Just Kidding..... Hahhaha Looks Great... Can't Wait!!
Anyways, I was disappointed that I already knew pretty much everything that this webcast had to say. But I have learned to trust that Robert knows everything about new rides and expansions before anyone else. Thanks for taking the fun out of it Robert!....haha..jk
Yeah there is still more to this than has been announced.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione are in the new ride, along with dark wizards (possibly Voldemort - I can't confirm from the concept art I've seen). AA goblins will be in the queue, and don't forget Bill Weasley's office, either. (I believe that might be a film effect, such as Harry, Ron and Hermoine in Forbidden Journey's queue.)
I suspect that the footage for this was filmed long ago, possibly in conjunction with the filming for FJ.
But why oh why can't Universal just be grown-up and sensible about all their expansions and just tell us, in advance, what we have to look forward to. This 'pretending we aren't building anything' and then 'let's tell you the names but nothing else' is a rubbish way of treating your fans. Every other theme park releases good quality descriptions of what they are building and that enhances the fans' anticipation. Does it 'spoil' their enjoyment? No. Does it make them salivate like dogs until opening day? Assuming the attraction is good one then yes!
Diagon Alley will be stunning. I just wish Universal would treat their fans and potential customers with a bit more respect and trust.
This is just further proof that the mouse is getting to be the old man in the room. stuck in his ways and refusing to change. Universal has managed to create a whole new land in the time that it takes Mickey to put together one ride.
I predict that Toon Lagoon is next on the Universal refresh list. I would love to see Marvel replaced with DC but thats the fan boy in me. I know it will never happen.
From a variety of sources, we've pegged June 13 as the official opening date for Diagon Alley. However, if I were running Universal, I'd be promoting a "summer" opening with that date in order to avoid disappointing visitors booking April and May dates. So maybe today's opening information isn't in conflict with what Burke told investors, after all.
Absolutely true! What a yawner. Wake me up when Robert posts his next scoop! Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to the expansion, but I was disappointed in the webcast, for sure.
However, the contents of the expansion were confirmed, at least: one E-ticket family coaster, a train, an expanded version of an old show, one new restaurant, and a bunch of shops. Was hoping for another ride in there somewhere, but I am sure it will be fine. Quality, not quantity, I guess.
Question: how come Universal never rolls out the A-list actors from the movies, or JK Rowling herself, for these events? It's like a Star Trek convention without Shatner or Nimoy... seriously, what's the point?!? Not saying the actors present aren't solid co-stars, but for an expansion of this magnitude one would think the top players could come down from their lofty perches and help out. Makes Universal seem somewhat second rate when they can't entice Harry Potter himself to show up for the announcement of a new "Harry Potter" ride!
Come on, Universal, you're in the big leagues now, step it up!
I am sorry they are opening so late. I will be in the Orlando area in early May. I probably will skip Universal to save money. For the next trip, I will only visit Harry Potter after everything is ready.
Derek, that question is exactly the type of question we wanted answered in today's webcast when Universal had the attention of enthusiasts everywhere. But no dice.
Sing and a miss, Universal, swing and a miss.
What I would like to see Robert compare is Universal creating all these specific, magical shops with really obscure items in them: magical robes, magical creatures, brooms, Weasley's Wheezes, etc. I can't imagine that the sales of these items will be as big as the generic theme park items that Disney crams into every shop. Universal's new shops in Diagon Alley sound a lot like the kind of shops that Walt Disney had in the original Disneyland...really unique, specific, location-appropriate, and interesting. Stuff you could only find in a store in Disneyland.
Today, however, Disney Consumer Products wants the same generic and cheap junk in every store in "the Disney Parks". It's like going to Wal-Mart when shopping at Disney, instead of unique boutiques. Universal seems to be going the "unique boutique" route. This is amazing news.
Now, what I'd like Robert to look into with his sources is how Universal executives will treat the merchandise sales in Diagon Alley. Will they switch to generic merchandise in the future? Or will they stick with the unique boutique items regardless of how much profit they bring in? What's the expectation for sales for these to be "worth it"?
