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Harry Potter stars shooting film footage in England for new theme park rides

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Published: December 11, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Work is coming along on the new Harry Potter ride for Orlando.

And I'm not just talking about construction inside Universal Studios Florida. British media are reporting that the stars of the Harry Potter films are working at the Warner Bros studios in Leavesden shooting footage for the new Harry Potter rides in Florida and California.

Tom Felton and Michael Gambon
Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Michael Gambon (Dumbledore) at the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando in June 2010.

Uh, California? Japan? (Cue the record scratch.)

We've known that the Gringotts coaster that will be the centerpiece of the Diagon Alley land that's under construction at USF would need new film footage as part of the ride. (Concept art suggests that it will make the first appearance by Voldemort in one of the Harry Potter attractions.) But the reference to Universal Studios Hollywood's Wizarding World in the story leads one to wonder if California will be getting the Gringotts coaster in lieu of or perhaps in addition to the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride that's housed in Hogwarts Castle at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure. Or if California's getting something completely different, instead. Same for Japan. (*The post has been updated to include the USJ reference.)

(Thanks to reader Duncan Henny for the tip.)

Readers' Opinions

From Nathan Alexander on December 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM
This was reported yesterday in Australia as well.

" Helena Bonham Carter is said to be among the cast currently filming and will apparently reprise her role as Bellatrix Lestrange.The short feature will reportedly be shown at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

It will also be made available at two new parks currently under construction, one of which will open in California in 2014 and another in Japan in 2016."

edit to add link. http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/movies/harry-potter-cast-reunite-for-secret-film/story-e6frfmvr-1226534811706

From 2.24.147.104 on December 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM
I think it's going to be a couple of extra add-ons for FJ at Universal Hollywood. I'd love it to be a whole new ride - but the cynic in me doubts it. I doubt they would use Gringrotts at Hollywood over FJ, when they have a tried and tested attraction to copy from Orlando.

I would love to be proven wrong though!

From Dominick D on December 11, 2012 at 4:08 PM
An insider from Orlando United announced the ride will be 4K 3D. I don't think USH and USJ will be getting both Gringotts and FJ (I'm leaning on FJ for them).
From O T on December 11, 2012 at 5:39 PM
Who knows, it's great to hear they are filming more footage.
I guess it would be cheaper to put a Gringots ride in the other parks because the rumors has it it's a coaster/dark ride kind of thing and I think thats a bit cheaper then the robot arms in the Forbidden Journey ride. But I hope all parks get these great attractions to enjoy.
From Dominick D on December 11, 2012 at 6:39 PM
O T, the Gringotts ride system will make FJ's robotic arms look like it's a small world.
From AJ Hummel on December 11, 2012 at 7:17 PM
I'd be somewhat surprised if USH installed a Gringott's coaster and no Forbidden Journey. If they're building a Harry Potter themed area and Hogwarts isn't accessable (even if it is present), I doubt it would go over very well. However, I wouldn't be surprised if instead USH gets a different dark ride inside the castle (or even just Forbidden Journey with some alternate scenes). It's pretty unlikely they'd install both, at least initially.
From 184.90.205.36 on December 12, 2012 at 1:34 AM
Maybe it's all about the castle. If people will come to Florida from all over the world to see Hogwarts castle why flood the market with more castles?

So far, to me it looks like the new Gringott's ride will be cheaper to build and maintain. The robot arms and specialized (crazy rotating wagon wheel) screen systems in FJ have got to be more expensive to maintain (moving projectors probably need more calibration and tweaking vs stationary projectors like that of spiderman, transformers, or apparently gringotts). Even the shear number of projectors needed for FJ is staggering when you think about it.

Disney doesn't build the same castle in multiple parks, so why should Universal? I'm probably just being greedy and want to keep it all to myself here in Florida.

From Dominick D on December 12, 2012 at 11:41 AM
@184.90.205.36, Gringotts will have 10x more advanced technology than FJ, so FJ would actually be cheaper.

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