Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Interactive Harry Potter Ride Coming to Universal?

Universal Orlando Resort and it's subsequent parks around the world in California and Japan have made dreams come true for millions of Harry Potter fans with their spectacularly themed wizarding world lands.

New information has been unveiled about a possible ride attraction that will make Potterheads feel even more excited about the possibilities to come.

The Orlando Business Journal has discovered Universal's latest patent about a video game ride that would “receive respective inputs from one or more riders” on board a vehicle.

The mention of wands, spells and wizards makes it difficult not to assume that Universal has another amazing attraction up their sleeves for their magical guests.

More details about the possible future attraction comes to light throughout the patent such as: the use of wands, guests casting spell, the environment of the ride changing depending on inputs received by the guests and various outcomes depending on how players perform.

It even sounds as if the age of guests may have influence on the ride experience itself, such as a rider of a young age may enjoy a family- friendly feature while older riders may explore something more dark and mature.

The patent uses the example of a "wizard-themed game" that could have riders use different wands associated with characters and use those wands at specific moments to score points, competing with opposing teams or to accomplish a joint goal.

Another passage from the patent explains the intricacy of wand motion for players:

In certain embodiments, the score input may include input from external sensors that capture player motion, such as wand motion, and provide the motion characteristics as input to a score determination algorithm. If the wand motion is associated with a particular spell that is an effective spell for the game, the player’s score may be updated to indicate a successful ‘freezing spell’ or other spell has been cast.

Though Universal has yet to give an official confirmation or expanding details about the patent, it's concept could go in several directions for a new ride at one of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks.

For instance, one of the beloved coasters at Universal's sister park Islands of Adventure is the beloved Dragon Challenge. Within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade, guests ride dueling coasters in a bid to capture the golden egg, just like in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 

It may just be a timely coincidence that this patent was submitted as Dragon Challenge is up for refurbishment soon. There is not specific or official end date announced for it's renovation - which could mean a replacement is in the works. Especially since Warner Bros has expressed interest in a Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them as a theme park attraction.

There is also a case to be made about a Ministry of Magic attraction. While this is purely an idea etched on fans' wishlists, some guests have surmised that a ride through the wizarding political offices would be a stunning addition. One can imagine that the ride may be set in a similar situation as Harry, Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with guests facing off against death eaters, dementors and Dolores Umbridge.

It's easy to assume with the patent that all wands point to the wizarding world in Orlando. It's also good to take note that even with this dazzling and promising technology, the patent may or may not come to fruition even though it's been officially filed. Only time will tell!

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