Transcript #203

MuggleCast 203 Transcript

Live From Infinitus 2010
Orlando, FL
July 16, 2010

Show Intro

Andrew: This week’s episode of MuggleCast is brought to you by, the internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to

[Intro music begins]

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[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]

David Heyman: Hello this is David Heyman and I’m the producer of the Harry Potter films and this is MuggleCast.

[Show music begins]

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Wow! Wow! Hello everyone! Hello everyone! Oh, thank you so much. Welcome to MuggleCast Live at Infinitus! Yes!

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Thank you everyone for coming out. It – whose first conference is this? First Harry – a lot…

Matt: Oh my…

Ben: Oh…

Matt: …god.

Andrew: …of people.

Ben: …wow.

Matt: Wow.

Andrew: Ben and I did a panel this morning and the same response with lots of hands up. Why – is it just because of the theme park?

[Audience responds]

Andrew: Oh, mix of things?

Audience Member: Close to home.

Audience Member: Location.

Andrew: Close to home, location, yes. Good…

Audience Member: You guys!

Andrew: …good, good… [laughs]

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Well, we have been to conferences before.

Audience Member: I know you have. I haven’t been able to go to them.

Welcome Back, Laura

Andrew: Oh, okay. All right. Well, right on. Well, thanks everyone for coming out. We really do appreciate it. Let’s introduce the panel. I’m Andrew Sims. This is Ben Schoen. This is Matt [laughs] Britton right here. I [laughs] can’t see everyone. Here is Eric Scull, Micah Tannenbaum, Elysa Montfort, and Laura Thompson at the end. Oh…

[Audience applauds]

Andrew: …this is actually very exciting because it is Laura Thompson’s great return to MuggleCast. It’s been a few months. Welcome back Laura!

[Audience cheers]

Laura: Thank you.

Andrew: So, how was your time in Costa Rica, Laura?

Laura: It was really, truly incredible. It’s something that I’m already missing a lot. I’ve only been home for two and a half, three weeks at this point, and I’m already trying to figure out how I’m going to go back for free. So, yeah. But it’s really great to be back. This is actually my first MuggleCast since January.

Ben: Oh, wow.

Laura: So…

Matt: Oh.

Ben: I missed…

Laura: …it’s been a…

Ben: …you, Laura.

Laura: …long time.

Andrew: It’s…

[Matt laughs]

Deathly Hallows Trailer

Andrew: …been a very long time. [laughs] So, obviously – there is actually a lot to talk about since our last episode. There were – our last episode was all about the Deathly Hallows trailer. What did everyone think of that?

Audience Member: It was pretty awesome!

[Audience responds]

Andrew: It was pretty awesome?

Audience Member: The last scenes had almost the last scene in the movie.

Andrew: Yeah. They had pretty much everything in there. Laura, what did you think of the trailer? Didn’t get your thoughts on that.

Laura: Pull my mic over. I thought it looked absolutely incredible. And I have to say, my internet connection for the last few months has been not so great as some of you know. And I wasn’t actually able to watch the trailer until I got home, and I was really blown away by it. It was actually my dad. He emailed me the link and he was, like, “You know I don’t read Harry Potter, but this looks sick.”

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Laura: “This looks amazing!” So I watched it and I just thought it looked so incredible. It looks like they have done such justice to the book. And not just in terms of bringing every exact element to the screen, but in terms of characterization and the real fear that we saw in Deathly Hallows. I really got a sense of that from the trailer.

Andrew: Any other thoughts, guys? Ben, it looked like you were about to say something.

Ben: Oh, I was just going to do another quote from the trailer like I always do.

Andrew: What were you going to say?

Ben: Oh, I don’t know. I was going to be all, [as Voldemort] “Why do you live?”

[Everyone laughs]

ABC Family’s Deathly Hallows Clips

Andrew: Well, I wanted to get internet because we have some things to show, but unfortunately, the internet is not working. But that is okay. Everyone has seen the ABC Family clips, right?

[Audience disagrees]

Ben: Awww.

Andrew: Pretend like you did! Well, on ABC Family last weekend during ‘Harry Potter Weekend’, that is when they debuted some new clips. It was a bunch of behind the scenes sneak peeks at Deathly Hallows, of course. And one of the things that we saw: a lot of the action scenes. We saw big crowds of people running everywhere. It was really intense, and I got chills when I was looking at that again. And I feel like every time that we see these clips now of these large crowds run in places, I’m personally going to get chills. What did you think, Micah?

Micah: Yeah, I agree with you. I thought it was kind of funny too when they were talking about who could run the fastest. They were having a joke on set between Dan, Emma and Rupert.

Andrew: Who won that?

Micah: I’m not sure.

Andrew: Oh.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Did they say – does anyone remember who won the running contest? [laughs]

Ben: My money would be on Rupert. He has a longer stride.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yes, he is a bit taller. But…

[Audience responds]

Andrew: Dan claims he won? “I won, I definitely won!” [laughs] And so it was – honestly, it was just a really good sneak peek and it is the first of many. W.B. keeps calling this “The Year of Harry Potter,” which is pretty interesting because we have a year left now.

Audience Member: Every year is.

[Ben gasps]

Andrew: Awww. Every year is the “Year of Harry Potter” says an audience member in the front.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: But I think they are really – I was saying this at the panel this morning too that Ben and I did. That – by the way, anyone go to that this morning? All right, nice. Thanks for coming. We had a great time.

[Eric and Matt laugh]

Andrew: And to the rest of you, why were you sleeping? We wanted to.

[Everyone laughs]

Audience Member: Tired!

Andrew: We wish we were sleeping. No, we had a great time. What was I saying?

Ben: Something about getting chills?

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: The “Year of Harry Potter.”

Ben: No, the “Year of Harry Potter.”

Deathly Hallows Movie Poster

Andrew: Oh, the “Year of Harry Potter.” Warner Bros. is really promoting it. I think what everyone agrees on is that these final two films are going to be so successful because whether you have even seen the earlier movies, you are going to want to see how it ends, right? So, I don’t know. It’s pretty interesting. It will be interesting to see how it returns at the box office. Something else we saw Deathly Hallows related was the movie poster. The first one – it is the first one, with Hogwarts burning!

Ben: Oh no!

Andrew: Eric, did you cry when you saw that? Did that finally make you sad? Or did that bother you because that is not really Part I?

Ben: My money is on he was bothered.

[Audience and Matt laugh]

Eric: Actually, funny story. I was – somebody had told me that it had been released and I said, “Is it just Part I? Because I have been looking forward to just finding about Part 1. I don’t want Part 2.” And they said, “Well, no,” and I got really upset. But then I saw it and I was, like, oh, but it is different because it is Hogwarts burning. So it…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Well…

Eric: Totally contradicting…

Matt: Hogwarts burning…

Eric: …myself.

