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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 623: Universal's Mardi Gras 2023 details announced!

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^^That's definitely the downside of being so strict about sticking to the stories. All those rides you mentioned have something else in common: they tell you the story. I thought the WWoHP looked really good, the ride system was cool...but I didn't understand the story at all. The queue didn't tell me the story. The ride didn't tell me the story. It made no sense because it was apparently a really good re-creation of Hogwarts.

 

I hope in Hollywood's version they will make it easier for the non Potter fans to understand.

Edited by Jew
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^^That needs to be put on a shirt.

 

Robb's post is 100% correct. I've never seen a Potter movie or read one the books, and don't really know any of the story beyond he's a wizard. I think the land really does appeal to fans only, or at least people that have some knowledge of it ahead of time. While I admired the technology of Forbidden Journey, the story left me cold as I could not connect to it in any way. And despite what many think, I would guess there's a larger segment of the population that has little/no knowledge of Potter than those that do.

 

dt

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IOA has been in decline for years, potterverse just put a decent bandaid on it.

 

I think this largely sums up a lot of my thoughts about IOA. I don't think Potter is totally to blame for the lackluster nature of IOA today, I think it more has to do with a decade of indifferent management and virtually zero investment. At least with Potter someone cares about the park again, and we can at least *hope* to see exciting things in the future.

 

 

For example, I'm not a Winnie the Pooh fan...but I *love* Pooh in Tokyo.

 

You're absolutely right, and I see what you're getting at with Forbidden Journey.

 

And this is sort of my hope for the Jaws replacement. If the Gringots (or however you spell that) coaster rumor is true, I think that'll translate more to the general park guest. "Hey, it's a big coaster through a bunch of caves and treasure chambers... cool". Like Mummy is awesome no matter who you are, *hopefully* this will be the same way.

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It's kind of like today's youthful adults will never truly be able to appreciate 80s porn.

 

That is one of the funniest juxtapositions I have ever read and I'm not just saying that because it was from the leader of the pack.

 

Comedy gold, right there, Robb...not to sound like a fanboy, but that's one of the reasons why I love this site.

 

And yeah, I agree...eff Harry Potter.

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I guess I am one of those rare Potter fans that could care less about Potter World. It may have something to do with me getting burned out on the franchise by the time the last movies were coming out, but the existing land just doesn't sound appealing to me. However, I am kind of excited about the expansion in the Studios park as the Gringotts Bank coaster has the potential of being amazing. Plus the London theming should be easier for you guys that didn't read the books to identify with. You don't have to know what a hippogriff or a dementor is to get it. It's London with some themed shops.

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Granted, I'm not a Potter fan...

I think this is the biggest problem with Potterdump.

 

It seems like you have to be a Potter "fan" to really appreciate it. (ok, yes, obnoxious people, please post that you're not a Potter fan but you still enjoy it...but you know what I mean.)

 

For example, I'm not a Winnie the Pooh fan...but I *love* Pooh in Tokyo. I'm not a Star Wars fan, but I enjoy Star Tours. I'm not a Spiderman fan, but I like the attraction. People who aren't Jurassic Park fans don't need to know anything more than "Hey, there's a dinosaur" to get the attraction.

 

With Potter, I felt completely lost and the entire land meant nothing to me.

 

I went through it once, it didn't appeal to me, and I'm done. That's it. I personally don't have any reason to go back because I feel they designed that land for people who are casual Potter fans and up.

 

For the random person who hasn't seen the movies or read the books, it just doesn't play well to those people, and the responses you hear from the non-Potter fans even on this forum kinda reflect that.

 

I'm all for building a $200 million dollar ride and the equivalent expansion. But build something I can appreciate, even without having seen any of the movies.

 

That right there is my biggest issue with the Potter lands.

 

--Robb "It's built for the fans, not for everyone." Alvey

 

Robb I cannot agree with you anymore!

 

I recently interviewed Gary Goddard (For Universal alone he was essential in the creative design of Jurrasic Park, Spiderman and T2-3D To name a few). We spoke for a good 45 minutes (Still editing that interview).

 

One thing Gary talked about was how he has worked on attractions that can cater to those "GIANT fans" of a franchise yet still appeal to any regular park guest. It really makes a difference!

 

Personally, the first time I saw T2-3D I had not seen any Terminator films before, nor really ever heard of the franchise. Yet, I really enjoyed the show! It had a storyline that I not only understood but loved! T2-3D easily became one of my favorite attractions. The next time I saw T2-3D (a few months later) I had the opportunity to watch the films and knew what was going on. However I still had the same level of enjoyment because know I was able to get all the references. Point being, you have to have a fine balance between the fans and the GP.

