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MuggleCast 93 Transcript (continued)



Theme Park Reports


Andrew: Right. Yeah, well good question. My question for you Laura is will you be able to provide us with some updates since this is you are so close. Next year.

Laura: Ummm, well, seeing as...

Andrew: Head down there, take some pictures.

Laura: Yeah, seeing as next year I'm going to be in Maryland, ummm...

Andrew: Oh shoot, that's right.

Laura: And seeing as I live seven hours away in my current location, but...

Micah: What's your...

Andrew: Well, I'm sure…

Micah: What's your mom doing?

Laura: Yeah, she has nothing better to do. [laughs]

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I'll tell her, "you have to go down to Orlando once a month, Mom."

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: I'm sure we will be able to get plenty of people taking pictures and sending them in. Because there's like – I've been on... After I went to Disney for the first time, I became like obsessed with how Disney's like run and stuff that kind of stuff fascinates me.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: So, there's these websites where people will like provide weekly reports on forums that take pictures and do like a photo report of "Okay so this ride closed."

Laura: Yeah. On my gosh, yeah.

Andrew: "This ride is getting renovations made," and it's like so hardcore.

Laura: Have you ever seen these sites...

Andrew: So I'm hoping people do that with this.

Laura: Have you seen these sites, and this might have nothing to do with our show at all, but have you seen these sites where they have all the different injuries that have happened at these theme parks [laughs] all the people who have gotten hurt on rides?

Andrew: My god! Why would you want read that?

Laura: Okay, I'm going to tell you this, when we were at Universal [laughs] they had these plaques up on the rides that they hadn't had up before, like in front of all the roller coasters and all the big rides and stuff [laughs] that said, "Please remove all prosthetic limbs before boarding the ride."

[Micah laughs]

Laura: And we were like...

Andrew: Oh my god.

Laura: ...what the heck is this?

Micah: Wow.

Laura: Why are they saying this? And so we get back to the hotel and I'm just sort of running around on Google and I find this article from 2004, that this guy's prosthetic leg flew off on one of the roller coasters.

Andrew: Oh my gosh!

Laura: [laughs] It was so funny...

Andrew: Wow.

Laura: It was so mean though. Okay.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: That guy is now listening; he is a MuggleCast listener now. So...

Laura: Oh great.



Warner Brothers and Universal in 10-Year Deal


Andrew: Shout out to him. But, okay so Warner Brothers is in a 10-year deal with Universal for this. So we're going to have it until at least 2020. [laughs] Which seems so far off. And then there's the – they have two options for a five-year extension, so - then by 2020 if there's still interest in the Harry Potter theme park they can go for another five years. And then after that if they want five more they can take it. And then after that, I guess they can extend it if they wanted to.

Laura: Yeah. It just depends on how long people stay interested in it, I guess. I mean I...

Andrew: Yeah,

Laura: ...think 10 years is definitely doable. I mean, I think people will...

Andrew: Definitely, I mean how long has Universal been opened?

Laura: Ummm, it opened when I was very, very little. I mean, and when it first opened there wasn't much there.

Andrew: That's it.

Laura: It hasn't been that long, but the Islands of Adventures area is fairly new it's like...

Andrew: Oh is it?

Laura: Six or seven years old. So...

Andrew: Because you get – Disney's been open for...

Laura: A lot longer.

Andrew: ...how long? 30, 40? 30 or 40?

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: I mean how can they – it makes me wonder what they think about when they are designing these parks and rides in terms of how long they'ill last. Because, like, Disney, you know - 50 years from now, what's Walt Disney World going to be like? Or 100 years from now?

Laura: Oh, well, they'll definitely...

Andrew: I mean...

Laura: ...have to keep updating it. I mean, there's no question about it. These theme parks are constantly having to update. When I was down there recently they were getting rid of the Back to the Future ride because...

Micah: Oh, here we go...

Laura: Most people don't know what Back to the Future is anymore.

Andrew: [laughs] Right!

Laura: No, I mean, a lot of kids don't.

Andrew: No, they don't.

Micah: Universal Studios in Florida opened in 1990.

Andrew: 1990. So, seventeen years are coming on and already they're willing to go 20 years with Harry Potter. So, it's interesting.

Micah: By then, they'll be redoing the movies over, so they'll have more reason to keep it running.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Right, right. You know, in 50 years, I could really see that happening.

Laura: Me too, I think so as well. That'd be weird.

Andrew: We'd all go see it.

Micah: And Disney World opened in 1971.

Andrew: Can we enter into an agreement right now that if they decide to remake the Harry Potter movies, we'll start up the podcast again?

Laura: [laughs] When we're all, like, in Depends with our dentures.

Micah: And when they cast Americans to play the roles, that we're all going to try out?

Andrew: [laughs] Mhm.

Laura: No, we should all try out for lead roles. When we're, like, 50. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. "And what's your claim to fame, sir? What credentials do you have?" "Well, I used to host a podcast back in the early 2000s, 2005-2006." "Oh, good, you're in!"

