MuggleCast 201 Transcript
[Intro music begins]
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["Hedwig's Theme" plays]
David Heyman: Hello this is David Heyman and I'm the producer of the Harry Potter films and this MuggleCast.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: Because I nearly died from all the sugar in the Butterbeer, this is MuggleCast Episode 201 for June 23rd, 2010.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 201. It's Micah, Eric, Matt and I this week. So we got a lot of good feedback about Episode 200, which was nice. Eric and Micah's great interview with David Heyman.
Andrew: I saw him at the theme park the other day actually.
Eric: Did you thank him for us?
Andrew: No. [laughs] You know, I...
Eric: Great, that's still on the list of things to do then, is to thank him for that interview.
Andrew: He was with his kid. His adorable little daughter. I didn't want to bother him with business. But yeah, speaking of the Wizarding World. Of course, it had its grand opening and there's been tons of news. I was down there visiting it for you all. You're all very welcome.
Micah: I'm sure you were.
Andrew: I was happy to do it for all of you.
Andrew: And so we're going to talk about everything that happened there between the public grand opening, the VIP grand opening, some visitor reviews, and much more. So let's get started. I'm Andrew Sims.
Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.
Eric: I'm Eric Scull.
Matt: And I'm Matthew Britton.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Micah Tannenbaum, what is in the news this week?
News: Theme Park Opening
Micah: Well, you mentioned it - the theme park is finally opened.
Micah: It's pretty unbelievable to think...
Andrew: I know, isn't it?
Micah: ...we got this news - what is it? - probably three years ago we started hearing about them planning to make this park and it's gone from concept to final product.
Matt: Yeah, I think it's been over three years actually.
Andrew: It was May 30th, 2007 when they made the midnight announcement...
Andrew: ...from within Leavesden studios. I remember watching it. It was a live stream with Stuart Craig...
Micah: Oh, that's right.
Andrew: ...and some other Universal guy.
Micah: From Dumbledore's office.
Andrew: And yeah, they announced it and that was the big announcement.
Micah: Okay - well on Wednesday night - I guess it would be June the 16th?
Andrew: That's right.
VIP and Public Openings
Micah: There was a VIP event which Andrew was very lucky to be able to attend, down in Orlando. And this was sort of the big event. This was what everybody was focused in on - yes, the public opening happened a few days later - but this is where all the stars were going to be. John Williams was there.
Micah: Warwick Davis conducted the frog choir very well, and J.K. Rowling was there. And Andrew, as you had mentioned we had talked about this - I think it was yesterday or over the weekend - that anybody who was a part of the Potter series, any big name out of the Potter series was there on Wednesday night.
Andrew: Yeah and a lot of behind the scenes primarily and all the - some of the bigger movie stars were there like Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton. Emma Watson was noticeably absent and we saw a couple rumors about why she wasn't there but I don't think any of them were very credible.
Micah: She probably had some other commitment.
Andrew: Yeah, but the highlight I would have to say of the VIP Grand Opening was not J.K. Rowling because J.K. Rowling, actually - she was there, but she didn't go up on stage or say anything.
Matt: She didn't participate.
Micah: Which was odd.
Matt: She wrote the damn books.
Eric: Yes, Matt, yes, she did.
Andrew: We know that she's somewhat - she likes to keep her appearances on the down-low. You know, she showed up for the event. I think the highlight was John Williams.
Matt: It had to have been!
