Hey Thrill Seekers,
Some cool information has emerged today regarding Universal and 2 new patents that have been granted.
One is ‘vehicle transportation room system and method’ and the other is ‘system and method for moving puzzle theatre.’ Both patents appear to be pointing towards bringing more elements for of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to life.. eeekkkk!
I’m going to start with the vehicle transportation system which is the most interesting to me, the patent talks about a retractable ‘launch room’ which would cover ride cars on multiple sided with ‘walls.’ It looks as though the launch room vehicles would include some cool elements like speakers, fog, strobe lights and displays and would move alongside the the car to ensure that guests are immersed in the experience throughout the whole journey.
One of the patent images, (see below) points at a animated figure of a ghost in front of a fireplace which makes me think of the Harry Potter Floo Network – for those of you who don’t know, the Floo Network is a ‘mode of magical transport’ that was used in the Harry Potter series which sees the characters casting a spell to turn a fireplace in to a portal and then entering it to transport to their the preferred location. Sometimes the characters would get the spell wrong an end up somewhere they didn’t want to be!
Another image shows a retractable wall in a fireplace leaving enough space for a ride car to propel forwards.
I like the idea of the launch room and the patent states that the launch room could possibly be used to hide upcoming drops / thrills and create more suspense and in turn a more exhilarating ride.
The moving puzzle theatre patent would cover theatres used for shows in parks and areas that include mass seating or performances. You’ve probably all been in the situation where you have been super excited to go watch a performance or show and when you finally get to a seat you’ve got something blocking part of the stage – not cool!! This new style will allow the seating areas to be manoeuvrable and give people the feeling that the theatre is unified when actually each section of seating is separate and can move in relation to the others.
Looking at the patent it seems as though Universal will create the movable theatres in a way in which guests will not even notice that the puzzle theatre system is enabled to move the seating areas. It looks like there would be an initial configuration that manoeuvrable seating areas will be connected to a single system so that they can separate and come back together.
Now for some technical stuff (if it wasn’t already confusing enough) The seating area’s appear as though they would be attached to actuator arms!
Yes I’ll admit that I had to google what actuator means..
An actuator is a component of a machine that is responsible for moving or controlling a mechanism or system. An actuator requires a control signal and a source of energy. The control signal is relatively low energy and may be electric voltage or current, pneumatic or hydraulic pressure, or even human power.’
There would be 6 degrees of freedom, for example: pitch, roll, yaw, surge, heave and sway and there could even be more than one centre platform that could allow for one to pass over the other or even pass over the show itself! Perhaps to simulate a Quiddtich match?
Even though not all patents lead to new attractions we can always have a guess, right?
My guess is that the rumours that Dragon Challenge will be making way for a brand new attraction could well be true and that these new patents will be incorporate. I believe it will be some kind of story based attraction, taking Harry through different stages i.e. the Floo system, a quidditch match. I think the ride itself will incorporate different types of ride including dark rides and 3D. An extension of what Universal did with Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
What do you think?