Matt: …makes all the difference.

Eric: I loved it because it was kind of a throwback to – and we did a comparison on MuggleNet of the first or one of the first posters for the first film, for Sorcerer’s Stone where it is them on the lake and looking up at Hogwarts. And now you are looking up at Hogwarts just as in the first poster, but this time it is burning to the ground. So, it is – obviously, times have changed a little bit.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Maybe I’m a bit slow, but how do you set a castle on fire?

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Ben: I don’t know because the whole stone thing doesn’t make…

Eric: Lots and…

Ben: …much sense.

Eric: …lots of accelerant.

Andrew: But honestly, I love the poster. I mean, I think that is one of the greatest ones they have ever done. And it’s so simple but it is so striking because it actually – it looks a lot like the Sorcerer’s Stone poster. And I made a side-by-side comparison on MuggleNet, and I said here is Movie 1 and here is Movie 7. And it’s the same angle, castle is basically the same size, so it’s the same length of distance away. But it was just that one difference. It’s 1, it’s all happy, cheery at the beginning.

Ben: Mhm.

Andrew: And then Movie 7 poster, it’s the exact same thing but the castle is burning to the ground. And it says, “It ends here.” I wanted to cry. It was the most depressing [laughs] thing I’ve ever seen…

Elysa: I know!

Andrew: …in my life.

Elysa: You say how cool it is, and I’m thinking, “Oh, yay! You’re the most morbid person I know!”

[Everyone laughs]

Elysa: I saw that poster, went out, and booked a psychotherapist.

[Everyone laughs]

Elysa: I’m going to see a shrink for the rest of my life.

Andrew: Any other thoughts about the poster, guys? I mean, it was pretty simple, but it was pretty striking I think. Anymore – I mean, is the rest of the promo material going to be all the emo characters now? Like they are going to be sad that it ends too?

Matt: I…

Elysa: Yeah…

Matt: …hope so.

Elysa: …I’m expecting…

Matt: I hope that all the character posters are going to be them – what the characters look like during the final battle. Well, maybe not Lupin or Tonks or…

[Audience responds]

Elysa: Oh!

Matt: …any of the characters that died.

Elysa: Matt!

Andrew: Ooh.

Matt: I mean, I want dramatic character posters.

Elysa: Come on!

Matt: Well, I’m sorry. I should have thought of that first…

Elysa: He said…

Matt: …before I said…

Elysa: …emo, not dead!

Matt: I…

[Everyone laughs]


Ben: Who do we get to see die, do you think?

Andrew: Who what?

Ben: Who do we get to watch die on the screen?

Andrew: Well, we were wondering with the trailer – some people were speculating that maybe Hedwig doesn’t die because we see Hedwig fly away. Harry lets him go. Was that…

Elysa: What?

Andrew: …in the trailer?

[Audience disagrees]

Eric: What?

Andrew: I just want to – that was…

Matt: What?

Andrew: …in the trailer, right?

[Audience agrees]

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Yeah.

Matt: No.

Andrew: But my theory was, as I said on MuggleCast, that that is maybe – he is just sending a letter to someone. It’s obviously not in the book.

Ben: Yeah, you couldn’t just tell Hedwig, “Hey, man.”

Andrew: “Peace out.”

Ben: “Later on.”

[Audience laughs]

Ben: “I’ll see you later.”

Andrew: Well, because J.K. Rowling said that was the end of his childhood – the reason she killed Hedwig was because that is the end of his childhood. So, were they, like, “Hmmm, let’s see. We can’t kill an owl. That will upset a lot of kids if they watch in the theater, so let’s just…”

Laura: Well, I mean…

Andrew: “…send him away.”

[Audience laughs]

Laura: I don’t…

Andrew: And Harry…

Laura: …think…

Andrew: …can be…

Laura: They mortified us enough already. They might as well just seal the deal.

Ben: Yeah, they can’t…

Eric: Well…

Ben: You can’t…

Laura: Put it on film.

Ben: …pull any punches.

Eric: Well, for anybody who is feeling particularly bad about what happened to Hedwig in the seventh book, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is right next door, has Hedwig pillows now. And they are very…

Andrew: [laughs] Oh, great.

Eric: …very soft.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Every time you go to sleep at night, you can sleep on Hedwig. Hedwig will keep your head propped up.

Laura: Yeah, you…

Andrew: Goodbye…

Laura: …wonder…

Andrew: …Dead-wig.

Matt: I don’t…

Laura: You know something…

Matt: …know which one is worse – sleeping on Hedwig or having her blow up in a film.

[Audience and Laura laugh]

Laura: I don’t know. Throwing back to the Book 7 release, since we’re talking about this, my mom was telling me that at the particular bookstore she went to, they were giving out little stuffed owls, like, Hedwigs to all…

Eric: Yeah…

Laura: …the kids…

Eric: …they did that.

Laura: …not knowing what happens.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: It’s, like, “Ugh!”

Eric: Actually, it was if you pre-ordered Book 7 – I was at a Borders in New Zealand and we were giving out for all the pre-orders this stuffed little plush toy owl Hedwig and somebody mustn’t have got the memo.

Laura: Oops.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Maybe – I wouldn’t be surprised if those things mysteriously disappear off of Universal store shelves when Part I comes out, unless they just send Harry away like, ìGoodbye!î So, I mean getting back to the poster I really did – I really did like it. It’s about time there was sort of this shocking, dark poster for Harry Potter, I think again, it’s really going to intrigue people who haven’t seen the series before. ìIt all ends here,î I mean that’s – that’s striking.

Laura: Yeah, and I really like it because I’ve really found – especially a lot the posters that represent the characters for the past films to be really bad. Just in general, they look dumb. I don’t like them.

Andrew: What?

Matt: Don’t sugar coat it or anything Laura.

Laura: No, I mean they look – I don’t know. I feel like the characters almost look emo in a lot of the posters. Its always the same pose, and always Hermione wearing designer clothes, and I’m sick of it. I’m glad to see something that’s actually important.

Ben: Okay, Andrew, he gave me a Half Blood Prince poster for my apartment thats like giant. It’s like huge and it’s of Hermione and Slughorn, okay? Slughorn has the creepiest one eyebrow raised look on his face, and I do not want to know what was going through his head at the time, but it is rather disturbing and – W.B., they have these marketing people that they definitely thought that through. They choose very selectively who they put in those posters and that combination was no coincidence.

Andrew: I thought you were going to say like you took the poster and you put your head over top of Slughorn’s head.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: No. That’s a good idea, though. We should do that.