Andrew: There were rumors that he was going to appear and sure enough he did. He conducted - led the Orlando Philharmonic and they played a collection of Harry Potter songs that he composed. And I was right there at the stage, front row, and it was incredible. I can't even tell you guys how awesome it was. Especially the second part, where basically what happened was John Williams came out, did a song, then some Universal people started talking, then the whole cast came up on stage. And prior to this little part of the event starting, Universal gave everyone these special wands and we could tell when they were handing them to us that they had this little lights on the end, but we couldn't turn them on ourselves. So I was like, "Hm, okay, so are they actually going to be turning these on for us?" Well sure enough, we get to this event, Dan Radcliffe tells us all to say - oh, tells us all to point at the castle and say, "Lumos". We try two times, neither of those times worked. The third time we try, "Lumos maxima". All of our wands come to life. Somehow they programmed these so they could turn our wands on for us. They light up, Hogwarts lights up and that's when John Williams starts conducting the orchestra for the second time and it was this choreographed mix of Harry Potter compositions, along with the fireworks lighting up behind Hogwarts. It was the most incredible thing I think I've ever seen, in doing all this MuggleNet coverage stuff. It was so cool.
Micah: Yeah, but there are also actually some images that were on sort of the base of Hogwarts? I don't know if a lot of people saw that. Was that like a video montage? What were they doing there?
Andrew: They were very small video - they weren't video clips so much but it was like Harry moving his head, stuff like that. You know, it wasn't like full-on clips from the movies. But I think they would say different little things like "You're a wizard, Harry" and stuff like that. Popular lines.
Andrew: Those were kind of corny I thought. The highlight was just seeing John Williams conduct with the fireworks. Like it was all in sync. It was just beautiful.
Micah: That dude must have been hot though.
Micah: I mean, he's what? In his eighties, in a tuxedo outside in - what? - ninety-degree weather.
Matt: Micah, Micah, it's John Williams. The guy is never going to die.
Eric: [laughs] Are you kidding? He's cryogenically frozen as we speak. He was just thawing, they brought him out.
Eric: But yeah, I think that's one thing that the video didn't convey was how hot it was outside.
Andrew: [laughs] Well, I was going to save this for later but I have to say, when you do go to the Wizarding World, bring the lightest clothing possible, because the Wizarding World is in the back of Universal Orlando - the Islands of Adventure. So by the time you just get back to the Wizarding World, you are already drenched in sweat and - so just be ready to be hot.
Andrew: And there are a couple lines that you have to wait outside for. It is hot, hot, hot. I practically wanted to go naked, I was so hot most of the time.
Eric: You almost did...
Micah: Too bad there are no water rides.
Andrew: But I got to say, I feel bad for the wizards and witches and the Durmstrang students and the Beauxbatons students. They are in full, heavy clothing...
Eric: Are you sure?
Andrew: ...and they are drenched in sweat, yes, and they have...
Andrew: ...to smile and take pictures and look happy when I know they are miserable, these poor people.
Eric: I heard that they made a lot lighter costumes for them, that they're a lot lighter than they actually look, that they're...
Andrew: Yeah, but a sweater is a sweater. You cannot...
Eric: That's true.
Andrew: I mean, the detail that's in this. Trust me, their face, just drenched in sweat.
Andrew: And the worst part of it is, they have to stand outside waiting for people to take pictures with them and the sun is just beating down on them. Oh, horrible. Anyway ...
Eric: Well, they're the ones that live in Orlando.
Andrew: Right. So that was the VIP grand opening. And like I said, J.K. Rowling - she walked right by me. I didn't say anything to her. Mainly because there was this guy right over my shoulder who was taking pictures right in her face with flash. It was extremely obnoxious. And Neil was there, her husband. Like I mentioned earlier, some other Harry Potter celebrities were there. Chris Columbus, the director of Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets, so that was cool to see him. Lots of behind the scenes people. Neil Blair, J.K. Rowling's - I think that's her lawyer or he is the guy behind Bloomsbury, or something like that. I can't remember exactly, but he's a big name in Potter behind the scenes. And some other notable names as well. But anyway, so the public grand opening, that was the one where all - where everyone could finally get into the park, whether - you didn't need anything special. You could go in if you had a ticket to Universal. We found out that five thousand people waited in line. And we have pictures on MuggleNet of the people who were probably waiting in line since very early in the morning. The amount of people who attended was incredible. And it's a testament of how popular Harry Potter still is and how many people are truly interested in this theme park. We heard there were wait times up to eight to nine hours.
