The web has been buzzing recently with reports that a video showing the ride system for the under-construction Gringotts Bank roller coaster at Universal Studios Florida has been posted online. But have the secrets behind the headline ride in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley really been revealed? Or is this just fans leaping to the wrong conclusion?
The video was posted on YouTube by Dynamic Attractions, a theme park ride design and construction company. It has since been pulled, but a copy of it is embedded below (we can't guarantee that this won't be pulled in time, too):
That's very nice, but who are Dynamic Attractions and what do they have to do with the Wizarding World?
Dynamic Attractions may not be a name that is known to the general public, but in theme park industry terms, the firm is a big name. Not only that, but it has a long and very successful association with Universal Orlando, having produced the ride systems for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and Transformers: The Ride - 3D. The company also works with Disney, having created the flying theater for Soarin' Over California and elements of Test Track.
Would Dynamic Attractions be bold (or stupid) enough to post a video that shows EXACTLY how the Gringotts Bank Coaster works, before details of it have been made public by Universal? Maybe not. But it's not as if such ride systems haven't been seen in advance of their use before - the robo-coaster-on-a-track employed by Forbidden Journey was shown off several years before that ride became a reality, for example.
Several of the effects and elements seen in the video are strikingly similar to those mentioned in Robert Niles' post over on Theme Park Insider, in which he describes the Gringotts ride experience based on leaked concept art. It was Niles, remember, who (accurately) leaked details of the entire Diagon Alley area some time before they were officially announced. For example, Niles mentions 3D projection screens throughout the ride, including a large "projection cone". Also mentioned are a "free drop" and a launch section.
In addition, the ride vehicles seen in the video are very reminiscent of this leaked concept art of the Gringotts Bank Coaster cars:
Here's another (blurry) shot of one of the real cars being loaded into the ride building:
Coaster car being loaded into Gringotts Bank ride in the new Wizarding World area at Universal Studios Florida: pic.twitter.com/r3lO2ozNbE
— Attractions Magazine (@Attractions) October 4, 2013
So, it is real or not?
It's unlikely that all of the elements seen in the video will feature in the Gringotts Bank Coaster, and indeed there are many other elements (such as wind and water effects) that will likely be part of the ride but are not seen in the video. Still, given Dynamic Attractions' track record with Universal, and the similarities listed above, we're pretty satisfied that you're looking at something closely resembling the Gringotts Bank Coaster.
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