Andrew: But they are cool. I got those on eBay. They are like the bus shelter posters. You know, the ones that go on the bus shelters, so they’re huge. They’re like six feet tall. And I had three, Hermione, Harry, and Ron. They’re really cool and you can get them on eBay for like, twenty bucks. It’s a good deal. Totally worth it.

Ben: Why’d you get rid of them?

Andrew: Redecorating. [laughs] Getting ready for Deathly Hallows bus shelters.

Ben: My apartment is where stuff from Andrew’s apartment goes to die.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: No kidding.

Ben: I got his old roommates and I got his posters.


Andrew: And furniture, and anyway – something else we wanted to talk about today was Comic-Con. Everybody from the audience can totally see – look how much work we put in the show today! No, trust me, a lot more. This is just for you guys.

Ben: This is just symbols. It means a lot more.

Andrew: Before we move on, we’d like to remind everyone that this week’s episode of MuggleCast is brought to you by, the internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Best Sellers. For listeners of this podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their service. One audiobook to consider is Will Grayson, Will Grayson, the new book by John Green. He’s the author of Paper Towns and he’s a great young adult author. So for a free audiobook of your choice such as Will Grayson, Will Grayson, go to That’s

Andrew: So, Harry Potter at Comic-Con – it’s happening. Is anyone going to Comic-Con? Comic-Con is of course the big conference that goes on in San Diego every year. It’s huge – I mean, gigantic, and so many people show up. It’s actually outgrown the San Diego Convention Center, but so this year for the first time, Harry Potter‘s going to be there, fitting because the first film comes out in November, and so everyone was excited because we were like, “All right, maybe some cast will come out,” because at Comic-Con, cast will come out and reveal new clips. Well, the word gets out, and then Warner Bros. emails us and is like, “Sorry to inform you, but cast is totally not coming to the Comic-Con.”

Ben: Boo.

Andrew: So barring any major surprises, will they – I mean, it’s kind of a shame. I thought we should mention that because, you know, at Comic-Con, they are debuting new clips, which is very cool because we can’t wait to see those, but it’s a bit of a bummer because all of the movie panels there always have cast there, and it’s exciting to see them debut the clips, not Alan Horn, president of Warner Bros. – CEO of Warner Bros. going, “Here’s – check out these new clips, kids.” No, they want to see the actors do it. I want to see the actors do it.

Ben: Are you going to be at Comic-Con?

Andrew: Yes.

Ben: Awesome.

Andrew: To cover for you guys. You’re welcome. I’m traveling very far.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Just kidding.

Audience Member: All right – this might be kind of wrong…

Andrew: This might be kind of wrong, but…

Ben: I don’t think so, by the way.

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: Sorry. I was at Animal Kingdom, and I was trying to find out where to find some merchandise that I wanted to find and this guy told me, I don’t know whether it’s true or not, but there might be a few cast members coming. I can’t say which ones, but he said…

Andrew: Where? Animal Kingdom?

Audience Member: Yeah!

Andrew: In Disney?

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: Not necessarily there, but he said there might be some coming because he knew about Infinitus.

Andrew: Coming where?

Audience Member: I don’t know exactly, but he said that there would be some kind of cast members coming.

Andrew: Oh. Yeah, the surprise is out.

Eric: To here or to Comic-Con?

Andrew: Dan Radcliffe is right over there in the corner.

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: Sorry, that’s just what I heard.

Andrew: It’s all rumor. Yeah. But anyway, so – not much to talk about there, I just wanted to mention that, and it is kind of a bummer.

Eric: Oh, Andrew, that reminded me – the talk about that poster, there was another poster that came out about a week or so ago. Do you guys remember this?

Andrew: No. What?

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Eric: Dan Radcliffe on Broadway?

Andrew: Oh, yes, Eric, the play you were in that you can’t stop talking about!

[Audience and Matt laughs]

Andrew: So Dan is going to be in How to…what’s the name of the play?

Eric: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Andrew: Actually, this is perfect, because we’re in front of a live audience here, and Eric once played this role that Dan is going to play, so…

Matt: Oh, can you do a little…

Andrew: I feel like Eric should give us a preview of what we can expect from Dan.

Matt: Yeah, can you do a monologue?

[Audience cheers]

Eric: Well, basically Dan’s role – this guy’s name is J. Pierrepont Finch. He’s a window washer outside the World Wide Wicket company, a huge, huge building. And he’s walking along the street one day when he comes across this book stand where there’s this book, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” And he picks it up and he gives it the read through and it’s basically a satirical approach to – basically how to rise from the mail room to being the VP and even higher of a highly successful company. So he follows the book’s advice and sure enough he makes it very high up in the company. So, it’s a comedy. It’s very funny.

Andrew: Well, I wasn’t looking for summary. I was …

Eric: You were looking for – oh okay.

[Audience laughs]

Matt: Do it.

Eric: All right.

Andrew: Just give us a sample.

Eric: [singing] How to apply for a job. How to advance from the mail room.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: What?

Andrew: Go ahead.

Ben: Keep going!

[Audience laughs]

Eric: [singing] …petty friends. How to begin making contact – Yeah?

Andrew: Great job, Eric!

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Wow!

Ben: And for more visit Crown Scull dot com.

Eric: There’s more!

Matt: Oh there’s more.

Eric: [singing] This book is all that I need.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: [singing] How to, how to succeed!

Andrew: Wow! Oh man! Give me chills.

Ben: Eric Scull.

[Audience claps]

Andrew: [laughs] Ben Schoen is now going to duel with Eric Scull.

Ben: This is American Idol, folks.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Well, actually there was an interview a couple weeks ago – I think from the producer or director, somebody who was involved – and they said they were rehearsing with Dan, and he’s really, really good at singing it turns out.

Eric: And apparently in an American accent, I would hope.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Because it’s set in America.

Andrew: Yeah, I guess so. So that’s cool, and the first poster came out a couple – actually, it’s been on display here…

Eric: I love this.

Andrew: on the digital screens.

Matt: Does it look like…

Eric and


The Forty Year-Old Virgin?

Matt: Yeah.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, kind of.

Eric: It does. I thought it was that at first, and I was like “ugh.”

Andrew: It looks pretty happy… So now, let’s talk about the Wizarding World. Of course, we’re all here, pretty much, to check it out. Has everyone been?

[Audience responds]

Andrew: Yes, no? Who’s going tonight?

[Audience responds]

Andrew: Okay, lots of people. Quick plug, don’t forget, Three Broomsticks tonight around 11:15, 11:30, we’re doing a podcast there. It’ll be released online too, so if… [sniffs] Excuse me.

