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  1. #31

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by 1stStarIC2nite View Post
    The wands cost $28.95.
    That's it? Not that I plan on buying a wand, but I heard some crazy rumor that they were like $100.

    Anyway, I was very impressed by looking at the photo of the loading area how they keep the robotic arm out of sight completely. I was wondering how they were going to pull that off.

  2. #32

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by Freakazoid112 View Post
    That's it? Not that I plan on buying a wand, but I heard some crazy rumor that they were like $100.

    Anyway, I was very impressed by looking at the photo of the loading area how they keep the robotic arm out of sight completely. I was wondering how they were going to pull that off.
    Yeah I would have expected the wands to be more, which is why I guess I should say it's "$28.95, for now." Lots of people were buying them though!

    And yes, the arm is hidden completely throughout the entire experience. The illusion is kept for your entire journey. Really amazing.
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  3. #33

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    Wands are available in the main IoA gift shop as well. Not just in the Wizarding World.
    -Bill

  4. #34

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    To Fishbulb, or anyone else who has experienced Dragon Challenge - did they change the trains at all, or are they identical to Dueling Dragons? I understand "Fire" is now "Chinese Fireball" and "Ice" is now "Hungarian Horntail"... but wondering if they put a new dragon "shell" at the front of the trains... or if its identical to before...

    Sad about the queue... which was like a ride unto itself.

  5. #35

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    From everything I've read and seen, it really looks like Universal has thrown down the gauntlet, and it's up to Disney to answer the challenge. As I have said many times, they have the resources to create greatness, and no excuse to let Universal steal their thunder. Wizarding World has met or exceeded expectations; if Disney's upcoming attractions falter, they have only themselves to blame for letting a rival beat them at their own game.

  6. #36

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfann121 View Post
    From everything I've read and seen, it really looks like Universal has thrown down the gauntlet, and it's up to Disney to answer the challenge. As I have said many times, they have the resources to create greatness, and no excuse to let Universal steal their thunder. Wizarding World has met or exceeded expectations; if Disney's upcoming attractions falter, they have only themselves to blame for letting a rival beat them at their own game.


    I think Universal definitely met AND exceeded them. They promised an experience and they delivered. I don't remember the last time Disney stateside has even exceeded expectations as far as attractions go. 1994 Tower of Terror? 1995 Indiana Jones adventure?


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  7. #37

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by a-mad View Post
    To Fishbulb, or anyone else who has experienced Dragon Challenge - did they change the trains at all, or are they identical to Dueling Dragons? I understand "Fire" is now "Chinese Fireball" and "Ice" is now "Hungarian Horntail"... but wondering if they put a new dragon "shell" at the front of the trains... or if its identical to before...

    Sad about the queue... which was like a ride unto itself.
    The trains looked the same. Didn't notice anything different except that they have ruined the once amazing queue.

    Other than that terrible mistake, the rest of the Harry Potter land is a an absolute slam dunk success. The level of theme is unparalleled. The Forbidden Journey (queue and ride) is beyond description in its awesomeness. The shops (though cramped) are fantastic. And . . . the butter beer tastes better than I could have imagined.

    Universal has set a new standard for theme park attractions which it doesn't look like Disney is even trying to counter at the moment.

    If I had to pick a single don't-miss theme park this Summer, it would be Islands of Adventure. Universal has knocked the ball WAY out of the park. Disney needs to step up its game.
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  8. #38

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    Amazing pics and review...I am sooo envious.

  9. #39

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    The trains looked the same. Didn't notice anything different except that they have ruined the once amazing queue.

    Other than that terrible mistake, the rest of the Harry Potter land is a an absolute slam dunk success. The level of theme is unparalleled. The Forbidden Journey (queue and ride) is beyond description in its awesomeness. The shops (though cramped) are fantastic. And . . . the butter beer tastes better than I could have imagined.

    Universal has set a new standard for theme park attractions which it doesn't look like Disney is even trying to counter at the moment.