[Micah laughs]

Laura: Can you see us, like, 50 and meeting up again [laughs] for like a movie release? That'd be so....

Andrew: Maybe...not.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: [attempts old man voice] Heyyyy! [laughs] I used to be able to do a good old person's voice, but I can't anymore, especially not at this late hour. So, overall, I think we're all very excited for the theme park.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Yes. We'll get everyone else's feedback next week, if they decide to show up or not. Anything else to bring up about it?

Micah: Yeah, there is.

Andrew: What? What?



What Kind of Rides?


Micah: What kind of rides are there going to be?

Andrew: Oh! [laughs] Well, we sort of talked about it, a little bit.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: I mean...

Micah: We didn't get specific, though. Really?

Andrew: No, we didn't, we didn't.

Laura: They have tons of - there's so many potential ideas, I mean you have all the various magical creatures that Harry has flown on. I mean you can have a thestral ride, you could have a hippogriff ride.

Micah: Quidditch.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: You could do a Quidditch simulation

Laura: Quidditch. Yeah, definitely Quidditch.

Micah: Wouldn't you say?

Laura: What else?

Micah: I was going to say, what about doing a ride that takes you through the tasks of the Triwizard Tournament?

Andrew: Yeah, that'd be cool.

Laura: I don't know, I see it as being a little bit too specific, as something they might do.

Andrew: Mmmm.

Laura: Because just - just from riding some...

Micah: You think they're going to stay basic?

Andrew: Yeah, I did think...

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: ...they said they wanted to capture it as a whole.

Laura: Yeah, because...

Andrew: Rather than a specific book.

Laura: ...when you look at some the other rides they have in that park, it's all very generic ideas from, you know, the different genres and stories and stuff. They didn't pick specific events, they just sort of threw stuff together. So...

Andrew: Are you guys big roller coaster fans?

Laura: Yes! Oh my gosh.

Micah: No.

Laura: I am a junkie.

Andrew: No, Micah. Neither am I.

Laura: I am.

Andrew: Really? So, I guess you're expecting at least one good roller coaster ride.

Laura: Oh, they better, they better, or I'll be upset.

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I ride them, but not to the extent, you know, probably not...

Laura: I ride them 'till I puke.

Andrew: I...I...I don't know, I have a weak stomach.

Laura: No joke.

Andrew: Oh. Cool. I guess.

[Laura and Andrew laugh]

Andrew: Yeah, I wouldn't mind a couple walk-through rides or some simple, like - sit and it takes you through like a tour or something like that. Virtual reality is always cool.

Laura: Yeah, they're definitely going to have to have something to appeal to children, though, something that's lame.

Micah: Well, isn't Islands of Adventure, isn't it more...

Andrew: [laughs] Lame like?

Micah: Isn't it more on the adult side of the park or am I wrong about that?

Laura: No, not - I would honestly say that the Universal side is more adult because there aren't as many rides, and the stuff is older. The stuff on Island of Adventures - I mean, you've got Seussland, which is for all the little kids, and then you've got certain rides in areas that are like mini roller coasters and all that kind of thing for little kids. It's definitely varied. But, I think that they would definitely have to have at least one ride geared toward the little kids in this area just because, you know, it's based on a children's book and a lot of kids really like Harry Potter, so you can't have all scary rides, you know?

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: So, I'm actually reading another article right now. It says the theme park's going to span 20 acres of the 85 in the Islands of Adventures.

Laura: Wow. That's pretty good.

Andrew: So, there you go. You have a little under a fourth there for Harry Potter.

Laura: I mean, when you say it like that it sounds huge, but I don't know. Just, I don't know, just comparing it to the sizes of some of the other ones, it doesn't seem that big.



Bad News For Disney?


Andrew: Yeah. Good news or bad news for Disney? I mean...

Laura: I honestly think Universal has been bad news for Disney since day one.

Andrew: Really?

Laura: Yeah, I mean, I used to live in Orlando, and everybody favors Universal Studios over Disney, because Disney's problem...

Andrew: Really?

Laura: Yeah. Disney is...

Andrew: Disney's for tourists, isn't it?

Laura: It is. Disney - and no offense, Andrew, but [laughs] everybody makes jokes about...

Andrew: It's not magical?

Laura: No, no, everybody makes jokes about Jersey people and Disney. Like, how all the Jersey people come down to go to Disney World. So, yeah.

Andrew: That's - yeah, it's true. I mean... [laughs]

Laura: It is true. [laughs]

Andrew: But screw all of them. I really like Disney, and I've never been to Universal.

Laura: Disney's kind of outdated. That's the problem with it.

Andrew: I like the kiddish stuff, though. I like all of that. I like the trains, I like the - I like their transportation systems, I like their rides. I've only been there twice, but I do like all of this.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Micah: Please stand clear of the closing train doors. Sorry.

