Published: February 16, 2015
Motion Base Ride
Minimum height to ride: 42 inches
Published: February 16, 2015
Having said that, this was an attraction that impressed me wholly by its use of the latest technology but left me wanting in terms of the overall story/ride experience. It felt strange not to have the focus on the 3 primary characters. Even though they were present in the ride, they were passive toward the audience and you could feel it. And of all the secondary characters to take the front stage, why Bill Weasley? I don't feel the connection here like I do in Forbidden Journey, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are at the center of my interaction with the ride.
I also felt that the end of the attraction was anticlimatic, and the way out was way too easy for us and the main characters. It really didn't seem like Voldemort was trying all that hard, and I don't even remember what happens to him in the end. And as a result of the heavy screen usage, I did not feel as engaged as I could have been.
However, I appreciated the incredible attention to details, the technology, and the care with which Universal approached this material. It was one of those situations where the sum of the parts was less than the whole. I rode the ride twice just to be sure I was getting everything that was intended for the experience. Overall, I'd give this attraction a 7/10.
This is really nitpicking though. The ride is excellent, and I found myself enjoying it more and more, which is the sign of a great attraction. Once you've gone through the proper queue once, the single rider line is a beautiful thing (but don't expect to take the elevator there!). Oh, and the sound design is the best I've ever heard on a ride.
To be more positive, several elements of Gringotts are outstanding, including a track-based effect in the intro scene, the overall screen sizes and projection quality, the downright killer audio, and a spectacular finale maneuver. The physical sets are also enormous and detailed. Additionally, guests should find themselves easily distracted in the stellar queue and pre-show rooms featuring a variety of effects - from audio-animatronics, to high-quality musion projections, to a simulated elevator descent.
Overall, I'm giving Escape from Gringotts an 8/10. Despite numerous positives, I feel that the ride's general design offers poor pacing and perhaps boredom as certain scenes linger substantially with few elements of interactivity (simulation) to maintain engagement. Innovative ride technology, impressive projections and sets, and an incredible queue help it win points. Enjoyable attraction overall, but only die hard Potter fans should wait over an hour to ride.
A few notes about the ride (possible spoilers):
It seems quite short, especially when compared to the Forbidden Journey.
There aren't many actual, physical settings throughout the ride. It almost feels as if the ride travels from screen to screen with transitions of darkness between scenes. You could have fooled me for the most part in believing I was in an underground cave.
The actor playing Bill Weasley almost feels like he's phoning his performance in. The scene that plays in the queue and his scenes on the ride had a weird vibe like he was just passively interacting with the audience and the characters around him.
I'm very pleased that the posted wait time on my day of visiting was just 15 minutes. I don't think I would wait more than an hour for this ride in its first year. I'm not that die hard of a fan.
The tech elements are wonderful and amazing when they are all working, which thankfully they were for me.
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