New details about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s expansion in Orlando have surfaced and provide new details about what we can expect within the real Hogwarts Express and the Gringotts thrill ride.
The real Hogwarts Express, as we’ve reported on numerous occasions this year, will connect the existing Wizarding World land at Islands of Adventure with the new Diagon Alley/London area at Universal Studios. A reliable theme park insider named “WhyLightBulb” on Orlando United’s forum recently provided new details. “The train stations include highly detailed scenery and effects,” he/she writes. “The trains themselves will be very realistic including steam wafting from each car, scenic treatment and sounds. Each interior cabin includes period props and treatments.”
And despite this real train not taking you through the real Scottish Highlands, “The window in each cabin will utlize an advanced optics display making it appear as though you are looking outside a window. As the train travels to the station, riders will be treated to different storylines depending on which station they are going to. The cabins are also equipped with a full effects package including heat blast, leg ticklers, lighting etc. One storyline includes a Dementor’s attack where it will get dark, the air will go cold and lights will flicker among other things.”
As for the rumored Gringotts thrill ride which will be the center point of the new London/Diagon Alley land, “the queue includes a really cool elevator ride that will simulate moving vertically and horizontally. You’ll feel the air coming from the right side as you move to the right and you’ll feel the air from below as you travel down. Each of the two elevator simulators include a projection dome above to enhance the visuals.”
WhyLightBulb believes that these two attractions will include technology that has never before been seen or used and will top the current Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction.
The expanded Wizarding World of Harry Potter is expected to open in 2014 or 2015. Universal has not formally announced details of the expansion and may not for a while, despite major construction already being underway.