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[Intro music begins to play]
Andrew: Because we gots a mini show, this is Mugglecast Episode 93 for June 4th, 2007.
[Intro music continues to play]
Andrew: Okay, well, last week we opened up the show by saying we were having a rough week, and not to complain some more, but it's been another busy week...
[Laura and Micah laugh]
Andrew: ...in our lives.
Micah: I don't think...
Andrew: So we're going to...
Micah: Last week doesn't compare to this week, because I don't think this show wants to come out.
Andrew: If you take last week, and how busy we were last week, multiply it by a thousand times more busy-ness, raise that to the 50th power, multiply that by infinity's - infinity brought to the infinity, and that is one-tenth of how busy we've been this past week.
Laura: Yeah, basically it's just been a lot of busy.
Laura: It's been bad.
Andrew: A whole lot of busy. But yeah, enough about us. So we're - this week we're going to be doing a mini show, because we're coming up a little short on the co-host bank here this week, and so it's the only three people that actually do stuff anymore for the show.
[Laura and Micah laugh]
Andrew: So, I mean, heck, we could still call it a full show. That's just my opinion, I don't know how everyone else feels. Anyway, so we wanted to definitely do some sort of a show this week, because we had some big news this week, right guys?
Laura: That we did.
Micah: I think so.
Laura: I haven't really...
Andrew: Anyone care to say?
Laura: I haven't really paid attention to the news. I've been so busy with school.
Andrew: It was...
Micah: Well, I'll say what happened.
Micah: You want me to? Because I was recording something called a Blickle on Wednesday night, and I get this IM, and I get another IM, and another IM, and another IM, saying, "Micah, I need a thumbnail to use, a generic thumbnail to use for this post I need to make right now. Please, please, please get me a thumbnail."
Micah: "I need one now."
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Micah: And, Andrew, what were you IMing me about? [laughs]
Andrew: Well, what happened was a few days prior to that, WB had emailed me and said, "Can you be on Tuesday - are you going to be able to check your email Tuesday morning?" I was like, "yeah." And then she said, "Are you going to be available Wednesday at midnight your time?" And I was like, "Yeah, what is this about?" So I thought it was something else for a bit, so I told all of you guys.
Andrew: I was like, "I think it's going to be this." I don't want to say what I thought it was going to be...
Laura: Got us all hyped up.
Andrew: ...because I'll look like an idiot. So, it wasn't that. So, then we find out - I get this e-mail saying, "You are invited to this thing," and it had my name, and I was like, "Huh?" And then they spelled my name wrong, two "M"s, but that's beside the point. So then we get onto this thing, and - this website, this special website for this special announcement that we were all supposed to be taking a part of. By all, I mean me and then a few other fan sites, and I'm sitting there with Jenna from DanRadcliffe.com on GoogleTalk, and we're like, "What the heck, what could it be? [laughs] God bless, Jenna from DanRadcliffe.com. She looks at the copyright at the bottom of the page, and it says, "Copyright 2007, Warner Brothers Pictures and Universal Studios." And we're like, "Oh my god! This must be about the theme park." Because why else would they be putting Universal in their copyright, and sure enough they made the announcement live over the internet in a video web chat. A representative from Universal Studios and also Stuart Craig made the announcement with this guy from Universal Studios about the theme park. The rumors are actually true. Can you guys believe it?
Laura: I was a little shocked...
Andrew: Because I couldn't... Yeah
Laura: To be honest. It kind of caught me off guard. I was sitting there actually working on school work and you IMed me asking me to put the picture up in the gallery, and of course I put it up in the wrong gallery.
[Micah and Andrew laugh]
Laura: So, we spent...
Micah: Because those things are so easy to navigate through, by the way.
Laura: Thank you, Micah.
Andrew: Yeah, I meant to tell you guys...
Laura: Thank you.
Andrew: I meant to tell you guys, you were a great help that night. Thanks a lot.
Micah: I didn't even do anything.
Andrew: And Micah not responding to my IMs, and Laura putting the picture in the wrong spot. You guys were just...
Micah: Yeah, I did find that thumbnail of the Islands of Adventure, but it proved to be worthless. So...
Andrew: Yeah, but yeah the rumors have been going on for so long that when you see the new one spark up, it sort of just like, "Oh, whatever. We've heard this a million times. It's never going to happen." But then, I don't want to say it's a dream come true because it's really cool, but it's almost surreal because oh my gosh, it's actually happening.
Laura: Yeah. I really didn't expect it to happen- I just didn't see it really going forward or at least not so soon, I guess. I kind of figured if something like that was going to happen it would be at least after the movies were, but apparently not.
Andrew: Yeah, you say that, but it's actually been in development for a few years.
