The more pressing question is, how do I get in before it opens? (I work retail.. the entire month of December is out :( )
To be completely honest, I postponed my "every-other-year" visit to Orlando by one year just because of the Harry Potter expansion, so my expectations are indeed very high. Furthermore, Universal (and the rest of Orlando) can use a shot in the arm attendance-wise, and Harry Potter, the 4.5 billion dollar movie juggernaut and 400 million copy best selling book series, should provide that boost. And with Hogwarts fans rushing out to multiplexes on Tuesday night powering Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to a new post-midnight box-office record $22.2M, the desire for Harry Potter-related entertainment seems to be as strong as ever. The movie's towering box office success should be great news for Universal execs sweating out a down economy.
I cannot wait for 2010. Bring it on, Universal!
I think its going to be great, but I voted for about the same. I feel the movies have either been really good or so so (SPHBP I thought was very good). It is also a challenge to really bring a movie to life in a 3D enviroment that the audience can interact with. It was the million dollar question for Walt Disney when deciding to make Disneyland and will continue to be an issue. I fear that its not going to stand up to the extremly high expectations of its fans.
I also really liked the Lost Continent the way it was. One of the best themed theme park lands that I have ever stepped foot into (besides Asia at AK)
I'm hoping they have something like an interactive class for children, like Disney's Jedi Academy, Pirate school (?) or the princess tutorial (I think only in Disneyland?). A magic class would be a natural; dress the kids in cloaks and give them wands. Enter some Death Eaters, or maybe a competition between houses for a little conflict and suspense. A high payback no brainer for Universal, IMHO.
My daughter took the Jedi training, but wouldn't sell out to the dark side. I was so disappointed, with her ruling the galaxy at Vaders' side I could've been set for life... wait, maybe she made the right choice after all ;-)
Yeah - welcome to the movies. Of course a lot is eliminated. They have to condense an entire novel into a 2-4 hour movie. But the movies can also enhance certain features of the novels. Imelda Staunton, for example, played Dolores Umbridge in a manner that made her much more interesting than the original character.
Yes, I've read the books and seen the movies. I feel that the movies keep getting better. The original movies had somewhat mediocre acting. The cast has really come together over time. The special effects keep improving and the tone is more adult-oriented, appropriate since the children who grew up loving these books are now adults (the first one appeared in 1997 when I was 10).
Like the anonymous poster mentioned, it's apples and oranges. What's better - the Spiderman show/movies/comics or the ride? This is TPI, so the latter seems obvious, but try to convince a Spiderman fanatic that.
If Universal can just harness the magic, then everything else will be fine.
I Respond: Examples?
And Dobby has disappeared -- the director said it was because every time he was in a shot it cost $100,00 (not really a :just because reason). And of course Dobby plays a role in the last book.
But, honestly, what am I missing? What was eighty-sixed from the movies that was so critical to telling the story?
Not a debate an academic question.
Again, as Quidditch was not part of the main storyline, it was dropped from the movie. But I would argue that over the span of Harry's life, his victory in winning the Quidditch Cup was a significant event. It marked the ultimate closure to Harry's Quidditch career, and a huge example of his character's growth and development.
And from a stand point of pure fun, Harry capturing the Snitch, defeating Slytherin, and winning the Quidditch Cup was a jump-out-of-your-seat-and-cheer moment that would have made the third movie much, much better.
Anyway, that's just one of MANY gripes I have about the Harry Potter films. If you are truly interested, there are entire Wikipedia sections devoted to the details of everything dropped, changed, or butchered in the Harry Potter film adaptions. Feel free to explore to your heart's content.
I am in complete agreement with TH. Since the opening of Spider-man, Universal has overtaken Disney in attraction design. The late eighties-to-early nineties period was a boom time for WDI. Splash Mountain, Tower, Alien Encounter, Buzz Lightyear, and Indy are all classics and exemplary examples of ride design. However, the cost cutting measures that Eisner implemented in the latter part of his tenure allowed Universal to take the lead in design. WDI still mentions their Spidey killer, but after 10 years, they still haven't built it. IMHO, Mummy is the best themed coaster. MIB is the best interactive ride. Spider-man is the greatest simulator ride ever. I only see Harry Potter pushing this case forward.
