MuggleCast 203 Transcript (continued)
Live From The Three Broomsticks
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
July 16, 2010
Later that Evening: From The Three Broomsticks
Micah: Because we're live from the Three Broomsticks in the Wizarding World, this is MuggleCast Episode 203 for July the 16th, 2010.
Andrew: All right! Woo! Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for coming out. Welcome to, as Micah said, MuggleCast Episode 203. This is really special, this is really something. As we're approaching our five-year anniversary, I sit here with my fellow MuggleCasters as one big happy family, and we're doing it in the theme park. And it's so cool. So thanks to everyone who came out tonight. One thing to begin the show - poor Elysa, Matt, and Laura - they haven't sampled their first Butterbeers yet, so they're going to do it now and I want to hear every last little lick from your mouths as you enjoy the frothy sugar.
Laura: All right, guys. Cheers!
Matt: Cheers. Whoo!
Andrew: Go ahead. Taste it, and let us know what it taste like, of course. They're tasting the brand new Butterbeer, here at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Andrew: Matt just chugged the entire thing.
Laura: It's really good.
Andrew: How was it, Matt?
Matt: So good.
Andrew: So good. I've got to say - Ben, what did you think of this Butterbeer when you tried it?
Ben: It was delicious, yeah.
Andrew: Okay, it's so good. So good. Does everyone like the Butterbeer here?
Audience Member: Yeah!
Andrew: It's pretty solid, right?
Laura: It's really good!
Andrew: And Jo Rowling picked this one out herself, which is very cool. It's very cool.
Laura: It's so good.
Views on the Park
Andrew: So anyway, obviously we want to talk about the thoughts - everybody's thoughts on the park. We're going to spend about a half hour here, and then we're going to let you go out into the party, because obviously everybody wants to join the party and get their dance on. Let's see. Micah Tannenbaum. What did you think of this wonderful theme park here?
Micah: It's really just amazing. I mean, everything from the Forbidden Journey, just being able to walk around Hogsmeade. It's just unbelievable.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. And was everybody in the presentation just before?
Audience Member: Yeah!
Andrew: The best thing happened right before the presentation started, when Cedric was just down on the front level and - all right, all right, we'll fix that in a sec. Could you get the audio guy and ask him to bump these up? They can't - they can't do that. I don't think - we're going to get it louder. But anyway, at the theater, before it starts, Cedric's like, totally just chilling down there minding his own business, and the guy in the Voldemort costume comes out and starts dueling with him. And the audience goes crazy, and everybody's just like, "Woo! Fight!" And then-then Harry comes into the picture and it's a three-way duel, and it was so awesome. And then Voldemort died, and the crowd just erupted. It was just so cool to see and a complete testament to the Harry Potter fans. Yeah. Did anyone else see that? I was totally all over it. It was so awesome. Who else wants to talk about the park here, guys? I mean, come on. Give me something. Laura, let's hear it from you. You've been going to Universal a lot, is this...
Laura: Yeah - whoa, that's loud...
Andrew: Speak right into it.
Laura: So, basically every year I come to Universal Studios as sort of a family tradition with my mom, my brother, and my grandmother, so for the last couple of years I've sort of just been watching this slowly evolve and it's been really cool. This past January I got to see Hogwarts Castle for the first time and I was like, "Wow, this is going to be incredible. I can't wait to come here in July." And this really is kind of like a dream come true, especially for fans like most of us here who have been reading these books since we were ten, eleven years old, and now all of the sudden it's real, and you're in the middle of it, and it's not just a movie and a book anymore, you can actually experience it.
Andrew: Yeah. And, Ben, when you walked in - you just got here, you haven't really been able to try out the rides or anything yet, have you?
Ben: No, not at all. Yeah, I walked in and I was just blown away, with the train and - yeah. It was cool.
Andrew: And you're - you are one of those people who sweats a lot. Sorry, buddy.
Ben: Yeah, I do sweat an awful lot. I'm not sure how that relates to the Harry Potter park...
Ben: ...but yes, I do sweat a lot.
Andrew: It's here in Orlando, and it's very very hot. So, how about - Matt, Elysa, what do you guys have to say about this?