Matt: Oh my God!
Eric: That is insane. Waiting in the heat?
Andrew: And think about - yeah! In heat.
Matt: In humidity.
Eric: They were letting in what? Yeah.
Andrew: These people were waiting eight to nine house were the people who got there when the sun was already up and when it started to heat up in Orlando and they have to stay outside to wait in line.
Eric: Yeah, I heard even that they were turning people away because of the wait times.
Andrew: Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised.
Eric: And then when you get into the park, there is a two hour line...
Andrew: You wait in more lines.
Eric: To get into, yeah, to get into...
Eric: ...to get into the Three Broomsticks or to get into Ollivander's.
Andrew: But not to put down the people who did show up to the Grand Opening because that is a great day to be there. In terms of all the excitement. And some people were getting a little upset or aggravated because they were waiting so long. But it was a very special occasion to be there.
Andrew: And I know quite a lot of our listeners were there. So...
Micah: Yeah, also there was that day in between sort of like the VIP opening and the public opening where you got the opportunity to sit down with or listen to or interview with some of the cast and crew.
Andrew: Right. Yeah, that was actually a lot of fun. That was in the Three Broomsticks and we interviewed the cast and I got to say, through everything, the VIP grand opening, the interview day on Thursday and a couple other times I was in the park they could not stop giving out free Butterbeer. And first of all, the Butterbeer is delicious. But not only that, I think every serving has a lot of sugar because my chest began tightening up and I started getting really sick from all this freaking Butterbeer I was drinking.
The Forbidden Journey
Andrew: ...and I know, wah, wah, wah, free Butterbeer, sugar, wah. But I don't know. It was intense. So I just want to make a couple comments about the theme park. First of all, Forbidden Journey. Incredible ride. Eric talked about the queue. That alone is worth it. You experience.....
Matt: Well what's in the queue? I mean, not to spoil too much, but, I mean...
Andrew: Well you get to see Dumbledore's office and Dumbledore's in there, and he looks like he's actually there. The Defense Against the Dark Arts room - is that it, Eric, where the trio are?
Eric: Yeah, where the trio are, yeah.
Andrew: Yeah, it looks like the trio are there. They do a little effects in the room.
Eric: But I think the stand-out for me in the queue is the founders of Hogwarts which I heard is now properly synchronized and all that but - in the portrait gallery.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah! And the portraits look like they would be canvas portraits, like oil paintings.
Eric: They look like oil paintings.
Andrew: It's really impressive.
Eric: It's - I don't know how they did it.
Andrew: And they're moving. That's the thing, they're moving.
Andrew: And talking.
Matt: ...do they converse with people in line?
Andrew: No, but they talk with each other.
Eric: And they bicker.
Andrew: And each one is on a different wall.
Andrew: So you sort of look around the room and watch them talk to each other. It's really cool. So, and apparently we also heard that the maximum wait time in that queue is up to five hours.
Andrew: So - [laughs]...
Eric: See I knew that.
Andrew: ...get comfortable.
Eric: I knew that when we walked through it, it was going to be insane, that they weren't - it was just going to be ridiculous.
Micah: But is it worth the wait?
Eric: Yeah, talk about the ride. Tell me about the ride. Come on.
Andrew: It is worth the wait, I think.
Matt: How long is the ride?
Micah: How long did you wait?
Andrew: Psh, I'm a VIP, Micah.
Andrew: Straight to the front. No...
Eric: Are you kidding? Are you kidding? He was there maybe a minute but they gave him free Butterbeer thirty seconds in so...
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: After we all helped Dan Radcliffe lit up - light up the castle everyone went in. So I wasn't waiting too long but I did walk the entire queue. The ride is about four minutes but I've got to say, you're ready to get off that. And I get very queasy very easily.
Matt: Yeah you do.
