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Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Diagon Alley3.jpg
Ukrainian Ironbelly atop of Gringotts Bank which houses Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Universal Studios Florida
Park sectionThe Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley
Coordinates28°28′49″N 81°28′12″W / 28.48028°N 81.47000°W / 28.48028; -81.47000
StatusOperating
Opening dateJuly 8, 2014 (2014-07-08)[1]
ReplacedJaws: The Ride
General statistics
TypeSteel – Launched
ManufacturerIntamin
DesignerUniversal Creative
Lift/launch systemDrive tire launch
Length600 m (2,000 ft)
Site Area75,000 sq ft (7,000 m2)
Inversions0
Duration5:00
Max vertical angle50°
Height restriction42 in (107 cm)
Trains11 trains with 2 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in 3 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.
ThemeGringotts Bank (Harry Potter)
Pre-ride hostBill Weasley
Ride hostBill Weasley
Universal Express available
Single rider line available
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at RCDB
Pictures of Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at RCDB

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is an indoor steel roller coaster at Universal Studios Florida, a theme park located within the Universal Orlando Resort. Similar to dark rides, the roller coaster utilizes special effects in a controlled-lighting environment and also employs motion-based 3-D projection of both animation and live-action sequences to enhance the experience. The ride, which is themed to the Gringotts Wizarding Bank, became the flagship attraction for the expanded Wizarding World of Harry Potter when it opened on July 8, 2014.[1]

History

Universal Parks & Resorts, in partnership with Warner Bros., officially announced the addition of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Islands of Adventure on May 31, 2007.[2][3][4][5] The area officially opened in the Islands of Adventure theme park on June 18, 2010.[6][7] The Harry Potter-themed area saw attendance at Islands of Adventure rise by as much as 36% in 2010. According to Jason Garcia of the Orlando Sentinel, this led to resort executives pondering "when to expand Wizarding World and how to keep business balanced between Islands and Universal Studios Florida".[8] In April 2011, Brady MacDonald of the Los Angeles Times speculated that an area expansion would include the addition of Diagon Alley and a Gringotts-themed dark ride in place of the Lost Continent themed area in the park.[9]

On December 6, 2011, Universal park officials confirmed that an expansion would take place and described it as "significant".[10][11] The announcement was made four days after the park confirmed the removal of Jaws, a ride scheduled to close permanently on January 2, 2012.[12] Demolition of the Jaws ride and the surrounding Amity area began soon after its closure.[13][14] After the site was levelled, work began on land reclamation as well as the construction of a series of buildings, including a large show building for the Gringotts ride.[15][16][17]

Further details about the expansion were announced on May 8, 2013, confirming new feature attractions themed after Diagon Alley and London.[18][19][20][21] On January 23, 2014, the name of the area's flagship attraction was revealed to be Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.[22][23] It was later described as a "virtual reality roller coaster" by Entertainment Weekly as additional details were released in May 2014.[24][25] The new ride opened on July 8, 2014, alongside other attractions in the new Diagon Alley section of the park.[1] The building housing the attraction features a 60-foot (18 m) dragon statue perched over the entrance that utilizes special effects to simulate the breathing of fire.[25]

Ride experience

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is an indoor steel roller coaster with a track length of approximately 2,000 feet (610 m).[26] The ride encompasses motion-based vehicles, detailed sets, physical effects, and 3D projection screens similar to those found on Transformers: The Ride and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. The ride's storyline is set during the events portrayed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, when Harry, Ron and Hermione are attempting to infiltrate Gringotts Bank in order to retrieve a Horcrux as part of their mission to defeat Lord Voldemort.[27]

Queue

The queue begins through the lobby of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, where Bogrod, one of the bank's tellers, awaits Muggles who are visiting the bank to open an account. After he clears the Muggles to visit the vaults, they walk toward a security check to have their ID picture taken. After getting clearance, Muggles pass tables laid out with issues of the Daily Prophet newspaper that display prominent headlines from the film series, then continue down a corridor lined with offices used by the bank's goblin employees. In one of these offices, silhouettes of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger (disguised by Polyjuice Potion as Bellatrix Lestrange), and Griphook can be seen and heard as they plot to infiltrate the vaults to retrieve an unmentioned item. Continuing through the queue, Muggles enter Bill Weasley's office, where they are welcomed by the goblin Blordak and eventually joined by Bill. Blordak directs the Muggles toward the vaults; after exiting the office, they wait at the door of an elevator that will take them there as a moving portrait of a goblin explains the safety precautions of the ride. Upon taking the elevator down to the vaults, Muggles pick up cart goggles and ascend a flight of stairs to the cart loading station.[27]

Ride

After guests board their cart, the vehicle races along the tracks, just before security alarms go off as a security breach is detected and the bank goes on lockdown. Bellatrix Lestrange appears, after receiving word of an impostor infiltration, and decides to torture the guests by cutting off the track and tilting it. This sends the cart speeding toward the vaults as stalagmites can be seen to give an impression of being deep underground. Bill Weasley casts Arresto Momentum to stop the cart and apologizes just before Harry, Ron, Hermione and Griphook, emerge from the Thieve's Downfall, which has washed away the Polyjuice Potion's effect off Hermione. Their cart drops from a high altitude as security trolls climb up, pushing Bill and Blordak off the cart.