Laura: I know. Oh my gosh, it's crazy.
Andrew: No one ever said it was.
Micah: Which is why we would probably have the rumors. People were sort of leaking it, but nobody would believe it.
Andrew: There was no authoritative source saying, "Yes, it is actually in development, behind the scenes right now." But actually it was interesting because I had seen on WizardNews.com a couple of hours prior to the real announcement they had an article out from the tabloid and it actually had one piece of concert dart, it was of Hogsmeade and I saw it, and I thought it might have just a picture that they pulled off Google Images. I couldn't understand where they had actually got it from. They even had that quote from Jo. So, somehow they got the press release early and they had to first credit to The Sun, but it's all very exciting. I thought we could discuss a few details. Laura? You're pretty close to Florida.
Andrew: Will you be one of the first people in line?
Laura: I go to Universal Studios fairly regularly because I'm from Orlando...
Andrew: Do you? Oh, good.
Laura: [laughs] I've got family down there.
Andrew: One of the first things you said to me was do they room.
Andrew: I don't know where are they going to put.
Laura: Well, the thing is, I mean, when you look at the way the theme park is constructed right now the Islands of Adventures is sort of set up in a circular type shape, like each little area leads into another. So, I wasn't quite sure how they were going to set it up. Then I was reading that they are actually going to get rid of half of one of the other ones and using that and some additional space to build the Harry Potter one, which is pretty cool because the one they are getting rid of sucked anyway.
Andrew: Which is it? Do you know?"
Laura: It's called "The Lost Continent' I think? I think it's basically got a hole bunch of stuff about like, Sinbad, and Posiedon, and stupid stuff. All the stuff there is really stupid.
Andrew: Okay, because one of the papers down in Orlando actually had a sketch of the park and where it is going to be placed, but then they said they are also going to be taking out a little part of that is reserved for the staff right now? I think it was just a little parking lot for them, or whatever.
Laura: Oh, god, Harry Potter slashing staff benefits.
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] Well, I'm sure they're going to build elsewhere for those guys. But there were quite a few details announced in the little video that went on. They're going to be building Hogsmeade, Hogwarts Castle, and the Forbidden Forest. Those are three areas. That's good, I guess. I mean...
Laura: That was something that kind of floored me. Because-have you been there? Or, you've only been to Disney?
Andrew: No. I've never... Micah, have you?
Micah: Yeah, a long time ago.
Laura: Because when you look at all these different areas, they're not very big. And whenever I think about them building Hogwarts, the Forbidden Forest and Hogsmeade, those are three areas that, in the books you imagine them as being huge. So you kind of wonder how much they're going to scale them down. Or how much they're going to leave out to kind of make it fit in with the rest of the park.
Andrew: Yeah. I know.
Micah: Well these drawings look absolutely massive, to begin with.
Micah: I mean the amount of space they look like they're going to take up and- are you saying because Hogwarts has the grounds that exist? Is that what you're saying, Laura?
Laura: Well, what I'm saying is that...
Micah: That you're afraid they're going to leave stuff out?
Laura: Well, no. I'm saying that - I don't know. I'm just wondering how detailed it's going to be. Because when I was there I think I noticed that the one that was the biggest was the Jurassic Park area. And what they had was they had the whole museum area that you could go in. And then they had a food court and then they had rides. And that was pretty much it. And that was the biggest one out of all the areas. And it had, I would say, the most detail from the story that it comes from. So, I'm just kind of wondering how they're going to fit all of this into this one area, since they're saying that it's going to be relatively the same size as all of the others.
Andrew: Right. Yeah. Do you think Universal can pull this off, Laura? I mean this is jumping the gun. But...
Laura: Oh, I think they can. Because anybody who has been to Universal knows that they know how to do a set up. They're very, very good with that. I mean, even when you're in line on rides, it's not cheap. I mean, waiting in the line is half the fun there. Because they've got so much stuff up for you to look at. Just so much cool stuff going on. So, I think that they can definitely do it, it's just a matter of if they actually do it right, which I hope they do.
Andrew: Yeah. Now, they seem to be really dedicated to this. Both Warner Brothers and Universal Studios. They have a good 20 - 30 people working on the project right now. And of course, that's sure to expand once construction actually starts. But they seem to be really dedicated to this. Especially Universal, they want to get this down to suit the Harry Potter fan. Because they're going to be under pressure. This is one part that fans, you know, they have to appeal to the serious fans of the books.
Laura: Yeah. Well it's also definitely going to, I think, sell them more tickets. I mean, the first thing that I thought of was people are going to buy tickets to go here just to go [laughs] to the Harry Potter island. I mean, that's going to be a priority for so many people. I mean, and I can just think of people going there and spending their whole day there. You know, not really caring about the rest of it.