[Audience laughs]

Three Million Riders on Forbidden Journey

Andrew: I’m crying over it, I just can’t – so if you do, please do check it out, if you’re going tonight. We’re going to keep it relatively short, so that you can enjoy the party and the park. Anyway, one of the things that we want to talk about was that there’s been three million riders on Forbidden Journey already. And about two million breakdowns.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Actually, it broke down today, while I was on it today, Andrew.

Andrew: Really?

Eric: Yeah, for about 45 seconds actually.

Andrew: See? It just stops?

Eric: Yeah, it stopped and the movie was still going, but there was a voice, there was a female voice, it reminded me of the Ministry of Magic, like when you go in the telephone booth and there’s that nice, pleasant female voice who says…

Matt: Mafalda Hopkirk?

Eric: “Excuse me. Attention, riders, The Forbidden Journey has stopped, but don’t move because it could begin again any minute now!

[Audience and Matt laugh]

Matt: Don’t move, don’t even breathe!

Eric: And it was automated so she’s like, “Keep your hands and feet inside the ride.” And what happened was then, sure enough, the ride started to move again. I guess it was re-callibrating, figuring out where all the trains were.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Because it was the middle of the ride and then the video reset and we basically just lost ten seconds of ride, but everything else kept going.

Ben: Now I haven’t ridden it yet. Does Voldemort pop out of the wall at some point or no?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: He clutches you by the face.

Eric: Yeah.

Ben: Really?

Eric: Yeah.

Ben: Like, “Why do you live?”

Matt: Why do you ride?

Eric: Like three-quarters of the way in, you actually realize that Voldemort’s been sitting next to you the whole time.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: When I was on it, it broke down mid-clutch. I was like, “Stop it! Get off of me!” But, no, there is nothing like that, Ben.

Ben: Aw.

Andrew: But, see, this is why I don’t think I can ride anymore because I get very paranoid about stuff like that. And if it – this ride, it takes you – you’ll be almost upside-down at some points. I mean, you’ll be kind of on your back. It’s not like a roller coaster because you’re on this arm, you’re sitting up straight when you start. But then, say this is straight, it sort of goes up like this and twists in a million different directions. So if I broke down and I was hanging upside-down, I’d be like, “Wow.”

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Wouldn’t that be the perfect way to die though?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew and


On Forbidden Journey?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: That’s how I went out. At the Potter park.

Andrew: Yeah, I was like, “Wow! I didn’t realize this ride actually kills you.”

[Audience and Andrew laugh]

Andrew: So who’s – Eric, what did you think of the ride? Have we heard your thoughts on it yet? Do an overall review. Did you like it?

Eric: Yeah, I really liked the ride. I was only able to tour the queue when we did the preview…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …in March, and we didn’t go on the ride. But I got on the ride and I really liked it.

Andrew: Yeah. How about you, Micah?

Micah: Yeah. No, I really liked it. I actually struggled more with Flight of the Hippogriff than with…

[Audience laughs]

Micah: …Forbidden Journey.

Andrew: Okay, I can’t – he tells me this the other day. He’s like, “It’s so rickety.” I’m like, “What are you talking about?”

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I actually – I assumed it was going to be rickety and I rode it. First of all, it’s like ten seconds long. Second of all, it’s very smooth, I thought.

Micah: The Flight of the Hippogriff?

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: No way!

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Micah: No, but the Forbidden Journey was just amazing. I mean, the story doesn’t really flow very well. You’re kind of going from one scene to the next pretty fast. But I thought it was an amazing ride.

Andrew: Yeah, we talked about this on MuggleCast. It just moves so fast that you’re sort of just like, “Whoa! What’s going on?” So I assume that once you go on it more than once you get a better idea of what’s going on. And it’s also very loud, so it’s just like, “Aaah! Too much!”

Eric: I think a lot of it, too, is the story that they try and push before you get on the actual ride. And it’s interesting because the way they are dividing the line at the moment – because it’s big on crowd control – they want to only allow a certain amount of people into different sections at a time. It’s actually, I think, going a little too fast when you’re inside the castle and so a lot of the things that – like Dumbledore says, for instance. Dumbledore comes out and does his thing – it explains that you’re the first Muggles to be allowed into Hogwarts…

[Andrew mock gasps and laughs]

Eric: …in a while for a special thing. Also, there might be a dragon loose. And then you move into Defense Against the Dark Arts and the trio says, “let’s go on this thing,” and you go up to the common room. In the meantime you hit the four founders…

Matt: I don’t want to be fully spoiled, Eric.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Sorry, sorry. You’re right, you’re right, you’re right. I’m sorry. But basically there are the four founders of Hogwarts and later other…

[Andrew and the crowd laughs]

Ben: But that’s just Eric. Give the stuff from Part I

Eric: …other portraits that shan’t be named tell you the story of the ride. But actually once you get into the castle – the greenhouses right now, where a lot of the congestion is and they’re able to open up – once you get into the castle, you just walk right by all of the story. So I think a lot of confusion happens with that because a lot of the story is being pushed via the portraits that you meet along the way.

Andrew: Sorry, I was doing this silently. Did you have a question or a comment or something?

Confusion on the Rides

Audience Member: Yeah. I was actually talking to my parents because they actually went on the ride after I did and I realized that I missed kind of part of the ride. It was weird because I only went by myself and so they were like, “Go up these stairs,” and I was like, “Okay.” And so I went through the stairs and I didn’t experience all the other stuff that my parents apparently…

Andrew: Oh, so you went on the single riders.

Audience Member: Yeah. [laughs]

Andrew: Oh yeah, you missed the entire thing.

Audience Member: And I was like, “I was expecting to go through different areas of Hogwarts and everything.” And I was just like, “What’s going on?” And then the worst part is – I was thinking “This ride is going to be slow in the beginning,” and I would be able to take pictures. So I was holding my camera while I was in the ride and I was freaking out because I’m moving around and holding my camera…

Andrew: Yeah, it takes you everywhere.

[Audience member laughs]

Audience Member: Luckily I had the little brace on my camera while I was doing that, but I stopped the camera because I was recording while I was halfway…

Andrew: Oh, geez.

Audience Member: And then I stopped because I was like, “I don’t think I want to be recording while I’m screaming!” [laughs] So anyways, it was a fun ride and I really enjoyed it.

Andrew: Well, thank you. Yeah, when I went on it, I was clutching on for dear life. I was very, very scared.

Ben: How long is the ride?

Andrew: Well, that’s the other thing. It goes by very fast but – okay, again…

Eric: But not too fast.

Andrew: I was very scared. I was ready for it to be over one minute in. But I think four minutes maybe?