 

I have not seen any Harry Potter movies, nor have I read the books. To be honest I didn't care about HP until I learned that the main ride was going to feature a Robocoaster arm. I have not visited Potterland yet. I am very concerned however that when I do visit, while I will like the rides and shops, I won't be able to have the same level of enjoyment that I had with other rides (Such as T2-3D) It doesn't seem in Potterland that they really tell you "Hey this is what this is and this is what going on". Potterland just plops you in the middle of the movies/books and expects you to understand. That makes it hard for me as a visitor to get the full enjoyment.

 

I really hope that Universal can incorporate more of the techniques that Gary Goddard used in his attractions to tell the stories at an equal level of enjoyment to everyone. Thats what makes a good Theme Park Attraction to me.

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Granted, I'm not a Potter fan...

I think this is the biggest problem with Potterdump.

 

It seems like you have to be a Potter "fan" to really appreciate it. (ok, yes, obnoxious people, please post that you're not a Potter fan but you still enjoy it...but you know what I mean.)

 

For example, I'm not a Winnie the Pooh fan...but I *love* Pooh in Tokyo. I'm not a Star Wars fan, but I enjoy Star Tours. I'm not a Spiderman fan, but I like the attraction. People who aren't Jurassic Park fans don't need to know anything more than "Hey, there's a dinosaur" to get the attraction.

 

With Potter, I felt completely lost and the entire land meant nothing to me.

 

I went through it once, it didn't appeal to me, and I'm done. That's it. I personally don't have any reason to go back because I feel they designed that land for people who are casual Potter fans and up.

 

For the random person who hasn't seen the movies or read the books, it just doesn't play well to those people, and the responses you hear from the non-Potter fans even on this forum kinda reflect that.

 

I'm all for building a $200 million dollar ride and the equivalent expansion. But build something I can appreciate, even without having seen any of the movies.

 

That right there is my biggest issue with the Potter lands.

 

--Robb "It's built for the fans, not for everyone." Alvey

 

Robb- you have said what is my biggest beef about these new projects for IOA/USH/USF.

 

Sorry, PotterHeads, but some of us have NO interest in these attractions. They do not interest some of us. You will have to deal with it. My problem with any park expansion is the target demographics should be studied- as well as the GENERAL PARK OUTLOOK. Sadly, Universal sees that whole bunches of kiddies are screaming for Mommy and Daddy to take them to IOA and drop 400.00 in a day to please the kids- and bore the craters off the parents. Those parents will remember that they found IOA to have things for the kiddies, but not for the parents- and how bored they were with the park. They will then choose to go to Disney or Busch or SeaWorld instead, where there attractions that the whole family can enjoy- not just one aspect OF the family.

 

Sorry, IOA. Two strikes. Let's see if you go for a third.

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IOA has been in decline for years, potterverse just put a decent bandaid on it.

 

I think this largely sums up a lot of my thoughts about IOA. I don't think Potter is totally to blame for the lackluster nature of IOA today, I think it more has to do with a decade of indifferent management and virtually zero investment. At least with Potter someone cares about the park again, and we can at least *hope* to see exciting things in the future.

 

Also, how many different conglomerates have owned Universal during IOA's life span? It started with Seagram's, then it went to GE, who I'm sure had little interests in the parks, followed by Comcast who now only cares because they see how well the market is responding to Harry Potter. If you are looking for something new outside of harry potter in the coming years, I'll suggest to look else where as its only going to get worse before it gets better. IMO, HP is one trick pony Universal. But once everyone has come and seen the place, then what?

 

It's possible Universal sees the current huge demand HP is recieving right now as short term so they're trying to capatalize on it now while they still can before the park attendence starts trickling back down to its previous numbers.

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As someone who has read all the books and seen all the movies I was somewhat confused the first few times that I rode Forbidden Journey. It really is a VERY chaotic, random ride. I think it was by the 4th time I rode the ride, I figured out the general idea of the ride's storyline. I can not imagine how difficult it is to follow the storyline for someone who does not know a thing about Potter. I like the ride, but I honestly think that this a huge problem. I sure hope that they can improve on the narrative for USH's version as well as drop the frequency of the movie sections. Three of these sections is simply too much IMO.

 

 

This would be my original review here: http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=37453&p=906256&hilit=universal#p906228

Edited by Erik Johnson
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Sadly, Universal sees that whole bunches of kiddies are screaming for Mommy and Daddy to take them to IOA and drop 400.00 in a day to please the kids- and bore the craters off the parents. Those parents will remember that they found IOA to have things for the kiddies, but not for the parents- and how bored they were with the park. They will then choose to go to Disney or Busch or SeaWorld instead, where there attractions that the whole family can enjoy- not just one aspect OF the family.

 

Uh have you been to IOA? If anything the park is far more teen/adult centric than kid friendly. Like...your argument makes no sense.