Andrew: Exactly, exactly. I mean, I don't even think that they're trying to make it that big, where you would have to spend the whole day there.
Andrew: I mean, because...
Laura: None of those areas are big enough to where you'd spend the whole day in them.
Andrew: Right. Maybe a couple of hours, I mean, waiting in line, of course.
Andrew: That's always a factor. Did you look at the concept art?
Laura: I did.
Andrew: They have the one shot of the- they call it the Owl Looking Over Hogwarts or Looking Over.
Andrew: Now, I think that's the entire park. Or the entire area.
Laura: Oh, the entire area. Yeah, with Hogwarts in the middle.
Laura: Yeah, I can see that.
Andrew: Which is interesting. I think the biggest question right now, at least for me, is how big is Hogwarts actually going to be?
Laura: Yeah, that's what I was wondering. That was really what I was kind of concerned about. And how are they going to have everything set up in relation to one another? You know? Are they going to have...
Andrew: Like, the castle?
Laura: Yeah. I mean, how is it going to be all set up?
Laura: I mean, is it going to be like the books? Or I don't know.
Andrew: I mean...
Laura: I don't know.
Andrew: They have to have the Great Hall - I would think they would have the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room, Dumbledore's office.
Andrew: I'm just thinking like the main movie sets...
Laura: Room of Requirement.
Andrew: ...that they already have designed. Yeah, well, do you think so? The Room, I mean...
Laura: I think, I mean, it could be kind of lame...
Micah: Only when...
Laura: ...if they...
Micah: ...you need to find it, Laura.
Micah: [laughs sarcastically] Sorry.
Laura: He said, "Only when we need to find it."
Micah: It was a dumb joke.
Andrew: Oh. [laughs] I get it.
Andrew: I mean, just looking at this concept art, it doesn't look like there are a ton of rides. I mean, I could pick out maybe three or four in this...
Laura: ...that's how those areas are all set up, though. Each of those areas has maybe five rides maximum. Most of them are three or four.
Micah: Would you guys think we'd have something in Hogwarts and then maybe something in the Forbidden Forest, or do you think the rides will be spread out sort of around that area?
Andrew: Well, I would say at least one ride in each area.
Laura: Yeah, I would think so as well.
Andrew: And then I mean, Diagon Alley, it just has to be filled with - I would think that's just dedicated to the shops.
Andrew: And eating areas. I mean, that's probably one of the things I'm looking forward to the most; being able to eat in like, say, The Leaky Cauldron.
Laura: I know. Oh, that's so exciting. [laughs]
Andrew: [laughs] Or get, I mean, like butterbeers, like the first thing you would think of...
Andrew: ...when they're trying to sell something at one of these places.
Laura: But then, you know, I was thinking about some of the lame things that could go on with this, like I immediately had a visual of a guy running around in a Hagrid costume taking pictures with kids, and so... [laughs]
Andrew: That's funny, because someone e-mailed in saying that same thing.
Laura: I mean, that was one of the first things...
Andrew: Did you read that e-mail?
Andrew: [laughs] Oh.
Laura: [laughs] I haven't read my e-mail in like...
Laura: ...three days, but it was just one of the first thoughts that came to my mind, like are they going to have the characters running around, you know, in costume and stuff? Because they do that with all the other places.
Andrew: But they would have to look just like the movies' characters, wouldn't they? Because otherwise, we would be like, "Who's this?" Because - don't you think so?
Micah: It's not like, a Disney place, where you can actually have people in costumes, I guess. Like, I agree with what Andrew's saying, it'd almost have to be a replicate of the actors in the films because it's not like...
Micah: ...in Looney Toons, you have, you know, Bugs Bunny. There's no...
Andrew: It's a cartoon.
Micah: Yeah, there's no real cartoon, that's what I meant to say.
Laura: Yeah, but they do have that at Universal Studios. They have people come out dressed up as random characters from movies and stuff. So...
Andrew: I do hear that - a rumor is right now, not sure how true this is, but after Equus, Dan is looking for a new role, so he might be doing - might be walking around this theme park.
Laura: Wow, that's a step up.
Andrew: As Harry Potter, you know?
[Laura and Andrew laugh]
Laura: Not to downgrade the job of any person who does that [laughs], but...
Andrew: No. [laughs] Let's see. What other details are there to talk about here? Oh, one thing I found interesting in the release was someone sent in the question, "Why in the United States? Why isn't the park in the United Kingdom since the books were written in the UK?" And Stuart Craig actually said [laughs] he thought that an American theme park could do it better. He thought the UK people wouldn't be able to pull it off, and I thought - I wasn't sure whether or not to put that in the news post because I didn't want to upset [laughs] any of the people in the UK that read that.
