Harry Potter Universal Orlando interpark transportation

Friday, June 21, 2013 11:07 PM

I guess it's pretty much fact that part of the Harry Potter expansion into Universal Studios Florida involves some kind of new transport between the parks. I was looking around tonight at satellite imagery around Orlando, when I stumbled upon Islands of Adventure, specifically the area between Non-Dueling Dragons and the stunt show.

Now follow north between the various buildings, up "5th Ave," to the former Jaws area, future Diagon Alley. You can see a whole series of footers ending at foundations for a station.

You may find it interesting that only the north view shows any of this, while the others show Jaws. Or you may not find it interesting at all. I thought it was kind of neat.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013 8:20 AM

That IOA station sits right in the midst of Dragon's Challenge, and it's such odd placement I wonder just what kind of overhaul that area's going to get, and how the coaster will fit into the scheme. Or maybe it won't.

A while back Screamscape posted pictures of the track currently being built along 5th avenue. It looks kind of monorail-ish.

Rumor has it that the trains will be enclosed with video screens for windows so passengers will see a journey thru the countryside rather than the crappy, mood-spoiling backlot. But from the map and what I've seen it looks like the exterior of the train will be visible as it departs the station, unless it's completely masked some kind of way.

There's already a platform and a locomotive with a conductor to greet you as you enter Wizarding World, near where they're building the station platform. Maybe they plan to have guests enter for the transport there and from that point guests will lose the outside world, with the queue and the station being indoors. They'll find a fake train to board with the monorail vehicle hidden behind it. Inside coach theming is all that would be required for the trip between the parks, the exterior of the "train" will never be visible to guests.

And this would excuse the fact that they've squeezed the station under the coaster, guests will only see the interior ceiling. Fans will already have quite a clear vision of these train stations, as they figure prominently in the books and the movies, so Universal is going to have to be very, very careful.

I can't wait to see how this turns out.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013 8:25 AM

Not only is their rumored to be video screens, but also multiple versions. Rumor states that the ride will be random with the train trip being stalled by a few HP distractions (dementors, Death Eaters, Flying Car, etc.)

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Saturday, June 22, 2013 11:47 AM

From the top of the lift on Dragons, you get a great view of the IoA station and the direction of travel, path to Universal, etc. Since I can't get pictures from there, I decided to see if anyone else has some....

....and here they are....

http://www.orlandoinformer.com/universal/harry-potter-expansion-ioa/

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Saturday, June 22, 2013 4:02 PM

It might be difficult, but I'm sure Universal can get it done. This definitely is much more of an expansion that I was originally thinking it would be.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013 7:31 PM

Good find, Bill. That is a really tight squeeze.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013 11:22 PM

Ever since I heard about this attraction, I assumed it would be pretty much like everything you typed in your previous post, RCMAC.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013 11:43 PM

Well, it's just a guess, but it makes sense.

And thank you, Mr. Gator for being a good citizen by not taking your camera on the ride. You set a fine example for everyone especially the younger kids here in the group. :-)

But I'd like to thank whoever is the offender there! I was there in March and rode Dragons Challenge hoping to get a glimpse of what was going on behind the wall. Well, we climbed the lift and omg, there it was RIGHT below us. There was no track or platform yet, but we could see now crammed in it was, how close the ride seems to it, and how it pointed directly toward the other park.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 11:56 AM

We have trains on-site...along with construction pics of Diagon Alley and the (presumed) Gringott's ride. H/T Orlando Attractions Magazine...

http://attractionsmagazine.com/blog/2013/08/26/new-photos-of-hogwarts-express-train-at-universal-orlando-wizarding-world-expansion-update/

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Monday, August 26, 2013 9:54 PM

I'm fascinated by this. Have projection "windows" been employed for such a use (i.e., deceiving passengers during transport between real-world locations) anywhere else in the theme park universe? The idea could liberate other landlocked parks in the future.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 10:04 PM

Well not techincally a projection, creating the illusion of motion is old as time, although it is typically in a downward direction. You have the hydrovators from the old Living Seas, and "rickety mine elevators" at multiple parks that used tinfoil on a roller and a floor attached to a motion simulator (which rocked gently back and forth) to create the sensation you were going deep underground.

I personally cannot wait for these attractions to open, I think it is going to revolutionize the theme park environment in Orlando. I just get the sense that I will be able to elevate Universal Orlando to the level of Walt Disney World.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 10:48 PM

I thought the original Harry Potter attractions out-Disney'd Disney. Nothing at WDW completely sucks you in that completely.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 11:25 PM

Once we were making our way "up" from the Living Seas and the two old sisters were standing behind us. One had a hand gripped to the wall and the other gripped to her sister. "Oh! I HATE elevators!" she sez, all woozy-like. I turned around and said "Then you shouldn't hate this because, honey, we ain't movin'"

I got the glare from both of em.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 11:41 PM

Touchdown said:

"rickety mine elevators" at multiple parks that used tinfoil on a roller and a floor attached to a motion simulator (which rocked gently back and forth)

Houdini the Great Escape?

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:10 AM

Jeff said:
I thought the original Harry Potter attractions out-Disney'd Disney. Nothing at WDW completely sucks you in that completely.

For now. Just wait until Disney buys the rights to M*A*S*H and opens Sherman Potterland. You'll be whisked away in Radar's jeep to an immersive Korean warscape. The state-of-the-art Hawkeye's Sarcastic Adventure will careen you through an authentic Army O.R., the Officer's Club, Klinger's Section 8 Tranny Tent of Moral Peril, and off to the Swamp for vaguely philosophical banter--complete with your very own laugh track!

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:12 AM

You should be a writer...

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:20 AM

Eh, it's overrated.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:22 AM

Doesn't the King Kong attraction at Universal Hollywood use the same idea as this new train?

Let me add that we really don't know, because the park has been pretty quiet about what this ride will be doing. I do believe that the same technology will be used though.

Last edited by LostKause, Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:23 AM
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:27 AM

Not sure about that. With Kong, the tram pulls into a dark tunnel with 3D projection on both sides for the full length of the tram. So the projections are external to the vehicle, which, if I remember correctly, is sitting on a giant motion base similar to the ones used for the Earthquake segment. It sounds like the Potter train is going to be using something more like direct-view video displays for the interior "windows". This is something they're going to have to be very careful with, I think, because if the motion you see is too far off from the motion you feel, the result can be...shall we say...unpleasant.

The question I had when they opened the new Kong attraction was whether they were going to re-do the rest of the tram tour in 3D.....

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Last edited by RideMan, Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:29 AM
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013 7:00 AM

Ensign, I hear that M*A*S*H ride will be so well done that the rider will truly believe that baby is a chicken.

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