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New details on Wizarding World of Harry Potter


Eric_JWFAN
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Slightly O.T. but likely of interest to many here, Universal has released major details on it's Harry Potter world coming to Universal Orlando. I wonder how much Williams will be heard here.

http://www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/index.html?__source=email.hp.ap.9152009

To the left is a webcast with some interesting details.

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Thanks for posting that! I'm a big theme park nut - Disney more than Universal, but still, it's interesting. I hope it's not too many years before I finally get to make a big excursion out to Orlando.

Did you hear about the major expansion planned for Disney World? It was announced just three days earlier.

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I don't understand how they're going to make Hogwarts castle "look 700 feet tall." I know forced perspective works great onscreen, but in the real world, where you can move around in 3D, if it's not that tall, you'll know.

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I don't understand how they're going to make Hogwarts castle "look 700 feet tall." I know forced perspective works great onscreen, but in the real world, where you can move around in 3D, if it's not that tall, you'll know.

Yeah, I was wondering about that too.

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I don't understand how they're going to make Hogwarts castle "look 700 feet tall." I know forced perspective works great onscreen, but in the real world, where you can move around in 3D, if it's not that tall, you'll know.

Yeah, I was wondering about that too.

Actually I work not far from the construction company that is making all the buildings including Hogwarts, and I've seen some of the tops of the buildings and boy they are SMALL, which makes me think they are really going after the forced perspective to try making this thing look super tall.

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Well, it's obviously not going to really look 700 feet tall. Forced perspective does a lot in the real world, too. It's not going to convince you that it really is as tall as it's supposed to be, but it still conveys that impression. Most people don't walk down Disneyland's Main Street thinking, Boy, it's weird how they built the second stories of all these buildings so small!

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I'll buy that. It will really look that tall without really being that tall. If you make each successive story proportionately smaller, you can trick the human brain into thinking it's getting that much farther away.

Though I've never been to Disney-anything so I'll take your word for it.

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Well, it's obviously not going to really look 700 feet tall. Forced perspective does a lot in the real world, too. It's not going to convince you that it really is as tall as it's supposed to be, but it still conveys that impression. Most people don't walk down Disneyland's Main Street thinking, Boy, it's weird how they built the second stories of all these buildings so small!

Good point about Disney. Cinderella's Castle here in Disney World looks pretty tall but I think it's only about 175 feet. These creative design people usually do a great job of making things appear taller than they are. The Hogwarts castle will probably be 199 feet tall and "look" about 300-400 feet tall. The reason why they never build these things over 200 feet, is Florida aviation law requires all structures over 200 feet to have one of those blinking lights, which would totally ruin the effect of Cinderella's Castle, Hogwarts, etc.

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I'll buy that. It will really look that tall without really being that tall. If you make each successive story proportionately smaller, you can trick the human brain into thinking it's getting that much farther away. Though I've never been to Disney-anything so I'll take your word for it.

Never been to a Disney park?! Gasp! I recommend fixing that when you get a chance...Disneyland in Anaheim, California is a great place to start. But Disney plugs aside, yeah, forced perspective is just as common a trick in theme park design as in the movie industry - perhaps more so these days, since so many film sets tend to just be extended with CGI instead. Disneyland alone is full of examples of it. Buildings like Main Street, the famous Sleeping Beauty Castle, and the Indian temple at the entrance to the Indiana Jones ride use rather extreme forced perspective to allow apparently taller structures in spaces that don't really permit that. Similarly, the Matterhorn is built at 1/100th the scale of the real Matterhorn, but changing textures and trees that get successively smaller help it look taller. And there's another benefit to this technique in the real world, too - the results can be softer or less intimidating than they would be if they were built at full size, without the forced perspective. It's a little cuter, a little more charming. I think that could work marvelously for Hogwarts and so forth, as long as they're not TOO small.

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That FL aviation law that Eric_JWFAN mentioned may be the reason that the windmills around here don't have the blinking lights. I think the masts are 150 feet tall with 100 foot blades. Granted, I'm in PA, but that's still less than 200 feet tall, while all the microwave and cell phone towers are much taller and do blink at night. These are the same types of high-tech windmills you see in Europe and along the Californian ridges, because the company that builds them in PA is based in Spain.

Data, I've never been to California. I went to Florida twice: once to Universal Islands of Adventure, and the other for a job interview that I didn't get.

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The next time we go to Disney World (Jan. '11 is the tentative plan right now) this is going to have to be on the itenerary. I thought about checking out Univeral when we went early this year, but there was nothing there that looked interesting.

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Data, I've never been to California. I went to Florida twice: once to Universal Islands of Adventure, and the other for a job interview that I didn't get.

