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View Full Version : It's official - It's Harry Potter


WebmasterPete
05-31-2007, 08:30 AM
ORLANDO, Fla (May 31, 2007) - Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Universal Orlando Resort are partnering to create the world’s first fully immersive Harry Potter themed environment based on the bestselling books by J.K. Rowling and blockbuster feature films from Warner Bros. Envisioned as a “theme park within a theme park” and titled “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” the new environment will become part of the experience within Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort.

“Over the years we’ve received thousands of letters from fans around the world wishing they could visit Hogwarts and the wonderful locations described in each of J.K. Rowling’s beloved stories,” said Barry Meyer, chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “Working with Universal Orlando Resort, we are confident that we’ll be able to provide Harry Potter fans with an incredible experience that upholds the richness of J.K. Rowling’s books and delivers on the authentic detail portrayed in our films.”
“We will rely on our company’s rich movie heritage and expertise in transforming film concepts into theme park entertainment experiences,” said Ron Meyer, president and COO, Universal Studios. “The Harry Potter stories are among the most compelling of our time. The millions of people who have read the books and seen the movies will now be able to experience the world of Harry Potter in person.”

Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters – and faithful to the visual landscapes of the films – “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience the magical world of Harry and his friends. The fully immersive, themed land will enable guests to visit some of the most iconic locations found in the books and the films including the village of Hogsmeade, the mysterious Forbidden Forest, and even Hogwarts castle itself. "The plans I've seen look incredibly exciting, and I don't think fans of the books or films will be disappointed," said J.K. Rowling.

“We have a profound sense of responsibility for the Harry Potter franchise at Warner Bros. Bringing the magic of J.K. Rowling’s written word to the motion picture screen was the first step in expanding this amazing and imaginative world. Working with Universal Orlando Resort to bring it to life in a physical environment that you can walk through, relax in and ride on is the natural next step for fans to experience and enjoy,” said Alan Horn, president and COO, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Expected to open in late 2009, the new environment will feature immersive rides and interactive attractions, as well as experiential shops and restaurants that will enable guests to sample fare from the wizarding world’s best known establishments. Also debuting will be a state-of-the-art attraction that will bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in an exciting way that guests have never before experienced.
“We are going to devote more time, more money, more expertise and more executive talent from throughout our entire organization and creative team – as well as from Warner Bros., our partners – to ensure that
this entire environment is second-to-none,” said Tom Williams, chairman and CEO, Universal Parks and Resorts.

Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Worldwide Consumer Products, added: “In Universal, we found the right partner whose unparalleled commitment will ensure that this is a world class destination. Their track record of success and the consistently high level of entertainment at all of their parks gave us the confidence to know that they will meet—or exceed— the extremely high expectations we all have for this project.”
The Academy Award-winning production designer Stuart Craig, who has worked to bring the world of Harry Potter to life in all of the feature films to date, leads the creative design for the area to ensure it remains faithful to the look and feel of the films.

“Our primary goal is to make sure this experience is an authentic extension of Harry Potter’s world as it is portrayed in the books and films,” said Craig. “I am very excited to be working closely with the Universal Orlando team to bring the area to life.”

The Universal Orlando resort destination (www.universalorlando.com (http://www.universalorlando.com/)) includes two dramatically distinct and adjacent theme parks, the Universal Studios motion picture and television theme park and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando's most thrilling and exhilarating theme park. Universal Orlando also includes CityWalk, a 30-acre dining, shopping, club and live-entertainment venue as well as premier on-site Loews hotels and world-class film and television production facilities.

Harry Potter continues to be a global phenomenon. The series of books by author J.K. Rowling has been translated into 65 languages with more than 325 million copies sold in over 200 territories around the world. The films, produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, have grossed more than $3.5 billion at the box office worldwide. Each of the four Harry Potter films produced to date has the distinction of making it into the all time top 20 grossing films worldwide. The fifth film in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™, will be released in theatres on July 11, 2007.

scarlett873
05-31-2007, 08:35 AM
:dance3: Guess I'll be planning a visit to Universal in 2009!!

DiRTyBuNNy
05-31-2007, 08:35 AM
Hey Chief...the Universal forum beat you to the punch! (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1469473) :thumbsup2:

--Mr. DB

snowbunny
05-31-2007, 08:37 AM
That is a huge, huge coup for Universal. I can't say I'm surprised but it's unfortunate that they have scooped Disney yet again. Let's see, Bear in the Big Blue House or Harry Potter...? :rolleyes1

cocowum
05-31-2007, 09:10 AM
That's Awesome, Awesome news!!!! to quote scarlett873 :dance3: Guess I'll be planning a visit to Universal in 2009!!

After my Disney trip:thumbsup2

:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:


I wonder if the Hogwarts Hotel will be open...:scratchin :scratchin :scratchin

Disney8704
05-31-2007, 09:27 AM
OK never been to Universal but now I know where DH and I will be in 2009, besides Disney of course. Disney needs to step up to the plate and do something huge like this. What I dont get is why is Universal Studios doing this. You would think it would be at a 6 Flags park since 6 flags is a WB park. Another thing is Disney probably could have done this to since they do show the movies sometimes on the Disney Channel. If Disney doesnt start stepping up to plate they might start loosing guests to the other parks in Orlando. I mean think about Disney is getting really expensive. I figured out that DH and I could stay at some hotel in Orlando, do both Universal Studios PLUS sea world for a week including food and gas and it still comes out cheaper then Disney or comes out even by staying at an All Star doing the DDP with park hopper tickets.

Disney8704
05-31-2007, 09:29 AM
That would be so cool! Have it built by the park and have it set up like a mini hogwarts or something. I would be one of the first signing up to stay there.

That's Awesome, Awesome news!!!! to quote scarlett873


:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:


I wonder if the Hogwarts Hotel will be open...:scratchin :scratchin :scratchin

wildeoscar
05-31-2007, 09:37 AM
That is a huge, huge coup for Universal. I can't say I'm surprised but it's unfortunate that they have scooped Disney yet again. Let's see, Bear in the Big Blue House or Harry Potter...? :rolleyes1

It might seem like Disney got scooped, however...

JK was so controling about park details and had some pretty unrealistic views about how the park should operate. Disney just let the negotiations die on the vine.

sconnell
05-31-2007, 09:40 AM
Wow, Unversal is really making my head turn that way these days...:wizard:

snowbunny
05-31-2007, 09:56 AM
JK was so controling about park details and had some pretty unrealistic views about how the park should operate. Disney just let the negotiations die on the vine.

I'm sure the investment Universal will be making is massive, however, they are going to get it back in spades. Simply, Universal will become a MUST instead of a "maybe" for many, many people. Perhaps Disney execs figure it will result in a net gain in Orlando visitors, better for everyone, but that's a very big gamble.

4eyedbuzzard
05-31-2007, 10:05 AM
Well, I guess Laura Mallory (http://books.monstersandcritics.com/news/article_1311169.php/Harry_Potter_will_remain_in_Georgia_libraries_Judg e_says) won't be going to Universal anytime soon then.