    If I had to pick a single don't-miss theme park this Summer, it would be Islands of Adventure. Universal has knocked the ball WAY out of the park. Disney needs to step up its game.
    Thanks for the info, and the fantastic review of the whole area. I'm a huge fan of coasters... and Dueling Dragons is one (two?) of the best I've ever experienced - so I'm sad to see it changed (I was at least hoping for some new themed elements on the ride to add to the immersive theming of the rest of the land...but it looks like the $$ they saved on theming Dragon Challenge certainly went to good use elsewhere!)

    We're planning WAAAYYYYY in advance for a 2013 Disney Cruise Land/Sea vacation, and we are certainly going to throw in a day at IOA to see this!

  10. #40

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfann121 View Post
    From everything I've read and seen, it really looks like Universal has thrown down the gauntlet, and it's up to Disney to answer the challenge. As I have said many times, they have the resources to create greatness, and no excuse to let Universal steal their thunder. Wizarding World has met or exceeded expectations; if Disney's upcoming attractions falter, they have only themselves to blame for letting a rival beat them at their own game.
    I wish it were an ego/pride game rather than a money game, but money far outweighs pride at TWDC.

    The surest way to get Iger/Staggs to unleash WDI's potential in Florida is for you, me and lots of other people to go to IOA in favor of WDW.

    Otherwise we could see a repeat of 1998, when Universal built bigger & better things, but failed to make a dent in Disney's choke-hold on the family vacation market. This allowed WDW to remain relatively stagnant (or, in many ways, diminish its product) over the next decade and still do very well financially.

  11. #41

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    $28.50 for a wand? Really? Wow that's a bit pricey for me. But I want one, so I'll pony up just once. I hardly ever buy souvenirs at any parks anymore, but I haven't been to IOA since 2004, so I'll make an exception.

    Butterbeer sounds interesting, but I hate butterscotch, so I'll probably pass on that. The pumpkin juice sounds yummy though, so I'll definitely give that a try.

  12. #42

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    Disneyfann121's words couldn't be more cryptically correct. Shots have been fired over Disney's bow once again. What are they answering with, a rebuilt Fantasyland, shipment of MSEP from DLR? Harry Potter Land has been a long time coming. For Disney to essentially rest on it's laurels in Florida hints that the giant is still sleeping. Time will tell where the cards will fall but it is a very foreboding remark that Dusty and Fishbulb are recommending that, when in Orlando, you should visit Universal IOA FIRST! Although, I feel that if you do this first, the rest of your stay will be a series of letdowns. It will take years for Disney to catch up after this...if it can.

    Now if Universal will only take a page from Disney's playbook and give us out here in California...a clone of Harry's Wizarding World. If they build it, we will come. Keep the status quo, remove parades, charge extra for fireworks, refuse to clean your parking structure, and kill your audience with sky high ticket charges, and we will abandon.

    Seems like there is a polarity here. Disney refuses to spend money in Florida (unless absolutely forced to do so) but spends in Anaheim. In contrast, Universal lavishes money in Florida but is very hesitant to add anything new to their Hollywood Studio theme park (Transformers is replacing 2 poorly attended attractions with one promising one). Not sure why this is so.
    Last edited by Crazee4mm; 06-09-2010 at 06:28 PM. Reason: clarity

  13. #43

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    I wanna know why the buildings have snow on them (except for Hogwarts)? That detail will not be appreciated when the temperature and the humidity are both in the 90's and you're dodging lightning bolts from the daily thunderstorms.

  14. #44

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    JKR made a very smart move giving it to Universal rather than the incompetent Team Di$ney Orlando. I really hope this does very well so Disney can finally see that they have been beaten and to step up and actually build quality attractions and not the pathetic half-baked refurbs and rides we have been suffering through. I never thought I would be rooting for Universal against Disney. But congratulations Universal for making TDO look like the cheap idiots they are.
    Last edited by HMF; 06-09-2010 at 09:24 PM.

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    Re: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter PICS and RIDE REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by HMF View Post
    But congratulations Universal for making TDO look like the cheap idiots they are.

    To be fair, Universal did this back in 1999 when Islands of Adventure first opened up. The land that Harry Potter took over was already leaps and bounds more heavily themed than anything Disney has done since then. And now they hit another home run with this.


    I think WDW's Fantasyland is an attempt at a fully immersive "fantasy" land, but it's much more fun to try and be a wizard than to write princesses "happy birthday" cards.


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