A security troll pushes the guests' cart further, past the Thieve's Downfall and stops in front of more security trolls. One of them is hit by a mace but hangs on to the guests' cart and sends them falling. Bill casts Arresto Momentum again to stop the cart from falling, followed by Wingardium Leviosa, sending guests' through the vaults. Meanwhile, Harry, Ron and Hermione are attempting to escape the vaults on the Ukrainian Ironbelly. Blordak urges guests to seek shelters inside one of the vaults.

After entering the vault, the walls come crashing down and Nagini appears in an attempt to attack guests. Bellatrix reappears, this time alongside Lord Voldemort, who confronts guests, questioning them on their knowledge of Harry Potter's whereabouts. He blames Bellatrix for the vault infiltration, who again decides to torture guests sending them to a lava-filled chamber deep in the vaults. To further torture guests into revealing Harry Potter's whereabouts, Voldemort decides to administer "a little dose of pain to help you remember" and conjures a ball of fire. The Ukrainian Ironbelly crashes in from the opposite side, and Harry casts a counterspell, while the dragon spits fire towards Voldemort, who shields himself and Bellatrix and later furiously retreat. Hermione casts a spell to hook the cart to the dragon in order to get guests safely out of the vaults and Ron casts Confringo to create an escape route. In the final scene, Harry asks Bill to take care of the guests as he acknowledges the retrieval of the unnamed item (mentioned earlier in the queue), and Bill bids the guests farewell.[27]

Cast

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts features many of the main characters of the film series, which were reprised by their respective actors, except for Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson:

Awards

In Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts has made it into the Top Five Dark Rides since it opened in 2014.

Golden Ticket Awards: Best Dark Ride
Year 2014 2015 2016 2017
Ranking 4[28] 3[29] 2[30] 5[31]

Gallery

References

  1. ^ a b c Niles, Robert (July 8, 2014). "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley opens officially at Universal Studios Florida". Theme Park Insider. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Harry Potter theme park planned". BBC News. May 31, 2007.
  3. ^ Sturcke, James (May 31, 2007). "Harry Potter theme park to open in Florida". The Guardian. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
  4. ^ "Harry Potter theme park swoops to Fla". USA Today. May 31, 2007. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
  5. ^ Albright, Mark (June 1, 2007). "A whole new magic kingdom". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
  6. ^ Garcia, Jason. "Big day is here: Universal hopes Harry Potter's magic will last". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  7. ^ "Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park opens". Australia Times. June 19, 2010. Retrieved June 19, 2010.
  8. ^ Garcia, Jason (December 16, 2010). "Universal Orlando ponders how to take full advantage of Wizarding World's popularity". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  9. ^ MacDonald, Brady (April 6, 2011). "Universal Studios wonders how and when to expand Wizarding World of Harry Potter". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  10. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (December 6, 2011). "Wizarding World of Harry Potter to expand at Universal Orlando". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 2013-01-01. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  11. ^ "Significant Expansion Also Planned for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort". Press Release. Universal Orlando Resort. December 6, 2011. Archived from the original on January 9, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  12. ^ Garcia, Jason; Bevil, Dewayne (December 2, 2011). "Universal Studios to close Jaws to make way for new attraction". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  13. ^ Garcia, Jason (August 12, 2012). "Universal works to fill gaps ahead of debut of 2nd phase of Wizarding World". Orlando Sentinel. Tribune Company. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  14. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (November 2, 2012). "Universal Studios Orlando set to open Transformers ride next summer". Orlando Sentinel. Tribune Company. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  15. ^ Gworek, Don (July 1, 2012). "Soundstage 44 now fully demolished at Universal Studios Florida". Orlando Attractions Magazine. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  16. ^ Armenia, Anthony (December 8, 2012). "Photo Update: Transformers and rumored Grignotts Bank coaster buildings being enclosed at Universal Studios". Orlando Attractions Magazine. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  17. ^ Armenia, Anthony (March 13, 2013). "Aerial view of the Jaws and Wizarding World areas at Universal". Orlando Attractions Magazine. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  18. ^ Goldman, Eric (May 8, 2013). "Details on Expansion of Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando Confirmed, Including Diagon Alley as Second Location". IGN. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  19. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (May 8, 2013). "Universal Orlando: Harry Potter expansion to open spring and or summer of 2014 at Universal Studios". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  20. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (May 9, 2013). "10 burning questions about Universal's Harry Potter expansion". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  21. ^ "Universal Orlando announces new Harry Potter expansion with Diagon Alley, London". The Washington Post. Associated Press. May 8, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  22. ^ Thurston, Susan (23 January 2014). "Harry Potter's Diagon Alley plans Escape from Gringotts ride, new stores". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  23. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (23 January 2014). "New details about Harry Potter Diagon Alley: Lots of shops, Gringotts ride gets name". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  24. ^ Marshall, Jojo (May 13, 2014). "The 'Escape from Gringotts' virtual reality rollercoaster at Harry Potter theme park will blow your mind". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  25. ^ a b Sciretta, Peter (May 12, 2014). "'Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts' Photos and Details Revealed". /Film. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  26. ^ Weisenberger, Nick (July 22, 2014). "Coasters-101: Escape from Gringotts Secrets Revealed". Coasters-101. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  27. ^ a b c Levine, Arthur (8 August 2017). "Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts". TripSavvy. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  28. ^ "Park and ride winners". Amusement Today. 16 (6.2): 4, 5. September 2014.
  29. ^ "Park and ride winners". Amusement Today. 16 (6.2): 4, 5. September 2015.
  30. ^ "Park and ride winners" (PDF). Amusement Today. 16 (6.2): 10. September 2016.
  31. ^ "Park and ride winners" (PDF).

External links