:stir:

popcorn::

DiRTyBuNNy
05-31-2007, 10:22 AM
Well, I guess Laura Mallory (http://books.monstersandcritics.com/news/article_1311169.php/Harry_Potter_will_remain_in_Georgia_libraries_Judg e_says) won't be going to Universal anytime soon then.

:stir:

popcorn::

or a large portion of the "Bible Belt"... :thumbsup2

--Mr. DB

Friendly Frog
05-31-2007, 10:27 AM
I can't wait! The ride/attraction possibilities are endless. I love Disney but IMO they have lost the high tec edge when it comes to attractions. The real key here is how much is Universal going to invest in this plan? A cheap overlay will not work, but I suspect with Rowlings in the mix, that was NOT an option. :rotfl: :banana: :banana: :banana:

4eyedbuzzard
05-31-2007, 10:36 AM
or a large portion of the "Bible Belt"... :thumbsup2

--Mr. DB

:thumbsup2 That's okay, they can still have a fantasy theme park experience of their very own at Dinosaur Adventure Land (http://www.dinosauradventureland.com/)or the Creation Museum (http://www.creationmuseum.org/) ;)

mindyd2006
05-31-2007, 10:38 AM
My daughter will be so excited she loves harry potter!

Tinkerbelle's Mom
05-31-2007, 11:01 AM
Oh I am sad that DIsney is not involved because I think they would have done an excellent job but --- I will be going once it opens!! DD will be 8 in 2009 - a perfect age for that kind of thing (depending on the type of attractions)!

Alicnwondrln
05-31-2007, 11:01 AM
we love HP so this is very cool
DS8 is gonna be excited

Disney8704
05-31-2007, 11:17 AM
I just told my DH and he's very excited about it! We could probably easily kill a whole day in Harry Potters world. We are HUGE HP fans. We have the books, the movies and we are even getting the game next month for the Wii. I personally think this will hurt Disney World. There are TONS of people who love Disney, but theres TONS of people who love HP. When they wanna go on a vacation, they will have 3 opitions. To do both Universal and Disney, just do Universal or just do Disney. My thought people have gone to Disney for years and years and when the HP world opens in 2009/2010, people are gonna go to Universal instead because its new and something VERY exciting. Sure Disney might open a new place to eat or a new ride, but we are talking about a whole new section, something people have been waiting for years to explore. Also not to mention, it is cheaper to do Universal then Disney. Disney and Universal have been competitors for a very long time now and this is just gonna do it for Universal. Disney might have been winning for the past few years now, but once HP comes to universal, the tables are gonna turn, unless Disney stops dragging their feet and bring something that just as big or bigger then HP world in 2010 and that in my opinon will be hard to beat.

bellelab
05-31-2007, 11:23 AM
This is so exciting :yay: !!!!

4eyedbuzzard
05-31-2007, 11:29 AM
My thought people have gone to Disney for years and years and when the HP world opens in 2009/2010, people are gonna go to Universal instead because its new and something VERY exciting. Sure Disney might open a new place to eat or a new ride, but we are talking about a whole new section, something people have been waiting for years to explore. Also not to mention, it is cheaper to do Universal then Disney. Disney and Universal have been competitors for a very long time now and this is just gonna do it for Universal. Disney might have been winning for the past few years now, but once HP comes to universal, the tables are gonna turn, unless Disney stops dragging their feet and bring something that just as big or bigger then HP world in 2010 and that in my opinon will be hard to beat.

I think you will see a major answer to this later this year. Gates and Al-Waleed aren't throwing the Four Season's money at WDW just because of currrent theme parks. WDW has the money, land, and experience to answer and answer big. And I'm also going to bet that HP doesn't come at current US prices.

irisbud
05-31-2007, 11:57 AM
I guess we will have to go to US now.

LOVE HP!

loriandmatt
05-31-2007, 12:24 PM
up until this point there has never been enough at US/IOA to entice my family away from WDW. SeaWorld, yes, for a day out of a 7-10 day WDW vacation.

with the Harry Potter addition, we will certainly go for at least a day. (maybe more - depending on how the pricing layout is designed) i sure hope they do it justice.

snowbunny
05-31-2007, 12:28 PM
WDW has the money, land, and experience to answer and answer big.

With what....? HP is the biggest, ripest character franchise in the world. Period. There's nothing that The Incredibles, or Toy Story, or whatever can do to change that. I love Disney but they just had their hat handed to them, assuming that Universal follows through with the promise of the concept.

WebmasterPete
05-31-2007, 12:38 PM
The real key here is how much is Universal going to invest in this plan? A cheap overlay will not work, but I suspect with Rowlings in the mix, that was NOT an option. :rotfl: :banana: :banana: :banana:

From more than one source I've heard they have a potential development budget (covering Harry Potter, new hotel and Simpsons) approaching $500M - I'm pretty certain it won't be chumpy - but then again, I've seen Universal screw up two car funerals. I have faith in the new management team over there though - they seem to have their act together and I'm hoping that translates well into this new project. The Simpsons will be our first taste of "new" Universal - that will tell us something about how serious they are.

Pete

Joel110
05-31-2007, 12:39 PM
Wow...nice job Universal, wonder why Disney couldn't get a deal worked out when they were negotiating? We really liked IoA, but certainly didn't have much for the young kids. This would really solidify Universal as a destination for the pre-teen + market.

4eyedbuzzard
05-31-2007, 01:03 PM
Rumors are that HP will be done at IoA on the Lost Continent site. I think it will be a very popular attraction. I don't think it presents a serious challenge to WDW as far as overall market share however. Is it worth a day pass? Yes Will it be a vacation destination? No.

Cyrano
05-31-2007, 01:20 PM
Excellent :thumbsup2

Topo Bella
05-31-2007, 02:05 PM
I've never been interested in going to Universal, but this may change with Hogwarts there. But, who are we kidding, WDW will always be my first love.

Colleen27
05-31-2007, 03:24 PM
I will join those who are a little saddened that Disney didn't jump all over getting the rights to do this. Especially in light of all the comments/complaints about Disney being very Princess/girly focused these days, HP could have been a great addition to the World.

In the end, though, I don't care who is doing it as long as it gets done. We figured on our first non-Disney Orlando trip in 2009 or 2010, to do Discovery Cove, the Universal Parks, Sea World and Aquatica, so we'll just have to plan it around the HP opening. :)

ericafny
05-31-2007, 08:52 PM
Huge Harry Potter fan here!

I told DBF about this and he pretty much knows that means we are going back in 2009 definitly! I'm excited to see what kind of rides/attractions they will have. I am also curious to see how they will transform that section of the park into the dark and mysterious world of HP! In any event, let the countdown to 2009 begin!!:banana:

indigoxtreme
06-01-2007, 01:48 AM
Sounds like it will be just more simulator rides and a few buildings designed to look like places in the book. Just like they have now. Good for a day, but not more than that. For people who cannot do simulator rides, this would mean it is not worth it to go. But we will have to wait until 2009 to see what the park has. Everyone can guess, but until that time, who really knows.

faindrops27
06-01-2007, 07:19 AM
OK never been to Universal but now I know where DH and I will be in 2009, besides Disney of course. Disney needs to step up to the plate and do something huge like this. What I dont get is why is Universal Studios doing this. You would think it would be at a 6 Flags park since 6 flags is a WB park. Another thing is Disney probably could have done this to since they do show the movies sometimes on the Disney Channel. If Disney doesnt start stepping up to plate they might start loosing guests to the other parks in Orlando. I mean think about Disney is getting really expensive. I figured out that DH and I could stay at some hotel in Orlando, do both Universal Studios PLUS sea world for a week including food and gas and it still comes out cheaper then Disney or comes out even by staying at an All Star doing the DDP with park hopper tickets.

