relatively sure it will cause other non fans to become interested in the series.

 

I am not sure how immersive it will seem with lines all over the place and the crowds. Especially at a park that doesn't have a large number of attractions given the number of guests it sees in a given day. Don't get me wrong, I like IOA as much and the next enthusiast, I just wish there were more to do and have found the crowds almost unbearable in certain areas. I am confident that this area will constantly be crowded and people will not be able to appreciate the details of the themeing in this section.

 

David

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http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/os-wizarding-world-opening-and-dark-ride-20100324,0,205532.story?

 

After months of waiting, Universal Orlando officials are peeling away more of the mystery surrounding the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Orlando theme park's $200 million addition. Today they will announce June 18 as the grand-opening date of the 20-acre expansion to Islands of Adventure.

 

Although theme parks typically have days or weeks of soft openings before officially launching, Universal would not comment on whether that will be the case with Wizarding World. However, last month it began selling vacation packages with Wizarding World benefits starting May 28. Visitors who have purchased those will receive everything that was promised, Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said. Those packages are still available, although some days already may be sold out, he said.

 

But for now, construction is in full force, with dozens of painters and carpenters completing the snow-capped Hogsmeade village and the iconic Hogwarts castle, which will house the park's new dark ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

 

The scene was a work in progress Wednesday, with machinery maneuvering through the attraction and around a small media tour getting a first look behind the construction walls up since 2007.

 

The tour included a walk through the village based on J.K. Rowling's bestselling book series; past shop windows packed with Potter props such as owl cages, caldrons and wand boxes; and then up to the castle, where park guests will enter the Forbidden Journey ride through the dungeon level of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. "You're meant to feel you're really down deep," said Alan Gilmore, Wizarding World's art director, as the trek began in the dungeon. In the lowest level are items such as a statue of the one-eyed witch and the Mirror of Erised that, in Potter stories, reveals the heart's desires.

 

The queue winds through several chambers and an outdoor area that represents a Victorian greenhouse with vines snaking over the roof and a cage of Rowling's mandrake plants. The greenhouse area leads guests to higher ground and a series of corridors with statues of notables such as Hogwarts' architect and the school's first headmaster.

 

The Forbidden Journey storyline revolves around newcomers to the castle. "Hogwarts is open to muggles for the first time," said Thierry Coup, Universal Creative vice president. That's reflected throughout the wait, particularly with talking portraits unaccustomed to having muggles — Rowling's term for people with no magical ability — in the halls. The portraits, some as tall as 5 feet, address one another and guests, too.

 

Eventually, the line flows into Dumbledore's office, where visitors will see the headmaster standing on a mezzanine behind his desk — about 18 feet from the queue. He's a lifelike but somewhat ghostly being. "We had to create some new technology for this," Coup said. However, Universal officials would not be more specific about that effect, the new filming process or the robotic ride technology, which are essential to Forbidden Journey. They refer to the seats as an "enchanted bench," although two test seats with over-shoulder harnesses are in position outside the castle. The Dumbledore character is happy to greet guests — but wants them to sit through a lecture. Harry Potter (as played by actor Daniel Radcliffe) and pals Hermione and Ron intervene in the Defense of the Dark Arts classroom. "They say, ‘Forget the lecture; it's boring. Forget the tour; it's boring. The quidditch match is about to start,'" said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. "Hermione casts a spell, and off we go, and the adventure ensues. We get sucked into a quidditch match; we go face-to-face with Dementors; we go into the Forbidden Forest." Before that happens, there are safety instructions for the ride in the Gryffindor Common Room from three characters not seen in the films, including the "etiquette lady."

 

The bulk of the ride remains secretive — even its duration — although Woodbury expects the entire experience to take about an hour, from entering the winged-boar gates outside to exiting through the gift shop. "In some of it you're touring the castle; in some of it you're flying around the world of Harry Potter," Woodbury said.

 

The complicated nature of opening a major attraction with new technologies usually requires a soft opening to work out the kinks, said Chad Emerson, author of Project Future and an upcoming book about the history of Orlando's theme parks. It's rare to open without a dry run, he said. "Nowadays with technology as advanced and complex, that's sort of a risky move," Emerson said. "You've got to have a lot of confidence."

 

More Wizarding World morsels

 

Other details from the tour of Wizarding World of Harry Potter include:

 

•There won't be any walk-around Potter characters.