Matt: Well, I'm in the Three Broomsticks right now, what else can I say? It's...
Andrew: Yeah, it's surreal.
Matt: You're listening to all the music from John Williams, you're sitting drinking a Butterbeer, and you're in one of the best scenes in the Harry Potter series. [sighs] It's...
Matt: You want to talk right now?
Andrew: Is everyone- I dared Ben to try and scale these elk antlers behind us...
Andrew: Would you do it for us, Ben? When you - I'll tell you when no Universal employees are looking. Go for it.
Ben: It will be the last thing I do. I doubt those could hold me.
Andrew: This - I like this Three Broomsticks area a lot, because it really - first of all, did anyone think it would be this big?
Audience Member: No.
Andrew: The Three Broomsticks?
Andrew: It's very - it's a lot larger than you would have imagined.
Eric: And the other thing - everybody, if you could just take a moment and look up...
Andrew: Yeah, if you look up, it goes...
Andrew: ...pretty high up there, I mean, you see the stairs...
Eric: Thats crazy. Thats...
Matt: Wouldn't it be awesome if they expanded this where you can actually check in and have a room? In the Three Broomsticks?
Andrew: That would be cool. Honestly, here's what I think they're going to do. They're going to take that Sinbad - what is that? I'm just basking in the - oh never mind, I thought they turned the music off. I got very excited. The Lost Voyager area, I have a feeling that one day they may actually just expand the Harry Potter park out into that area, right? No offense, but everybody would rather go to more Harry Potter stuff than to actually enjoy the Sinbad stuff.
Matt: They're just going to expand and the entire park is going to be the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is what they're going to eventually do.
Andrew: Right. Yeah, sorry, we're working on turning the volume up. So of the people in the back - we apologize for that. So right now, if we put - Elysa, anything else you would like to add about the theme park?
Elysa: Okay. My favorite part has got to be the snow and icicles, I think gives the best illusion that we're not all dying from a collective and fatal heat stroke. But other than that, I mean, I haven't really gotten to go on the rides or anything. But I just remember that I've been living in one perpetual rage that I didn't get invited to Hogwarts, so for me this is just a dream come true just to be here, and I feel like I could be at peace, I have an inner zen now that I can actually see Hogwarts castle and be at the Three Broomsticks so I'm just excited to be here rides or no.
Matt: That's so sweet. Like we all got our letters to Hogwarts and now we're attending.
Andrew: Exactly. All right well thank you, Elysa.
Elysa: Super seniors.
Andrew: We're going to switch out now. This gut back here, this is Ricky from InsidetheMagic.net and the reason we're having him on is because he's a total theme park expert. I mean he has been all over. Ricky, you run a theme park site called InsidetheMagic.net, correct?
Andrew: Yeah, sorry, the mic cables...
Ricky: Playing musical chairs over here.
Andrew: ...are totally short. So you run a theme park site called InsidetheMagic.net?
Ricky: Yeah, exactly. Whoa, that was loud.
Andrew: And what...
Andrew: ...can you tell us about - so you've been to pretty much every theme park ever imaginable right?
Ricky: Well I wouldn't go that far, but definitely all the major ones here in Orlando as well as out in California, is where I focus.
Andrew: Right. So how do you think this compares?
Ricky: I think it's really incredible. You know the amount of detail is what has struck me ever since I've come here now I don't even know how many times. laughs I live half an hour from here, and it's just the detail that has been put in to all the little shops and here in the Three Broomsticks and every time I've come here so far I've still noticed something that I've never seen before.
Ricky: And it's just that much immersion in to it.
Andrew: Would you say this is one of the coolest new lands you've seen added to a park?
Ricky: Yeah, absolutely. When I first walked in here I really thought, "This is what is now going to set the bar for the future of theme park entertainment." You've talked about themed entertainment and immersive environments and all that, but I think this takes it to a whole new level. You know like we were just saying, we're sitting here in the Three Broomsticks. This isn't like a theme park version of the Three Broomsticks this is the Three Broomsticks.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And the best part is when you buy stuff here and then you go home and you check your bank account or your online banking and you see that there is a charge for five bucks at the Three Broomsticks. It's like, yeah that's cool!
