Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

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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 section The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley
Coordinates 28°28′48.92″N 81°28′12.04″W / 28.4802556°N 81.4700111°W / 28.4802556; -81.4700111Coordinates: 28°28′48.92″N 81°28′12.04″W / 28.4802556°N 81.4700111°W / 28.4802556; -81.4700111
Status Operating
Opening date July 8, 2014 (2014-07-08)[1]
Replaced Jaws: The Ride
General statistics
Type Steel – Launched
Manufacturer Intamin
Designer Universal Creative
Lift/launch system Drive tire launch
Length 600 m (2,000 ft)
Site Area 75,000 sq ft (7,000 m2)
Inversions 0
Duration 5:00
Max vertical angle 50°
Height restriction 42 in (107 cm)
Trains 9 trains with 2 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in 3 rows for a total of 24 riders per train.
Theme Gringotts Bank (Harry Potter)
Pre-ride host Bill Weasley
Ride host Bill 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 steel roller coaster 3D simulator and dark ride at Universal Studios Florida. Similar to other dark rides, the attraction 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[edit]

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[edit]

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is a 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 in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, specifically when Harry, Ron and Hermione infiltrate Gringotts Bank with the help of Griphook to retrieve the cup of Helga Hufflepuff, turned into a Horcrux by Lord Voldemort, in order to defeat the Dark Lord.[27]

Queue[edit]

The queue is set through the lobby of Gringotts Bank, where Bogrod awaits guests who are visiting the bank to open an account. After allowing them access to enter the vaults, guests walk towards security check to have their ID picture taken. After getting clearance, guests walk through the offices of the goblins that work at Gringotts. In one of those 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 the queue, guests enter Bill Weasley's office, where Blordak welcomes them, and later, Bill arrives. Blordak orientates the guests on how to get to the vaults to open their accounts and Bill decides to catch up later. Guests exit the office and wait for the lift to the vaults underground, where a moving portrait of a goblin explains the safety precautions of the ride. Guests board the lift once the doors have opened, and the descent starts, where the journey can be seen overhead, as well as Bill and Blordak descending on a separate lift. Upon arrival, guests retrieve cart goggles and ascend a flight of stairs to the cart boarding station.[27]

Ride[edit]

After guests board their cart, the vehicle races the tracks, where Bill and Bogrod await to hook up their cart with the guests. Alarms go off, as security has detected an infiltration 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, sending the guests' cart speeding down towards the vaults. Stalagmites can be seen to get a feel of how deep underground the guests are. Bill Weasley then casts a spell 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 them from a high altitude as security trolls climb up, push Bill and Blordak off their cart and then pushes the guests' cart on the track.

As the cart speeds past the Thieve's Downfall, the cart stops again in front of more security trolls, where one of them is hit by a mace, hangs on to the guests' cart and sends them falling to an abyss, just before Bill casts Arresto Momentum to stop the cart from falling. In the background, Harry, Ron and Hermione are attempting to escape the vaults on the Ukranian Ironbelly that was tortured for a higher security measure. Bill casts Wingardium Leviosa on the cart in order to keep the guests safe and sends them through the vaults, where Blordak shouts to get into one of them.

In the vault, the walls come crashing down and while dust flies, Nagini appears and tries to attack the guests, before Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange appear; he questions the guests on their knowledge of Harry Potter's whereabouts and blames Bellatrix for the infiltration of her vault. Bellatrix again decides to torture guests and sends them to a lava-like part, very deep in the vaults. Voldemort decides to administer "a little dose pain to help you remember" and conjures a ball of fire of the likeness of his face. The Ukranian Ironbelly crashes in from the opposite side and Harry conjures a counterspell as the dragon spits fire towards Voldemort while taking cover and sends both the Dark Lord and Bellatrix out of the vaults furiously. Hermione then casts a spell to hook up the cart to the dragon, in order to get the guests' out safely and sends them speeding back up. In the final scene, Harry asks Bill to take care of the guests as he comments they achieved the retrieval of the unnamed item (mentioned in the queue) and Bill bids the guests' farewell.[27]

Cast[edit]

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[edit]

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
Ranking 4[28] 3[29] 2[30]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  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. Retrieved December 6, 2011. [dead link]
  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". Amusement Today. 16 (6.2): 10. September 2016. 

External links[edit]