Andrew: I don't think they say that, Micah.

Micah: On the monorail, they do.

Andrew: No, you're wrong. Yeah, you're right, they do. [laughs]

Micah: And then they say it in Spanish.

Andrew: Yeah. I mean...

Micah: And then it gets stuck in your head for the next two months.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah. Yeah. I don't - I'm just not into the Spiderman or the Superman rides. I'm just a Disney

Laura: Yeah, see, I'm more into thrill rides and all that kind of stuff. So, Disney just...



Discussing Old Universal Rides


Micah: Do they still have King Kong?

Laura: No, they got rid of it. They replaced it with The Mummy.

Micah: You know, I'll tell you, I was very hesitant when I was in high school to go on all those rides, and then I got on one of them - I think it was Earthquake was the first one I went on, or something like that.

Laura: Yeah, that one's really lame.

Micah: They're all lame. King Kong is terrible.

Laura: Yeah. [laughs]

Micah: You see him coming up to shake the car that you're in and you're like, "Are you serious? This is the ride?"

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: No, the one they replaced it with is pretty cool, though. Yeah.

Micah: Jaws still there?

Laura: Oh Jaws. Yeah, Jaws is still there, Jaws is still lame.

Micah: Back to the Future, awesome.

Laura: No, they got rid of it.

Micah: Really?

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: There's one with Warner Brothers characters in it. All the guys from - Bugs Bunny, and Daffy - or, no, with all the Scooby-Doo characters. I forget what it's called.

Laura: Geez, I don't remember that.

Micah: It was another virtual reality one.



Theme Park Too Much For Franchise?


Andrew: On the other hand of all this positive news about the theme park, a lot of people - not a lot - but some people have been criticizing the fact that Harry Potter - the Harry Potter franchise is being spread out even further. Do you guys think a theme park is pushing it or what?

Laura: I don't really have much feeling on that one way or the other. I think that something like this was eventually bound to happen just because, when you've got something this big, people are going to try to make as much money off of it as they can. I mean, there's no doubt about it. But, as long as they do the books and the movies justice, I don't see a problem with it.

Andrew: Yeah. Micah?

Micah: I agree with what Laura's saying. I think that for certain people who are involved in it, it's a financial – it's a revenue issue. And by building this, you're saying that theirs spending – what, $265 million to make this? They will easily make that back...

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Micah: ...without any trouble whatsoever and I just - I don't see a problem with them going ahead and building the park. I don't understand necessarily the issues that - you're taking something that has been popular now for so long and you're building on it and you're allowing the fans to go out and experience something they otherwise wouldn't have if it wasn't built in the first place.

Andrew: I agree. I just think that it may, it may hurt a tad in 2010 when the books have been done for three years and it's just so hard to say. It's hard to predict where the fandom is going to be going after the book. Especially with the online community.

Micah: I think for a lot of people, though, this brings – aside from the movies – this brings the whole series to life. Where you can actually go and experience it for yourself.

Andrew: Yeah, it really does do that, yeah. And I'm just trying to think how we're going to be feeling about Harry Potter in three years from now. Because three years from now – none of us – Laura, I don't think you were – three years ago, none of us were involved to the extent that we are now. And it's just like, there years from now, where are we going to be with - three years from now, this park should be open. It said late 2009/early 2010. So, I don't know, it's just...

Laura: Well, I mean, I know that I will…

Andrew: I still want to go of course.

Laura: I mean, I always have been and I always will be a fan. But this is definitely, you know, this whole - this right now, what we're doing right now, is definitely the height of my fan experience.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Laura: Just because I've gotten so involved. And I mean, I'm not saying that I won't go to this theme park. I absolutely will. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: But I'm not going to be there camping outside the night before it opens.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Well, you don't know that. I mean, come on.

Laura: You know some people will. You know they will.

Andrew: No, absolutely, there's going to be a ton of hype when this park is opened. Almost - probably as much as the book - book release.

Laura: Yeah. I honestly think that...

Andrew: It's going to be a midnight park release. [laughs]

Laura: Yeah, I honestly think that people might get more excited about this than the movies just because it does bring it to life.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: You can actually walk the halls of Hogwarts. It's crazy.

Andrew: That's true actually. I mean, why do people like the movies so much? To see Harry Potter. Now you're going to be able to be in Harry Potter.

Laura: It's so weird.

Andrew: You know what I'm saying?

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: The rest of that park is going to be empty when it opens – seriously.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: We should get them to take an overhead shot of the day that that opens...

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Laura: ...so that you can see the cluster of people.

Andrew: You know, overheard shots are always so disappointing because it makes the park look so small and unexciting.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Like, when I look at Disney on Google Maps and you see an above shot, you're like, "That's it? It doesn't look that cool from high above."

Laura: It's because it's not.

Andrew: [laughs] I knew you were going to say that.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: So, I think that's about it for that.

Laura: Yeah.

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