Andrew: That for me, oddly, that was one of the things that really struck me. Like, "Wow, Dervish and Banges, yeah. I spent way too much money there."
Andrew: But at least it says I spent it there.
Ricky: I think one of the really interesting things is, and this came up in the presentation that we were just at, somebody asked, "Why aren't there Harry Potter characters walking around. Why don't we see Harry, Hermione, etc.?" And I think it's really kind of a testament to J.K. Rowling's really wanting to make this an authentic experience. Because if you were really in Hogsmeade village, you wouldn't just see Harry Potter walking around. He's at Hogwarts. He's not - maybe occasionally you might, but they wanted to keep it that realistic. You're only going to see these characters once, and you're going to see them in Hogwarts.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And one of my favorite things is when the wizards and witches are walking around outside - I don't know if they're out there tonight, but they have been in the past. And when they're walking around and if you have a wand and you point it at them, they will freak out. They basically act as if they really are in the Wizarding World, and I think that really completed the experience for me. And then if you talk to the Hogwarts conductor - and I talked about this on a recent episode of MuggleCast - if you talk to him, he will interact with you. And he knows so much about the books. And he will - if you take out your phone, he looks at your phone like it's the most ridiculous thing he's ever seen in his life. And he's just - they are so in character here, and that was way - that really impressed me.
Ricky: Yeah, I hope the enthusiasm from the team members in the Wizarding World here continues as time goes on. I really hope that - because of the relationship of Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling, that the quality is upheld over time. Because in the past there have been instances of theme parks, kind of a new thing opens and it's great at the beginning, and it kind of goes downhill from here. But I can't see that happening. This is all about the detail, all about the experience, and if it stays like this and even maybe expands, like you were saying, in the Lost Continent area someday, it's really going to be something that will draw visitors here for years and years to come.
Andrew: Do you think they will expand it? I mean, they have to, right? It's...
Ricky: They've been working on this part of the project for so long, I bet they're just so happy to have this open finally...
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Ricky: ...and see the smiling faces, but for me, that Lost Continent area is so dead.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Ricky: I mean, you walk through that area of the park - the rest of the park is great, you've got Seuss and Marvel and all that, but you walk through Lost Continent and you're just like, "What is this place?" [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah, exactly.
Ricky: And then you come in here and it's so much better.
Andrew: Yeah, the Universal reps are starting to usher us out because we started talking negatively about their park.
Andrew: Just kidding. But any other comments about the park? Not that we're putting you on the spot here.
Ricky: I mean, I could talk endlessly about it. When I first came in here and started it all, I already did release a podcast of my own that was like a couple of hours long just going on and on and on.
Andrew: You had a couple of comments about Forbidden Journey and Eric wasn't happy with your comments. This is Eric by the way.
Eric: Whoa whoa.
Andrew: He wasn't happy about your - sorry, Eric. I had to do this.
Ricky: What did I say?
Andrew: Well you were saying about in the regards of the Forbidden Journey, I think maybe it was very fast and very rushed...
Ricky: Sure. Yeah I think my major complaint - it's a great ride. It's really a lot of fun and it certainly sets the bar for something new and different as a theme park experience. My biggest complaint for the Forbidden Journey attraction would be that it's kind of just a montage, if you will, of Harry Potter experiences.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Ricky: And it's not so much like a new story. I would expect with J.K. Rowling having put out such amazing books with such elaborate stories and immersive stories, that maybe she would have created and worked with Universal to create a new story for this attraction.
Andrew: Actually, that's a good point. I mean what if J.K. Rowling was like, and Universal was like, "Let's write a new story for this!" That would have been awesome.
Ricky: That's what I was hoping just to see, a really new adventure with the group, but instead it was a reliving of kind of everybody's favorite moments, or a lot of their favorite moments...
Ricky: ...from the past, and that's great too.
Andrew: And that's probably the next best thing you can do, right?
Andrew: If you're not going to write a new story, you can't just pick one specific scene.
Eric: Well, if you come up with the - if you go through the hassle of creating new creatures, you run the risk of people not understanding what they are.
Ricky: Very true.
Eric: I mean, if they haven't seem them before, they don't know what they're looking at.
Ricky: And likewise, there are, amazingly, there are people who are going to come here never having seen a Harry Potter movie...