Ah, sweet. Well, I've only been to Florida once, for a lucky one-week trip to Walt Disney World, but I was feverish the whole time and didn't get to do much. :P But California is awesome - you should make it out here sometime when you get a chance. Disneyland's absolutely amazing, but it's far from the only reason to check out our glorious state! :)

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Data, I've never been to California. I went to Florida twice: once to Universal Islands of Adventure, and the other for a job interview that I didn't get.

Ah, sweet. Well, I've only been to Florida once, for a lucky one-week trip to Walt Disney World, but I was feverish the whole time and didn't get to do much. :) But California is awesome - you should make it out here sometime when you get a chance. Disneyland's absolutely amazing, but it's far from the only reason to check out our glorious state! :rolleyes:

I haven't been to the CA one in ages. I would go there just to see the Indy ride, which I hear is still one of the best in the world.

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I'm flying out to WDW and UO tomorrow. Can't wait. The construction of this thing already looks incredible. I've seen photos of what I assume will be the Hogwarts castle beginning to tower over the Jurassic Park visitors center!

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My experience with theme parks is limited to somebody stealing my credit card number and blowing $796 on Disneyland. Hahaha. I'm still awaiting the outcome of the dispute.

Otherwise, meh. I like movies because you can watch them on your own terms. I don't like people payed to dress up as iconic characters getting all up in my business. I don't like sickening thrill rides. The music is usually generic pop or a bad knockoff of John Williams (as the members of this forum have discussed at great length).

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I don't like people payed to dress up as iconic characters getting all up in my business. I don't like sickening thrill rides.

Good thing Disneyland isn't about either of those! ;) Disneyland is about providing...a three-dimensional, experiential, non-linear analogue of film. You have attractions - almost none of which are designed to make the average person puke - laid out in themed "lands", each of which immerses you in a wildly different environment that's appropriate to the attractions it comprises. Some attractions are designed to expand on or simulate stuff from Disney movies (plus a few non-Disney ones), but many of them are completely original environments that certainly aren't just trying to sell you Lilo and Stitch merchandise. The characters do roam around the park a bit for those who are interested, but the only way they're going to "get all up in your business" is if you walk up to them and ask for a hug. They're not going to hunt you down. And as I said, Disneyland isn't a park for "sickening thrill rides." Some of its attractions use physical thrills as part of the story, but they're not the kind of insanity you find at Six Flags or Cedar Point or Great America or whatever. Disneyland itself doesn't even have any rides that go upside-down, and some of them are mild enough for toddlers and elderly folks to ride all day long. In short, there's a little something for everyone, which is exactly what Walt Disney was going for in the first place.

The music is usually generic pop or a bad knockoff of John Williams (as the members of this forum have discussed at great length).

Interesting theory...let me know if you still feel that way once more than your credit card information has been to Disneyland. ;) (Seriously, though, I hope that issue does get worked out regardless.) The generic pop is usually restricted to temporary stuff - parades, shows, stuff like that - and while it can be bad, it's easy enough to avoid those shows for the most part. The attractions generally have very impressive music. Some of it's original stuff, and some of it's based on the scores to the respective films. And for the music playing on loops in the outdoor areas, the park mostly uses jazz, sci-fi scores, Dixieland music, cute music that evokes images of small-town life, and Disney film scores...depending on which area you're in, of course. It's an eclectic mix that works really well. As for JW ripoffs...well, I've heard Steve Bramson's old E.T.-derived track for Space Mountain in Disneyland Paris, but the original Disneyland really doesn't have any of those whatsoever. Star Tours and Indiana Jones both use Williams' music to great effect, as well they should, but that's about it.

I'm not defending any other parks here because my experience with them is limited, and Disneyland is more or less the gold standard for honest-to-goodness theme parks anyway. I guess the point I'm trying to get across is...don't judge theme parks by their public image. Try them out for yourself first and then decide whether or not you like them. :)

[/rant]

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My experience with theme parks is limited to somebody stealing my credit card number and blowing $796 on Disneyland.

Dude. ;) That sucks.

And I have to agree with Datameister, though most of my experience is with Disney World, there really is stuff for everyone. I'm not a thrill ride person either, and most of what Disney classifies as "thrill" was perfectly fine for me (the most extreme I did was the T-Rex ride in Animal Kingdom). The characters usually don't bother you unless you are/have kids.

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One of the best rides in the world or one of the best Indy rides in the world?

One of the best rides in the world. From what I've heard and seen.

It's certainly great, but there are several rides at Disneyland/CA Adventures that I've rank above it.

indy4 - who loves Disneyland, with a passion

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I'm curious which ones those are? (Contenders for me include Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Space Mountain, though I'd have trouble confidently ranking any of those above Indy. It's a pretty freaking amazing work of Imagineering.)

- Datameister, who loves Disneyland with such passion that he spends more time on MiceChat than on JWfan

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I'm curious which ones those are? (Contenders for me include Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Space Mountain, though I'd have trouble confidently ranking any of those above Indy. It's a pretty freaking amazing work of Imagineering.)