Eric: I think somebody said four minutes. I think that’s accurate. It’s not too short – it’s not like other roller coasters where you wait in line for an hour and a half and then it’ll be literally sixty seconds and you’ll be down. I think it’s a little bit longer than that, and it feels like a good pace, I think. It’s satisfying even after waiting an hour or so. The pace is just right.

Andrew: Yeah. Any other – anyone else in the audience have any thoughts about the park as a whole or any of the news stories we’ve been talking about lately? We’re not moving forward until someone does.

Eric: Hey, there’s a hand up back there.

Andrew: There we go.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Come on up.

[Eric sings “Come On Down” theme from The Price Is Right]

Andrew: Eric, sing us another song from the Broadway hit…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Hi, what’s your name?

Audience Member: Hey, I’m Katherine.

Andrew: Oh, Katherine.

Audience Member: Yeah…

Andrew: Sorry, I was trying to…

Store Disappointment

Audience Member: …it’s a stupid nickname on my name tag. I just wanted to say that I love the park as a whole, but I was really disappointed with both Zonko’s and with Honeydukes. I just thought that they could have done so much more with that stuff. They only thing they have in Zonko’s is a Fanged Frisbee and some little duck toy or something…

Eric: Duck on a Bike?

Audience Member: Yeah! Duck on a Bike, yeah.

Eric: Duck on a Bike…

Audience Member: I was like, “what the heck is this?” You know?

Eric: It’s Duck on a Bike!

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: Oh – oh right…

Andrew: Well, no – in fairness, they had a few more toys than that.

Eric: They did.

Audience Member: Yeah, I know, but it was really – I was expecting a really big place full of lots of crazy spinning things like they explain in the book, and it was like nothing…

Eric: I was…


Audience Member: It’s not Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, it’s Zonko’s.

Audience Member: True, that’s true.

Andrew: Ooh, she got you!

Matt: A Duck on a Bike – really?

Eric: Yeah, a Duck on a Bike.

Audience Member: It’s not Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, it is Zonko’s, but…

Matt: I missed that in the book.

Eric: Actually, I really did like Zonko’s. That’s where I got this shirt that says Felix Felicis on it.

Audience Member: They do have – that is a really cool shirt. I like that shirt.

Eric: It’s the only place that I saw that had that shirt. They also had – there’s a hair-changing comb…

Audience Member: Yeah, what’s up with that?

Eric: What it is is that it’s actually multi-colored. It lights up and flashes while you’re doing the thing, but the advertising on the boxes is you can supposedly disguise yourself like a Metamorhpagus, like that kind of thing.

Audience Member: Oh.

Matt: Does it change your hair?

Eric: It’s actually really cool looking.

Matt: It doesn’t change your hair though.

Eric: I think it’s really cool looking.

Andrew: How long is it…

Audience Member: Yeah. It’s like a regular brush.

Andrew: How long is it going to take for someone to sue Universal Studios for false advertising over that kind of thing?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: But they have whoopee cushions too, I noticed.

Eric: They had whoopee cushions, they had tongues, little inflatable tongues that you could blow up.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: They had screaming yo-yo’s.

Andrew: Yeah. It’s a gag shop. I mean, were there any items in the books that you were like, “Why isn’t that here?”

Audience Member: Nothing I could think of off the top of my head, I guess. I don’t know. Should I recheck my statement?

Andrew: Actually, I think the coolest part of these stores was actually just the detail around it. Not necessarily the products, but what you see up in the rafters. You know, just the color of the window, the window displays, the details. It was pretty amazing.

Micah: I was going to say that some of the more interesting ones are the ones that you can’t go into.

[Andrew and audience laugh]

Andrew: Yeah. Well, that’s for the second part when they add a new section to the Wizarding World.

Audience Member: Yeah, I agree. I totally wanted to go into some of the stores that were just like, “Oh, we’re closed for lunch.” And I’m like, “No, they’re closed forever. That’s terrible. They won’t let me go in.”

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: So that was kind of annoying, but I thought Zonko’s was pretty cool. I got a shirt that says Pygmy Puffs on it, so that was pretty cool. I was happy about that. And I really want to buy a Sneakoscope tonight, so I don’t know. But I really liked it. I thought that Honeydukes was cool but not as cool as it could have been. I was a little disappointed to see that they had normal Muggle candy because that made it a little cheesy to me or something. I kind of wanted it to have stuff from the books. I really did like the park overall. It was kind of crazy crowded yesterday, so it’s going to be really good to go at night and everything. And if you’re staying here, you can go at eight in the morning, which is really good because then there are lines to get into the stores. It’s so busy and hot and crazy, but it’s amazing.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Busy, hot, crazy, but amazing. That’s the show title. Get this guy right here? Yeah, come on up.

[Audience member laughs]

Andrew: What’s so funny over there?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Busy, hot, crazy, but amazing? [laughs] That’s what they describe Ben Schoen as sometimes.

[Audience laughs]

Audience Member: Hey guys. I want to say – I don’t know if you noticed, but at Honeydukes when they got the hologram of the four founders…

Eric: Yes.

Audience Member: When I found out that Ravenclaw had died and Helga Hufflepuff was holding the cup and Slytherin had the locket, I was like, “Wow! That’s pretty awesome.” And I freaked out – I was going like, “Is that a Horcrux?” And I don’t want to spoil you, but it is.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: And that was in the Dueling Dragons?

Audience Member: No, no, no – the Honeydukes window.

Eric: The shop window.

Andrew: Oh wow, yeah. I totally missed that. You were going to say something – what? Yeah.

Audience Member: Well, the pictures were in the Forbidden Journey, too.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s where I saw them. Okay.

Audience Member: Yeah, so you see all the Horcruxes inside the castle and Dumbledore has the ring on.

Andrew: Oh, what? Since when? That’s cool.

Ben: Ooh.

Eric: So maybe that’s their way of making up for the Horcruxes not being in the films. They’re going to put them in…

[Audience laughs]

Eric: “Here they are! They were at Hogwarts!”

Ben: Hey, on this day in Potter history – unless I’m mistaken, my memory fails me – July 16th, 2005 was when…

Andrew: Half-Blood Prince.

Ben:Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released. That was five years ago today.

Andrew: Aw, man! That’s…awww…

Ben: Awww….

Eric: Now that was the book…

Andrew: You guys!

Eric: …that was the book that launched MuggleCast. Because it was between….

Ben: Yeah, it happened right after that.

Eric: …right after that book it was one book to go and that was when all the theories really started taking shape because we found out about Horcruxes – or we had some vindication there.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: And I think from then on it was just crazy.

Andrew: Right – no, you’re absolutely right. And speaking of that, we’re actually celebrating our five-year anniversary this – next month, August – what, 5th? 5th. August 5th.

Ben: Oh man.

Andrew: Congratulations guys.

[Audience claps]

Andrew: Oh, thanks.

