Universal Orlando has officially announced The Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion will open next year at Universal Studios and will include recreations of Diagon Alley and London from the Harry Potter films. (Click Here to read more) Universal has said the new area will be just as expansive, immersive and authentic as the existing themed environment. So far, they’ve only released one piece of concept art. Let’s zoom in and take a look:
An article in “The Wall Street Journal” has presented the first piece of concept art for the new “Frozen” ride at Epcot, “Frozen Ever After”.
The article, entitled “How Disney Milks its Hits for Profits Ever After” includes these other details about the ride, which will open early next year:
Disney Imagineers who designed the ride recently got a virtual-reality tour at a warehouse in Glendale, Calif., wearing 3-D glasses while watching high-definition images of Olaf and Sven horsing around, Grandpappy Troll telling a magical story and Elsa belting out her song “Let It Go.” They will become animatronic characters that Epcot visitors float by on a log after “Frozen Ever After” opens next year.
The ride is replacing the former Maelstrom ride in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. The concept art seems to represent the portion of the ride where the forward motion of the ride changes to going backwards. This area of the ride used to feature a three-headed troll sending riders “back back, over the falls”.
New construction is also taking place in the Norway pavilion for a Frozen character meet and greet and more.
UPDATE: June 9, 2015 – The Disney Parks Blog has given a few more details about the ride:
Guests will be transported to the Winter in Summer Celebration where Queen Elsa embraces her magical powers and creates a winter-in-summer day for the entire kingdom. They will also visit Elsa’s Ice Palace and the ice-blue world of the North Mountain along with other locations before returning to the Bay of Arendelle. Of course, favorite “Frozen” characters, including the Snowgies from the animated short “Frozen Fever,” will be part of this new attraction, along with the spectacular sights inspired by the film.
The Norway Pavilion’s exterior will be expanded with many unique Norwegian architectural features and the interior design of the “Royal Sommerhus” will reflect the cultural arts and crafts of Norway, providing a charming setting for guests to meet Elsa and Anna.
UPDATE 2: June 9, 2015 – The Speakeasy blog on The Wall Street Journal website has provided even more details about the ride:
While it doesn’t feature any new songs, there are several new lyrics to existing melodies written for “Frozen Ever After” by movie composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson Lopez.
While the logs and the path will remain the same, everything you see along the way is being replaced.
While waiting on line … visitors will walk by Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post. The trader with the thick accent will occassionaly clear steam on the windows to utter a hearty “yoo-hoo!” to people walking by.
Once they board their logs, “Frozen Ever After” riders will first see goofy snowman Olaf and equally goofy reindeer Sven setting up the Winter Festival premise.
Next is a stop at Troll Valley, where Grandpappy Troll tells a gathering of children the story of how Anna and Kristof met, before the log goes up a ramp to find Olaf again, singing a song while ice skating, right next to Anna and Kristof, who are singing with their friend Sven.
Behind a set of doors is the moment any visitor is sure to be waiting for: Elsa, on a balcony, singing “Let It Go” in her ice castle. … it features elaborate effects to create simulated snow crystals soaring around the room.
Visitors will next ride by Marshmallow, the giant, formerly evil snowman from “Frozen” and his miniature Snowgie pals, who show up in the short “Frozen Fever,” …
Marshmallow himself yells “Let It Go” in time with Elsa’s song before the log travels through a mist cloud and reaches the final scene, which includes fireworks and a wave from Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Sven and Kristof.
The audio-animatronic characters will be cutting edge … using a new technology that includes projectors behind the faces to enable more lifelike animation.
Here’s a full ride-through of Maelstrom, including the over the falls part:
A new poll has been added to the official Web site for Islands of Adventure’s upcoming “theme park within a theme park”, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
This poll asks you to tell which Harry Potter item scares you the most. The choices are:
I’ve linked each of the choices above to Google image searches to give lesser Potter fans, like myself, an idea of what each one is. (Don’t blame me if Google turns up with a few odd results.)
You can cast your vote in the new poll here.
Previous polls appeared to allow fans to democratically choose various elements that would be featured in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when it opens in 2010, including details about merchandise, refreshments, and characters, so it’s likely that whatever scares Potter fans the most will show up somewhere in the theme park.
Here are the winners of the first six polls:
1. Where would you most like to get a refreshment or snack in Hogsmeade?
Winner: The Three Broomsticks (Concept art for The Three Broomsticks was subsequently added to the official gallery)
2. If you could order a drink at the Three Broomsticks, what would it be?
3. Which is your favorite broomstick?
4. Which would be your favorite place to shop in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?
5. Which dragon would you like to ride?
Winner: A Chinese Fireball
6. What type of wand would you prefer to own?
Winner: A personalized Ollivanders wand that choose you
In addition to the Three Broomsticks art mentioned above, concept art for a Dervish and Banges shop was recently added to the site: