Sunday, May 18, 2014

Potter: LA Wizarding World Update, Gringotts Ride in Florida Story Details

All we've been hearing about is Florida's Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion and even some bits about the Japan branch, so it's nice to finally get some new info on the upcoming Los Angeles theme park. It is very vague news from art director on the theme park franchise Alan Gilmore:
I'm sure this has been keeping you plenty busy, but I am curious, do you consult at all with the Los Angeles Wizarding World they're making?
 You know what? That's my next project. I'm actually going up there very, very soon. I'm already working on it, and we've started designing and developing. It's going to be very exciting. The setting in Los Angeles is beautiful on the mountainside. America will be getting another capital very soon, and a very beautiful capital at that.

There are a lot of curiosities about how similar or not similar it will be to what we have in Florida. Anything you can say about that?
It will have a few new special ingredients. We're trying to, again, improve and tell the same story, but tell it in a different way so that each park is a slightly different guest experience. We've learned a lot from the original Hogsmeade. So we're going to make it very cool. It will be great when it's open.

In Diagon Alley Escape from Gringotts  ride news, some character and story information:
"I actually got to direct those scenes for this new Universal Orlando attraction in December of 2012. And it was obvious that the cast members who came back to be part of the Gringotts shoot really enjoyed the opportunity to revisit these characters," Coup said during a phone interview yesterday. "I mean, these performers had spent so many years working together on that acclaimed series of films. So it was clear that they really appreciated this opportunity to revisit the world of Harry Potter. Getting the chance to portray these iconic characters one more time."

"J.K. Rowling actually gave us a lot of creative leeway when it came to 'Escape from Gringotts.' You see, the story that we wanted to tell with this Universal Orlando attraction kind of ran concurrently with the events which occurred during 'Deathly Hallows,' " Coup explained. "You see, our Guests just happen to be at Gringotts Wizarding Bank opening a new account on the exact same day that Harry, Ron & Hermione are trying to break into Bellatrix Lestrange's vault to retrieve a horcrux."

[The guest's] mine car is on a track which parallels the path of Potter's just as Harry, Ron, Hermoine & Griphook the goblin pass through Thief's Downfall. Which is this enchanted waterfall that Gringotts put in place to wash away any concealment spells & enchantment charms that would-be thieves might use in their attempt to break into one of the bank's vaults.

But that's nothing compared to what happens when Bellatrix Lestrange & He Who Must Not Be Named, Lord Voldemort arrive on the scene and are determined to do whatever they have to in order to protect that horcrux.

"Which I know is a departure from 'The Deathly Hallows - Part 2' movie. J.K. Rowling certainly didn't mention Bellatrix & Voldemort being on scene this early as part of the 'Deathly Hallows' book. But given that this action is happening away from where Harry, Ron & Hermione are ... Well, J.K. actually gave us permission to include these scenes as part of our attraction because they could have possibly been going on while Harry, Ron & Hermoine were in the Lestrange vault retrieving that horrcux," Thierry stated.

"Don't get me wrong. Harry Potter fans really seem to love 'Forbidden Journey.' But the one complaint which we kept getting from our Guests about that Wizarding World attraction was that they weren't getting enough time with their favorite characters. That -- because 'Forbidden Journey' is really kind of a Harry Potter highlight reel -- we kept moving quickly from character to character, from place to place," Coup continued. "Which is why -- with 'Escape from Gringotts' -- we decided to confine this attraction to one specific place. Give our Guests lots of face time with some of the most famous characters from the Harry Potter world. Not to mention placing them right in the middle of one of the more exciting moments from both the books & the film series."

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