I have to also agree with Josh and TH on the films. The first two, particularly the first, Potter films were tedious and plodding. Columbus felt the need to cater to the fans of the books by including everything. In my opinion, this created two episodic films that had no narrative drive. Alfonso Cuarón was wise to streamline the stories to give the films a greater sense of urgency. Many fans complained about the loss of Tom Bombadil and other scenes and characters from The Lord of the Rings as well. However, Jackson made great movies by keeping the story focused. The latter Potter books would have to be miniseries in order to include everything. It just didn't make cinematic sense. We will see how the two part Deathly Hallows turns out.
And I am sure Universal has the inside track on a ride system that will move a substantial number of people very quickly. They would not have moved forward with a Kuka based attraction without solving that issue first.
NOTE: The official opening day gross for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince = $58M, the fourth-biggest single day in history. Universal Studios execs are having a party!
I don't take much stock in a film's gross. If that were the case, then Transformers 2 must be a masterpiece. Many unsuccessful films were flops initially and then were later seen to be great. Critics have generally been more complementary of Azkaban and the subsequent films than to the earlier ones. Take that as you will.
People either hate or love the third movie. I am in the latter camp.
Don't get me wrong - I like Cuarón, and I like his style. I just wish he had stuck to the story a bit more. After all, the third book was very short, and very visual, and really should have been the best of the movies. Instead it was just one more missed opportunity.
And I don't hate any of the movies, I just find them to be sadly lacking. The third movie was the most disappointing just because it was my favorite book in the series.
As far as the movies getting better, one would imagine that is because the books pretty much got better.
I have to disagree with TH on LOTR, though. I think those films are the pinnacle for fantasy cinema and maybe the best trilogy ever made. Reducing them to films about walking is akin to saying the Potter films are about homework.
Good discussion today, guys...but I gotta head out. Have fun!
I think the latest movie was a complete disaster. The ending was dramatically changed to the point where what came before it ended up making no sense whatsoever. The mystery of who the "Half Blood Prince" was was completely glazed over. That was a driving force in the book, and by disregarding that, they managed to make the reveal a "meh" moment rather than the "aha!" moment that it was in the book.
There were some good moments in there, but the adaptation seemed focused only on moving the major plotline along rather than telling its own story. As a result, it simply serves as an appetizer for what hopefully will be a stunning final two films (but based on the quality of this adaptation and the questionable abilities of the director, I'm not sure how great those are going to end up).
Going back to James' comparison to LOTR, he's quite spot-on. It's the big difference in having people with a complete passion for the subject matter and hired guns making the movie before the popularity wears off. Peter Jackson had years to figure out how we was going to compress three very lengthy movies down. The Harry Potter creators sign on with a script already written and a release date already set in stone (the worst example of that, of course, has to be X3. We had the poster hanging in the theatre before a director was signed!)
Oh, and the land will probably be pretty good and stuff.
I am thinking about designing a Mooby's Theme Park.
Also LOTR had Rudy in it. How can anyone take that seriously? An ex-Goonie.
Which, honestly, I doubt they'll fail at that.
Except for the heat when you're surrounded by fake snow.
By the way, to the person who said that Universal has the best interactive ride...I agree MIB is excellent, but I would argue that the best interactive ride right now is Toy Story Midway Mania. 3D interactive represents an impressive technological leap forward, and the ride is addictive fun, too.
I mean... the Wizarding World is only going to be 20 acres in size! That's nothing. To give you guys a comparison, Disneyland Park is well over 100 acres. So this will be no means be a "theme park within a theme park", it's going to be like Toontown or Tomorrowland or Adventureland, just themed to Harry Potter.
Granted, I can't wait to see it and to explore what they do recreate from the Harry Potter world, don't get me wrong. But don't you all wish that they had made the effort to create an entire huge park that would have taken at least a couple of days to visit and explore in it's entirety? I know I do...
Better be. Emma's a lot cuter.
Just wanted to jump in because who wants to be left out? Anyway, I'm holding out for the 3-D IMAX version of the movie.