Posted on Monday, May 12th, 2014 by Peter Sciretta
Universal Orlando has finally confirmed details of the new signature ride at the upcoming Diagon Alley expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride will feature vehicles that seat 12 people and will take park visitors “through a Harry Potter story featuring villains, dragons and goblins.” Universal has revealed a bunch of new details on the attraction including Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts photos and concept art.
Above is our first look at the ride vehicle, which looks a bit like the coaster vehicle from Universal Studio’s Revenge of The Mummy. Fine out more and see more, after the jump.
Universal Creative Studios Senior vice president Thierry Coup told the Orlando Sentinel:
“We wanted the level of thrills that Forbidden Journey has but maybe make it more visual than physical in some ways, trying to strike the right balance,” Coup said. New projector technology and a nearly 360-degree screen will help immerse riders in the story at one point, he said. “The time you spend in each scene with the characters is greater than we’ve been able to achieve in any ride,” Coup said. “It’s really going to give you the sense of being there with your favorite characters.”
The ride’s storyline is set in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh book in the series, and the seventh and eighth movies in the film adaptations. The ride recreates the famous sequence from the films, and puts the guests in the middle of the action.
The outside of the attraction, a recreation of Gringotts bank, will feature a 60-foot-tall fire-breathing dragon statue on top. Guests will enter the bank, and the attraction queue will take park visitors through the marble lobby of Gringotts.
The story is that guests are there to open an account at the bank, but they will find themselves transported smack in the middle of the action when Ron, Harry and Hermoine break into the bank.” Harry, Ron and Hermione are searching the labyrinths of Gringotts to find a Horcrux to defeat Lord Voldemort.
Bellatrix Lestrange finds out there are imposters trying to impersonate her and trouble starts. That’s when we are sent deeper into the lower parts of Gringotts under London, and we run into security trolls, dragons, Bellatrix and, eventually, the dark Lord Voldemort,” Coup told Orlando Biz Journal.
Rumor has it that a set of elevators will take you down “30,000 feet to the subterranean Gringotts vaults — juuust like those “hydrolators” at Epcot’s The Living Seas used to bring you up from the bottom of the ocean. ;^) Once “down” at vault level, you’ll pick up your 3D glasses in a tunnel-like room, before climbing a spiral staircase to the load platform.”
The ride itself lasts about four minutes, but the pre-show in the queue line is supposed to me equally spectacular. Universal isn’t calling the new ride a roller coaster, insisting that they’ve “created an entirely new type of ride that propels guests into the story like never before.” But the new ride is essentially a roller coaster, but with some high tech new additions never seen before anywhere. Imagine if Transformers: the Ride or The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man was on a roller coaster track.
The height requirement for the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts attraction will be 42 inches, six inches shorter than Forbidden Journey.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts Photos and Concept Art
An opening date for the new Wizarding World expansion has not been announced, but many insiders project a grand opening in mid-June 2014.