Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email Newsletter

Harry Potter World

Universal Orlando: Why spend all that money on looks only and not better rides?

From Robert Mayo
Posted March 4, 2010 at 5:19 PM
Why Universal is is only changing the names of the (Flying Unicorn) children’s roller coaster and (Dueling Dragons) adult coaster? Universal is only changing the names of the coasters to make it part of Harry Potter World so money can be saved. There will be only two (NEW) rides opening at the park. The rest of the park will be shopping and food only. I hope there are plans to add more rides at a later date. Why spend all that money on looks only and not better rides??? Does anyone know why the are saying all new rides in the Harry Potter world?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Robert Niles
Posted March 4, 2010 at 5:20 PM
I've heard that there will be a new Harry Potter ride in The Wizarding World, after the final movie is released.

As for the promotion, I haven't seen Universal saying all-new rides, though I have seen some clueless reporters writing that. Not saying that hasn't happened - I just can't recall seeing it.

From Pyra Dong
Posted March 4, 2010 at 5:21 PM
I think Universal is already doing a lot with Harry Potter. Imagine-- most theme parks merely add one new ride/attraction a year (supposedly) so just the fact that they're putting in a whole new themed area AND two rides is a big feat in itself.

and blah blah blah theme parks are suffering in the recession, not enough money blah blah

Oh yea, i don't doubt that Harry Potter will put in new rides in the future. But THAT'S how theme parks get ya coming back for more! "What? A new ride at Harry Potter in 2015? NO way! Now i HAVE to buy a whole new pass to IOA in 2015 so I can experience it! O.M.G!" (i just made that up btw)

From Joshua Counsil
Posted March 4, 2010 at 5:22 PM
Because new rides of that caliber would be ridiculously expensive. A solid theme park attraction can easily be upwards of $100M. I would rather they spend their budget on one incredible attraction and beautiful scenery than on several off-the-shelf attractions.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 4, 2010 at 5:30 PM
Dueling Dragons is a huge and popular attraction.

Also, I thought they redid the line on Dueling Dragons and redid the cars for the Flying Unicorn.

From James Rao
Posted March 4, 2010 at 8:46 PM
Universal is NOT saving any money with their Harry Potter expansion. And the one brand-new attraction is going to be worth the price of park admission alone. It will be the Spider-Man killer that everyone has has tried to build for the last decade.

And, once again, I totally agree with Josh -> I would rather have one massively great, immersive, narrative attraction than a park-load of midway garbage.

From Phil B.
Posted March 5, 2010 at 7:11 AM
I've made essentially the same point about the Potter land. The theming is on a level that is mind blowing, and Forbiden Journey will most likely be THE ride that sets the benchmark for all others to aspire to. However after FJ, it's a lot of window dressing, with all the shops and restaurants. I still loathe the fact that they had to cannibalize a portion of their most unique and highly themed land, including two of it's rides, in all the resort. It demonstrates the space issues Universal is dealing with when it comes to any type of major expansion, especially at IOA. I wonder if the next ride that is built in this land will really be an E-ticket caliber type of attraction.

From Manny Barron
Posted March 5, 2010 at 12:33 PM
When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens i just think about the HP and the Forbidden Journey ride. It's just one new ride(although a massive and awesome ride) and not exactly a land.

From Raul Araoz
Posted March 5, 2010 at 2:56 PM
I have no problem with the design of The Wizarding World. The Forbidden Journey sounds like it will be the new apex for themed rides. I am actually quite excited to see the new queue for the redesigned Dueling Dragons. Plus, the stores will be attractions unto themselves. Lines are going to be set-up at many of the shops due to the effects and interactive aspects. Actors are even being hired to work in them. Add in the strong possibility of another attraction in the near future and I am sold.

From Sylvain Comeau
Posted March 5, 2010 at 3:35 PM
Building a new land costs a fortune, so I can understand why we will only get two new rides. However, if the rides don't live up to expectations, than that is a disaster.

I'm not saying FJ has to be the greatest thing ever, but it has to at least be on a par with the best rides at Universal. If it's not even among the best rides at both parks, then a bunch of nicely themed restaurants and shops doesn't justify the cost and the hype...

From Tim W
Posted March 5, 2010 at 3:33 PM
I think its a great idea. The lost continent was terrific as it was, but generic when compared to everything else. It sounded like they just needed a theme, so they hired previous imagineers to give them this idea. That is really how it sounded to me when this land was built. There are some huge brands like marvel, dr. seuss, jurrasic park, and then the no branded lost continent. So in my opinion, this idea sort of completes IOA giving its final land a definite theme.

From Nick Markham
Posted March 5, 2010 at 5:27 PM
I think Mr. Mayo is missing something. Does he not know about the incredible new ride confirmed for the Hogwarts Castle? It will be similar to Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man but much larger and possibly even better!