I lovvvvvve Universal, but I dont think its that cheap, apposed to Disney who offer value resorts. I am staying at the RPR for Halloween Horror Nights in Oct, and my 4 night package is 1076, over the cost of a 7 night in a value at Disney, so no Disney is not cheap, by a long shot but they do offer value. So, I dont know.

:confused3

faindrops27
06-01-2007, 07:37 AM
Also for those who are interested in learning more there are several posts over on Universal' side of the boards. But, be nice over there
To be perfectly honest, I never even read a HP book, or watched a HP movie, but Universal will always be my second "home" when I visit Orlando. And I hope whatever attraction they put into the HP world, other than retheming deuling dragons is a another thrill ride. Keeping my fingers crossed. Because, the innovative thrilling attractions are what I go for.

Quinn222
06-01-2007, 07:48 AM
Add me to the list of people who will be going to Universal. I'm only two hours away but as someone with no interest in thrill ride I never saw any reason to go there. I will now!

Disney8704
06-01-2007, 08:36 AM
Same here. Dont get me wrong Ive always wanted to go to Universal but really didnt find the need or REALLY wanting to. If I really wanted to go, I would have by now. But now that HP is coming to Universal, now I NEED to go.

wildviper
06-01-2007, 08:38 AM
If they just try to cram it in at IOA that will be very disappointing. I am already disappointed Disney didn't get it but let's hope Universal doesn't cut corners for corporate profit.

Metro West
06-01-2007, 08:43 AM
If they just try to cram it in at IOA that will be very disappointing. I am already disappointed Disney didn't get it but let's hope Universal doesn't cut corners for corporate profit.I doubt Universal will cut corners with this construction. All parties concerned want this to be done right...and Universal will do this right.

tink1978
06-01-2007, 09:09 AM
:dance3: Guess I'll be planning a visit to Universal in 2009!!

me too!!!

surfergrl31
06-01-2007, 10:43 AM
The popularity of these books will make it impossible to cut corners on this attraction. I think they know that the fans are expecting larger than life presentation and if they fall short of that it will spell disaster. I have never been to universal, but I will definatly make a visit to see this. Well, I take that back I will probably be making a visit for horror nights since disney doesn't offer an adult alternative to MNSSHP.

mamaprincess
06-01-2007, 12:00 PM
Disney is going to feel this.:sad2:

Disney could make a very strong counter with a Pirate Island. They spent 300 million on the last Pirate's movie because the franchise is wildly popular and they will likely make many times that on the franchise. They clearly could spend money on a themeland within Disney World that would be a killer immersive environment that the fans of the Pirates franchise would go mad for. Plus they need to have something as strong as the princess connection is for girls, for boys. Pirates is it for them. I don't know why they continue to throw pennies at the pirate stuff in the parks like changing Tom Sawyer island in Disney Land to a pirate theme and doing the P&P and having Jack Sparrow out. That is not enough. Disney can be so slow sometimes. They need to strike while the iron is hot.

Disney needs to stop sleeping and get on it ASAP!:thumbsup2

Disney8704
06-01-2007, 12:12 PM
Agree 100% :thumbsup2 That would be SO cool if they had a pirate island. I would be all over it. Maybe build another model of the black peral and let people explore it. Of course have Capt. Jack there and other pirates. Maybe they can create the Tortuga town on the island. That would be interesting. And of course have pirate themed restraunts and stores and maybe another POTC ride.


Disney is going to feel this.:sad2:

Disney could make a very strong counter with a Pirate Island. They spent 300 million on the last Pirate's movie because the franchise is wildly popular and they will likely make many times that on the franchise. They clearly could spend money on a themeland within Disney World that would be a killer immersive environment that the fans of the Pirates franchise would go mad for. Plus they need to have something as strong as the princess connection is for girls, for boys. Pirates is it for them. I don't know why they continue to throw pennies at the pirate stuff in the parks like changing Tom Sawyer island in Disney Land to a pirate theme and doing the P&P and having Jack Sparrow out. That is not enough. Disney can be so slow sometimes. They need to strike while the iron is hot.

Disney needs to stop sleeping and get on it ASAP!:thumbsup2

Cyrano
06-01-2007, 12:35 PM
I doubt Universal will cut corners with this construction. All parties concerned want this to be done right...and Universal will do this right.

JK Rowling has been very careful about protecting anything to do with HP and I doubt this will be any different :)

mamaprincess
06-01-2007, 12:57 PM
Agree 100% :thumbsup2 That would be SO cool if they had a pirate island. I would be all over it. Maybe build another model of the black peral and let people explore it. Of course have Capt. Jack there and other pirates. Maybe they can create the Tortuga town on the island. That would be interesting. And of course have pirate themed restraunts and stores and maybe another POTC ride.

All of your suggestions and more are why Pirates could really stop the hemorraging that Disney will be doing when HP island opens. Heck, I'm not even a fan and have never cared to go to Universal but my family of 5 and I aren't that high on pixie dust that we would miss out on going to HP island.

The pirates franchise is rich in themeing oppurtunities and just has a phenomenally huge fan base. Disney struck gold with this one. They could hold there own against the juggernaut that is HP if they would make the investment.

Hopefully Universal has lit a fire under Disney's bottoms with this one. This is a huge move that Disney can't begin to ignore.

Olaf
06-01-2007, 01:04 PM
We received the e-mail from Universal on this last night. DS (age 12) is soooo excited. This could really give WDW a run for their money, if Universal does this right. Concept art looks awesome!

Here's link:

http://www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/invite_final.html

snowbunny
06-01-2007, 01:26 PM
Pirates could really stop the hemorraging that Disney will be doing when HP island opens.

[....]

The pirates franchise is rich in themeing oppurtunities and just has a phenomenally huge fan base.