Andrew: That ride takes you in every which direction you can imagine. You lose all sense of which way is up. It throws you around. It's not too scary, very high tech. These robotic arms that you ride in are huge! I stuck my head out to look at the one next to us. It is gigantic! And seriously, you'll be on your back, you'll be facing straight down, you'll be facing straight to the side. It is intense, this is an intense ride. Not like a roller coaster intense, but just in the way it moves you around, very smooth but very - I don't know - aggressively. Very...
Andrew: ...intense! Very intense feeling.
Eric: You're lucky you didn't lose your head! You stick your head out of the arm...
Andrew: I know!
Eric: ...that's serious!
Andrew: Yeah, really, I should have been a little more careful about that but...
Eric: Nearly headless Andrew there.
Matt: Well what are you supposed to be in exactly, on the ride?
Andrew: Well you're not in anything in particular. You're just...
Matt: You're not on a broomstick or anything?
Andrew: No, no, it's nothing like that. But basically it takes you through Harry's life. But I've got to be honest, and like the reviews said, the plot of the ride doesn't make too much sense, but like I commented - like I said on Episode 200 in order to cram all this stuff in Harry's world into this four minute ride, it has to be relatively - they've got to cram a lot of stuff in! So, I don't think that's too much of a problem because it still is a really cool experience. It's just a lot going on. [laughs] I'm still not sure what happened!
Andrew: I just know...
Micah: Well what were some of the standouts that you liked from the ride itself? Some of the events that took place?
Andrew: There are these giant virtual screens, and between the robotic arm and the giant screens, you feel like you're moving around. You see Harry riding on his broom, and you're sort of riding with him. So, that's cool. You'll see Death Eaters which pop out. Those are kind of cool. I have to ride it again. I only rode it once. It's just so much to process, and - [laughs] - I was just trying not to throw up.
Eric: Were there other actors besides the trio and Dumbledore or was it just those four?
The Flight of the Hippogriff
Andrew: Yeah, you then - well, I know at the end of the ride everyone - you do see a lot of people at the end. You see a couple people during the ride, but you will see giant groups of people at the end. I don't want to spoil it too much. Flight of the Hippogriff, that's another ride. It's sort of a kiddie-ish ride, but I got to say it was very smooth. I thought it was going to be rickety. It's very smooth. It's very short, but it's a very fun little thrill. Great for kids. Great for - I liked it, and very short wait time. So, you're not going to wait there for an hour just for a 60 second thing. When I was there during one of the soft openings it was about five minutes, and there were a good amount of people walking around the park. So, that shouldn't be bad.
Micah: What was interesting was the interview with Warwick Davis where he got to ride his first roller coaster ever because he was tall enough to ride this one.
Eric: Oh that was what he said?
Andrew: Oh, but actually back to Forbidden Journey one second, speaking of limits and stuff, there is an issue which myself and other webmasters thought was going to be a big problem with the Forbidden Journey ride. There is a limit to - there is a weight limit for this thing, and it's mostly based on the size of your gut. One of the other webmasters, Jeff Guillaume, and he's all public about this, he's writing about it on his site, HPANA.com. He has a very large gut, and he was not able to ride Forbidden Journey. And it was a bit of a surprise because he's not very heavy. He's just - it's just all in the gut area. If your gut is too big you can not be on this ride, and it's a shame. And I think a lot of people are going to run into that problem, and they need to add some new robotic arms that can - maybe instead of putting four people on one arm, they put two. So that way it can handle the weight, I guess.
Eric: I read his post too, and it's more of, I guess, a dimensions thing. Weren't they advertising that a football player had been on the ride or something?
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. A very tall person can do it. It's just - like I said, it's all in that gut area because this thing comes over your head and connects to where your crotch is. And if it doesn't reach all the way down, it's because your gut is in the way, and then you can't ride it. So it was very surprising and I think a lot of people are going to run into that problem. So...
Micah: It's a good thing, Andrew, you and I have been going to the gym.