Ben: Andrew, Andrew, what are you going to get me for our anniversary?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I don’t know. I can’t think of anything funny, sorry. [laughs]

Ben: Aw.

Andrew: I’ll give you a hug. Yes, Eric has something to talk about, actually.

Infinitus Charity Auction

Eric: Yeah. Before we close up here because it is 5:30 – we do actually have to go – there’s another podcast tonight in the park – another MuggleCast inside the Three Broomsticks, I believe. There’s a charity auction here at Infinitus happening on Sunday immediately after the leaving feast. I don’t know if you guys have been to HPEF cons before, but they usually do this charity auction which is really awesome. Some unique items, some of them signed from different people, various actors across the fandom, and HPEF auctions that off for charity. And that’s actually taking place immediately after the leaving feast on Sunday, right across the hall in – I think room – Pacifica Rooms 6-11. And MuggleCast this year has decided to donate an item for the charity auction. What it is is a Quaffle from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. And it’s actually – it’s signed by all of us, it says “MuggleCast Infinitus 2010”, it’s got the Hogwarts crest on it – which they did, we didn’t do – and – because it’s cool, it’s a Quaffle – and it says “Thanks for listening.” So, this item, along with other items. There’s also another item with MuggleCast history in it, it’s a Harry Potter Scene It? game that was purchased the night of the first live MuggleCast, and we all signed that as well…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: …way back in 2005. So there are some items…

Andrew: Oh, really?

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Oh. Sorry, I didn’t know that.

Eric: Yeah, there are plenty of other items, really awesome. You can see it in the fandom museum as well, there’s a lot of items over there that are just really cool from across time and space…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Different Harry Potter

Andrew: Here at Infinitus, I threw a couple items in there, in the fandom museum. There’s a signed copy of U.K. Half-Blood Prince, actually – that’s kind of fitting for today – signed by J.K. Rowling, there’s something I may or not – may not have taken from a set that may or may not have been Harry Potter

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: …and there’s also some – there are some other cool thing in there, too – as well. And I swear to God, if anyone takes any of that – [whispers] I will kill you!

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: [laughs] And I just received an email from Warner Bros., and they are taking me to court, so that’s good.

Ben: Well, at least there’s no more sets to visit. Well, I mean…

Eric: Quick, Andrew. Sell the evidence.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] So anyway – okay, one more piece of feedback. Question or comment right up here. Hello, what’s your name?

Audience Member: I’m Margaret, and for Ben – speaking of charity, though – do you remember about two weeks back for the HPA live stream, how…

Ben: Yes.

Audience Member: …you were talking about…

Ben: Oh, no!

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Go ahead. Huh?

Audience Member: I think Andrew Slack has to shave your back…

Ben: Oh, no!

Audience Member: Because we got…

Ben: I just waxed my back, so he’s out of luck.

Audience Member: Face, then.

Ben: And my face – well, I actually…

Andrew: Oh!

Ben: The deal was I was going to take my shirt off, but then the Internet died, conveniently enough.

Andrew: Well you can do it here.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: No, not going to happen.

Andrew: Well I’m sure you and Andrew Slack can work something out real quick, because Andrew Slack is here as well. Not – no, no, not in the room, but…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] In this hotel somewhere. But anyway, guys, we do have to wrap it up because the Final Battle is starting soon. Are you guys going to see it?

[Some audience members cheer]

Eric: Yeah!

Andrew: Yeah, I’m actually really excited because everyone’s talking about it. It’s like the cool thing. So we’d be happy to meet everyone right after the show, or if you’re going to the Final Battle or do whatever you want, that’s fine too. Don’t forget, MuggleCast – if you’re going to the park thing, at 11:15-ish in the Three Broomsticks. So thanks everyone for coming out. Woo!

Eric: Bye!

[Audience cheers]

MuggleCast 203 Transcript (continued)

Live From The Three Broomsticks
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
Orlando, FL
July 16, 2010

Later that Evening: From The Three Broomsticks

Micah: Because we’re live from the Three Broomsticks in the Wizarding World, this is MuggleCast Episode 203 for July the 16th, 2010.

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: All right! Woo! Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for coming out. Welcome to, as Micah said, MuggleCast Episode 203. This is really special, this is really something. As we’re approaching our five-year anniversary, I sit here with my fellow MuggleCasters as one big happy family, and we’re doing it in the theme park. And it’s so cool. So thanks to everyone who came out tonight. One thing to begin the show – poor Elysa, Matt, and Laura – they haven’t sampled their first Butterbeers yet, so they’re going to do it now and I want to hear every last little lick from your mouths as you enjoy the frothy sugar.

Laura: All right, guys. Cheers!

Elysa: Cheers!

Matt: Cheers. Whoo!

Andrew: Go ahead. Taste it, and let us know what it taste like, of course. They’re tasting the brand new Butterbeer, here at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Matt just chugged the entire thing.

Laura: It’s really good.

Matt: Aah.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: How was it, Matt?

Matt: So good.

Andrew: So good. I’ve got to say – Ben, what did you think of this Butterbeer when you tried it?

Ben: It was delicious, yeah.

Andrew: Okay, it’s so good. So good. Does everyone like the Butterbeer here?

Audience Member: Yeah!

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: It’s pretty solid, right?

Laura: It’s really good!

Andrew: And Jo Rowling picked this one out herself, which is very cool. It’s very cool.

Laura: It’s so good.

Views on the Park

Andrew: So anyway, obviously we want to talk about the thoughts – everybody’s thoughts on the park. We’re going to spend about a half hour here, and then we’re going to let you go out into the party, because obviously everybody wants to join the party and get their dance on. Let’s see. Micah Tannenbaum. What did you think of this wonderful theme park here?

Micah: It’s really just amazing. I mean, everything from the Forbidden Journey, just being able to walk around Hogsmeade. It’s just unbelievable.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. And was everybody in the presentation just before?

Audience Member: Yeah!

Andrew: The best thing happened right before the presentation started, when Cedric was just down on the front level and – all right, all right, we’ll fix that in a sec. Could you get the audio guy and ask him to bump these up? They can’t – they can’t do that. I don’t think – we’re going to get it louder. But anyway, at the theater, before it starts, Cedric’s like, totally just chilling down there minding his own business, and the guy in the Voldemort costume comes out and starts dueling with him. And the audience goes crazy, and everybody’s just like, “Woo! Fight!” And then-then Harry comes into the picture and it’s a three-way duel, and it was so awesome. And then Voldemort died, and the crowd just erupted. It was just so cool to see and a complete testament to the Harry Potter fans. Yeah. Did anyone else see that? I was totally all over it. It was so awesome. Who else wants to talk about the park here, guys? I mean, come on. Give me something. Laura, let’s hear it from you. You’ve been going to Universal a lot, is this…

Laura: Yeah – whoa, that’s loud…

Andrew: Speak right into it.

