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Sight: All the objects give a feeling of unease and the tress form a canopy over the queue path making the area a bit darker than other places in the park. Smell: Inside the building smells like you would imagine a tomb to smell; dusty, cold, damp.
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Sight: All the objects give a feeling of unease and the tress form a canopy over the queue path making the area a bit darker than other places in the park. Smell: Inside the building smells like you would imagine a tomb to smell; dusty, cold, damp. Sound: There is the sound of a little girl singing nursery rhyme songs echoing through the queue path, these get louder as you get closer to the building. She also starts to count to 13 getting louder and louder until the girls screams and the music stops. The queue paths can be extended for longer waiting times. They have wooden post walls and there are various themed objects dotted around the route. Some of the path is outside – running through the “Dark Forest” and some of the path is inside the building that is being restored. Most of the ride is obscured from the path – leaving only the beginning and end of the ride visible. Around the ride there are objects that appear creepy and start to give unease. Branches have grown over an old abandoned car, there are statues of the wraiths broken around the queue path, left over scaffolding and building equipment are dotted around – like someone has just got up and left. The building itself is dilapidated with walls falling away and stone work showing through cracked plaster. There are the same branches growing over the building as the car earlier. I think that the theming of the ride is very good and reinforces the story well – I like the sensory aspects of it. However I don’t think the story is told very well and therefore the links of theming and the story aren’t very clear. I like the use of sound and smell through out the queue pathways and inside the ride to increase the feeling of unease. One improvement would be to make the story clearer.
The ride has been designed to be very interactive and as such has a high sensory appeal. I think the key to this rides success is the attention to detail in the theming and decoration of the ride itself. The theming creates an atmosphere that is exciting and engaging but allows people to be excited even if they are not aware of the story before. Throughout the queue path you are given hints about the ride and the story is explained – through special effects and near holograms of the film characters. Sight: The range of themed objects that themselves appear magical set the scene and get you hooked and excited about what could happen next. Smell: There are various smells around the queue path and inside – as you queue through the green house there is a sticky hot smell of plants and compost, moving into the castle this is replaced by the smell of dust and damp – making you feel as though you are in a genuine old building. Sound: Around the queue path you can hear the sounds of laughter and screams and an undercurrent of music that is associated with the films. Touch: As you move through the gardens you are often sprayed by enchanted plants – firstly this increases the interactive nature of the ride – but it also cools guests who are waiting in the heat. From the queue path to the actual ride it’s very engaging and exciting. The features they use to attract attention and theme this ride make it stand out. The biggest theming piece is of course the castle which dominates the surroundings, this is built on a manufactured hill (which more than likely houses the majority of the ride in) as people queue they wind closer up through various parts of the castle. They also have nods to the book such as an enchanted garden and greenhouse, hallway featuring moving paintings and cob webs. There are also little features such as the house cup with Gryffindor winning. The queue paths wrap around the castle. They move through various areas themed on the book, both inside and outside of the castle. Most of the queue paths are shaded to give people relief from standing in the sun and some have canopies to protect from the rain. The queue path gives nothing away about the ride as you move through. The queue path is entertaining and has plenty of themed objects to keep queuing interesting. There is also entertainment in the form of the sorting hat which shouts house names at queuing guests. You start to queue by entering through the giant front door, then progressing through into the grounds and then back inside the castle through a side door – as if you have snuck in.
The story of the ride is that the Earl of Staffordshire warned his daughter not to go into the Dark Forest, she obeyed until her 13th birthday where she was given a puppy as a gift – the puppy ran into the forest and she followed, scared her father would be mad with her for loosing her puppy. Once in the forest, led by the barking sounds of her puppy, she found a gothic building with wraith like statues guarding the entrance, she squeezed through the gap and there found 6 coffins, one of which was stood ajar. Glinting in the opened coffin was a necklace which she unclasped and put around her neck, as she did the floor gave way and she fell into the depths of the tomb. She was never found. Then years later restoration work started on an abandoned building within the park – as it did something was released… You join the ride by first walking through dark forest up to the abandoned building were you enter and walk across what seem to be perilous boards held together by walls ready to cave in. You walk down into the basement of the ride and get into carts which look like mine trains – which have also been entangled with the same vines as the car and buildings in the forest. You then set off and swoop through the forest and end up in the same room with the coffins, you see the ajar coffin… The story of the ride greatly links with the stories itself, so whether you have read the book or seen the film or have simply just heard about it you can get involved, although being on the ride with a knowledge of the books would make the theming even more exciting. The story is about a young boy whose parents are killed when he is very young, he is then forced to grow up with his aunt and uncle who have never appreciated him. He then finds out he is a wizard and is taken to a witchcraft and wizardry boarding school called Hogwarts to learn the craft. There he makes friends, fights off threats to himself, his friends and the school. The books follow Harry across his entire time at Hogwarts, his loves, falling into life threatening situations and the final fight with his enemy. The films and books are filled with magic and humour while touching on human emotion and tragedy, but still leave the audience full of wonder and excitement. The ride joins us up with Harry and his two friends Ron and Hermione. The cart itself is based on an enchanted bench which they have cast a spell on to show you around Hogwarts. While on the ride you visit places mentioned in the film and book and get to see the characters.