Andrew: Exactly. Well he was joking that he was going to make a fitness team that's going to get in shape by August.
Andrew: And then they're all going to go ride the ride together. [laughs] But so anyway, Flight of the Hippogriff is good and I did not ride Dragon Challenge because that's a big roller coaster.
Matt: The Dueling Dragons you mean?
Andrew: Dueling Dragons.
Andrew: No. Isn't it called Dragon Challenge now?
Matt: Oh. They changed it?
Eric: Yeah. It was Dueling Dragons, and then - yeah.
Micah: Yeah. The name is changed.
Andrew: Right. Same ride, new name.
Eric: Well it goes up above Hogsmeade now, doesn't it? Oh. You didn't ride it, right? Okay.
Andrew: No, but I think you can get some decent views. But just...
Micah: Did you at least walk through the queue and...
Andrew: Yeah. I saw some...
Micah: ... see all the stuff just there?
Andrew: No, I saw some pictures and it's basically set up like the Triwizard Tournament tents...
Eric: Oh, cool.
Food and Drink
Andrew: ... from what I could tell. So, on to the drinks and food. Butterbeer. It is - like I said, like Eric said, it's perfect. I mean, the froth with the Butterbeer liquid itself, it's a perfect combination. It's just so delicious. The Hog's Head ale is a new - it's an alcoholic drink. Good, but pretty strong. I can only handle one.
Andrew: In the Three Broomsticks, you can get lots of meals and they're all decently priced. I got the fish and chips. Oh, my God. It's so good, and they're going for the authentic, British food here. And that includes the quality, the taste, and the actual food. So this is legit stuff. It's not cheap, crappy, fattening, greasy, theme park food. It's what you would get if you were in the Wizarding World, or if you were actually in the U.K.
Eric: So let's throw out estimates here, Andrew. How much - how many fish and chips do you think they sold the first day with eight thousand people going into the park?
Andrew: [laughs] Probably a lot.
Eric: Like, how many pounds of food do they keep in that kitchen? That seems...
Andrew: I don't know. I mean, I imagine they had to be ready, but it's got to be a lot. But it's not just fish and chips. They have many other meals.
Andrew: That's just the one that I tried.
Andrew: One other drink, pumpkin juice I tried - very good. It's mainly apple juice, actually...
Andrew: ...but they added some real other - another ingredient that is real. It wasn't some fake chemical or something. So that was good. Chocolate frogs - delicious. But they're ten dollars a frog. I mean, it's a good bit of chocolate.
Matt: Wow! Do they actually jump out of the box for that price?
Andrew: No, but...
Micah: Yeah, exactly.
Andrew: ...it does come with a wizarding trading card.
Andrew: And it's a hologram, so it moves when you turn it left and right.
Matt: Which one did you get, Andrew?
Andrew: I got Rowena Ravenclaw.
Eric: That's awesome. Keep that, that's going to be a keeper.
Andrew: Yeah, it's...
Matt: I've got about six of her.
Andrew: If you go into Honeydukes, they have so many different candies, and they're all unique to the park. And I'm pretty sure most of them are straight out of the books. You can just go crazy in Honeydukes alone. A lot of calories, though. And fat, by the way. So you may want to just have little samples.
Eric: Do they all have nutrition facts on them?
Andrew: Yes they do. They have chocolate wands which I didn't try, but I want to try those next time. So that's about it for that. The shops of course, there was Filch's Emporium. That you can visit when you - after you ride Forbidden Journey. You can also get a photo of yourself on the ride.
Eric: Yeah, I'm really interested. How is that? The Filch's Emporium - is that different?
Andrew: It's small, it's crowded.
Eric: Okay, because the promo of that made it seem like the most exciting shop because it just seemed so vast.
Andrew: Well, I wish it was a little bigger. I mean, they have plenty of merchandise in there, it's just very tight and there's going to be so many people in there that you can't move around!
