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 7-9 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 an indoor moving vehicle movie simulator and dark ride 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[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 takes guests through the vaults of Gringotts, where they meet several characters from the Harry Potter films and have a face-to-face encounter with Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange. Taller or larger guests may find the restraint system tight, but may find the rear seats (boarding rows 3 and 6) in each car a little roomier than other rows.

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[27] 3[28] 2[29]

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. ^ "Park and ride winners". Amusement Today. 16 (6.2): 4, 5. September 2014. 
  28. ^ "Park and ride winners". Amusement Today. 16 (6.2): 4, 5. September 2015. 
  29. ^ "Park and ride winners". Amusement Today. 16 (6.2): 10. September 2016. 

External links[edit]