Universal Studios Orlando announced a new ride for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter entitled Escape from Gringotts, which will be a part of the Diagon Alley expansion set to open sometime this summer. The theme park has released a behind-the-scenes video including footage from the ride, along with Warwick Davis and Rupert Grint, who will be reprising their roles from the film franchise for a new short film will be shown as part of the attraction, along with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter. Take a look at this behind-the-scenes featurette, then check out some concept art images and read on for more details about Escape from Gringotts.
In an interview with MTV, production designer Alan Gilmore, who designed both the ride and the movies, confirmed that Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint will reprise their roles as Harry, Hermione and Ron for new footage shot just for this ride.
"They'll be there! It's quite exciting. They're regrouping for one last adventure. It's all new, it's a brand new film," Gilmore continued, "and it's absolutely film quality, involving the films team, a merging of the film team and the Universal production team."
The production designer also confirmed that Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) will be making appearances as well.
"Of course you have He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named making an appearance. Helena (Bonham Carter) supports him as one of his team. And then we have our main heroes appear as well. You get to meet all the great characters from the stories."
When fans enter the ride, they will see several goblins at Gringotts working away, who will actually be moving, although Alan Gilmore wouldn't clarify how they will move.
"They're actually moving. We can't tell you how they move, but they're working away. Goblins are very quiet gentlemen. We have the head goblin as well, watching over you. He'll address you as you walk in. They're perfect replicas of what you see in the film, and they're very ominous."
He added that they employed several crew members from the movies to give this ride an authentic feel.
"My motto is, we're building a real place, we're not building a theme place. I want to walk in, and feel like they're actually in London, or actually in Gringotts. We involved more of the film people in this one," Gilmore recalled. "We brought the sculptors and painters on the film to educate the local Florida theme park guys, develop finishes and textures. It's almost a perfect facsimile of the film set. The first 'Harry Potter' [ride] was good, but this one is even more detailed."
Take a look at the official press release issued by Universal Studios Orlando earlier today regarding this upcoming ride.
Imagine being part of the iconic moment from the Harry Potter film series where Harry, Ron and Hermione break into one of the most guarded places in the wizarding world - Gringotts bank - to retrieve a magical object that will help defeat Lord Voldemort. You've seen the action on-screen, and now you get to be part of it.
Universal's creative team worked hand-in-hand with Stuart Craig and his production team from the Harry Potter films to immerse guests in this pivotal scene from the final Harry Potter book and film.
During an action-packed, fully-immersive journey on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, you will:
- Marvel at the 60-foot, fire-breathing Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon atop Gringotts Wizarding Bank
- Tour Gringotts bank and pass through the marble hall where you'll see goblins hard at work
- Race through a labyrinth of underground Gringotts vaults
- Encounter the villainous Death Eater, Bellatrix Lestrange, as she attempts to send you to your doom
- Come face to face with He Who Must Not Be Named
- Experience even more mind-blowing moments
The multi-dimensional, multi-sensory attraction, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, will revolutionize theme park entertainment. This next generation thrill ride seamlessly integrates a compilation of the most innovative technology ever created, 360-degree themed sets, 4K digital high-definition animation, state-of-the-art 3-D Infitec projection systems and live special effects with beloved characters and breathtaking moments from the Harry Potter books and films.
Here's what Universal Creative president Mark Woodbury had to say in a statement.
"Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts will change the way you think about theme park attractions. We've created an entirely new type of ride that propels guests into the story like never before, and guests will remember it long after their visit to Diagon Alley."
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley will bring even more of Harry Potter's adventures to life. The new area will double the size of the sweeping land already found at Universal Orlando, expanding the spectacularly themed environment across both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Inside the land, guests will enjoy themed shops, dining experiences and the groundbreaking thrill ride - Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
For additional information about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit UniversalOrlando.com/WizardingWorld.
About the Harry Potter Series
Harry Potter continues to be a global phenomenon. Each of the seven books by author J.K. Rowling has broken sales records, with the series to date having sold over 450 million copies worldwide and translated into 77 languages. The Harry Potter films, produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, have grossed more than $7.7 billion to date worldwide at the box office, making Harry Potter the largest-grossing film franchise in history.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 was released July 15th, 2011 and stars Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Evanna Lynch, Domhnall Gleeson. The film is directed by David Yates.