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The worst part about the expansion going to Amity is that the taint of Universal Orlando - Sinbad and Poseidon - will remain. Ew.

 

Not necessarily. The way I envision all of this happening is that Amity and the rest of Lost Continent will be removed to make a "entrance" and "exit" for the monorail. Wizarding World at Islands is already a pretty small area, and Lost Continent is pretty desolate now. I feel like making the rest of Lost Continent into Diagon Alley would be pretty sweet.

 

Maybe for now Lost Continent will remain, but you never know, Phase 3 could be the rest of that area going down.

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Sorry, PotterHeads, but some of us have NO interest in these attractions. They do not interest some of us. You will have to deal with it. My problem with any park expansion is the target demographics should be studied- as well as the GENERAL PARK OUTLOOK. Sadly, Universal sees that whole bunches of kiddies are screaming for Mommy and Daddy to take them to IOA and drop 400.00 in a day to please the kids- and bore the craters off the parents. Those parents will remember that they found IOA to have things for the kiddies, but not for the parents- and how bored they were with the park. They will then choose to go to Disney or Busch or SeaWorld instead, where there attractions that the whole family can enjoy- not just one aspect OF the family.

 

Sorry, IOA. Two strikes. Let's see if you go for a third.

I feel like the insane boost in attendance IOA received last year completely negates this argument...

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Sadly, Universal sees that whole bunches of kiddies are screaming for Mommy and Daddy to take them to IOA and drop 400.00 in a day to please the kids- and bore the craters off the parents. Those parents will remember that they found IOA to have things for the kiddies, but not for the parents- and how bored they were with the park. They will then choose to go to Disney or Busch or SeaWorld instead, where there attractions that the whole family can enjoy- not just one aspect OF the family.

 

 

I'm pretty sure Disney is the most kid-centered place in Florida. Universal is definitely a park for the entire family with its abundance of different rides. It has two B&M masterpieces, world-class water rides, indoor rides, and two kids areas. Even though Harry Potter is centered more for the kids and teens, that's not the entire theme park (although the GP may think it is). If anything, IOA is tied with BGT as the most thrilling park in the state because of all the different experiences it offers.

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As someone who has read all the books and seen all the movies I was somewhat confused the first few times that I rode Forbidden Journey. It really is a VERY chaotic, random ride. I think it was by the 4th time I rode the ride, I figured out the general idea of the ride's storyline. I can not imagine how difficult it is to follow the storyline for someone who does not know a thing about Potter.

 

I've never seen a Harry Potter movie or read a book.

With Forbidden Journey, I was confused about the characters, but I knew it was a magical journal when some chick blew dust on my bench and made it fly.

 

I've only seen the original Star Wars movie and that was over 30 years ago, and never seen any of the others.

With Star Tours, I know I'm flying through space on some mission some two character, but I was just as confused as I was on Forbidden Journey.

 

I had no interest in Harry Potter before or after visting WWoHP, but still enjoyed the area.

 

I'm very confused with people arguing about Universal not studying the target demographic. A park doesn't increase attendance as much as IOA without connecting to their target.

 

WWoHP haters are like Intamin fanboys, you can't argue with them.

Edited by larrygator
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I think people put too much disinterest into Potter and overlook the theme and environment. If it's strictly due to the Forbidden Journey, I can't comment as I've never ridden it. I know nothing about Greek mythology, but the Lost Continent was one of the best themed areas in any park. My biggest issue with Potterville is the crowds. There were way too many people crammed into 1/3 of 1 park while the rest of the areas were essentially empty. While I'd much rather have Transformers, Kong, BSG, Flash Gordon, etc....spreading out all the people in WWOHP can't be a bad thing.

 

WIth that said, I doubt I'll be visiting the parks anytime soon. Passes expired in April and I have no reason to buy them anytime soon.

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With Forbidden Journey, I was confused about the characters, but I knew it was a magical journal when some chick blew dust on my bench and made it fly.

Wait, wasn't this also the backstory of Nights in White Satin?

 

No, with Nights in White Satin some dude blew smoke at me and it made me hungry.

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Sorry, PotterHeads, but some of us have NO interest in these attractions. They do not interest some of us. You will have to deal with it. My problem with any park expansion is the target demographics should be studied- as well as the GENERAL PARK OUTLOOK. Sadly, Universal sees that whole bunches of kiddies are screaming for Mommy and Daddy to take them to IOA and drop 400.00 in a day to please the kids- and bore the craters off the parents. Those parents will remember that they found IOA to have things for the kiddies, but not for the parents- and how bored they were with the park. They will then choose to go to Disney or Busch or SeaWorld instead, where there attractions that the whole family can enjoy- not just one aspect OF the family.

 

Sorry, IOA. Two strikes. Let's see if you go for a third.

I feel like the insane boost in attendance IOA received last year completely negates this argument...