Laura: So, basically every year I come to Universal Studios as sort of a family tradition with my mom, my brother, and my grandmother, so for the last couple of years I’ve sort of just been watching this slowly evolve and it’s been really cool. This past January I got to see Hogwarts Castle for the first time and I was like, “Wow, this is going to be incredible. I can’t wait to come here in July.” And this really is kind of like a dream come true, especially for fans like most of us here who have been reading these books since we were ten, eleven years old, and now all of the sudden it’s real, and you’re in the middle of it, and it’s not just a movie and a book anymore, you can actually experience it.

Andrew: Yeah. And, Ben, when you walked in – you just got here, you haven’t really been able to try out the rides or anything yet, have you?

Ben: No, not at all. Yeah, I walked in and I was just blown away, with the train and – yeah. It was cool.

Andrew: And you’re – you are one of those people who sweats a lot. Sorry, buddy.

Ben: Yeah, I do sweat an awful lot. I’m not sure how that relates to the Harry Potter park…

[Audience laughs]

Ben: …but yes, I do sweat a lot.

Andrew: It’s here in Orlando, and it’s very very hot. So, how about – Matt, Elysa, what do you guys have to say about this?

Matt: Well, I’m in the Three Broomsticks right now, what else can I say? It’s…

Andrew: Yeah, it’s surreal.

Matt: You’re listening to all the music from John Williams, you’re sitting drinking a Butterbeer, and you’re in one of the best scenes in the Harry Potter series. [sighs] It’s…

[Audience laughs]

Matt: You want to talk right now?

Andrew: Is everyone- I dared Ben to try and scale these elk antlers behind us…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Would you do it for us, Ben? When you – I’ll tell you when no Universal employees are looking. Go for it.

Ben: It will be the last thing I do. I doubt those could hold me.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: This – I like this Three Broomsticks area a lot, because it really – first of all, did anyone think it would be this big?

Audience Member: No.

Andrew: The Three Broomsticks?

Matt: No.

Andrew: It’s very – it’s a lot larger than you would have imagined.

Eric: And the other thing – everybody, if you could just take a moment and look up…

Andrew: Yeah, if you look up, it goes…

Matt: Wow.

Andrew: …pretty high up there, I mean, you see the stairs…

Eric: Thats crazy. Thats…

Matt: Wouldn’t it be awesome if they expanded this where you can actually check in and have a room? In the Three Broomsticks?

Andrew: That would be cool. Honestly, here’s what I think they’re going to do. They’re going to take that Sinbad – what is that? I’m just basking in the – oh never mind, I thought they turned the music off. I got very excited. The Lost Voyager area, I have a feeling that one day they may actually just expand the Harry Potter park out into that area, right? No offense, but everybody would rather go to more Harry Potter stuff than to actually enjoy the Sinbad stuff.

Matt: They’re just going to expand and the entire park is going to be the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is what they’re going to eventually do.

Andrew: Right. Yeah, sorry, we’re working on turning the volume up. So of the people in the back – we apologize for that. So right now, if we put – Elysa, anything else you would like to add about the theme park?

Elysa: Okay. My favorite part has got to be the snow and icicles, I think gives the best illusion that we’re not all dying from a collective and fatal heat stroke. But other than that, I mean, I haven’t really gotten to go on the rides or anything. But I just remember that I’ve been living in one perpetual rage that I didn’t get invited to Hogwarts, so for me this is just a dream come true just to be here, and I feel like I could be at peace, I have an inner zen now that I can actually see Hogwarts castle and be at the Three Broomsticks so I’m just excited to be here rides or no.

Matt: That’s so sweet. Like we all got our letters to Hogwarts and now we’re attending.

Andrew: Exactly. All right well thank you, Elysa.

Elysa: Super seniors.

Andrew: We’re going to switch out now. This gut back here, this is Ricky from and the reason we’re having him on is because he’s a total theme park expert. I mean he has been all over. Ricky, you run a theme park site called, correct?

Ricky: Sure.

Matt laughs

Andrew: Yeah, sorry, the mic cables…

Ricky: Playing musical chairs over here.

Andrew: …are totally short. So you run a theme park site called

Ricky: Yeah, exactly. Whoa, that was loud.

Andrew: And what…

[Ricky laughs]

Andrew: …can you tell us about – so you’ve been to pretty much every theme park ever imaginable right?

Ricky: Well I wouldn’t go that far, but definitely all the major ones here in Orlando as well as out in California, is where I focus.

Andrew: Right. So how do you think this compares?

Ricky: I think it’s really incredible. You know the amount of detail is what has struck me ever since I’ve come here now I don’t even know how many times. laughs I live half an hour from here, and it’s just the detail that has been put in to all the little shops and here in the Three Broomsticks and every time I’ve come here so far I’ve still noticed something that I’ve never seen before.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ricky: And it’s just that much immersion in to it.

Andrew: Would you say this is one of the coolest new lands you’ve seen added to a park?

Ricky: Yeah, absolutely. When I first walked in here I really thought, “This is what is now going to set the bar for the future of theme park entertainment.” You’ve talked about themed entertainment and immersive environments and all that, but I think this takes it to a whole new level. You know like we were just saying, we’re sitting here in the Three Broomsticks. This isn’t like a theme park version of the Three Broomsticks this is the Three Broomsticks.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And the best part is when you buy stuff here and then you go home and you check your bank account or your online banking and you see that there is a charge for five bucks at the Three Broomsticks. It’s like, yeah that’s cool!

[Ricky laughs]

Andrew: That for me, oddly, that was one of the things that really struck me. Like, “Wow, Dervish and Banges, yeah. I spent way too much money there.”

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: But at least it says I spent it there.

Ricky: I think one of the really interesting things is, and this came up in the presentation that we were just at, somebody asked, “Why aren’t there Harry Potter characters walking around. Why don’t we see Harry, Hermione, etc.?” And I think it’s really kind of a testament to J.K. Rowling’s really wanting to make this an authentic experience. Because if you were really in Hogsmeade village, you wouldn’t just see Harry Potter walking around. He’s at Hogwarts. He’s not – maybe occasionally you might, but they wanted to keep it that realistic. You’re only going to see these characters once, and you’re going to see them in Hogwarts.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And one of my favorite things is when the wizards and witches are walking around outside – I don’t know if they’re out there tonight, but they have been in the past. And when they’re walking around and if you have a wand and you point it at them, they will freak out. They basically act as if they really are in the Wizarding World, and I think that really completed the experience for me. And then if you talk to the Hogwarts conductor – and I talked about this on a recent episode of MuggleCast – if you talk to him, he will interact with you. And he knows so much about the books. And he will – if you take out your phone, he looks at your phone like it’s the most ridiculous thing he’s ever seen in his life. And he’s just – they are so in character here, and that was way – that really impressed me.