Well, it's Johnny Depp that has the huge fan base. Without him the Pirates franchise would be very small potatoes. Yeah yeah Orlando Bloom but seriously...Harry Potter is a juggernaut pure and simple; you see it right here in people that never had the urge to visit Universal suddenly feeling a strong urge to spend part of their vacation there.
The best time to visit the MK will be the day HP world opens...walk on everything! :)

Disney8704
06-01-2007, 09:59 PM
Not just MK but all the parks - walk on everything. I seriously still think this will hurt Disney, unless Disney acts quick and does something and they would have to open it, same time as universal opens HP island or shortly after. Even though Disney might suffer, it will probably only last at the max a year. People are gonna be like hmmm Disney - same old stuff, hey Universal - WOW they got that cool new island based after HP, lets go there this year instead of Disney. This goes for any theme / amusement park. When a amusement park gets something new in, that is what directs people's attention and make them wanna go there instead of somewhere else. Take Busch Gardens in VA. Been there a zillion times, but I REALLY wanna go this year to ride that new coaster they have. Thats the main reason why I wanna go to BG this year. 2nd main reason - just to take a vacation. Another good way to look at it, is rides. Whenever a new ride opens or a new section in one of the Disney parks - thats the 1st thing they do as soon as they get into the park. They go straight for the new ride or section. Thats why when new rides open, you could probably walk on any of the other rides while there is a 3 hr wait at the new ride :scared1: Simply put, people will go where there are new things and not worry about the other parks. They know that those rides at the other parks will still be there a year later and Im sure people are getting tired of the same old stuff at Disney. They want something new and exciting. Therefor, people are gonna spend their $ at Universal in 2010.

Well, it's Johnny Depp that has the huge fan base. Without him the Pirates franchise would be very small potatoes. Yeah yeah Orlando Bloom but seriously...Harry Potter is a juggernaut pure and simple; you see it right here in people that never had the urge to visit Universal suddenly feeling a strong urge to spend part of their vacation there.
The best time to visit the MK will be the day HP world opens...walk on everything! :)

checkwriter
06-01-2007, 11:27 PM
We have five kids, ages 8 to 18, and the news of the Harry Potter addition to Universal was an instant draw for all of them. Up to now they had never expressed an interest in Universal. Never ever. Now, however, they very much want to go. My point: done right, this could be a BIG draw for Universal.

A stronger competitor is good news for Disney fans. Why? Because Disney will finally have to work a little harder. Think about it. If our kids are dragging us over to Universal, and our theme park funds are limited, then that's less time we're spending at Disney. Disney's going to have to come up with something -- or a number of somethings -- to lure the kids (and their funding sources) back. This could ultimately be very good for all involved. A stronger competitor across town is a good thing for consumers. When the Soviet government was the only source of bread, there were bread lines in the USSR. Okay, that's a little extreme, but you get the idea.

On another note, IMHO a Hogwarts Hotel NEEDS to have two things, and SHOULD have a third: Needs: (1) A replica dining hall (preferably with a changeable ceiling); (2) An atrium lobby with moving (though non-usable, purely decorative) staircases (think about it - if the staircases moved every 15 minutes or so, kids would be so into that); and the "should have" number (3): animated portraits that react to passerby.

I'll be in my basement mocking some of this up, and will let you know when it's ready for prime time. :rotfl2:

twinklebug
06-01-2007, 11:33 PM
I have no doubt Universal will do a great job recreating the HP environments, I'm just going to have to sit back and hope they live up to or exceed expectations with the atraction. I trust Disney and know they wouldn't blow it, but universal... Hmmm... it'll all depend on what "experience" they want to give the riders and the story they want to tell.

I really hope JKR gets intimately involve in the design & story line. These are her characters, her kids in a way and who would know them better? I also pray the designers don't just retell part of the existing storyline. I'd love to see rides that are "rider created" without the guests knowing how they're doing it. Disney is getting there but I think they're still lacking the technology and the story to apply it to. HP would be a perfect opportunity to bring this forth on though.

Dreamfinder2
06-02-2007, 08:13 AM
or a large portion of the "Bible Belt"... :thumbsup2

--Mr. DB


Just as a gentle stir to the pot, I'm a minister and an evangelical Christian (Southern Baptist to boot), and live firmly entrenched in the Bible Belt. And my family members are all Potter fans, because it is, ahem, fiction, and rip-roaring good tales. And, biblically, my theology allows for evolution nicely.

Just wanted to put a check on sterotypical thinking ... that broad brush some folks use doesn't necessarily paint everyone.

Back on topic - the potential here for Universal is extraordinary. We're there.

mamaprincess
06-03-2007, 09:44 AM
Well, it's Johnny Depp that has the huge fan base. Without him the Pirates franchise would be very small potatoes. Yeah yeah Orlando Bloom but seriously...Harry Potter is a juggernaut pure and simple; you see it right here in people that never had the urge to visit Universal suddenly feeling a strong urge to spend part of their vacation there.
The best time to visit the MK will be the day HP world opens...walk on everything! :)

I beg to differ. My family and I have never been Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom fans but we are huge fans of the Pirates franchise. I love Captain Jack sparrow but have never cared for anything else Johnny Depp has ever done. I'd be willing to bet that I am not the only one who loves the franchise who was not originally a fan of Johnny Depp's. Captain Jack sparrow to me, is as much a Disney character as Cinderella or any of the others that they've created over the years. I believe this character and the other characters in the franchise can live on as long as any of the great Disney characters have and will continue to enjoy great popularity. I have pirates everything and have never owned one piece of Johnny Depp merchandise. I really think that Disney just did an awesome job with the whole pirates fantasy. Pirates, like Princesses are just a fantasy that people love and Disney did an incredible job of bringing it to life.

Disney could really use balance between the girliness of the princess fantasy that they have sold to tremendous effect and a fantasy that boys can live when they come to Disney. This is it for them. They need to invest in it. Now with HP coming. They had better wake up as clearly universal is making strides to become a world class multi-day destination. Disney shouldn't rest on there laurels, especially when they have a weapon in there arsenal like the Pirates franchise.

rwrocksme
06-03-2007, 10:01 AM
I just had a thought. Universal mainly does thrill rides. this is a good thing for people who like those types of rides, and those people are definitely Universal's target audience. However, that isn't HP's audience--will there be a good mix? Find out next time on Pigs...In...SPACE!!! :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

chasgoose
06-03-2007, 10:36 AM
I beg to differ. My family and I have never been Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom fans but we are huge fans of the Pirates franchise. I love Captain Jack sparrow but have never cared for anything else Johnny Depp has ever done. I'd be willing to bet that I am not the only one who loves the franchise who was not originally a fan of Johnny Depp's. Captain Jack sparrow to me, is as much a Disney character as Cinderella or any of the others that they've created over the years. I believe this character and the other characters in the franchise can live on as long as any of the great Disney characters have and will continue to enjoy great popularity. I have pirates everything and have never owned one piece of Johnny Depp merchandise. I really think that Disney just did an awesome job with the whole pirates fantasy. Pirates, like Princesses are just a fantasy that people love and Disney did an incredible job of bringing it to life.

Disney could really use balance between the girliness of the princess fantasy that they have sold to tremendous effect and a fantasy that boys can live when they come to Disney. This is it for them. They need to invest in it. Now with HP coming. They had better wake up as clearly universal is making strides to become a world class multi-day destination. Disney shouldn't rest on there laurels, especially when they have a weapon in there arsenal like the Pirates franchise.

The Pirates movies and Jack Sparrow would have been nothing without Johnny Depp. They would have just been another huh? why is Disney making another movie based on a theme park ride (like the Haunted Mansion)? Johnny Depp made those movies what they were and created the character of Jack Sparrow in a way that writing never could. He didn't get nominated for an Oscar for nothing (the mere fact that he got a nomination is a testament to what his contribution was because they almost NEVER give out nominations to performances in movies like Pirates of the Caribbean). The second he decides to stop being in Pirates movies is the second the franchise dies.

