Published: December 13, 2013 at 4:07 PMI think this Harry Potter attraction, and the one at IOA, is one of the greatest things to ever happen to the theme park industry. It really raises the bar.
From what I can see, they are sparing NO EXPENSE with this project. They are not doing anything on the cheap this time. I find that wonderful.
It's going to prevent Disney from being cheap in the future with project or value engineering. Because every new project will have to be as good as Harry Potter. Or else, don't bother.
I think this is fantastic. It means down the road that we'll get even more immersive attractions as people try to one-up Diagon Alley and be even more immersive and impressive.
This is a major WIN all around for every theme park fan. Not only will Disney have to live up to this standard, but Universal itself will have to upgrade the rest of its parks to match the Harry Potter level. That's going to be spectacular.
Published: December 13, 2013 at 4:42 PMI completely agree Annette. From the looks of it, HP London / Hogsmeade will be nothing short of the most spectacular theme park project of all time. I would love to see Disney put the same effort onto their upcoming Star Wars and Avatar lands. Orlando will be the most immersive theme park destination in the world.
Disney has done so much since the Magic Kingdom arrived in 1971 and Universal took a single, not so exciting park and transformed it into a fully realized one stop destination resort.
When you look at Hogsmeade, it is pretty remarkable what they did, but they had to squeeze it into an existing area. London on the other hand, has a huge façade, just to hide everything behind it, plus all these new alleyways and shops with the marquee ride visible from the entrance. There is only one way in and one way out, where Hogsmeade is a walkthrough area.
I hope the Disney execs take notice and crack open the checkbooks in the coming years.
Published: December 13, 2013 at 5:50 PMWhile I'm really looking forward to this new land, Universal spent 5 minutes showing me clips from the films and confirming that the Leaky Caldron will be in the land. I was really looking forward to more...
Published: December 14, 2013 at 5:52 PMI couldn't agree more with the first two comments. I don't care that it's Universal who is raising the bar, as long as someone is raising the bar. And to do it in this sort of spectacular fashion is a theme park lover's dream come true! What Universal did with Hogsmeade proved that if you take the time, put in the effort, employ the right creative minds, and really put your money where your mouth is, an extraordinary project can be created. I tend to think Hogsmeade was dipping their big toe into the water, so to speak. If it worked out, they'd have the confidence to go full-steam ahead with London. And it worked out better than anyone could hope.
So Disney, it's your turn. You have an incredible franchise in Star Wars with so much history and lore that can be turned into something Universal only wishes they had. Hollywood Studios is in desperate need of an overhaul, and this, more than any other time, would be when those deep pockets and very talented and experienced Imagineers need to knock one out of the park.
Finally, regarding the video itself, I was pretty impressed with how excited Mark Woodbury seemed to be. There was something just a bit odd about him, but I felt his enthusiasm was genuine. And having people who care in positions to make a difference is what makes a good park great, and a great park better.
Published: December 14, 2013 at 1:05 AMI hope you are right Annette, but didn't Disney build the Jack Sparrow experience at the Disney Studios after HP phase 1?
Published: December 14, 2013 at 9:59 AMThanks for posting this. I cannot wait for next summer. It's great to see that the creative forces behind this seem as excited about the project as myself.
I'm not a Harry Potter fan, but something about riding the Hogsmeade Express from London really resonates with me. The rumors I've heard about the attraction sound great and I think it will be an amazing to get off the train and feel like you have actually arrived in Hogsmeade.
I think the hardest part will be deciding where to start next year. Start with the section I already know and travel on the train to the new, or vice versa?
Published: December 14, 2013 at 10:34 PMTo the person above: That's a great point!
Published: December 16, 2013 at 12:34 PMWhilst the HP themeing is very very good and without doubt I agree with the comments above it raises the bar, however I do feel that the actual HP ride is rather incoherent and just an overload on the senses and left me feeling the ride was actually quite forgetable. I hope more thought goes into the new attraction. I am not a HP fan nor seen the movies so as a critic i'm looking for something to blow me away rather then just a ride that reminds me of a movie. Im hoping for an experience. The only ride in florida that left me feeling like I had really experienced something new and exciting was Toy Story Mania. Im looking for that sort of buzz coming off a ride and thing wow that was awesome.
Published: December 16, 2013 at 7:45 PMFJ does seem a little disjointed at first. Basically, you are at Hogwarts when all heck breaks loose. They have to squeeze so much into a short ride. I was a bit confused when I first rode it now I just enjoy the queue and all the ride scenery.