Inside Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Today we will take a look around Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Needless to say, everything in this article can be considered spoilers since the attraction and Diagon Alley haven’t officially opened yet. However, I suspect it will soft open some time this week so they can at least do some run throughs with actual guests before it officially opens on July 8th.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

The exterior of the building is absolutely stunning and in a smart move, the entrance to the attraction is not the corner of the building, but rather the side. This leaves the front door available for photo opportunities.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

To the right of the queue entrance is a test seat. Riders must be 42 inches tall and the restraint system is very similar to Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

By the time this opens to the public, the lobby of the bank will be filled with stanchions and chains. There will be a lot of queue filling this room which will give you a good chance to soak in the details.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Lucky for me, there were no stations separating me from the goblins manning the teller windows at the bank. The level of detail on the figures is extremely impressive even close up.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Even the paperwork sitting on their desk matches the Gringotts currency that is sold in Diagon Alley.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Much like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the queue is just as impressive as the ride itself, if not more so.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

The only animatronic goblin that talks is this gentleman who explains the procedures for opening an account at Gringotts.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Just behind him is a small spiral staircase that the queue weaves around.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Looking directly above the staircase is this gorgeous dome ceiling and crystal chandelier.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Rounding the corner, you go down a ramp and slowly closer to the vaults.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

There are several bays where groups of guests are taken to have their photo taken for “security purposes.”

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Guests are then handed a Universal Orlando Photo Connect Card that has a barcode with their picture info scanned on it. You can then purchase your photos at the exit of the ride.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Similar to the queue for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, there are newspapers that come to life with videos embedded in them.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

After having your photo taken, the queue is split into two rows that file past the offices of the Gringotts Bank.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Listen closely and you’ll over hear characters from the Harry Potter films chatting about trying to sneak into the vault.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

At the end of the hall are a set of double doors that lead into the first of two pre-show rooms.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

The first pre-show uses a peppers ghost effect that is also used in Disaster at Universal Studios Florida by Christopher Walken’s character. Pictures and video don’t do it justice, but click on the video below to get an idea of what I’m talking about.

There is a ton of detail in this room from picture frames that come to life to ornate office fixtures.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Next we enter another holding room before entering the second pre-show.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

A picture frame with “video” of the ride is playing while a goblin warns us that expectant mothers, guests with heart, neck or back problems should not ride.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Before us is an elevator designed to take us down into the vaults of Gringotts.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

The floor of the elevator moves, but the actual room does not. Above everyone’s heads is a projection screen and the ceiling is “open air,” so you can see how quickly you’re “descending”. Think of it like a modern day version of the hydrolators from The Living Seas

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

After arriving nine miles below the lobby of the bank, we are issued “cart goggles”.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

These are the exact same glasses now used on the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and the new version of Star Tours.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

After climbing a winding staircase we finally arrive at the entrance to the vaults of Gringotts.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Load is split into two platforms where two trains can be loaded simultaneously.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Trains consist of two cars with three rows per car. Each row can accommodate four guests for a total of 24 guests being dispatched at once.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

An employee at Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts told me the ride can put through roughly 2,100 guests in an hour. Considering this is a roller coaster style ride system, those are pretty solid numbers.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

Sadly, photography is not permitted on the ride. I am sure once soft openings start up, someone will get in there and film it. Meanwhile, the best way to describe Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is a fairly mild thrill ride. The ride vehicle goes through several small dips, but nothing substantial or all that fast. Keep in mind, the experience can’t be too turbulent to make sure your 3D glasses don’t come flying off.

Photo by Josh Young

Photo by Josh Young

As you may have guessed, 3D projection is used through roughly 75% of the attraction and the track is surrounded by movie screens that completely immerse you throughout most of the attraction, There are certainly actual sets of going through various parts of the vault and caves as well. Overall I thought it was a great attraction that’s on par with Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

 

I am not going through a scene-by-scene ride through of the attraction, after all, I don’t want to spoil everything. However, if you do have specific questions about Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, post them in the comments section below and I will do my best to answer them. Meanwhile, if you haven’t already click this link to like our Facebook Page and this one to follow Theme Park University on Twitter!

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3 Comments

  1. JoeyBurgos
    Posted June 23, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Hey. Does the ride have any really big drops that make you feel like you can’t breathe? Is it a legit roller coaster? Can little kids go on it? Is it less intense than Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey? Thanks

    • Josh Young
      Posted June 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      All fine questions. Keep in mind, what I consider intense and your interpretation may be two different things. However, I found the experience to be far less intense than Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Kids can go on the ride as long as they are above 42 inches. There are small drops, more like dips in the ride. If you are familiar with the drop in Pirates of The Caribbean, it’s that “intense”… fairly mild in my opinion. Keep in mind, the 3D glasses you are wearing costs Universal roughly $20 a piece. They want to keep them on your head, therefore the experience can’t be that intense. Hope this helps!

  2. Posted June 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Okay I feel relieved to know the ride is mild! I’m not much of a thrill seeker. Thank you for this review. The ride sounds really awesome and the second pre-show sounds so cool!!

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