The Harry Potter franchise on the other hand is not nearly as tied to one performance as the Pirates movies.

photo_chick
06-03-2007, 11:39 AM
I just had a thought. Universal mainly does thrill rides. this is a good thing for people who like those types of rides, and those people are definitely Universal's target audience. However, that isn't HP's audience--will there be a good mix? Find out next time on Pigs...In...SPACE!!! :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

I don't know if that is necessarily true. I like HP and I love thrill rides. A lot of the kids who started reading and became fans with the first book are in their 20's now. Just the right age for thrill rides.

DiszyDean
06-03-2007, 11:40 AM
I can imagine that there are several factors in Disney's decision not to pursue the HP project.

1. Disney wants to have total control over all aspects of their parks. JK Rowling is very particular about how her franchise is perceived and I am sure will have final say on everything HP at Universal.

2. This is not an investment that requires just increased revenue for several years after the park opens. This investment will require an increase in revenue over the next 10-15 years for it to be viable. Universal is gambling that it will happen, Disney may not have been as confident.

3. Disney may have felt it better to be prudent and continue to add attractions to a lot of their underutilized space. For the money spent on HP, Disney can probably put in another 4-5 feature attractions in their existing parks at the level of a Expedition Everest. And as we all know, Disney is a master of marketing. They may think they can get a lot more bang for their buck adding to their existing stable than going way outside the box.

I would be one that would like to go to see the new Harry Potter world when it opens. But will it be an attraction, combined with the existing US/IOA offerings that I go to year-after-year? Probably not...I think this will be an attraction where people will flock to it just to see it but will probably not generate the kind of repeatable appeal that the entire package at WDW offers.

In addition, I think the HP project will totally max out Universal's new attraction budget for the next 5-7 years. It will probably take 2-3 of those years just to get built and get open and at which time I am sure parts of IOA will need to be closed due to the construction. So, with no new attractions and possibly shutting down some exisiting areas of IOA, Universal is probably counting on a slight decline in attendance until HP opens.

lordhavemercy
06-03-2007, 01:15 PM
[QUOTE=DiszyDean;18990302 *edited...I can imagine that there are several factors in Disney's decision not to pursue the HP project.

1. Disney wants to have total control over all aspects of their parks.

2. This is not an investment that requires just increased revenue for several years after the park opens.

3.I would be one that would like to go to see the new Harry Potter world when it opens. But will it be an attraction, combined with the existing US/IOA offerings that I go to year-after-year? Probably not...I think this will be an attraction where people will flock to it just to see it but will probably not generate the kind of repeatable appeal that the entire package at WDW offers.

When Disney does a project...it's approach is completely different than Universal's....Disney saturates the individual in the atmosphere on so many different levels....a person is immersed in the experience.....from the architecture...the attractions...to the CM....you transcend the earthly realm...and enter the realm that Disney creates for you.
....Universal has not caught on to this....you see in areas of their parks they are trying for it...but the "spirit" isn't there...the employees lack the sparkle and polish....the attractions seem only 2 dimensional....yes, they capture you for the moment...but, when you are leaving the venue...the experience leaves with it.
....when Disney does something...it's done with an excellence and a sparkle...that lacks at other parks .....
.....I hope that Disney continues to keep it's attractions "family" oriented.
Disney is a lovely land....one of the last here on earth...where we can escape....to princesses....castles....flying elephants..swash-buckling pirates...magic carpets...and smiling faces. I hope they keep it that way....the way Walt wanted it...for a very, very long time.:grouphug:

DiszyDean
06-03-2007, 02:03 PM
[QUOTE=DiszyDean;18990302 *edited...

When Disney does a project...it's approach is completely different than Universal's....Disney saturates the individual in the atmosphere on so many different levels....a person is immersed in the experience.....from the architecture...the attractions...to the CM....you transcend the earthly realm...and enter the realm that Disney creates for you.
....Universal has not caught on to this....you see in areas of their parks they are trying for it...but the "spirit" isn't there...the employees lack the sparkle and polish....the attractions seem only 2 dimensional....yes, they capture you for the moment...but, when you are leaving the venue...the experience leaves with it.
....when Disney does something...it's done with an excellence and a sparkle...that lacks at other parks .....
.....I hope that Disney continues to keep it's attractions "family" oriented.
Disney is a lovely land....one of the last here on earth...where we can escape....to princesses....castles....flying elephants..swash-buckling pirates...magic carpets...and smiling faces. I hope they keep it that way....the way Walt wanted it...for a very, very long time.:grouphug:

There are a lot of former Disney imagineers working for Universal right now. Although I agree with the opinion that when Universal first opened it really just started putting in rides without much thought to overall theming, I think that is slowly changing and the HP franchise will be a big step in duplicating some of the same type of "magic" that Disney produces.

I also think that Disney needs to continue to strive to appeal to a broader audience. I think they already have locked down the 3-8 demographic and provided the best overall family vacation experience but they cannot just sit back and continue to rely on princesses and castles. I think you will begin to see a little bit of a change in direction when new attractions are considered. I think Expedition Everest is a good example. A nicely themed area but also providing the excitement of a thrill ride. And look how much buzz that ride generated. I mean there were Travel Channel specials dedicated to its design and development. When is the last time you have seen that happen?

I think that in the end, Disney will be better off for not pursuing the HP project which would have probably shelved any other future ride expansion for the next five years.

DiszyDean
06-03-2007, 02:17 PM
While I am thinking about it, I think that Universal should take a cue from Disney and move a lot closer towards all-inclusive options. I think that the all-inclusive nature of a Disney vacation is a big seller for a lot of families.

If Universal did a "Magic Express" type transportation service to and from the airport, a more inclusive dining plan, and a "value" hotel chain, they would see a lot more volume especially with the new HP expansion.

In addition, I think they should look at offering the ability to pay off your Universal vacation over time, like Disney. That is often underrated when people think about where to spend their vacation dollars. It is much more convienent for a lot of people to put a deposit on their vacation for the coming year and then pay it off over time than to put it all on their credit card at once, like you now have to do with a Universal package.

I think new attractions like HP combined with the convience factor that Disney offers could turn Universal/IOA from a 2-3 day experience to a 4-5 day or longer experience.

sha_lyn
06-03-2007, 02:21 PM
When Disney does a project...it's approach is completely different than Universal's....Disney saturates the individual in the atmosphere on so many different levels....a person is immersed in the experience.....from the architecture...the attractions...to the CM....you transcend the earthly realm...and enter the realm that Disney creates for you.
....Universal has not caught on to this....you see in areas of their parks they are trying for it...but the "spirit" isn't there...the employees lack the sparkle and polish....the attractions seem only 2 dimensional....yes, they capture you for the moment...but, when you are leaving the venue...the experience leaves with it.
....when Disney does something...it's done with an excellence and a sparkle...that lacks at other parks .....