From Adam Nodjomian
Posted March 5, 2010 at 8:26 PM
Everyone keeps talking about 2 new attractions. I've only heard about 1 (Forbidden Journey) and the re-do of two existing attractions (Dueling Dragons to Dragon Challenge and Flying Unicorn to Flight of the Hippogriff.) What is this mysterious 4th attraction?

From Nick Markham
Posted March 5, 2010 at 9:32 PM
There isn't one, I don't know where you've heard that, unless your source claims Ollivander's Shop where you can pick your very own wand an attraction.

From Adam Nodjomian
Posted March 6, 2010 at 11:32 AM
As I read this thread it just seemed like everyone was talking about two attractions as oppossed to just one, which is what I had heard all along. This is quote from the opening statement "There will be only two (NEW) rides opening at the park." That why I asked.

From Phil B.
Posted March 6, 2010 at 11:26 AM
The Lost Continent section of IOA, in my opinion was the crown jewel of the park. The level of theming truly was exceptional. The fact that it wasn't based off of a major movie franchise, comic or cartoon is what really set it apart from the rest of the park. Yes the land is based off of stories, characters and mythologies of the ancients, but none of that material was really mainstream at the time of construction. I applaud Universal for creating such a land, and using imagination based off of source material to achieve a new area and offer guests something different as opposed to a retread of whatever hot trendy flavor of the month idea was out there. It's more in line with the way that Disney develops lands, at least in years past, and it's easy to see how former imagineers worked on the project.

From Claudine Deshaies
Posted March 7, 2010 at 1:00 PM
I just visited IOA this past week. The castle does look impressive, but the fact that they closed DD and cut up a portion of the existing park was depressing. I didn't like that the prices have already gone up, yet you are are getting less. I can understand the increase once HP opens up, of course.
And don't say that Rip Ride Rocket makes up for it because it wasn't running one of the afternoons I was there and broke down while I was in line on another day. I never did get to ride it. I'm only willing to waste a certain amount of park time on a queue.
Also, I ran into a family from the UK in BG Tampa who said they keep hearing in the UK that Harry Potter is already open. I don't know if it's just the Spring 2010 dates that they were going on, or bad press releases. They were quite disappointed.

From shak sanghera
Posted March 7, 2010 at 6:35 PM
I have to agree that I didn't really like the idea of universal cannibalising parts of the Lost Continent because it was an excellently themed area. Also it would have been the perfect place to house some attractions based on movies like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, which is a new 5 book series I think, and also more significantly Clash of the Titans. The addition of attractions based on these two movies wouldn't have required the area to be dissected as they would have fit in seamlessly with the current theming. I suppose that universal's decision is based on the fact that no other themed land would have the pulling power of Harry Potter and ultimately its all about revenue.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 7, 2010 at 9:10 PM
Yeah, I could see your point and I will say that IOA's Lost Continent was probably one of the stronger themed places.

However, where to place it is the problem. I am going to miss the Battle for Atlantis (or whatever its called). Very underrated and they could have done wonders with Clash of the Titans.

From shak sanghera
Posted March 8, 2010 at 6:24 AM
I think the battle for atlantis is staying put, at least I hope so, I just thought that a couple of the rides were being re-themed and the land was being made smaller. It was easily the most immersive of the 5 islands though and the queue for dueling dragons was fantastic with the tale of the fire and ice dragons and their continuing battle.

From Nick Markham
Posted March 8, 2010 at 6:58 AM
People! The Lost Continent is still there and still will be, just smaller!

From Phil B.
Posted March 8, 2010 at 11:13 AM
So part of the Lost Continent is....well....lost. Brilliant! Universal creative blurs the line between reality and fantasy yet again by taking the theme of one of their lands to the next level. Can actual dinos be too far behind.

From Tyler Bell
Posted March 9, 2010 at 6:27 PM
There will be new things added to Dragons Challenge,but nothing much for the flying Unicorn.Universal will probablly expand the Lost Continent and hopefully they put in a major attraction.I would have the land expanded by adding Mount Olympus,it would be a two part attraction.I would have a show and a major ride (Indoor Rollercoaster or a water ride)

From Ethan Betcher
Posted March 10, 2010 at 7:47 AM
I may be in the minority on this one but I think IOA may want to spend more time/effort on the aesthetic's of HP then the rides themselves. I think they want visitors to really engulf themselves into the HP world and forget their in sunny Florida. I know they try to do that with the whole park but HP is a worldwide sensation and should bring in a boat load of cash. There a lot of women and kids who love HP and will pay $50 for Olivander's Dragon Wand. Good rides are always appreciated though.

This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.

Stories from a Theme Park Insider

Stories from a Theme Park Insider

What's it like to work in a theme park? Stories from a Theme Park Insider takes you inside the famous tunnels and backstage at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for a look at how theme parks really work, sharing the funny moments and embarrassments that can happen when your job is someone else's vacation.
Order now: Kindle | iBooks | Paperback | Kindle (UK)