Eric: That's also true.
Ricky: Never having read a book. I've been in the queue with people, and to be honest, don't kill me, I had never seen a Harry Potter movie until like five months ago.
Andrew: The exit's that way.
Ricky: Honestly, I've gotten really into it since then. I've watched all of the movies, and because of that I've really, really enjoyed being here and being immersed into those scenes and the ride has been such a treat.
Andrew: Eric, would you like to apologize to Ricky because he's an awfully nice man.
Andrew: You've been very rude to him.
Eric: He is a very nice man.
Ricky: Thank you.
Eric: He is a very nice man. I would also like to comment, I think I said on the previous podcast, I think a lot of the story that's in Forbidden Journey is somehow lost on their current, the way they're running the queue at the moment.
Eric: Because there are the three separate rooms where there are - first of all, Dumbledore's office where he invites you in, and then second with the trio, and on the way through the portrait gallery, finally, where there are portraits that are telling you the story of this missing dragon that's...
Eric: ...somehow broken free, and I feel like a lot of the queue, the way they're running the queue at Forbidden Journey during the day, a lot of it is focused in the greenhouse, and once you actually get indoor in Hogwarts, it runs by really fast.
Ricky: It does, yeah.
Eric: So you're going through the chambers before you can actually get this story that they've actually worked to create.
Ricky: There's a lot of attractions that were kind of use those pre-shows scenes and kind of put you in that room, make you watch a scene, move you to the next room, make you watch them.
Ricky: But since this is a continuously moving ride there's no stop and start loading. The queue continuously moves as well so it's kind of that tough thing that you might catch those lines as you're walking by and you might get that glimpse of the story. If you don't it's not the end of the world, but it definitely enhances it if you really get the full knowledge from all those characters.
Eric: Yeah I feel like they should front-load the line as it were so that everybody can see what's going on in the rooms in the middle of the queue.
Ricky: Well with that said I have to commend Universal's team members for doing an amazing job loading this attraction. I don't think I've ever seen such an efficient loading pattern on a attraction like this where they're just pumping through so many people.
Ricky: I believe they're setting records for the number of guests they're putting through this attraction. It really is impressive.
Andrew: All right. Well thank you, Ricky so much.
Ricky: Yeah thank you very much. And I want to say Andrew, thank you very much for linking to insidethemagic.net...
Andrew: No problem.
Ricky: ...so many times over the last couple of weeks.
Andrew: Well you guys had really good coverage.
Ricky: Thank you.
Andrew: And I'm sure a lot of people saw it on MuggleNet.
Ricky: I hope so.
Andrew: You're reviews, the construction updates, all that stuff.
Andrew: So thank you, Ricky.
Ricky: Yeah thanks.
Andrew: No problem.
A Rare MuggleCast Appearance for Emerson
Andrew: Round of applause for Mr. Ricky. And last but not least Mr. Emerson Spartz is going to come up here. Of course we all know Emerson. Are you going - go ahead - walk on up!
Andrew: Ladies and gentlemen Emerson Spartz! He's so cute!
[A girl from the audience screams "I know!"]
Emerson: This is awkward. If I had to summarize my experience over the past day in the park - you know how Arthur Weasley looks at really boring, mundane Muggle objects with the most - the purest look of fascination?
Emerson: And he's just - never been more excited to know how electrical outlets work. I walk around this park and I looked at the chipped paint on the walls or the cobblestones in the road and I think, "Wow! It's so magical!"
Andrew: It is pretty detailed. So what did - did you hit up all the rides? Are you okay?
Emerson: [laughs] Yes.
Andrew: Did you hit up all the rides?
Emerson: I did, I did. And I have to say, despite the hodgepodge plot - [laughs] - despite the lack of plot of the Forbidden Journey ride, [screams] wow!
Emerson: That was how excited I was.
Emerson: It was - it kind of scared me, I don't know. I'm not sure if I'm going to ride it again, especially when I hear it's kind of breaking down a lot but that's all right. I don't know. It's just crazy everywhere and I'm paranoid that I'm going to get stuck right on the - upside-down in exactly the right position.
Ben: Is this your first time at a theme park?