I completely disagree with you.
I did not expect to enjoy Universal. We went only for our teenager. Well the first thing out of my mouth when I entered IOA was "wow they out disney'ed disney". I still stand by that statement 6 years later. IOA takes the theming above and beyond what WDW does.

Metro West
06-03-2007, 02:31 PM
In addition, I think they should look at offering the ability to pay off your Universal vacation over time, like Disney.I wish Disney did that with their Annual Passes. Universal, Sea World and Busch Gardens offer Flex-Pay options on their APs...not Disney...all $$$ at one time. :mad:

sha_lyn
06-03-2007, 02:32 PM
If they just try to cram it in at IOA that will be very disappointing. I am already disappointed Disney didn't get it but let's hope Universal doesn't cut corners for corporate profit.


They aren't cramming it in anywhere. They will be using a small part of Lost Contienent, plus a large section of unused land.

DiszyDean
06-03-2007, 02:48 PM
I think Universal's plans for HP are extensive and will probably be able to do it up right without "craming it in" in IOA. The only question is, will they be able to do it on budget and how much will "doing it up right" cost them and what is the time frame for ROI (return on investment).

oh_sachi
06-03-2007, 02:53 PM
Ok, I really don't like Universal too much, but I'm so excited about this! I love Harry Potter.

It sounds pretty awesome.

chasgoose
06-03-2007, 10:19 PM
If they just try to cram it in at IOA that will be very disappointing. I am already disappointed Disney didn't get it but let's hope Universal doesn't cut corners for corporate profit.

Come on, its not like Disney is a charitable organization devoted to bringing magic to make the world a better place or something. They are just as much of a corporation as Universal and they cut corners just as much as Universal Studios does (the Disney resorts for the rates they charge are a good example of this to me).

lordhavemercy
06-03-2007, 10:39 PM
I can imagine that there are several factors in Disney's decision not to pursue the HP project.

1. Disney wants to have total control over all aspects of their parks. JK Rowling is very particular about how her franchise is perceived and I am sure will have final say on everything HP at Universal.

2. This is not an investment that requires just increased revenue for several years after the park opens. This investment will require an increase in revenue over the next 10-15 years for it to be viable. Universal is gambling that it will happen, Disney may not have been as confident.

3. Disney may have felt it better to be prudent and continue to add attractions to a lot of their underutilized space. For the money spent on HP, Disney can probably put in another 4-5 feature attractions in their existing parks at the level of a Expedition Everest. And as we all know, Disney is a master of marketing. They may think they can get a lot more bang for their buck adding to their existing stable than going way outside the box.

I would be one that would like to go to see the new Harry Potter world when it opens. But will it be an attraction, combined with the existing US/IOA offerings that I go to year-after-year? Probably not...I think this will be an attraction where people will flock to it just to see it but will probably not generate the kind of repeatable appeal that the entire package at WDW offers.

In addition, I think the HP project will totally max out Universal's new attraction budget for the next 5-7 years. It will probably take 2-3 of those years just to get built and get open and at which time I am sure parts of IOA will need to be closed due to the construction. So, with no new attractions and possibly shutting down some exisiting areas of IOA, Universal is probably counting on a slight decline in attendance until HP opens.

I completely disagree with you.
I did not expect to enjoy Universal. We went only for our teenager. Well the first thing out of my mouth when I entered IOA was "wow they out disney'ed disney". I still stand by that statement 6 years later. IOA takes the theming above and beyond what WDW does.


:confused: ...lol....couldn't disagree with you more! My DD (17) and I were in U this april...and while we enjoyed it...it just doesn't have the depth that Disney does. Universal has the "thrills"....but, Disney (IMO)....still has them beat. We enjoy the cleanliness of the parks....the flora....and the "aesthetics" that surround you....just seems that U parks lack these somehow.
.....I'd love to see U do the HP books justice....I hope that they're able to create the richness and depth the stories contain....with a long-term construction plan.....
....but, I doubt it.......:scared1:

disneydance
06-04-2007, 12:00 AM
Yes I cant wait!!!

rie'smom
06-04-2007, 12:28 AM
[QUOTE=DiszyDean;18990302 *edited...I can imagine that there are several factors in Disney's decision not to pursue the HP project.

1. Disney wants to have total control over all aspects of their parks.

2. This is not an investment that requires just increased revenue for several years after the park opens.

3.I would be one that would like to go to see the new Harry Potter world when it opens. But will it be an attraction, combined with the existing US/IOA offerings that I go to year-after-year? Probably not...I think this will be an attraction where people will flock to it just to see it but will probably not generate the kind of repeatable appeal that the entire package at WDW offers.

When Disney does a project...it's approach is completely different than Universal's....Disney saturates the individual in the atmosphere on so many different levels....a person is immersed in the experience.....from the architecture...the attractions...to the CM....you transcend the earthly realm...and enter the realm that Disney creates for you.
....Universal has not caught on to this....you see in areas of their parks they are trying for it...but the "spirit" isn't there...the employees lack the sparkle and polish....the attractions seem only 2 dimensional....yes, they capture you for the moment...but, when you are leaving the venue...the experience leaves with it.
....when Disney does something...it's done with an excellence and a sparkle...that lacks at other parks .....
.....I hope that Disney continues to keep it's attractions "family" oriented.
Disney is a lovely land....one of the last here on earth...where we can escape....to princesses....castles....flying elephants..swash-buckling pirates...magic carpets...and smiling faces. I hope they keep it that way....the way Walt wanted it...for a very, very long time.:grouphug:

I totally disagree with this. WDW is an amusement park just like Universal is an amusement park. I have as much of an immersion experience at Universal as I do at WDW.
We just returned from both today and I guarantee that the employees at WDW,that we encountered, were not sparkly-surly is more like it. We had the opposite experience at Univeral-the employees were smiling and very helpful. WDW employees seem to be feeling a pinch of some sort. There has been talk of a strike so that might be the reason for the unDisney attitude.
To each his/her own but I think Universal has by far jumped ahead in the people happy attitudes over WDW. Universal is aptly named because it appeals universally to everyone no matter their age.

lookingforward
06-04-2007, 07:10 AM
I love US/IOA as much as I love WDW ...but for different reasons. US/IOA offers my family a more affordable vacation with MUCH more flexible annual pass options. For instance, an annual pass with no blackout dates is $99 per person (renewable after first year) with great in-park discounts, etc. Flex payments and AMAZING hotels (Loews Brand...great theming).

I believe with all my heart that US will get it right with the new park. Their recent construction (last five years) has been done really, really well with excellent theming. They have great shows and attractions along with high quality thrill rides. Spiderman? That ride was and still is cutting edge.
Another thing, they have great in-park dining. Mythos has won national awards for the cuisine and is much less expensive than WDW dining options.

Noone can beat WDW for it's brand identity and loyal fans (including ME!). But when you stay at US/IOA hotels, visit the parks and utilize your express on-site pass option, dine at innovative themed restuarants and then take a lovely boat ride back to an Italian village where you dine on the plaza while Italian singers serenade you from the balconies above I would say that US/IOA is doing a wonderful job. Or maybe your kids want to rent the Stevie Wonder cabana at the Hard Rock on the sand beach right next to the kids pool and water slide. Or try the luau at the Royal Pacific.

