This article contains possible spoilers regarding the upcoming ride at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
The senior vice president of Universal Creative, Thierry Coup, has revealed some new information about the upcoming Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride, including how he got author J.K. Rowling‘s permission to include Bellatrix and Voldemort in the attraction.
Coup talks about how the Potter cast enjoyed reuniting to film new footage:
I actually got to direct those scenes for this new Universal Orlando attraction in December of 2012. And it was obvious that the cast members who came back to be part of the Gringotts shoot really enjoyed the opportunity to revisit these characters.
I mean, these performers had spent so many years working together on that acclaimed series of films. So it was clear that they really appreciated this opportunity to revisit the world of Harry Potter, getting the chance to portray these iconic characters one more time.
The attraction will not exactly duplicate what the trio went through in the final book or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. As Coup explains,
J.K. Rowling actually gave us a lot of creative leeway when it came to Escape from Gringotts. You see, the story that we wanted to tell with this Universal Orlando attraction kind of ran concurrently with the events [that] occurred during Deathly Hallows.
You see, our guests just happen to be at Gringotts Wizarding Bank opening a new account on the exact same day that Harry, Ron and Hermione are trying to break into Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault to retrieve a Horcrux.
It’s not until their twelve-passenger mine car is making its way through the vast complex of caverns directly under Gringotts that guests will finally cross paths with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Their mine car is on a track that parallels the path of Potter’s just as Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Griphook pass through the Thief’s Downfall.
Following that, Gringotts immediately goes on high alert. Thinking that they might be the would-be vault robbers, the bank’s brutish security trolls will then menace these Universal Orlando visitors. But that’s nothing compared to what happens when Bellatrix Lestrange and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Lord Voldemort, arrive on the scene and are determined to do whatever they have to in order to protect the Horcrux.
Coup knows that this might come as somewhat of a surprise to guests:
Which I know is a departure from the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 movie. J.K. Rowling certainly didn’t mention Bellatrix and Voldemort being on scene this early as part of the Deathly Hallows book. But given that this action is happening away from where Harry, Ron & Hermione are … Well, J.K. actually gave us permission to include these scenes as part of our attraction because they could have possibly been going on while Harry, Ron and Hermione were in the Lestrange vault retrieving that Horcux.
He also explains that they used guest feedback from Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey to help enhance their storytelling for Escape from Gringotts:
Don’t get me wrong. Harry Potter fans really seem to love Forbidden Journey. But the one complaint [that] we kept getting from our guests about that Wizarding World attraction was that they weren’t getting enough time with their favorite characters, that — because Forbidden Journey is really kind of a Harry Potter highlight reel — we kept moving quickly from character to character, from place to place.
Which is why — with Escape from Gringotts — we decided to confine this attraction to one specific place, give our guests lots of face time with some of the most famous characters from the Harry Potter world. Not to mention placing them right in the middle of one of the more exciting moments from both the books and the film series.
Are you excited to experience this ride? What do you think about the inclusion of Bellatrix and Voldemort? Let us know your thoughts!