Andrew: I don't go on roller coasters! I haven't been on Dueling Dragons. I just - I don't go for that. By the way I forgot to mention when Ricky was up here you guys were talking about the queue, I had a very - oh, look, there's an owl flying in the - oh, that's nice. There's - it's a bit odd, because it's not daylight, but all right.
Audience Member: It's a gigantic owl.
Andrew: Yeah, it's a gigantic owl. I think it's Hedwig coming back for revenge. But I had a very odd clash of pop culture phenomenons when I was in the queue at the grand opening and I see Joey Fatone walking up through the queue, and I'm like, "Oh, yeah, you're from 'N Sync and why are you not like Justin Timberlake or something? Why are you Joey Fatone here? I'd prefer a better 'N Sync member." Anyway, so let's hear some other thoughts from the park about - let's hear some other thoughts. Matthew?
Matt: I haven't gone anywhere past this place yet, so this is as far as the park I've been to.
Andrew: Ah. How about some thoughts from the audience? Anybody want to come - oh, this girl right here, front and center. Here take this microphone. I command this microphone. Here you want to move - move over here.
More Audience Feedback
Audience Member: Okay.
Andrew: What's up? What's your name?
Audience Member: I'm Tessa.
Andrew: Hi, Tessa.
Audience Member: Well technically I haven't been on the roller coasters yet, but I have been on them before when they were what they were before.
Audience Member: When it was Lost Continent it was so boring and I hated Eighth Voyage of Sinbad so much.
Audience Member: So - but I have been on the Forbidden Journey, and it was a long line in the greenhouse at least.
Audience Member: But I did manage to hear most of the plot. So I was riding it and I had been on a ton of rides like that before. Like Disney and that kind of thing. This is the first one where I was screaming and got me really excited.
Audience Member: Because they had every single monster that I am scared of, of the Harry Potter section.
Andrew: Yeah. The monsters some of them actually - to be honest I was a bit scared by - here could you hand me the mic?
Audience Member: Oh yeah sure.
Andrew: To be honest I was not impressed by the Death Eaters, I think it was? Or was it...
Audience Member: The Dementors!
Andrew: Dementors! I don't know. What did you think of that Micah?
Micah: It - I think that there's really - the things they could have done a little bit better of a job with was the Dementors. And the dragon was pretty scary, the spiders...
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Did you guys notice at one point they - when they do take your picture there are these ghosts that come up and there's four of them and they - they're your faces on the ghosts. Yeah, yeah.
Eric: Well that's not creepy at all.
Andrew: No, no, they're your faces. Yeah. I - you don't notice it because again this ride is flying by so fast that you don't really register it and I was - but I was looking at it funny. And I was like, "Who are they?" I had no idea. But yeah, it turns out it's you so...
Audience Member: One thing I hate is that the spiders spit on you.
Andrew: Oh yeah, the spiders spit on you.
Audience Member: Ugh.
Matt: The spiders spit on you?
Andrew: Any other comments, guys? Any other...
Audience Member: Yeah, I'd like to...
Matt: I didn't even know spiders could spit. That's pretty interesting.
Audience Member: Oh yes they can.
Andrew: Take this microphone. Hi, what's your name?
Audience Member: I'm Rachel. Yeah, I just got back from the Forbidden Journey. I hadn't ridden it yet at all until just then.
Andrew: And so you just went in the queue?
Audience Member: Yeah, like I just got back.
Andrew: Oh, okay.
Audience Member: I walked in late.
Andrew: What did you...
Audience Member: It was so awesome!
Audience Member: It was - I didn't understand it - barely because it was just crazy.
Andrew: So, I guess people are loving it but they're not understanding it.
Audience Member: Yeah.
Andrew: So what it is? Just seeing everything?
Audience Member: Yeah. I think...
Andrew: Because it's just like a...
Audience Member: I think they had to do that because otherwise - I mean you've got to get the Dementors and all that stuff and one person is going to be like, "Oh, there weren't any." That kind of stuff. But it was really awesome.
Audience Member: Oh my god!
Andrew: What else have you done?
Audience Member: Nothing. I think I walked into Honeydukes but then they made us go do the thing out there.