•Guests entering from the Lost Continent side of Islands of Adventure will see the Hogwarts Express train on the right. It's a 100 percent replica of what is seen in the films, Coup said. After that is Hogwarts Station, which conceals lockers for the Dragon Challenge (formerly Dueling Dragons), which has a new flag-flanked entrance there.

•On the left will be several previously announced establishments: Zonko's, Honeydukes, Three Broomsticks restaurant and the adjacent Hog's Head Tavern. In between are fake fronts of other Potter elements, but you cannot go inside such spots as McHavelocks, Dogweek and Deathcap(with good and evil windows), Gladrags Wizardry, Scrivenshafts (inks and quills), Wiseacres (equipment such as crystal balls) and Potages, a caldron store. You can merely look in the windows and admire the theming.

•Back on the right are the Owlery (with robotic owls) and Owl Post, plus Dervish and Banges.

•In the middle of the pathway is a butterbeer cart, which also will sell a frozen version of the drink.

•Ollivanders is just beyond the Owlery, even though in the books, it's in Diagon Alley. "It was such an important part of the fiction, how the wand chooses the wizard, we want it to be part of this," said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. With Rowling's blessing, a Hogsmeade branch was opened for Wizarding World.

52912343.jpg.d8ddb3ad67f851d7ae891ce5a45ad853.jpg

While wandering the corridors of Hogwarts castle on their way to experience Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey - the marquee attraction of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - guests will pass through Dumbledore's office. The office is an exact replica of the one seen in the Harry Potter films, and is the place where the Hogwarts headmaster officially welcomes you to Hogwarts.

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Does anyone on here personally find it funny reading the press report and then seeing a TPR censor on it? I will put it between 2 smiles so you can see it cause other wise your gonna either skip over it or your not gonna catch it.

 

•Guests entering from the Lost Continent side of Islands of Adventure will see the Hogwarts Express train on the right. It's a 100 percent replica of what is seen in the films, Coup said. After that is Hogwarts Station, which conceals fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo for the Dragon Challenge

 

 

Let the laughing commence at the professionalism made even more awesome by this site!

Edited by DarkStitch626
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although Woodbury expects the entire experience to take about an hour, from entering the winged-boar gates outside to exiting through the gift shop.

 

I read that right, yes.

?

 

Holy Crap an Hour, lets hope it people eater!

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So the Dumbledore part where he's talking to you in his office sounds like the same tech behind Christopher Walken on disater...I can be down with that.

 

Mentioned in another report was a comment from Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative, in regards to whether or not the ride travels outside the show bulding, "very hard time distinguishing between what is actually outside and what is not." Now I know a while back people were speculating about the courtyard area on top of the show bulding/castle and I wonder if that comment has anything to do with that?

 

I can definitly say, Potter fan or not (which I am a Potter fan btw), fans of the themepark industry have to be very excited for the tech that will be pushing this ride.

 

*crosses fingers* See you in July Hogwarts!

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^^I think he meant that it will be hard to distinguish thanks to the film and the sets around you. Much like with Spiderman and DarKastle, you can be "fooled" to believe you are outside thanks to the scenery and video around you, and I'm guessing that's how it will be with Harry Potter, especially thanks to the video they filmed using the live actors and real cameras as opposed to CGI.

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Universal marketing sucks. PERIOD. They throw a special event, INVITE PEOPLE TO THE DAMN LOCATION, and people are still calling it....

 

Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Universal Studios, Orlando, FL.

 

if you choose the package you will be among the first to visit and see the park.

 

from... http://www.mugglenet.com/erichpfjreview.shtml

 

I mean seriously? There are going to be some ticked off people come this summer...

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http://media.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/news.php

 

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.

 

Today, 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. It will be one of three themed attractions within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge.

 

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

Imagine...

 

...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

...living 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 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

 

For the latest news about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit http://www.UniversalOrlando.com.

 

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/features_orlando/2010/03/details-details-more-morsels-from-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter-tour-all-about-portraits-bridges-owls-and-arches.html

 

As promised, here’s some random notes left in the wake of Universal’s latest Wizarding World of Harry Potter announcements and our media walk-through yesterday at Islands of Adventure.

 

Intellectually, I knew this: There’s a lot of elements in the Potter universe. And a lot of them are thrown into Wizarding World. This became even more clear as I madly tried to scribble down details yesterday. Hogsmeade and Hogwarts are simply loaded with details — and we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the construction walls to show you. All in good time, Rangers.

 

Back to the random bits.