 

But, Harry Potter is a fad..... And this new area probably won't be ready until 5-6 years after the last film hit theaters.

I'd bet Potter won't have the appeal 5 years from now.... Just like everything else fades with time.

 

Personally, I think the media is getting confused about projects -- I think that Universal is talking about the brand new Potter area being built in California. Because -- it makes very little sense to build 2 different Potter Lands in Florida. Especially since this franchise has already ended in both books and films.

 

There are plenty of long-running film franchises with future projects in the pipeline that would make a great area -- they don't need to pick one that has already been ended by its author. I think Transformers or Star Trek (Star Wars is already taken by Disney) -- have fan bases as big if not bigger than Harry Potter.... And will last longer as film franchises.

 

It just seems like a bad decision if true. Seriously, the Harry Potter actor will have gray hair and a receding hairline by the time this land is finished.

I realize they want to build on their success, but I think interest will wane by the time they finish building it.

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As much as I like Harry Potter, I feel it should just stay in it's own realm, in IOA. I mean it seems like Universal Studios is slowly turning into Harry Potter World, whatever happened to the magic of making movies theme?

 

+1

 

I agree. I think they would be losing their way.

Have they completely run out of ideas -- that they are forced to build the same theme at two distinctly different theme parks?

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As Potterheads always say, "It's never over!"

 

Isn't most of Universal based on movies that are really old? Harry Potter will be the same in 10 years. The movies have only been over for a few months but it's being kept alive by things such as Pottermore and Universal. I don't think the franchise will end anytime soon because of its impact on my generation. When we're all old and gray-haired, we'll read the books to our kids and show them the movies and bring them to Universal for the full experience. Toon Lagoon is based on comics that I've never heard of in my life, yet I still LOVE the water rides in the area. Harry Potter will eventually be old news too, but still popular because of the way Universal has brought it to life. I trust that Universal will expand the area into something beyond our imagination. Only time will tell.

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As someone who has read all the books and seen all the movies I was somewhat confused the first few times that I rode Forbidden Journey. It really is a VERY chaotic, random ride. I think it was by the 4th time I rode the ride, I figured out the general idea of the ride's storyline. I can not imagine how difficult it is to follow the storyline for someone who does not know a thing about Potter.

 

I've never seen a Harry Potter movie or read a book.

With Forbidden Journey, I was confused about the characters, but I knew it was a magical journal when some chick blew dust on my bench and made it fly.

 

I've only seen the original Star Wars movie and that was over 30 years ago, and never seen any of the others.

With Star Tours, I know I'm flying through space on some mission some two character, but I was just as confused as I was on Forbidden Journey.

 

I had no interest in Harry Potter before or after visting WWoHP, but still enjoyed the area.

 

I'm very confused with people arguing about Universal not studying the target demographic. A park doesn't increase attendance as much as IOA without connecting to their target.

 

WWoHP haters are like Intamin fanboys, you can't argue with them.

 

Thank you. I don't understand this argument. I can understand if you don't understand the backstory behind the ride. But I don't really understand how that makes the entire area pure garbage. And clearly people are going there, so what's the big problem with it? I doubt that all of the people enjoying this section of Islands of Adventure are diehard fanatics. We're just coaster enthusiasts prone to complaining about an addition twenty times more than the general public, who really want a ride to ride and a place to do new things.

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As someone who has read all the books and seen all the movies I was somewhat confused the first few times that I rode Forbidden Journey. It really is a VERY chaotic, random ride. I think it was by the 4th time I rode the ride, I figured out the general idea of the ride's storyline. I can not imagine how difficult it is to follow the storyline for someone who does not know a thing about Potter.

 

I've never seen a Harry Potter movie or read a book.

With Forbidden Journey, I was confused about the characters, but I knew it was a magical journal when some chick blew dust on my bench and made it fly.

 

I've only seen the original Star Wars movie and that was over 30 years ago, and never seen any of the others.

With Star Tours, I know I'm flying through space on some mission some two character, but I was just as confused as I was on Forbidden Journey.

 

I had no interest in Harry Potter before or after visting WWoHP, but still enjoyed the area.

 

I'm very confused with people arguing about Universal not studying the target demographic. A park doesn't increase attendance as much as IOA without connecting to their target.

 

WWoHP haters are like Intamin fanboys, you can't argue with them.

 

Thank you. I don't understand this argument. I can understand if you don't understand the backstory behind the ride. But I don't really understand how that makes the entire area pure garbage. And clearly people are going there, so what's the big problem with it? I doubt that all of the people enjoying this section of Islands of Adventure are diehard fanatics. We're just coaster enthusiasts prone to complaining about an addition twenty times more than the general public, who really want a ride to ride and a place to do new things.

 

 

What are you talking about, I liked the area. I never said it was pure garbage.

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