Andrew: Oh, yeah. Has anyone bought and Honeydukes' merchandise yet?
Audience Member: Actually...
Andrew: It's quite expensive, isn't it?
Audience Member: Well, not technically because it's not all trade mark, like the fudge flies.
Andrew: Yeah but the chocolate covered frogs are like ten bucks. It's pretty expensive, but at least you get the wizard card with the hologram and the wizard on it. Here comes one more person. Here Eric, could you hand that microphone off to her. Hi, what's your name?
Audience Member: I'm Sammy.
Andrew: Hi, Sammy.
Audience Member: Hi. So I went to...
Andrew: Just hold the mic a little bit closer to your mouth.
Audience Member: Okay. I can't go on many rides because I get sick.
Andrew: Oh okay, me too!
Audience Member: And...
Andrew: But I did it anyway. You should do Forbidden Journey even if you get sick. You should do it just because it's a Harry Potter ride. Go ahead, so what did you have to say?
Audience Member: So, I walked through the queue though and I was a little disappointed that I couldn't get to see more just through walking through.
Audience Member: And...
Andrew: Well, that's the thing - the queue, if you don't stay in your place at the queue you can't really experience it because it's kind of like videos, right?
Audience Member: Well, I got to - I went through a separate line.
Andrew: Oh, you went through the single rider's line?
Audience Member: Yeah - through the...
[Another audience member says something unintelligible]
Audience Member: No, they just sent me through a line where I just went through - just a separate line like everything that the people who were on the - going - actually going on the ride saw.
Andrew: Yeah. So what did you think of it?
Audience Member: Well I thought everything was really cool especially the projections of Dumbledore and Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
Andrew: Yeah, the projections looked very real! It's actually kind of crazy, and especially the portraits!
Audience Member: Yeah, when you move their eyes follow you and I have no idea how they did that.
Andrew: That is creepy. I think there's real eyes behind there. They just work eighteen hours a day doing that.
Audience Member: And I tried the Chocolate Cauldrons at the...
Audience Member: Yeah at Honeydukes and it's really good. Especially the filling.
Andrew: Yeah they are good. All right, well thank you!
Audience Member: Thank you.
Andrew: Anyone - one last - okay, come on up here, last one? Then we'll wrap it up, and then we'll all go party in the park.
Andrew: Hi, what's your name?
Audience Member: Hi, I'm Taylor. I just wanted to say when you're in the Forbidden Journey line it's so cool, but when you stop to look at something people get so pissed at you!
Andrew: Oh, really?
Audience Member: Yes! There was one group they were right behind us and they were just like, "Uh."
Andrew: The comment was people get annoyed when you stop in line to go look at stuff?
Audience Member: Yeah.
Audience Member: And I don't understand it.
Andrew: Just be like, "You guys stop! Gosh, we've got to listen to Dumbledore, okay?"
Audience Member: Yeah, and then they want to just keep pushing you through and it's okay, fine, if you want to walk past, okay that's fine.
Andrew: I guess they're also - it's also very hot. So they're...
Audience Member: It's not too hot.
Andrew: Well not inside, but.
Audience Member: No, when you're standing outside...
Andrew: It's very hot.
Audience Member: ...it was really hot.
Audience Member: But once in it's kind of cool. I guess the building...
Andrew: Right, the building is keeping them cool, yeah exactly. All right, well thank you.
Audience Member: Yeah and then also it's not as intense as you think it is, the ride. Don't get freaked out. You're not moving too quickly. So I think that's one of the biggest things...
Andrew: I got freaked out. You do move quick. Don't fool them. I won't fool you guys, trust me. It was really fast.
Audience Member: Okay, well I didn't think it did, so.
Andrew: [laughs] All right, well thank you!
Audience Member: Thanks!
Andrew: Hey guys, so like we said, we're going to keep it a short show. We're going to merge this actually with the one we did earlier today in the hotel. So thanks everyone so much for coming out, and we hope you enjoy the rest of the night here at the Wizarding World, and any closing thoughts? Anyone? Emerson? How detailed everything was? Micah, you were going to say something?
Micah: Go have fun!
Andrew: Go have fun!
Andrew: All right. Bye bye. Thanks a lot.
Written by: The Transcribers