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Details emerge about new Harry Potter ride


  • This computer image released by NBCUniversal Orlando shows a setting for the ride that will be the centerpiece for the new Harry Potter-themed area at Universal Orlando Resort theme park. (AP Photo/NBCUniversal)
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ORLANDO, Fla. » The centerpiece of the new Harry Potter-themed area at Universal Orlando Resort will take visitors into Gringotts bank to help retrieve a magical object and re-create a scene from the wildly popular book and movie series.

Universal executives announced Tuesday that the ride will be called "Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts." It re-creates a scene from the final Harry Potter book and film.

"It takes you into one of the great moments of the fiction," said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative.

The ride and the themed area — called the Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley — will open in the summer. It will double the size of the Harry Potter landscape in the park.

Among the features of the new ride: a 60-foot dragon atop Gringotts Wizarding Bank, a labyrinth of Gringotts vaults, and a marble hall with goblins. Riders will be taken into a world as part of a quest to retrieve a magical object to defeat Lord Voldemort.

The ride will use 360-degree themed sets, digital high-definition animation, 3-D projection systems and live special effects.

Woodbury said the goal was to use new technology and intensely detailed storytelling to thrill Harry Potter fans and entice those who haven’t read the books or seen the movies.

The new themed area will be located at Universal Studios Park. It will be tied to the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter area at Universal’s Islands of Adventure via the Hogwarts Express train.

During the train ride, riders will spot characters and magical creatures from the book. Among them: Hagrid on a flying motorbike, the Weasley twins on brooms, and the Knight Bus in London traffic.

Universal’s team worked with a group from the Harry Potter films on the new themed area.

If fans want to see both parks, a two-park ticket will be required. For adults, a two-park ticket for one day costs $136; for children, it costs $130.

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