To me, Disney could be such a better place if it had the unique items. It seems like the Disney executives are so clueless. If a store would make $1,000 more a week by selling generic junk than really cool themed merchandise, Disney will go with the junk.
Will Universal switch to junk if it would make that $1,000 more? That's what I don't know and would like to hear Robert weigh in with since he is an expert on Universal.
Daniel Radcliffe is in a few new movies coming out, and he's also doing another Broadway production. He's doing tons of projects. I think you are pretty uninformed about his career.
BTW - A quick check of the show listings for London's West End indicate Radcliffe's "The Cripple of Inishmaan" ended on 8/31/13... So we're back to just Igor which comes out in 2015, unless there is something on a Danny Radcliffe Fansite I missed?
Besides, Owen Wilson is waaaayyyyyy busier than Ol' Danny Boy.
I would have to go back and watch it again but I do believe that he said in the first few minutes of the webcast that you do have to have a park to park to ride the train. Also on the new Harry Potter part of the Universal Orlando website there is a section that tells you that you will need a park hopper to ride the train.
I don't remember Woodbury mentioning this fact on the webcast, but I was a few minutes late (had a meeting run long) so if he said it early in the webcast I may have missed it. Will re-watch when I get home.
Swing and a bloop single?
Grand opening is going to be nuts.
Lastly, this is the problem with sites like TPI... Robert is so well informed, almost nothing will be a surprise. He was the first to show the (Universal intentionally) leaked plans for Gringotts ride.
The mystery around this land was one of the worst kept secrets in theme park history. I am glad they gave the Gringotts ride a fitting name. At least you can surmise what the ride will be from the title.
The short answer is... what sells will get restocked. But you will continue to see the firewall that keeps generic Universal stuff (and other non-HP) out of the Wizarding Worlds. J.K. Rowling drives a hard bargain. That's why you don't see Coke products for sale in the Wizarding World, either. (No HFCS allowed, per JKR.)
Disney lost its way when it decided to try to hold down production and warehouse costs by producing more generic "Disney Parks" stuff than sharply focused park- and land-specific merch. But it sells well enough that Disney's not in any apparent hurry to change its approach.
But the Potter license limits Universal to what it can sell in the Wizarding Worlds. So it really just comes down to which Potter items sell, and which don't.
Maybe he had to take a job as a waiter to make ends meet and couldn't get time off to help Universal?
@Brent, Woodbury called the train ride a "one of a kind, two park experience", and gave no other ticket details, however many sites do state that "a park-to-park ticket will be required to take a trip on the Hogwarts Express." Guess the info comes from the main Harry Potter site but it is still down for "routine maintenance".
What do we think about this news? Personally, I don't know why anyone would go to Universal and not go to both parks, however, if a "park hopper" is required, that kind of stinks. I find there is enough in both parks to occupy a full day of my time without the extra expense of park hopping. I have never park hopped at any park. Even the Disney parks. Seems like a huge money grab (which it is - and it is an understandable money grab, as well).
I am not sure I am pleased about this news, since I am not a park hopper, but will have to wait until all the facts are out before making a final judgement.
The official webcast version from Universal that is only 8 mins long does cut out where he says you need a park to park ticket. If you watch the full version it is in there. I knew I wasn't crazy. lol
Go to 5:25
But, dude, "James Rso"? What the heck?!? I thought we were pals.
In any case, I'm excited about the land. I think they've done an amazing job with the property and I'd like to think those in charge at Comcast/Universal are doing this all on their own. But in reality, I know it's because of the control JK Rowling wields over the entire franchise. Good for her!!
It's not like Universal had a home run with Rip Ride Rockit, afterall. I love the music on-board, but California Screamin is still the ride that comes to mind when I think about music on a roller coaster. Even moreso than Rockin' Roller Coaster. Too bad RRR wasn't a B&M inverted steel roller coaster. That ride is such a disappointment, and I think it was because they tried to skimp on the costs. It doesn't work, plain and simple. You get what you pay for.
