Of course, we requested Row 1 (the front row of the entire train), as it is not as intimidating as the other ones. Then, our vehicle started moving. Since we do NOT want to share spoilers with you, we will not refer to anything going on during our ride. That said, about halfway through our experience, something went wrong.
The projected image was out of sync with what we were hearing. Then, all of a sudden, the sound completely faded away, and the projection reset, as if another train was going to replace our in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, that would be the last scene we would see during our very first ride. After a couple of minutes of COMPLETE silence (no announcements were made), someone was kind enough to use the Public Address system to let us know that the ride was... not working (the horror!).
After a few minutes, our vehicles returned to their "home" position, in an evacuation-ready mode. We waited for what seemed to be an eternity, as Team Members were making their way through the attraction evacuating every single vehicle. What seemed strange is that, while we are not sure about this, it looked like they were evacuating vehicles starting from the loading area and then making their way through the attraction, following one single direction. As a contrast, Cast Members evacuating any rides at the Walt Disney World Resort are usually divided into two groups: one starts from unload (evacuating every vehicle until they meet with the other group) and the other starts from the loading area. We are stating this because we noticed that at least one of the vehicles ahead of us still had Guests in it. But we digress.
This was our view while we were waiting for the "Rescue Team." The theming is absolutely beautiful, no doubt (these photos were posted on our official Twitter page). We apologize for the low picture quality:
- First of all, a temporary fence is put in place next to the vehicle to avoid Guests falling from the right side of the vehicle (there is a pretty large gap on either side, but the walkways are on the right);
- Then, a ramp is assembled to have Guests go over that gap between the vehicle and the emergency walkway;
- The evacuation process starts from the very last row of the vehicle, and then proceeds all the way to the first;
- Before releasing the lap-bars, a huge metallic tube is attached to the left side of the vehicle, to prevent Guests from falling. In fact, there's a 20 or 30-feet drop on that side, as it contains a huge IMAX screen. This was the most concerning part of this evacuation.
- Afterwards, Guests exit each row, and are then escorted to a set of stairs, which leads to the attraction's exit. Before leaving, every Guest returned their 3-D glasses and received a special EXPRESS pass that can be used exclusively at "Escape from Gringotts."
Genuine question; have you had a change of heart relating to Harry Potter stuff?
You quite the experience, but certainly worth it to write about, yes?
Also don't get the chance very often to take pics of dark rides when the lights are on.
It's nice to see that at least one writer on this site has gotten over the issues related to Harry Potter. Not sure what could have possibly caused them in the first place but I appreciate the pics/reporting from the new area.
@ First Anonymous: Not at all. Our stand has not changed, but we are still reporting news about what's happening around the Universal Orlando Resort and other theme park-related updates. This was most certainly one of the most interesting experiences we have ever had on a ride, so we thought it would be worth reporting.
Thanks for following us and respecting our beliefs and opinions. We really appreciate that!
I remember getting stuck on Tower of Terror at DHS in 2012, I felt they were very efficient in getting us off the ride, we had stopped just before the drop sequence when it went dark in the vehicle but nothing was happening. Soon a voice came on explaining what happened and a maintenance guy personally talked to us and soon after we were manually moved back and we actually walked thru the twilight zone section which was pretty cool. We then rode a real elevator down and were allowed to get back on but in a different vehicle.
I had a friend who went to the Hogsmeade portion of the park a week after I did, so about a month after open. We had no problems when we rode Forbidden Journey, but it broke down when she rode it. Luckily for her, it was right after the spider portion! She sent me some pretty cool pics of the ride while it was broken down.
Very interesting! Thanks for sharing!
Your stand has changed a little. There was a time you wouldn't say the name of the IP or any pictures. Now you're riding, reporting etc. All good stuff and I'm glad you are as it's a more consistent approach.
There are a lot more important things to be against in life than Harry Potter. I'm not a fan of harry potter either but I'm not against it like its breaking the ten commandments or something.