The instructions are in today's article taking a look at what fans can expect in the new land at Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park, opening this spring. (Gotta love their choices for outside theme park experts to quote....) There's also a link to a PDF version of the map [7.4 MB], if you don't have a copy of the newspaper.
I couldn't get the 3-D version to work; I got an error from the www.harrypotter3d.com site when I launched it that the server was inaccessible. Maybe too many folks are trying to look at the map, or maybe it just doesn't work on my Mac. Anyway, I'd still suggest downloading the map; it's a fun souvenir. (Seriously, though, USA Today and Universal Orlando really should have put their logos on the downloadable map. Lost promotional opportunity there, ya think?)
Anyone else get in to the 3D version? From the preview video on USA Today's website, the map itself looks like a more detailed version of the map that was first revealed in the video that I embedded at the bottom of our preview post on the Wizarding World last fall.
Update: Universal Orlando today also sent out a press release with additional details about Hogsmeade Village (which appears to include locations from Diagon Alley in London, alas....)
“When guests visit Ollivanders, they will instantly feel like they’re in the shop from the films. It’s an intimate, single-windowed building, with the same signs, colors and other details read about in the books and seen in the films,” said Alan Gilmore, art director of the Harry Potter films and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. “But more importantly, visitors to Ollivanders will experience for themselves the magical moment that forever changed Harry’s life.”
Inside Ollivanders, visitors will be surrounded by thousands of multi-colored dusty wand boxes stacked on shelves from floor to ceiling. They will be welcomed by an inquisitive Wandkeeper, who will guide them through an enchanting experience to find their very own wand. First the Wandkeeper will ask the guest a few special questions and then select the first wand for them to try. Just like Harry, the guest will be prompted by the Wandkeeper to give the wand a wave, and a series of magical mishaps will occur until the right fit is found.
In addition to the magic featured in Ollivanders, guests will experience many other magical happenings at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including a Howler featured in the Owl Post shop front window whose ranting can be heard by guests as they pass by; The Monster Book of Monsters in Dervish and Banges that will snarl and growl at anyone who tries to get too close, and the Hog’s Head which can be seen puffing his jowls at visitors who visit the Hog’s Head pub.
Honestly, I see no downside to this expansion....everything looks like it will be amazing. And yes, there will be some long lines and major waits, but that is the kind of problem Universal has needed for a long time. And long lines in Potterville mean short lines everywhere else, so look on the bright side! Still, the crowds will be huge this year (the on-site resorts are pretty much sold out in May already), which is all the more reason to be patient and give it a few months before planning an extensive vacation.
Besides, in a year or two, the crowds will even out a bit and standard touring strategies will still work: arrive early, hit the headliners first, take a midday break, and come back for the high capacity stuff later in the day.
Universal has really stepped up to the plate with this expansion and is poised to hit a monster fly ball...we'll just have to wait and see if that fly ball makes it out of the park or not...
Its real value lies in that Brian's killed 20 minutes playing with it so far and shows no sign of giving me the map back soon. That's interactive marketing, folks. This is designed to get the techie kids involved and it's hitting its market.
By the way, despite what was shown in the instructional video, you don't need some old-school webcam to see this. Brian used the built-in webcam on my wife's HP laptop and didn't need to fiddle with that software at all. Just click the button on the harrypotter3d.com site and hold the map up to the camera.
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