My point is that there are wonderful options for Orlando vacations that offer quality. US/IOA is much, much different that WDW but wonderful just the same.

Upcoming trips:

July: Portofino Hotel at US/IOA
Sept: WDW/Port Orleans
Dec: WdW/Poly Concierge

Counting the days!:cool1:

Metro West
06-04-2007, 07:21 AM
US/IOA offers my family a more affordable vacation with MUCH more flexible annual pass options. For instance, an annual pass with no blackout dates is $99 per person (renewable after first year) with great in-park discounts, etc. Flex payments and AMAZING hotels (Loews Brand...great theming).)Just some claification on the annual passes...The Power Pass is $129.95/year with limited blackout dates but NO park discounts. The Preferred Pass is $189.95/yr which renews at $99.00 + tax but offers park discounts and NO black out dates. I don't know what kind of pass you have for $99.00 but if you have the Power Pass you'd better check the black out dates again so there won't be any surprises.

mamaprincess
06-04-2007, 07:55 AM
The Pirates movies and Jack Sparrow would have been nothing without Johnny Depp.


Just like 300 would have been nothing without ummm, er:confused: Movies make it if movies are good. Movies flop if they are bad. Many stars make many flops. An actor is only as good as the vehicle he stars in. The most brilliant actor couldn't turn trash to treasure. As I've stated before, my kids had no earthly idea who Johnny Depp was before pirates and they still aren't interested in him if he is not in a pirate suit and neither am I. I would also imagine that many other children and teens who are a fan of the franchise were not previously fans of Johnny Depp. That speaks to his masterful portrayal of the character of captain jack but most importantly, the caliber of the Pirates films.

Obviously he did a great job with the character he was given. The franchise couldn't survive without him in that role because he is who we have come to identify with as Captain Jack. However, this film did not become the block buster it is simply because of Johhny Depp. That would be taking away from the brilliantly imaginitive work of all the creative geniuses involved that helped to make this series so stunning. The Pirates series is a masterful body of work in which any actor, however brilliant, would have been fortunate to be involved.

Now back to my original point which is a Pirate island would be a hugely popular and brilliant counter to HP island. They can and should do it. Disney has very little for boys and teens. This would more than solve it and it would also neutralize the effect that HP island will have on Disney's bottome line.

Releasing the hostages.

Disney8704
06-04-2007, 08:00 AM
They said this: an annual pass with no blackout dates is $99 per person (renewable after first year)

don't know what kind of pass you have for $99.00 but if you have the Power Pass you'd better check the black out dates again so there won't be any surprises.

Sooze
06-04-2007, 08:23 AM
Wow.. I just spent a good part of my morning reading through this thread and checking out the Universal email. I'm soooo excited to hear about this new adventure.

To wrap up what someone already to said.. to each his own! I have been, and will probably always will be a die-hard Disney fan. But you can betcha I'll be checking out the new HP land, as I'm also a die-hard HP fan! Of course, I'll be driving over to IoA from my Disney resort!!;)

Do I think it will hurt Disney? Eh.. maybe a millimeter...

MinnieCandi
06-04-2007, 08:33 AM
We LOVE Harry Potter in my house. We are already planning a 2010 trip to see the WWofHP. We have never been to universal before, so it will be very exciting for us.

That being said, I dont think Universal could ever really hurt Disney. We will still stay at a Disney resort and still get the park hopper for however long we will stay. Anything that draws people to Orlando is good for Disney business. :goodvibes

lookingforward
06-04-2007, 08:42 AM
Just some claification on the annual passes...The Power Pass is $129.95/year with limited blackout dates but NO park discounts. The Preferred Pass is $189.95/yr which renews at $99.00 + tax but offers park discounts and NO black out dates. I don't know what kind of pass you have for $99.00 but if you have the Power Pass you'd better check the black out dates again so there won't be any surprises.

Yes, we paid the first year at that rate. HOWEVER, once you do the first year at that rate (and they let you use flex pay) then you can renew for $99 per person as long as you pay the entire amount upfront. So this will be our second time renewing for 99. Thats why I said after the first year. And there are NO limitations on this, no blackouts, discounts do apply.

lookingforward
06-04-2007, 08:43 AM
They said this: an annual pass with no blackout dates is $99 per person (renewable after first year)

Sorry..I did not see your post before I responded. Thanks:thumbsup2

lookingforward
06-04-2007, 08:45 AM
Just like 300 would have been nothing without ummm, er:confused: Movies make it if movies are good. Movies flop if they are bad. Many stars make many flops. An actor is only as good as the vehicle he stars in. The most brilliant actor couldn't turn trash to treasure. As I've stated before, my kids had no earthly idea who Johnny Depp was before pirates and they still aren't interested in him if he is not in a pirate suit and neither am I. I would also imagine that many other children and teens who are a fan of the franchise were not previously fans of Johnny Depp. That speaks to his masterful portrayal of the character of captain jack but most importantly, the caliber of the Pirates films.

Obviously he did a great job with the character he was given. The franchise couldn't survive without him in that role because he is who we have come to identify with as Captain Jack. However, this film did not become the block buster it is simply because of Johhny Depp. That would be taking away from the brilliantly imaginitive work of all the creative geniuses involved that helped to make this series so stunning. The Pirates series is a masterful body of work in which any actor, however brilliant, would have been fortunate to be involved.

Now back to my original point which is a Pirate island would be a hugely popular and brilliant counter to HP island. They can and should do it. Disney has very little for boys and teens. This would more than solve it and it would also neutralize the effect that HP island will have on Disney's bottome line.

Releasing the hostages.

I would LOVE to see a Pirate Island. Great idea, my kids did the pirate cruise at WDW a bazillion years ago and loved it. they still talk about it.

Disney8704
06-04-2007, 08:46 AM
No need to appologize, just figured I would speak up just incase no one else did ;)

Sorry..I did not see your post before I responded. Thanks:thumbsup2

brack
06-04-2007, 08:57 AM
[QUOTE=lordhavemercy;18991578]

I totally disagree with this. WDW is an amusement park just like Universal is an amusement park. I have as much of an immersion experience at Universal as I do at WDW.
We just returned from both today and I guarantee that the employees at WDW,that we encountered, were not sparkly-surly is more like it. We had the opposite experience at Univeral-the employees were smiling and very helpful. WDW employees seem to be feeling a pinch of some sort. There has been talk of a strike so that might be the reason for the unDisney attitude.
To each his/her own but I think Universal has by far jumped ahead in the people happy attitudes over WDW. Universal is aptly named because it appeals universally to everyone no matter their age.

Not true, it's doesn't appeal to me! :confused3 I know for a fact that I am not the only one who feels this way. I will probably never waste my money or time there again.

Colleen27
06-04-2007, 08:58 AM
Just like 300 would have been nothing without ummm, er:confused: Movies make it if movies are good. Movies flop if they are bad. Many stars make many flops. An actor is only as good as the vehicle he stars in. The most brilliant actor couldn't turn trash to treasure. As I've stated before, my kids had no earthly idea who Johnny Depp was before pirates and they still aren't interested in him if he is not in a pirate suit and neither am I. I would also imagine that many other children and teens who are a fan of the franchise were not previously fans of Johnny Depp. That speaks to his masterful portrayal of the character of captain jack but most importantly, the caliber of the Pirates films.


