Its official. Winter is over, and the snow should stop. If it doesn’t sit old man winter down and beat the crap out of him. Tell him to take a nap. Anyway, Spring 2010. Know what that means? It means that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is going to open. Soon. Things are shaping up fast around the park too. Scaffolding is down, no more construction workers can be seen, and walls are down…only to reveal gates that you cant stick your camera in or over. But that doesnt mean we didnt get some interesting shots anyway.
First up was Dueling Dragons that reopened. Its still Dueling Dragons, but the tracks are brighter and there are new skins on the coasters. Can’t really tell that they are Hungarian Horntail and Chinese Fireball, still looks like the same Blizzrock and Pyrock to me…but they look amazing none the less. We didnt get to take a look inside the ride itself, but we did manage to get some shots of the coaster.
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We hear that tarps are over the passage way to dragons, and you cant see past anything. I guess some very detailed pics popped up somewhere and Universal was none too happy about it. So up come the tarps on Saturday. No worries, all will be revealed soon.
Over at Hulk work has stopped. Completely. My guess is that they do not want to have the coaster down for the really busy onslaught of Spring Breakers that are coming into the park, so the coaster will go down fully soon.
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The rest of the park is having small details done to it. Painting is going on, things are coming back and popping up so subtly that you hardly notice it. Such as the fountain at Mythos. God I love seeing the old man spew water. It just adds that much to it. Speaking of Mythos and little details. One thing I loved was the sound effects that made the park just pop. After walking through the park alone at closing I heard some disenchanting noises. It was downright creepy. So I ventured around the back where I heard this:
Thats right. The troll is back. And he sounds pissed! Its poor video, but honestly there’s nothing to see. It’s just a small audio detail that made the place amazing.
But for every little detail that was there, there was one big detail missing. Half the effects were shut off on Popeye, The JP River Adventure was still only working in half capacity, and the water vortex in Poseidon’s Fury? Yeah….its still not back, although the fog effects were cut down, and the chandelier type thing that was there is now gone. Could we be seeing a return? Doubtful, but here’s hoping.
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Now onto that pesky boy wizard. Like I said, nothing really major happening. All the scaffolding is down, walls are up. You can’t really get amazing peaks at things unless you are inside<cough> or rent a helicopter <cough cough>. But we did happen upon some cool happenings. First was the fact that all the effects were on. We could see nothing, or hear nothing unusual, but we did see Chimneys smoking, the train working, whistling and steaming, and TM’s in costume walking in and out of the backstage area. There was another event, and it seemed to be a big deal as they rolled out the red carpet…literally. We stuck around and saw that they were thanking someone named Tom for his years of service. A little research came up with this. Could Tom be retiring? Looked that way, and what a retirement party! The resident photographer was snapping pics as guests came out. And while this was a private event and not of particular interest to guests, I do want to point out that as they guests came out they were wearing scarves. House scarves with names of the four Hogwarts houses. We saw Ravenclaw and Gryffindor while we were waiting. They were sorted. This bodes well for the rumors we’ve heard about the ride. It would be one great detail to the attraction if we were all sorted. And would be a hell of a great thing if those scarves or blankets were for sale.
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And finally we stuck around because we have only once seen the castle lit. If they were having this huge event, the castle would have to be lit up, right? Yep! The thing is amazing at night. It just has that ambiance that it adds to the rest of the park. It really looks like this far off castle that is just a figment of your imagination.
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