I think the Harry Potter lands can be looked at and learned from by all other parks around the world, but I really do think JK's involvement is what really pushes it over the top. I'm afraid to think that without her being so hands-on, it would have been less than it is. Or less than it would otherwise have been.
In reality, you just are not very well informed, but you chose to say Daniel Radcliffe is not very busy. I don't know you, but I doubt you are currently in rehearsals for a Broadway show and have any new movies coming out.
Just because you don't know something (important) about a subject you are talking about doesn't mean it was only reported "on fansites".
And everyone, chill, please. No one knows who will be at the Diagon Alley premiere -- not even Universal, at this stage. Celeb appearances aren't set until they happen.
So I ask, why wouldn't the GREAT Daniel Radcliffe come down from Hogwart's tower and be part of an announcement about a ride bearing the moniker of the only character he has ever portrayed about which anyone on this planet even cares? I think it is a fair question.
But like someone posted earlier, maybe he'll slum with his "fans" during the actual Grand Opening of the ride sometime in late Spring? Summer? September? We'll see.
And to be honest, I am extremely well informed, just not about Danny Boy. But in discussing things with you, I now know who to contact if I have a question about his illustrious career in the future. Good for me.
@Gabriel One person's "bicker" is another person's "witty repartee". On the other hand, and to your point, trash is trash, right? And I dumped a load of it today! Man, it feels good to write again!! ;)
Ha ha... my wife, who was reading over my shoulder, just asked me who the heck Daniel Radcliffe is!! HA HA HA..... Guess he hasn't achieved "household name" status yet. Not to worry, Annette, my wife isn't very well informed either. She only knows the actors in the Twilight films. Additionally, we're both complete and utter idiots. The rest of the people in the village think we're pretty funny, though.
By your logic, where was "the great JK Rowling" when this announcement was made? Surely, you can agree that Ms. Rowling has more to do with Harry Potter than Daniel Radcliffe, who is an actor hired to play a role in several movies while Ms. Rowling is the woman who created Harry Potter and also has a signed contract with Universal for these theme park projects.
Why aren't you bemoaning the fact that Ms. Rowling was not there? Why do you have a need to malign Daniel Radcliffe and his career? You spend a lot of time dwelling on this one young man's location for someone who claims he has a wife.
And, for the record, I did "bemoan" the fact that JK Rowling wasn't there. Feel free to go back and read my first post in this... discussion.
Thank you for playing. Have a nice day.
Second. For an opening date the Power Pass blockout dates run from June 14-Aug 14. I would bet on June 24th give or take a day or two.
Surely they could have at least have gotten Richard Harris as Dumbledore to make an appearance for the announcement. What is he doing these days?
It will be great to be able to buy a frozen cup of butterbeer in the Studios park. I can barely make it from IOA to the Studios park now with a cup of frozen butterbeer. Last time I tried, I only had a small portion left by the time I made it into the Studios park. It'll be nice to supplement my addiction in both parks with minimal walking.
Sweet! We're going to have two restaurants in the Studios park serving bangers and mash!!! Um, yeah...
Finally, does anyone have any ideas of how they could do a tribute to Jaws in the new area? Seems only fitting to include some kind of a small gesture toward a classic ride that once graced that spot.
Oh, and do they plan to remodel the restrooms east of the London area? They seem kind of out of place with the Amity themeing they have right next to the area. I noticed that when I was there earlier this month.
On a more serious note, Richard Harris was truly an excellent Dumbledore. Seemed like he just popped out of the pages of the books right onto the screen. The film series took a big hit when he passed away. R.I.P Mr. Harris.
I'm also very happy to hear the Gringots ride isn't a coaster and is family friendly. Universal already has an amazing dark ride coaster in The Mummy ride so it's great they developed something new.
There is still much that will be revealed but seeing the amazing details in the many shops makes me want to brows and explore every single one of them.