Matt: Well it's also a confined park, they're limited on space.
Andrew: Yeah, but you could - they could have added some room for that.
Eric: Yeah, it's Hogwarts. You could just...
Micah: Yeah, that was one of the things I wanted to ask because I have a friend who is down there who works for NBC and he had said that the one thing that he was so shocked at was how small the park actually is, so is that true? I know it's a part of another park, but did you feel it was kind of small? I know you were there when there wasn't as many people around.
Andrew: I was there on - the VIP grand opening - it was pretty crowded and when they were doing a soft opening on Wednesday, I think it was pretty crowded. I think if you go into this knowing it is just a land, it's not a full on theme park. They keep calling this the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. People have the impression, "Oh, a theme park!", it's going to be Disneyland or something. I was not disappointed by the size, it was just right, and I know that sounds a bit sexual but I'm talking about the theme park here, it was just right.
Eric: Wow! Somebody is in denial there.
Andrew: Hogsmeade - good size. The area outside of Hogwarts is pretty spacious.
Micah: Yeah, what else do they have going on as you're walking around the park?
Andrew: There's the frog choir, there's the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons - they do a little dance thing.
Eric: That's right outside the gates, right?
Andrew: And there's wizarding - oh, the other thing, the Hogwarts Express conductor. This guy - there's like three or four of them actually, but this guy is the smartest guy. You can have a conversation with him for a solid - I had this conversation with him for a solid half-hour about everything Harry Potter. He stays in character though, that's the thing. So if you take out your iPhone, he'll look at it like it's the craziest thing he's ever seen in his life...
Andrew: And he'll be like, "iPhone, why don't they call it a mePhone?", blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And he's just very intelligent and he knows the books. He will reference stuff. If you ask him a question, he will have an answer for you. So talk to him. He's an attraction in itself and there's no line.
Matt: That's awesome.
Eric: That is really cool.
Matt: Because he's basically intro-ing you into the world of Harry Potter.
Andrew: Yeah, and there are witches and wizards that will walk around the park and act like couples and they will be talking to each other about their day, but the crazy thing is that they're not talking to you. They will just walk by you and you will overhear their conversation...
Andrew: ...about their day at Honeydukes or whatever, or their day at the Ministry. It's so weird! It was borderline creepy!
Micah: That's pretty awesome.
Andrew: Yeah, so that was very cool, too. It gives you a very authentic feel.
Matt: Did you go up to them and ask how they're doing?
Andrew: You know what, I was thinking of saying something to them, but I was enjoying just overhearing them. I wouldn't get too close to them either, because I was like, "are they having a real conversation?"
Eric: Yeah, are they just really crazy fans, thinking they go the Ministry in the morning?
Andrew: Are they talking to themselves?
Matt: Andrew, you should have run up to them and started saying an Unforgivable Curse or something and see what happens.
Andrew: Yeah! I bet they would - we should try that when we're at Infinitus. I really think - because I was overhearing just to see if they were talking about like, if they were talking out of character or they were talking in character. And they were actually talking in character. So that level of detail was amazing, too.
Eric: Andrew, when you were in the Three Broomsticks, did you look up and see the twisting ceiling?
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, Three Broomsticks - and I wanted to mention that. That restaurant is very big, actually. I was pleasantly surprised by that because I thought everything was going to be cramped, but that was a very nice size. Three Broomsticks and the Hog's Head pub - I mean, you could just chill in there!
Micah: Air conditioning...
Andrew: I have plans to just chill in the pub.
Andrew: Yeah, air conditioned, of course. They have a nice back patio, too, so you guys will be very comfortable in there. Unlike other areas. So lots of merchandise, bring plenty of money in your wallet. It is very...
Micah: Or plastic.
Andrew: ...expensive. Other than the food - the food is decently priced, but the merchandise is very expensive.
Matt: Well, you would just assume that, too. I mean, it's a theme park.
Eric: But how expensive?
