Universal enhanced the animated scenes of the Spiderman Ride, but the equipment they replaced to project those scenes is of lesser quality by most standards. Proclaiming 4K digital projection an upgrade to 70MM is not really true. In fact, most would argue that 5/70 projection is superior.
The real advantage to digital is the behind the scenes cost savings from not having to replace the costly 70MM prints and ease at which the content can be modified.
The differences you perceive as superior because Universal uses the term HD in their press materials are really not an upgrade.
The digital advantage we see comes from the fact that the projected image doesn’t decline over time from wear and tear. The projector doesn’t project dirt that's on the print. And finally digital projectors are typically brighter and project more vivid colors, which is particularly pleasing with animation.
However, Universal and others labeling it as a ”high-definition” is nonsense since the 5/70 projectors before the digital switch already projected images that exceeds the quality of the best broadcast HD content seen today. Furthermore, both the 5/70 prints and the digital 4K projector projects an image that is actually of higher resolution than your best consumer High-Definition television display can show. Once again, totally misleading since this is better than what the HD label implies.
Finally, I want to touch on your suggestion that Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey needs this similar treatment. That’s complete nonsense as that ride already uses a combination of 2K and 4K digital projectors, both of which project images that exceed the quality of what the HD term describes. Resolution is not the issue with the projected scenes on this ride.
The difference between Spiderman and Harry Potter can be attributed to the content of the projected scenes and the rides themself. There is a lot more movement going on in Harry Potter during the projected scenes, which makes it harder for our eye to focus. Second, in many of the scenes the rider is placed much closer to the screen so pixelation becomes a huge issue. If you were to view the same content from a proper distance as you do in the opening and closing sequences on Harry Potter and with minimal movement of the ride vehicle then the quality of the content would be much more apparent.
It's completely possible that a coaster is going into that building, but there's just no evidence on the ground to support that rumor. If you look at the Transformers construction site, they are already putting in the track and remedial infrastructure as they're putting the building together (it was really clear when I was there before they started putting together the second floor). The new Potter building is very much like an airplane hanger (similar to Soarin') with a completely flat floor (no bolts, footers, or mounts) that would suggest something other than a roller coaster going into that building.
As far as Forbidden Journey, I think the biggest issue with it is that it's so incredibly dark. The projections are very dark, and the animatronic effects are very dark. It could just be my perception, because I always ride through the single rider line, so my eyes only have about 2-5 minutes to adjust from bright sunshine to the dark attraction, but the whole thing could be improve through increased illumination throughout.
Perhaps the upgrade should tout conversion of 70mm film to digital projection in Extreme Definition (4K). You'll lose just about everyone since people are familiar with High Defintion. Maybe they should use Extreme HD, but the post already said 4K HD.
It isn't long for 4K televisions to arrive. TV manufacturers need more product to sell. Soon everyone will know what 4K means, but not for at least 5 more years. Only recently have people started to get 1080P as standard across all their hardware.
That building in Potter will be a coaster.
The gap's closed, but I still love that building fly-through on Transformers so much. The simulated speed on that ride's addictive. But I'd happily ride both all day.
As to Russell's concerns, having seen the blueprints, I think we should keep in mind that this isn't go to be anything like a traditional roller coaster. It's much more a dark ride on a coaster track. There will be some dips, but the ride cars will rotate, and the ride will not have the big lift hills, drops and other elements we often think of when imagining about a roller coaster. You'll "coast" on the ride, but I don't think it will be as intense a ride as Mummy (and that's not that intense).
Can't wait to go this weekend!
Russell, Universal recently filed a Notice of Commencement to start track layout for Gringotts. Since Mosley, the company that helped build Rip Ride Rockit, has been listed as manufacturer, so we can expect a coaster of sorts.
Also, looks like the Monsters Cafe's days are limited. A permit has been filed as Project 007 (coincidence?) that is calling for some remodeling/retheming. Perhaps to go with the Transformers theme...
@Dom the Ferris Wheel on Lagoon Side was that for London and a "mini I" or for a Simpsons themed Ferris Wheel?
Also Miceage had an article today discussing Wicked moving into Blue Man Group's stage? Granted it was quickly refuted by Blue Man Group. But thinking they could place Wicked in Twister's building add a Broadway theme and marque and not have to retheme the gift shop.
The scary part (in a good way) is that the Studios have a large tract of land for expansion going thru the gap between Simpsons and MIB.
Also I guess make the land look better on the park map to have two rides instead of just one
but, I think the potter stuff sounds fantastic...the train to both parks? this will add big time to universal and encourage the 2 park pass...universal will jump up in people visiting the park and now its going to be disneys turn to come in with something since avatar was put on hold or cancelled.