A new patent filed by Universal’s theme park arm may suggest that a video game-like ride involving magic and alternating outcomes may come to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The Orlando Business Journal has discovered a newly-filed patent from Universal for a “video game ride” that would “receive respective inputs from one or more riders” on board a vehicle.
Reading through the patent, which mentions wands, spells (including a “freezing spell”), and various outcomes depending on how the players perform, it sounds very much like a ride designed for Universal’s wildly popular Wizarding World lands.
Here’s a passage from the patent that screams “Harry Potter”:
In certain embodiments, the score input may include input from external sensors that capture player motion, such as wand motion, and provide the motion characteristics as input to a score determination algorithm. If the wand motion is associated with a particular spell that is an effective spell for the game, the player’s score may be updated to indicate a successful ‘freezing spell’ or other spell has been cast.
The patent goes on to say that the ride can adapt to the players. For example, if there are younger players in the vehicle, the game could become easier: “[The] interactive game ride may also provide the benefit of a dynamic narrative that changes in response to interest from the game players. For example, if a family with small children is participating in the ride, the game may receive input on the player ages to select appropriate game environments.”
And the ride’s rooms will be able to react to what the participants are doing in their vehicle:
“Alternatively or additionally, the player interactions with the game may also influence the game to provide feedback. In one example, the game is a series of puzzle rooms, and the actions that the players take within each scene or puzzle change the environment and allow different paths to be activated or different physical effects to take place.”
Two mockups attached to the patent offer a glimpse of how the ride will be designed. In the map-like graphic, we see how the ride can send vehicles into different rooms depending on how well players perform:
In the second graphic we see a device keeping an eye out for the gamepads that the users are holding:
Let’s spitball for a moment: Imagine an attraction in which you sit on a vehicle (let’s pretend it’s a broom), and you have to conduct spells that further your journey.
Depending on how well you and your fellow wizards do with the first task, you’ll be transported into another room where you have to complete a different challenge. If you screw up, your journey will be short (as the map suggests), but if you’re great at conducting spells, you’ll be on the ride for all its got.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been a huge success for Universal, so it wouldn’t surprise us if this patent is for another expansion. Presumably Orlando’s would get the ride first, seeing as they’ve already got one expansion under their belt.
Perhaps this new attraction — should it come to fruition — will be themed around Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. When the spinoff movie was announced a few years ago, WB mentioned that a Fantastic Beasts theme park attraction was in the cards.
If it is Fantastic Beasts related, maybe you’ll be helping Newt catch beasts?