shamona

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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With the opening day approaching (June 18), a first review of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was released on News.com.au yesterday. They also included a gallery of the artist's impressions here. Actual photos can be seen on the Official Universal Website. I've also found a video which I've embedded at the bottom.

First reviews of Wizarding World of Harry Potter 064885-news-image-harry-potter-20100525.jpg The theme park features state-of-the-art holograms, robotics and live action. Picture: Universal Studios Harry Potter stars enjoy a VIP guide of the theme park. Picture: Universal Studios THE soon-to-be-opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park has been labelled "stunning" by gushing reviewers. The $220m attraction at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, will officially open on June 18. But a group of VIP guests from around the world were lucky enough to be shown every detail of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogwarts and all. “After a sneak peek, I can say it is the most faithful recreation of JK Rowling's books and movies ever seen,” The Sun Travel Editor Lisa Minot said. “From Moaning Myrtle haunting the toilets to Potter and pals stalking the corridors, fans will be in heaven.” Leigh Caldwell from Travelling Mamas said the recreation of the famous books was so realistic she felt like a student at Hogwarts. “My job involves visiting a lot of theme parks and seeing a lot of cool stuff, but I have never felt so immersed in a fictional environment,” she said. “I was walking the streets of Hogsmeade Village. I was a student at Hogwarts.” John Frost from the Disney blog was also captivated. “I felt instantly transported into the world of the books and films. Little details continually jumped out at me as I said to myself: “Oh that’s from the book. That’s from the movies,” he wrote. Guests revealed full details of the theme park for the first time, including following Harry and pals into Hogwarts Castle and clinging on as dragons fight high in the skies. “The excitement starts the minute you walk through the ornate gates and spy the Hogwarts Express billowing steam at Hogsmeade train station,” Ms Minot wrote. “The park features a host of technological firsts and stars of the films are brought to life with state-of-the-art holograms, robotics and live action.” Ms Caldwell warned that not all rides are suitable for small children or the faint hearted. “The new ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, has a 48-inch height requirement and a long list warning away anyone with a health issue more serious than a zit or a stuffy nose,” she wrote. “The ride was not open during the preview, but obviously, it involves some intense thrills.”

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Never complain of a ride queue again. These are pics of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey's queue on open day. 54407791.jpg54407873.jpg54407903.jpg And I just thought I'd copy this in from the Off Topic Topic.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Islands of Adventure:
For those unfamiliar, guests sit on 'magical benches' which are really 4 person gondolas on the end of a robotic arm. The arm is attached to a base travels along a track, and the arm twists and turns the gondola past omnimax screens and real life sets. Even though the video above is a bit dark, it looks pretty amazing from the bits you can see. This is how the ride vehicles look in their entirety: abc123.jpg But guests only see this much: rv1.jpg At Universal Studios Japan their new Space Fantasy Mack spinning coaster looks really cool.
A Space Mountain beater?

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I'd imagine so, a good chunk of those people in those aerial photos are paying around $94 AUD each (The one day admission price). But their per captia spending would be pretty high too, because WWoHP is not just about the rides, but also about having stuff like Butterbeer and Cauldron Cakes and all the other food and drink from the Harry Potter universe, not to mention merchandise.

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I'd imagine so, a good chunk of those people in those aerial photos are paying around $94 AUD each (The one day admission price). But their per captia spending would be pretty high too, because WWoHP is not just about the rides, but also about having stuff like Butterbeer and Cauldron Cakes and all the other food and drink from the Harry Potter universe, not to mention merchandise.
It just shows if you provide a decent product that people actually want - they will pay to go - recession or no recession (take note Dreamworld/WhiteWater World)

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but HEY! we have the Harry Potter shop. What more could we want? :P Maybe MW could at least add a stall out the front of it with their own Butterbeer and perhaps some Pumpkin Pasties and/or Cauldron Cakes. They could prepare it in the bakery kitchen.

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THats not ENTIRELY a bad idea - but to do it now would seem like trying to tag onto something most guests would have no idea about (your average guest is unaware of what has just happened in florida). Wait until november, when the next movie hits the cinemas, and make it a christmas holidays special - make a crap load of money on the concept without a long term drain on staffing etc. I'm sure the licensing for the recipe could be shared around considering it is a (not owned by) Warner Bros park... (oh - and dibs on tickets to the australian premiere if they do it at WB again)

Edited by AlexB

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oh - and dibs on tickets to the australian premiere if they do it at WB again
Yeah. I saw the first one back in 2001. It was pretty awesome - a laser / light show on main street as you're eating a banquet with fireworks to finish. Oh, and the movie... :D

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I have a funny feeling they would not share the recipe for butter beer or cauldron cakes. Universal Orlando have paid squillions of dollars to have the rights to the name, films, things in the world etc. It would be awesome though. MW are better off setting up a Harry Potter show in the theatre.

