Published: June 1, 2007 at 7:29 PM
Hmm... I'm surprised I'm the first one to get truly geeky and compared the publicity art with aerial photos. Obviously, their plans might change, and it's always just an impression anyway, but if we're going on the idea that the art is accurate, then the following things can be deduced:
- There are three pieces of artwork that show the new area. The one that is an Overview (this one) zooms in to pretty extreme detail. Do so, and if you look slightly above the owl's right wing, you'll see what is quite clearly a bit of Dueling Dragons track, and the accompanying castle. The castle has a marquee extension attached to it - does DD currently have this on the queue line? If not, it's probably an addition to bring DD into the Potter theme.
- Opposite from DD is a smaller coaster with a bridge to another island just to the side - quite clearly the Flying Unicorn. The track looks a little more complex than FU's current figure of 8 to me, though this could just be because the artist is trying to make it actually seem a little better than it is. However, if they're going for a quidditch theme, it wouldn't be out of the question to go the whole way and just building a new kiddie coaster, right?
- Behind the Unicorn, a path leads to Hogwarts. This building, at least in this artwork, looks huge, so it's got to be Strongarm, right? It's even in two buildings, so perfect for a queueline/preshow building and a main ride building. Or maybe that's just to keep it accurate to the books... I don't know them very well. Either way, it would make sense for this big plot of land to be the space between the Unicorn and Jurassic Park. If - and this is a very big if - the artwork is at least roughly geographically accurate, that's the only place it can feasibly go.
- As for how much of the Lost Continent is being converted... at the bottom of the artwork is an archway. Given they're focusing on mostly structural overlays, my initial reaction was that this would be the archway already in place, just before Sinbad. However, not only would that leave the remaining LC with just only Mythos and Poseidon, but it would also leave quite a lot of space before reaching DD, whereas in the artwork, we can see it starts at roughly the same place as DD's grounds. So it's clear that this archway (and therefore the beginning of TWWoHP) is either going to cross over between what is currently the Ice Cream stand and the Pitch and Skill Games (the two buildings just before the Dragons/Enchanted Oak plaza area) or at the point just further on where the greenery on either side edges in on the path slightly. (Take a look at an aerial photo to better understand what I mean.) And the building in the middle of the pathways in the artwork will be placed in the centre of what is currently that plaza.
- This backs up the notion that Sinbad will be saved - as will the talking fountain, I expect. (Yay!)
The artwork is pretty explicit on the above points, and remarkably "to scale" for theme park concept art - normally totally out of shape and size. However, where the revealing details regarding Dueling Dragons should be, there is currently an owl's wing. So, though this is now pure guess-work, by using this second picture, we can piece together what I think is the only feasible concept.
Taking a look at the first picture, at the entrance to the land, above the train, we see a building illuminated on the inside by fire. I'm taking this as a possible clue to start with - it even looks like it an attraction entrance - however, more compelling evidence can be seen on the second picture. If you look at the roof of the same building, there's a pretty distinct shape pointing out from the top - a dragon's wing, almost identical to those currently sitting at the entrance to DD. So maybe they stay, but the entrance moves. Or DD's entire entrance plan might be staying exactly as it is. Either way, we can all breathe a sigh of relief that at least Universal don't intend to change one of the park's signature rides too much.
Thank God for the internet.