Laura: You know what? I think he's right, though, because there's something very unique about American theme parks. I mean, there's really nothing quite like them. People travel from all over the world to go to Orlando. I mean, you meet people of all walks of life in these theme parks, and I think that it's a great central location to have it, because you know, A. you've got the fact that those theme parks don't have to close at all and if they do it's not very long because it's always warm there. The weather's not great year round in Britain, so you can't constantly have something like that open.
Andrew: That's true.
Laura: It's got to be an attraction that's, you know...
Andrew: That's actually very true.
Micah: Yeah, that's a great point.
Laura: Able to be reached by a lot of people.
Micah: And I don't think Warner Brothers would open a strictly Harry Potter theme park in, say, London or some other area of England. It wouldn't make sense.
Laura: No, because Warner Brother is an American based company. Why would they want to do something like that?
Andrew: Plus, there are more Harry Potter fans in the US, right?
Laura: Hmmm, I guess if you - I mean, I guess if you want to say that we have a bigger population, and the chances are that we more fans, but just be careful how you word that.
Laura: Because people get upset.
Andrew: Yeah, well, all right. So, maybe that's not a proven point, but arguably there are more Harry Potter fans in the United States.
Andrew: So WB does seem to be very dedicated to this. J.K. Rowling has been reportedly involved since the very beginning of the project, and she's also supportive and encouraging. My question is, will she be going there privately? Because I don't think she's going to want to be waiting in line with fans.
Micah: Oh, I'm sure for the opening they'll invite her, and she'll probably go.
Laura: Gosh, that would be surreal, I would think.
Micah: Well, couldn't you see her getting her own private tour of it before it opened?
Andrew: Oh, definitely. Yeah, definitely. With jer kids.
Laura: Oh, sure. Can you imagine? She's already seen her books made into movies, and can you image riding a roller coaster with Harry's face plastered to it or something? That's just so weird.
Micah: Or walking through Hogsmeade and Hogwarts.
Micah: And the way that they're going to construct it? She can actually sit right out on that road there, and pull up a desk and sign books the whole entire day when people walk by.
Andrew: Yeah. That would be very cool. So Jo has said she's incredibly excited, and I think there's nothing but good things to come out of this.
Andrew: Not until 2010, though. A little disappointing, because, I don't know, is it just me or is the hype going to be over by 2010? [laughs]
Laura: Yeah, well, by 2010 we'll have the sixth movie, right?
Andrew: We could have the seventh.
Laura: Really? I thought the sixth was coming out in '09.
Andrew: November 2008, and I think in the press release, or in the announcement video, one of the guys said it would be right around the time when the seventh film comes out. So...
Laura: Oh, that's crazy.
Andrew: I guess there still will be movie hype.
Micah: So I guess we know where the premiere for the seventh movie's going to be.
Andrew: Yeah! Yeah, you know what? They could.
Laura: Oh my gosh, that's weird.
Andrew: They could have some sort of press event there,
Laura: We should go. We should go do a show there.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, that's what Micah said to me, I think. [laughs]
Andrew: And then all the Orlando newspapers are getting the juicy details, since they're right next door to Universal. The project is going to be costing upwards of $265 million.
Micah: That's kind of cheap.
Laura: Micah! [laughs]
Andrew: Is it?
Micah: It just sounds, I don't know. It doesn't sound like it's a lot.
Laura: I realize that's chump change compared to your salary that you get from MuggleCast, Micah.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Laura: But you didn't have to be that blunt about it.
Andrew: Yeah, please. How much does it cost to build a Hogwarts, that's what I want to know.
Micah: My point was, though, when you hear about stadiums being built in - around the country, you always hear, oh, it costs x amount, and you're always like, "Why does a stadium cost that much?" so I guess, in comparison, it just doesn't seem like it's a whole lot of money.
Laura: So are you afraid...
Micah: They have it. It's not like they don't have the money.
Laura: Are you afraid they're going to cheap out on it, or...
Micah: No, no, not at all. I'm just saying it doesn't seem like a whole lot.
Andrew: Well, I mean – I guess once we see the final picture we'll be able to be like, "Does this look like $265 million spent?" You know, we don't claim to know how much building materials cost for Hogwarts and...
Laura: Well, you also have to consider that our taking, you know - they are using part of a pre existing area of the park, and I'm sure that they are going to use some materials from that towards building it. Once of the first things I thought of was in that area that they're talking about taking down, there's this one ride, that's not really so much a ride as much as a big walk-through, tour type thing. But it's essentially a huge castle, like it's supposed to be, I think, Atlantis or something, and I mean it's enormous, and I was kind of thinking that they might just remodel that to be Hogwarts, or at least add on to it. Because, you know, it's a pre-existing structure.
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