Was Universal's Potter Blitz Premature?
Jimmy Fallon is back in New York. The Bloggers and network cameras have returned home and now (as of this writing) there are a full two weeks before the attraction's grand opening. While there is little doubt that those of us within the theme park fanatic community regard the new attractions as a gold standard, was it wise to hyper-promote the attraction so many weeks before the greater public will actually have a chance to experience Diagon Alley?
Whip them into a frenzy I guess!
Whip them into a frenzy ... And then wait more than two weeks before the general public can enjoy the experience?
if anything it was not early enough for the casual fan to make arrangements to get there. While bloggers and theme park website regulars make a lot of noise. If a theme park relied on us for revenue they would be broke very quickly.
Wasn't the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train involved in a media event a whole month before opening? In any event, two weeks seems like enough time for the public to get hungry enough for more and solidify any vacation itineraries.
There have been a rash of "we planned the media event, but the ride's not ready" moments over the past year, from the Log Ride at Knotts, to Seven Dwarfs, and now to Diagon Alley. I attribute this to a desire by media relations departments to minimize long soft-open periods where people post all the details of a new attraction to social media, etc. But those planned soft opens give parks a large margin for error if a ride's not ready. Cut it closer, and you might have an event when your star's not ready to go.
You might be thinking like a local in this situation, THC. The average family traveling to Orlando to visit the theme parks usually books 1-2 months out if not earlier, so the media blitz was appropriately timed to get their interest up for this summer. Plus whether it was by design or purely coincidental, all of the Harry Potter news pretty much overshadowed the opening of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Coaster. (Of course we all know that Universal would NEVER take advantage of an opportunity to poke Disney in the eye.) ;^)
Didn't Disney do the same with the 7 Dwarfs coaster. Media 2 weeks before official public opening. I don't think it matters much in the long run. Universal & Disney both got the word out to tourists, which is the probably what they aimed for.
The reason I offered the post is because Mr. Niles had noted how the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter at IOA opened to the public the day after the press events. This time there was a notable gap between the semi-star studded event (note the big three [Radcliffe, Grint and Watson] were missing this time). I have no doubt the attraction will be a great success and Diagon Alley looks amazing. But I am wondering if the press event's impact might have been greater had the attraction opened immediately after.
I don't think anyone here was aiming for another debate. Speaking for myself, I was only trying to point out that since it worked out fine for Disney with a longer time span, I'm sure it'll work for Universal fine too.
"Potter USF is an entire, new themed area."
Well, Goliath could have spent an extra week in testing at Great America. It keeps breaking down!
Universal may have been trying to avoid the huge crowd that descended on the resort after the HP1 media event. That must have been an operations nightmare.
What TH asked seemed OK but is really a misdirection. The real question should be about how did NBCUniversal pull off such a mind-blowing multi-media week of cross-promotion only 2 weeks before the official opening?
And now they're doing a prime time NBC News special on June 30th about the building of Diagon Alley. What a great blitz.
In response to Anon, I'll reference a quote from Mr. Hillman back in October of 2013: "I like the analogy about "wrestling a pig." That's a keeper for future use."
@THC: You're the pig, I'm sure. Never heard the analogy, and have absolutely no intention of digging it out from whatever post or thread it was inserted.
Anon: "You're the pig, I'm sure."
I read the Oink the first time, and again for the second time.
Anon: "I also read everyone else's post ..."
Um, Anon, you're an old-timer around here. How did you let yourself fall into one of THC's traps? He's loving this.
No ... not patting myself on the back. The reason I pulled your quote is because you made note that the metaphor (not mine, by the way) which I thought describes these these thread debates is worthy for re-use.
"Was Universal's Potter Blitz Premature?"
@Tim: What trap? There was no trap.
The thread began with a question based upon the differences between the Potter 1 blitz and the Potter 2 blitz. I just posed a question ... Not sure how posters might "agree" with me.
By the way, posting this on my fancy new phone from Bongos at DTD
IT'S A TRAP!!!
OK, so this has gone a little off track.
I think the problems with Gringotts definitely screwed up the timing on all of this. I am not even sure that ride will be working perfectly by the grand opening on July 8th.
I also think the gap demonstrates the difference between planning a television production (Fallon) to accommodate the opening of a theme park attraction. The Fallon show must have had to pick a date months ago -- with no guarantee the attraction would be up and running.
"I think the problems with Gringotts definitely screwed up the timing on all of this. I am not even sure that ride will be working perfectly by the grand opening on July 8th"
I guess what I am saying is opening a new land with one of the star attractions not working and the other requiring a park to park ticket may not go so well....
It didn't seem to bother the original opening of WWoHP in IOA. Forbidden Journey went through months of inconsistent operation, while two of the other major attractions were just re-branding of existing rides (Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge). The other major attraction, Olivander's, had popularity so underestimated that the line for the 20-30 person per cycle capacity led to 3+ hour lines.
Guys, reality is on its way. Everyone needs to give a huge thanks and give due credit to the Universal Orlando team for such an outstanding job at bringing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter : Diagon Alley. They have worked tirelessly to bring such a huge addition in such a short amount of time. I know as everyone stands and anxiously awaits the time when the iron gates will open and allow the general public entrance into the enchating land of Diagon Alley, I challenge each of you to remember back just the short time ago when this was just JAWs and vacant land now in just a little more than a year you have before you another amazing journey into Harry's Wizarding World. This great addition will surely be no disappointment.
Universal Orlando has gained its rightful place under the sunny skies of Orlando, Florida as one of the Top Attractions in one of the World’s most premier travel destinations. When Universal Orlando opened in 1990, I doubt the original team could ever have imagined what has become Universal Resort Orlando.
Since the last two posts have effectively killed this thread, I feel no shame in asking the following question:
Brandon: Add ons to your list of last 4 years. Despicable Me, Spiderman HD upgrade, Springfield, Kang & Kodas, USF new parade, USF new nightime lagoon show.
Rob.... thanks for your addition. I was primarily mentioning new additions, but yes, these should not go unnoticed or unmentioned.
Brandon; You are very welcome.
Thank you Brandon and Rob ...
Over the past 3 days, I have been to UOR each day. I rode Hogwarts Express 4 round trips, there were always people riding it, the lines had between 200 and 2000 people each time I rode it. I don't see having to have a park-to-park ticket as much of a problem as some would think.
Great to see you enjoying the expansion so much. It seems every site I've visited has glowing reports from people saying Diagon has the most immersion of any theme park land they ever visited. Looks like a grand slam home run for Universal when customers are loving the area , and the future attraction isn't even open yet.
Diagon Alley has a few details not widely talked about.
That rain covering actually greatly interests me!
"Brandon: Add ons to your list of last 4 years. Despicable Me, Spiderman HD upgrade, Springfield, Kang & Kodas, USF new parade, USF new nightime lagoon show."
I only pop out for a year and when I come back people are still bickering. I love it.
Not sure what I am "right" about?
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