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How about the 'unofficial' Butterbeer recipe?

BUTTERBEER Start to finish: 1 hour (10 minutes active) Servings: 4
  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • Four 12-ounce bottles cream soda

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reads 240 F on a candy thermometer. Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract. In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Use an electric mixer to beat until just thickened, but not completely whipped, about 2 to 3 minutes. To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses (about 1/4 cup for each glass). Add 1/4 cup of cream soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional cream soda, then spoon the whipped topping over each.

^ Just on the stunt show idea...
A few years back, Universal was positively desperate to acquire the theme park rights to the Harry Potter characters. So much so that Universal Creative (the folks who actually design all of the rides, shows and attractions for the Universal theme parks) put together a proposal for a Harry Potter-themed stunt show. Which they planned to present to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. With the hope that she might then be won over by their attraction idea, which would result in J.K. awarding Harry Potter's theme park rights to Universal. The show proposal that Universal Creative put together was reportedly a special effects filled extravaganza, loosely modeled after that theme park's "Wild Wild West" stunt show. This meant that the arena would have been loaded up with practical effects. Cauldrons that would suddenly bubble and smoke, brooms that could actually fly around, etc. But the real highlight of this proposed "Harry Potter" themed show would have supposedly been the show's finale. Where Harry, Ron and Hermoine found themselves face to face with Lord Voldemort. (Just in case you're wondering: Universal's stunt spectacular wasn't actually supposed to have been based on any specific "Harry Potter" book or movie. But -- rather -- it was supposed to have been a stand-alone show. Something that would have caught the style and the flavor of Rowling's books and the films without actually duplicating any of them.) Sometime during this magical duel, Potter was going to get the upper hand in this effects filled battle. And -- with a wave of Harry's wand -- Voldemort would burst into flames. Fully engulfed in fire, the dark wizard was to have writhed in agony and screamed curses as Potter and his pals as Voldemort slowly sank from sight. Note that "sinking slowly from sight" while "fully engulfed in flames" part of the show. That sort of pyrotechnic stunt would be extremely difficult for a live human to pull off. Which is why Universal Creative was planning on using an animatronic figure to fill in for the live performer who would be portraying the dark wizard during this particular gag. A robotic Lord Voldemort whose robes would be stuffed with steel wool. Which (I'm told) burns in a truly spectacular fashion whenever it's lit on fire.

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^ If you think about it its not really that hard, considering that it IS UNIVERSAL and that trap doors could easily pull it off without the need for animatronics ; the actor just wears a cluster f@#k of makeup or a mask over it and voila stand on the trap door behind some rocks and then slowly they sink down...

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Wowsers, that's rather intense, I can see in the future that the 8th voyage of sin bad show closing and that themed Harry potter show in that theatre. As far as butter beer - have you tried it? It'd be like getting lemonade from a curbside than a schweppes factory.

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I'll be there in less than 4 weeks, I'm not a Potter or motion simulator fan and I've been to IOA before so I'm not frothing at the mouth to check it out. But I'll probably be pleasantly surprised though I only did Spiderman once last time I was there even though it was walk on. The best tip I've heard is cut through Filch's Gift Shop, go past the lockers and you can get to the single rider line without having to wait in the regular line until you get to the single rider entrance.

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IOA wasn't too bad. But it was my first time there (nothing to compare it to) and had front of the line passes. Harry Potter wasn't too bad, I think it was around 30-40min for a single rider, but was well over an hour for groups.

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Thanks Ash, I'll probably get the front of line passes too, shame they don't cover Potter or Rockit. I considered staying on-site but it wasn't worth it considering the amount of time I'll be at Universal during the day and the amount of interest I have in the Universal parks given I've been before. Hopefully Rockit will be running during Horror nights.

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Do keep in mind that you get free front of the line passes with the on-site resorts. So it may work out cheaper. Also the on-site resorts are connected via river boats, whereas the off-site hotels are not, and the only way to get to the parks easily is to use the shuttle bus, which is a pain in the a**. Walking is an option, but even the Hilton (at the entrance to the complex) is quite far.

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