The creative team at Universal Studios recently revealed some interesting new details on the technology used at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Some exciting new technology has been put to use to make the Diagon Alley expansion even more amazing and magical than its Hogsmeade Village counterpart!
Thierry Coup, Senior Vice President for Universal Creative, stated,
We always rely on new technology to bring experiences that our guests have never felt before, and since we opened Hogsmeade four years ago, we were able to get some brand new technology to bring some of the great stories that were in Harry Potter films, like Diagon Alley and Gringotts, to life in such a way that was not possible before. The ride system for Gringotts is a combination of all the greatest ride systems that we’ve done in the past, but combined together with the control systems you can have today with computers that were not fast enough years ago. We can do things today that are unbelievable, like getting you to plunge down into this incredible cavern miles underneath London.
The new ride will feature similar technologies to the Forbidden Journey ride in the Hogsmeade Village area of the Wizarding World but will incorporate newer technology that was not previously available, including 360-degree themed sets, 4K high-definition animation, and 3D Infitec projection systems. We have read about some details of the live-action scenes that were shot and put into Escape from Gringotts as well as the scenes shot for the Forbidden Journey ride. The creative team described how some of these amazing technologies have been expanded upon for the Escape from Gringotts to create even more breathtaking imagery. Eric Hunt, Universal’s creative producer, touched on how the new technology has created an entirely new experience.
Having 4K ultra high definition availability with our projection systems, we are now able to create a seamless environment by taking physical sets and just transitioning them to digital cinema with these huge screens that we built. The new ride system gives us 360 degrees of freedom, which allows us to transfer a guest into an even more full environment by having more digital screens around us. So wherever we turn there’s something to experience.
Coup also described the never-before-seen technology that will be incorporated into the Hogwarts Express ride, which will actually allow passengers to look out their windows and view the images coming toward them on the screens. In addition to the intricate details put into the aesthetic reconstruction of the Hogwarts Express, these new screens will give passengers the feeling of actually traveling through various parts of London, Scotland, and the Harry Potter world.
One of the coolest things, of course, is to be able to ride the Hogwarts Express, which is an exact reproduction down to the finest details like the fabrics inside the train, which is from the same manufacturer that made the fabric back in the ’50s. The projection technology allows us to have everything you see outside the window on the train transport you into the film world, like the British landscape, the Scottish landscapes, the Malfoy manor and then Hogwarts. All that had to be created so [that] you didn’t feel like you were in Florida anymore. We had to invent a whole production system that is part of the train, so when you look outside the window you can actually lean against the window and see what’s oncoming. This is unheard of. This is very unique technology that we’ve developed here at Universal.
Another exciting feature coming to the park is the inclusion of interactive wands, which will allow guests to cast spells at various points throughout both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley and manipulate different displays. Coup touched on the experience:
When you come to Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade you can actually practice your magic. You can practice your spells by using the map that shows you where all these magical places are. If you do the right spell something magical happens in the window. There are different ones all over the land and even some in Hogsmeade Village.
The Universal Studios creative team seems to have gone to great lengths to make the Diagon Alley expansion of the Wizarding World as true to the Harry Potter universe as possible, incorporating fine details and new technologies to make the magic of Harry Potter come to life in our Muggle world. If you haven’t already, check out our Diagon Alley Roundup, which has some great details about the new rides and experiences in the park from the winner of our own MuggleNet sweepstakes, Letha. Which experience in Diagon Alley are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the comments below!
Thanks to NewsObserver for the original article.