Gerard Butler. And he's an excellent actor too, with a gift for bringing his characters to life. ;) Not nearly as good at choosing roles as Depp, though...

I agree that it is the script itself that is the single most important factor, but casting can make or break a good vehicle in some cases. An exceptional actor brings something of his own to a role, while a lesser actor plays a role as it is written. It was Johnny Depp, not the writers or Disney execs or even the director, who brought that Keith Richards-inspired swagger to the role of Jack Sparrow. A lesser actor who might have been less imaginative with his portrayal of the role could *easily* have killed the PotC films, either by not making the role that memorable or not having the strength/clout to defend a more unconventional portrayal. There are many, many sources who say that initially, Disney execs didn't like the way Depp played Sparrow, and wanted a more straight, less "drunken" performance, but Depp & Verbinski went to bat for the Capt Jack we all know and love. And what would those movies have been if Jack had been played like a rehashed Captain Hook?

You don't have to be a Johnny Depp fan or even know who he is for his performance to matter to your enjoyment of the film. Imagine 300 if they had cast some big-draw, marginally talented star like Brad Pitt as Leonitus. Would it have been the same movie with a stiff, unpassionate, unconvincing lead? Of course not. (Did you happen to see Troy? :rolleyes1 ) And Pirates of the Caribbean wouldn't have been the same success with an actor who would merely have followed the script in the role of Jack, no matter how good the vehicle itself was. pirate:

snowbunny
06-04-2007, 03:57 PM
IMHO a Hogwarts Hotel NEEDS to have two things, and SHOULD have a third: Needs: (1) A replica dining hall (preferably with a changeable ceiling); (2) An atrium lobby with moving (though non-usable, purely decorative) staircases (think about it - if the staircases moved every 15 minutes or so, kids would be so into that); and the "should have" number (3): animated portraits that react to passerby.

I'll be in my basement mocking some of this up, and will let you know when it's ready for prime time. :rotfl2:

Right on! My kids are so up for this.

And to the non-Depp fans, I stand by my statement that Pirates would be nothing like the commercial success it has been without Johnny Depp. Pick any handful of reviews of Curse of the Black Pearl, people were well prepared for it to crash and burn like so many pirate movies (Hook, anyone?).

As another poster said, Disney execs were initially horrified by the actor's idea to play the character as a dippy and somewhat sexually ambiguous anti-hero. But that in fact is what made it work. Try to picture George Clooney in the role...nope, not feelin' it (and I love George Clooney).

jaycat
06-04-2007, 05:56 PM
I just wonder if this park will stand the test of time as Disney has, the Harry Potter Books may be popular now (I do enjoy the books), but what about 50 years into the future. The big challenge for this park will be weather they stick more to the movies (which most people have seen at least one of, and which will be continued to be watched for years to come) or book theme (which because of the movies not as many people have read), and the amount of work and time that must go into the building and design to make the stuff look real. While on one of our Disney trips I have to go to the HP Park and see, I hope they have a gift shop that sells sugar quills.

rie'smom
06-04-2007, 08:17 PM
I just wonder if this park will stand the test of time as Disney has, the Harry Potter Books may be popular now (I do enjoy the books), but what about 50 years into the future. The big challenge for this park will be weather they stick more to the movies (which most people have seen at least one of, and which will be continued to be watched for years to come) or book theme (which because of the movies not as many people have read), and the amount of work and time that must go into the building and design to make the stuff look real. While on one of our Disney trips I have to go to the HP Park and see, I hope they have a gift shop that sells sugar quills.

JK Rowling has input,so I'm sure the park will be faithful to the books/movies.
I'm not worried about the test of time because these books are now considered classics. As for the test of time.Mickey has survived so I don't see why Harry won't.

Friendly Frog
06-04-2007, 10:11 PM
I never read the books because I thought they were just for kids. Then, after going to see the movies I ordered all the books. :confused3 :goodvibes

snowbunny
06-05-2007, 10:30 AM
I never read the books because I thought they were just for kids. Then, after going to see the movies I ordered all the books. :confused3 :goodvibes

The books are SO much better than the movies :thumbsup2

greenmyvalley
01-20-2008, 01:20 PM
I just heard about this, and I absolutely can't wait. Looks like I'll be postponing my trip another year. :eek:

Madi100
01-20-2008, 05:28 PM
I just wonder if this park will stand the test of time as Disney has, the Harry Potter Books may be popular now (I do enjoy the books), but what about 50 years into the future. The big challenge for this park will be weather they stick more to the movies (which most people have seen at least one of, and which will be continued to be watched for years to come) or book theme (which because of the movies not as many people have read), and the amount of work and time that must go into the building and design to make the stuff look real. While on one of our Disney trips I have to go to the HP Park and see, I hope they have a gift shop that sells sugar quills.

I wonder the same thing. I've seen in many stores - Target, WB, etc., where HP stuff is on clearance. They come out with a new book or a new movie and it's popular, but it doesn't last. Can you buy HP stuff in Target right now? We are big HP fans, but I don't know that I see it being around forever.

surfergirl602
01-20-2008, 05:34 PM
sub

M&M's
01-20-2008, 08:51 PM
I know this is a dug up old thread, but I wanted to comment on it while it is still resurrected. The possibilities are endless for this park.

I for one am looking forward to going to The Three Broomsticks and getting a nice glass of butterbeer!

I think they should do Diagon Alley as well, although I don't see them skipping over this important part of Harry Potter's world. The souvenir possibilities are so numerous that they don't even need to make up shops that don't exist in the books. What young wizard or witch wouldn't want to go into Ollivanders to buy a wand that picks him or her? Or go into Eeylops Owl Emporium to buy a (stuffed) owl? Or go into Flourish and Blotts to buy some books about Witchcraft and Wizardry? Or into the new Weasley's Wizard Wheezes to get some practical joke stuff and other neat things? Or Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions to buy a robe to wear at Hogwarts? Or Quality Quidditch Supplies to buy a snitch or broom (and kids will want one because it's "magical"!)?

And that's just Diagon Alley shops. Although I'm curious how they will grant access to Diagon Alley, since you have to go through The Leaky Cauldron and tap the bricks in the back alley. I'm sure we'll have to give some leeway for the sake of crowd traffic control in some areas, as staying true to the book in this way would create quite the bottleneck!

surfergirl602
01-31-2008, 11:14 AM
Gerard Butler. And he's an excellent actor too, with a gift for bringing his characters to life. ;) Not nearly as good at choosing roles as Depp, though...

pirate:

Ock, a lassie after me own heart. :lovestruc

Christine43
01-31-2008, 05:27 PM
Aren't they including Diagon Alley in their plans, I had thought so and it certainly would be a big money maker for them. My son lives and breathes HP, everything he got for Christmas was HP themed. We will most definitely be there when it opens. I'm looking forward to it almost as much as he is.