 

+ As we’ve long heard, Potter creator J.K. Rowling has been heavily involved in the process — or at least the approval. Universal Creative President Mark Woodbury referred to it as a “very tight collaboration” with Rowling, Warner Bros and Universal, and he didn’t wince.

+ In Harry Potter and Forbidden Journey, there are some “real” movie props and a lot of replicas. Dumbeldore’s office seems to be total replica. As an example of how theme park construction is different than a movie set, The office in Forbidden Journey has a ceiling. The movie set never did. (Another challenge — “We hid everything modern,” says Alan Gilmore, the project art director.)

+ That bridge that helps IOA guests bypass the WizWaHaPo construction? It’s staying. Now it will help bypass the logjam. (Plus it gives a nice view of the rooftops of Hogsmeade and the Islands lagoon, when looking the other way.)

+ The architecture, as many of you will know is Scottish — and gothic — in design … the whole very vertical, pointed arches thing. “It’s not a menacing design; it’s a strong medieval design,” Gilmore says.

+ We briefly stood under the Owlery, with dozens of mechanical birds flapping in the rafters. It’s very mechanical under/up there, and you can see the clockworks from that side.

+ Universal remains mum on many ride details. We could see the seats for the ride outside of the castle (the wait board is up, too), but they are referred to as the “enchanted bench.”

+ The scenes for the dark ride were filmed in Leeds over several months before shooting began on the final Harry Potter movie(s).

+ The images in the portraits talk to each other — and to waiting guests. Endless loop? What about when the ride, as rides do, goes down? “You don’t hear the same thing twice,” says Thierry Coup, creative director. (Instant cred: Coup was creative director on Islands’ Spider-Man ride.)

+ There are more than 100 paintings in the portrait room.

+ One last surreal moment from the walking tour: The piped-in music was cranked up amid all the scurrying construction workers. I’m assuming that’s not an everyday occurance. And for the record, the music was existing works from the Potter soundtracks.

_DSC4441b.jpg.2065db73f116ab418d2eceed22d02d20.jpg

Dumbledore's Office

While wandering the corridors of Hogwarts castle on their way to experience Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – the marquee attraction of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ¬– guests will pass through Dumbledore’s office. The office is an exact replica of the one seen in the Harry Potter films, and is the place where the Hogwarts headmaster officially welcomes you to Hogwarts. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – the only place in the world where the stories of Harry Potter will come to life – grand opens June 18.

DSC_0514.jpg.1452cdfa37bbcabd9c33c6e1e2808ea1.jpg

Portrait Gallery

Just like the Harry Potter films, portraits line the walls of Hogwarts castle, the home of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – the marquee attraction of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. When passing through the Portrait gallery, guests will encounter several magical talking portraits created exclusively for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the four Hogwarts founders. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – the only place in the world where the stories of Harry Potter will come to life – grand opens on June 18.

03544b.jpg.9dcc5db37f573d3ead8b53808bc0b76f.jpg

Harry Flying Screengrab

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the heart of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, an expansive new environment at Universal Orlando Resort that will bring the world of Harry Potter to life. This all new adventure combines a powerful storyline with spectacular new technology so effectively that guests will be completely immersed in the experience. Film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and others shot an exclusive piece of film just for the ride. Guests can experience Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter grand opens on June 18.

_DSC4419.jpg.ff4297cf13855b0f2537adc111c53143.jpg

Griffin Statue

Many iconic elements from the Harry Potter books and films can be seen in the queue line of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – the marquee attraction of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Guests will pass by the regal Griffin statue on their way to Dumbledore’s office. The wonder and magic of Harry Potter’s world comes to life when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter grand opens on June 18.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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This hour long experience thing is a flawed concept. Tower of Terror, using this view, would be easily a half hour experience. The old DD the same, even back all the way to the interactive queue from Indiana Jones at DL. A line is a line, no matter how many immersive video screens and rooms there are. We've heard this before and hope for their sake UO can actually make it happen finally.

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^Its a Kuka arm on bus bars I think. Are they bus bars or buzz bars? Anyways thats what it is and I've heard that the ride time is equal to Splash Mountains ride time. There is supposedly a PR person posting on the Orlando United forums, that is trying to clear up some of the false rumors and this is what I've read from that person. But who knows if that person really knows anything.

 

I'm actually pretty excited with this. They should have changed DD/DC colors since the dragons that they are themed after aren't that color. Hopefully since the opening is June 18 they do repaint it. I can also say that in person the castle is stunning.

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  • coasterbill changed the title to Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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