- Datameister, who loves Disneyland with such passion that he spends more time on MiceChat than on JWfan

CA Screamin'

Space Mountain

Splash Mountain

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

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Judging by the fake Williams sounding music on the website ,there probably won;t be Williams music at the Universal park. (because Warner owns the rights?)

I sincerely hope that music was just a "temp track" and that we will get real Williams for this new land, but now that you mention it I have a feeling Universal won't pony up the cash to lease the music. Historically they've been very cheap about paying other studios to use their music. There is no Elfman in The Simpsons Ride (almost unthinkable), nor is there OST music in their Shrek ride. Meanwhile, competitor Disney has always used the original music for their attractions (see Star Tours, Indiana Jones, Twilight Zone etc).

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Judging by the fake Williams sounding music on the website ,there probably won;t be Williams music at the Universal park. (because Warner owns the rights?)

He might write some theme park music for the occasion.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Judging by the fake Williams sounding music on the website ,there probably won;t be Williams music at the Universal park. (because Warner owns the rights?)

He might write some theme park music for the occasion.

hahahaha!

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  • 1 month later...

God, did anyone else just hear that wonderful Luke Skywalker theme-ish unreleased music when Harry sees the train?

I remember a while back there were rumors the time train from Back to the Future III (formerly on display at BTTF the Ride, now on display with the DeLorean across the lagoon) was going to be modified into the Hogwarts Express for this.

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  • 1 month later...

First thing that comes to mind is JW's music in that scene where they approach the castle on the boats. Islands of Adventure used to have boats transporting people from the Port of Entry to Jurassic Park. Unfortunately they didn't construct the Hogwarts castle along the lagoon.

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I don't think the Hogwarts castle is supposed to be on a lake, the lake is a few hundred yards away as the castle sits up on a hill.

I know why you build theme parks on this scale in warm climates: to attract crowds year round who don't want to deal with the crummy seasons.

But seeing Hogwarts castle surrounded by palm fronds and trees is so...wrong.

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  • 1 month later...

The place was advertised on UK TV last night. Looks good. :)

The music was obviously not Williams, but something vaguely similiar, a sot of 'generic fantasy music'. :D

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Very impressive, though that tree on the left is seriously messing with the forced perspective...

My guess is many of those trees will be removed during the final stage of the construction.

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I don't understand how the forced perspective will work if people actually are entering inside the buidings. Doesn't it then look all far too small?

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I don't understand how the forced perspective will work if people actually are entering inside the buidings. Doesn't it then look all far too small?

My guess is it will only be forced perspective from the outside. Inside it will likely just be the "first floor" of the castle. Unless I'm misunderstanding your question.

Back to the palm tree issue, there was a good article in the Orlange Sentinel today on that very thought.

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/features_orlando/2010/01/pictures-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter-update-jan-27-2010.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+features%2Fthemeparkblog+(Theme+Park+Rangers)

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People take this stuff a bit too seriously, complaining about foliage?

Hahahahahaha. Think what you will, but as a matter of fact, theme park design is the profession I'm working toward. If all goes well, it'll be my job to take "this stuff" a lot more seriously than that. There are aspects of design far more subtle than the way foliage fosters or interferes with forced perspective - that's actually a comparatively basic, obvious issue.

And it wasn't a complaint; it was a critique. I wasn't trying to whine about how terrible it was; I was pointing out a way in which it could (and probably will) be made better.

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Your critique sounds silly and, frankly, uneducated. I take it you've never been to Islands of Adventure. This is a place they actually placed crooked trees from hurricane Andrew to keep with the theme of the Seuss land, with no straight lines. They put more thought and effort into their business than you do from behind the computer, trust me. As for the complaint about palm trees, those are in Jurassic Park or the surrounding previously undeveloped area they're constructing this on. They won't be in your Harry Potter land when it's done. You'll only see them from outside of the Harry Potter land, or probably where you enter JP. The forced perspective works for me, a tree doesn't change it. For people there, it's shade. There's the thought I give it, and on a hot day I'm sure those people on a bench under the tree would tell you they don't give two shits about forced perspective. The thing is God damned huge anyway.

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We're gonna get to the bottom of this tree business, I promise you. What are they thinking with these "trees". This is Harry f'ing Potter! E-mailing Universal Studios now.

OMG THE TREE

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I think you're underestimating just how insanely perturbed I was by that tree. Although my posts in this thread have been consistently complimentary of this project, I clearly have an all-out vendetta against that tree, and believe it will inarguably, irrevocably, and eternally compromise the entire Universal Orlando resort. And possibly any other establishments within a five-mile radius.

There...I think that'll provide a little more stuffing for your straw man. :blink:

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