Andrew: Yeah, but you know what...
Eric: What are we talking about? Give examples.
Matt: Well, it's ten dollars for a two-inch long chocolate frog.
Andrew: A chocolate frog! [laughs] Yeah. I mean, I was sort of comparing it to Disney prices, because I go to Disneyland a lot. It's actually a little bit more, I think. And I think they're really hoping to bank off the merchandise.
Matt: I think they already paid for the park on the first day.
Andrew: Like a t-shirt, I think I paid twenty-five to twenty-eight dollars for. I think it was like twenty-eight!
Eric: Oh man...
Andrew: And it was just like a woman's t-shirt.
Eric: Oh. Well that's...
Micah: For yourself? For your mom? For your sister?
Matt: Is it for you? Or...
Andrew: Well, the woman's shirt was for myself.
Micah: Oh, okay.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, I needed something light and small, so I bought that.
Eric: You bought a woman's shirt?
Micah: Did you buy a woman's shirt for your mom, too? I mean...
Andrew: Yes, I did.
Andrew: Of course. So that's all I wanted to touch on. Overall, it was amazing! An amazing grand opening week. I think overall all the fans have been very excited. I've seen some interviews with the fans. They are so passionate, so excited for this park, and it's so exciting to see. Do you guys have any questions before we move on from the Wizarding World?
Eric: Did they talk about building on to it?
Andrew: Somebody asked that. They said they have no plans right now. I wouldn't be surprised if like a year from now they start getting some plans underway.
Eric: What about building another one?
Matt: In perhaps London...
Eric: Maybe in California.
Andrew: You know, I thought about the one in Universal Orlando. I thought that was...
Matt: You mean Hollywood?
Andrew: ...or Universal Hollywood, but somebody brought up a good point to me. There's like no space around Universal Hollywood, so they really couldn't.
Andrew: Unless they build it like in the air...
Andrew: I don't think they'd be able to.
Matt: The one in Hollywood isn't really that great, actually.
Andrew: Yeah, it's kind of small.
Matt: It's subpar to everything in Orlando as well.
Matt: It's not even like how Disneyland is compared to Disney World. It's at a different scale, too.
Andrew: Yeah, so - go ahead, Micah.
Micah: No. Somebody brought up London, too, and we had posted that article about the mayor of London. I think it was kind of a tongue-in-cheek article that he wrote, but to me I'm all for creating a park in England somewhere for Harry Potter because I think those fans should have the same opportunity and shouldn't have to spend thousands of dollars to fly across the Atlantic. But I'm just not sure that it would draw the same people.
Micah: Not the same people, that's not what I mean. It won't bring in the revenue that it would over here being a part of Universal Orlando and I just don't know...
Matt: Well yeah. It's also surrounded by a tourist area.
Matt: It's right next to Walt Disney World, it's right next to Sea World, and of course Universal Studios.
Micah: Yep, I agree.
Matt: That's a tourist location that people go to go on vacation with the family. There just really isn't that size of a tourist market in London.
Micah: Yeah. People go to Orlando with the intent to go to Universal, to go to Disney World, to go to Sea World, like you said, Matt. So people go to London to look at all different things there as well, but I don't know. And from a temperature standpoint, would that work, with the weather the way that it is in England?
Andrew: Well, it does rain a lot in Orlando as well.
Micah: I know, yeah.
Andrew: It's just very hot, but no, I agree. I think you're right. And when I was walking around that park, there were a lot of English people there.
Andrew: Like from the U.K. Yeah, I was actually surprised.
Eric: Like authentic or fakes...
Andrew: And I'm not just talking about - yeah, I'm not talking about the wizards and witches. I'm talking about actual tourists who were there, and they were speaking in their English accents, and they were there.
Andrew: Even internationally, people come to Orlando from international countries because it is the place to go. There's a ton to do in Orlando.
