Aaron McMahon

Published: June 18, 2014 at 10:49 PM

Sounds amazing. But the nerds want to know: how much of a coaster is it?

Published: June 18, 2014 at 10:49 PM

"Nowhere in America will theme park fans find a more faithfully detailed, narrative-driven, and magically engaging experience."

So, how does the Gringotts ride and the Diagon Alley experience measure up when compared against the very best of Tokyo DisneySea?

James Trexen

Published: June 18, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Brilliant. I have got to make it to Universal while I'm down in Florida for school. Robert, since many people say 3D is often hit or miss as far as perspective and eyesight goes, how well do you think Universal did this time?
Rob Pastor

Published: June 19, 2014 at 2:04 AM

Everything I've read & seen so far gives it the "Wow" factor,. And the excellent story narrative, crisp screens, the milder more family ride experience & all the AA's in the Gringott's queue should quiet some of the Forbidden Journey critics. To see Diagon at night & during the day on various TV shows sent a chill up my spine, and I'm not even a Harry Potter fan outside of the theme park experience. Can't wait till our September trip.

Published: June 19, 2014 at 4:55 AM

Your description sounds truly amazing! I cannot wait to hear more details about the two rides and the alley itself! Thanks for the coverage!

However, you said that Diagon Alley raised the standard for theme park entertainment in the Unites States! So you think that there are superior experiences outside of America? ;-)

I would love to hear your opinion about how Diagon Alley compares to the best experiences TDL and TDS have to offer!

Tad Daily

Published: June 19, 2014 at 5:40 AM

but what about the Churros??? ;)
Tad Daily

Published: June 19, 2014 at 5:43 AM

Seriosuly though, Robert...your article had the "Wow" factor! Please give us more! You know...for those of us unable to make the trip this summer...
David L.

Published: June 19, 2014 at 5:50 AM

The TV preview last night was quite fun to watch, but this land looks even better than I hoped. If this doesn't cause disney to turn their heads, I don't know what will.
Russell Meyer

Published: June 19, 2014 at 8:59 AM

I'm curious how the platform 9 3/4 effect is. Is it as convincing as the transporter effect on the now defunct Star Trek: The Experience? The lack of mention suggests it either wasn't part of the media tour or was not a big deal (simple mist wall or similar).
Anon Mouse

Published: June 19, 2014 at 9:05 AM

"wildest fake elevator ride"

A fake elevator ride. This was done too many times to mixed results.

I'm surprised that Diagon Alley is more family friendly with the roller coaster ride. This is actually an improvement since they have too many thrill rides.

James Trexen

Published: June 19, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Russell, officialmugglenet posted a video on Instagram and it appears to be a holographic brick wall. Looks convincing enough to me.
Gabriel Schroll

Published: June 19, 2014 at 11:09 AM

So the fake elevator ride is better than the one at DisneyQuest that takes you up to the third floor? Lmao.

Seriously though, this place looks amazing. I'm hoping to spend a few months in Orlando this winter to escape the cold, and I will absolutely be spending a good bit of time over at Universal with an annual pass.

Maybe I'll get an EPCOT after 4pm annual pass too. But I only have so much money and Universal has earned what little expendable income I actually do have. Good on you, Universal!

Disney, pick up your game!

Brian Emery

Published: June 19, 2014 at 11:33 AM

First I wanted to Thanks you Robert and Brian....
Great coverage.

Universal - I am speechless...

But remember Disney has a Train ride that slightly rocks back and fourth. Hahahaha (I had too).

Sylvain Comeau

Published: June 19, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Sounds great, but I hope the Gringotts ride has physical sets and AAs, not just 3D. Spider-Man and Transformers are great fun, but I don't think Gringotts will live up to the standard of Forbidden Journey if it has no physical effects.
Robert Niles

Published: June 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Hi everyone,

Brian and I spent the morning and afternoon shooting in Diagon Alley, and our videos are exporting now.

But while we wait... for Platform 9 3/4, it's a practical effect that people in the queue see differently than the person going through. Which will make sense only when you visit, but we'll have me going through the wall on the video.

Rob McCullough

Published: June 20, 2014 at 3:24 PM

It's a super simple concept folks. This is not an up-charge like you have to pay to ride go-karts at Six Flags. Because the Hogwarts Express takes you from one park to another, you must be in possession of a two park ticket. Disney transportation does takes you from park to park for free, but you are not inside the parks. It would be sort of like going for a ride on the Disneyland Monorail from DTD without a ticket and expecting to get off in Tomorrowland for a free visit to DL.
You can upgrade your one park ticket at either train station which then gives you access to The Hogswart's Express. An up-charge would imply you are only getting to ride one limited capacity attraction, i.e. a Go-Kart or a Sky Coaster. What Universal is doing is offering the ability up upgrade a one day one park ticket to something much more valuable inside the park rather than at a traditional gate. Part of owning that kind of ticket is getting access to The Hogwart's Express railroad attraction.
I really hope this clears some of this up.

Published: June 20, 2014 at 7:04 PM

I hope the roller coaster is like the mummy and not all 3-D