Micah: Yep. And like I said so we don't get hate mail, I'm all for creating a park over in England if that's something that would be realistic, but - I see all the comments: "Oh it's not fair that it's in America," but you know what? I don't know what else to say. People forget that although it is a product of J.K. Rowling, at the same time a lot of the revenue has been generated here in the United States.
Andrew: In America.
Eric: In America. Plus, the park is authentic British. It tries so hard to be authentic British. When you go to London, what is it going to be? It's not going to be an American Harry Potter park; it's going to be a showcase of what's already in Britain. There are so many cobbled streets in London. In Charing Cross Road you can walk all those historical places that are 700 years older than anything in America. Plus, plus, plus, there's no reason to do that kind of thing because the Harry Potter books to Americans, I think, encompass a lot of that old Great Britain stuff that is just already existent over there in London.
Andrew: So that's about it for the Wizarding World. Obviously all of us will be there next month for Infinitus 2010. That's going to be a lot of fun. We'll be doing a live MuggleCast there, exciting announcements about that coming soon.
Micah: You had a couple of visitor reviews here...
Andrew: Oh yeah. That's right.
Micah: From people on Twitter.
Andrew: I asked people on the MuggleNet Twitter to send in their reviews of the park if they had visited already. And idefine777 said:
"Loved it, especially Forbidden Journey, ride and line. But store restaurant lines were hours long, so we couldn't go in any of them."
Wow. Restaurant hours long. I did not know that.
Eric: But what about the Butterbeer trolley? Was there a line for...
Andrew: Oh! [laughs] So there's a Butterbeer trolley right out in the middle of...
Eric: Could you get frozen Butterbeer, too?
Matt: It was actually there, though. Wouldn't they put that aside to reduce traffic?
Andrew: No, it wasn't too big. There's plenty of room around it. It's not like it would cause a traffic jam but yes, Eric. You can get frozen there, too. I would have to say if you're going to have to pick either frozen or liquid, I would definitely go with the liquid. Frozen is kind of hard to consume.
Matt: But it's hot!
Andrew: And by the way, the prices, I think it's like five or six bucks with the mug. But then, it's $2.50 for refills in your mug. So it's not a bad deal. I'm going to bring my mugs back and get that $2.50 discount...
Matt: Yeah. How many did you bring? Did you bring two?
Andrew: I brought two.
Andrew: And those were free mugs, so WOOO!
Eric: Hey, look at that. You're actually making money.
Micah: I know, cost effective.
Andrew: Exactly. I wish I'd brought - I should have taken more mugs...
Micah: Should have for all our listeners.
Matt: Oh Andrew...
Andrew: I really could have. I can't tell you - I can't emphasize enough how many it would be - you know those waiters that walk around with a tray? And then they hand out hors d'oeuvres? That's what they were doing in the Wizarding World, but they had Butterbeer. [laughs] It just would not stop. So what were you saying, Matt?
Matt: What does the castle look at night?
Andrew: [gasps] The castle really looks beautiful, and they used the illusion of perspective to make it look really gigantic - and don't get me wrong, it's big. But they really elevated it so you have to look up to look at the castle. It looks gorgeous. The VIP grand opening night they put spotlights on it - you guys may have seen my pictures on MuggleNet. I mean, it really does look gorgeous.
Andrew: So that's all there is to say about that. So a couple other reviews - Catherine says:
"I went on Friday, the whole experience was fantastic. Forbidden Journey is the best ride ever in my humble opinion. Glad I have an annual pass."
And finally, Kristina says:
"I went all day yesterday..."
"We waited two hours to get into the Wizarding World. It was packed but so accurate and so, so fun."
So as you guys can see, there's still some pretty long lines for the Wizarding World, but yeah, that is pretty surprising for a Monday. So I mean overall I really think Universal hit it out of the park. This is a Disney level theme park they created. I mean, the amount of detail in this is incredible, and it's all thanks to J.K. Rowling and the film creators and Universal. I mean all around, just an amazing job. All right Micah, what else is going on?
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