Ricky: Yeah, I hope the enthusiasm from the team members in the Wizarding World here continues as time goes on. I really hope that – because of the relationship of Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling, that the quality is upheld over time. Because in the past there have been instances of theme parks, kind of a new thing opens and it’s great at the beginning, and it kind of goes downhill from here. But I can’t see that happening. This is all about the detail, all about the experience, and if it stays like this and even maybe expands, like you were saying, in the Lost Continent area someday, it’s really going to be something that will draw visitors here for years and years to come.

Andrew: Do you think they will expand it? I mean, they have to, right? It’s…

Ricky: They’ve been working on this part of the project for so long, I bet they’re just so happy to have this open finally…

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Ricky: …and see the smiling faces, but for me, that Lost Continent area is so dead.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Ricky: I mean, you walk through that area of the park – the rest of the park is great, you’ve got Seuss and Marvel and all that, but you walk through Lost Continent and you’re just like, “What is this place?” [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Ricky: And then you come in here and it’s so much better.

Andrew: Yeah, the Universal reps are starting to usher us out because we started talking negatively about their park.

[Ricky laughs]

Andrew: Just kidding. But any other comments about the park? Not that we’re putting you on the spot here.

Ricky: I mean, I could talk endlessly about it. When I first came in here and started it all, I already did release a podcast of my own that was like a couple of hours long just going on and on and on.

Andrew: You had a couple of comments about Forbidden Journey and Eric wasn’t happy with your comments. This is Eric by the way.

[Ricky laughs]

Eric: Whoa whoa.

Andrew: He wasn’t happy about your – sorry, Eric. I had to do this.

Ricky: What did I say?

Andrew: Well you were saying about in the regards of the Forbidden Journey, I think maybe it was very fast and very rushed…

Ricky: Sure. Yeah I think my major complaint – it’s a great ride. It’s really a lot of fun and it certainly sets the bar for something new and different as a theme park experience. My biggest complaint for the Forbidden Journey attraction would be that it’s kind of just a montage, if you will, of Harry Potter experiences.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Ricky: And it’s not so much like a new story. I would expect with J.K. Rowling having put out such amazing books with such elaborate stories and immersive stories, that maybe she would have created and worked with Universal to create a new story for this attraction.

Andrew: Actually, that’s a good point. I mean what if J.K. Rowling was like, and Universal was like, “Let’s write a new story for this!” That would have been awesome.

Ricky: That’s what I was hoping just to see, a really new adventure with the group, but instead it was a reliving of kind of everybody’s favorite moments, or a lot of their favorite moments…

Andrew: Yeah.

Ricky: …from the past, and that’s great too.

Andrew: And that’s probably the next best thing you can do, right?

Ricky: Right.

Andrew: If you’re not going to write a new story, you can’t just pick one specific scene.

Ricky: Yeah.

Eric: Well, if you come up with the – if you go through the hassle of creating new creatures, you run the risk of people not understanding what they are.

Ricky: Very true.

Eric: I mean, if they haven’t seem them before, they don’t know what they’re looking at.

Ricky: And likewise, there are, amazingly, there are people who are going to come here never having seen a Harry Potter movie…

Eric: That’s also true.

Ricky: Never having read a book. I’ve been in the queue with people, and to be honest, don’t kill me, I had never seen a Harry Potter movie until like five months ago.

Eric: Ooh!

Andrew: The exit’s that way.

Ricky: Honestly, I’ve gotten really into it since then. I’ve watched all of the movies, and because of that I’ve really, really enjoyed being here and being immersed into those scenes and the ride has been such a treat.

Andrew: Eric, would you like to apologize to Ricky because he’s an awfully nice man.

Eric: Oh!

[Ricky laughs]

Andrew: You’ve been very rude to him.

Eric: He is a very nice man.

Ricky: Thank you.

Eric: He is a very nice man. I would also like to comment, I think I said on the previous podcast, I think a lot of the story that’s in Forbidden Journey is somehow lost on their current, the way they’re running the queue at the moment.

Ricky: Mhm.

Eric: Because there are the three separate rooms where there are – first of all, Dumbledore’s office where he invites you in, and then second with the trio, and on the way through the portrait gallery, finally, where there are portraits that are telling you the story of this missing dragon that’s…

Ricky: Right.

Eric: …somehow broken free, and I feel like a lot of the queue, the way they’re running the queue at Forbidden Journey during the day, a lot of it is focused in the greenhouse, and once you actually get indoor in Hogwarts, it runs by really fast.

Ricky: It does, yeah.

Eric: So you’re going through the chambers before you can actually get this story that they’ve actually worked to create.

Ricky: There’s a lot of attractions that were kind of use those pre-shows scenes and kind of put you in that room, make you watch a scene, move you to the next room, make you watch them.

Eric: Yeah.

Ricky: But since this is a continuously moving ride there’s no stop and start loading. The queue continuously moves as well so it’s kind of that tough thing that you might catch those lines as you’re walking by and you might get that glimpse of the story. If you don’t it’s not the end of the world, but it definitely enhances it if you really get the full knowledge from all those characters.

Eric: Yeah I feel like they should front-load the line as it were so that everybody can see what’s going on in the rooms in the middle of the queue.

Ricky: Well with that said I have to commend Universal’s team members for doing an amazing job loading this attraction. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an efficient loading pattern on a attraction like this where they’re just pumping through so many people.

Matt: Yeah.

Ricky: I believe they’re setting records for the number of guests they’re putting through this attraction. It really is impressive.

Andrew: All right. Well thank you, Ricky so much.

Ricky: Yeah thank you very much. And I want to say Andrew, thank you very much for linking to…

Andrew: No problem.

Ricky: …so many times over the last couple of weeks.

Andrew: Well you guys had really good coverage.

Ricky: Thank you.

Andrew: And I’m sure a lot of people saw it on MuggleNet.

Ricky: I hope so.

Andrew: You’re reviews, the construction updates, all that stuff.

Ricky: Right.

Andrew: So thank you, Ricky.

Ricky: Yeah thanks.

Andrew: No problem.

[Audience applauds]

A Rare MuggleCast Appearance for Emerson

Andrew: Round of applause for Mr. Ricky. And last but not least Mr. Emerson Spartz is going to come up here. Of course we all know Emerson. Are you going – go ahead – walk on up!

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Ladies and gentlemen Emerson Spartz! He’s so cute!

[A girl from the audience screams “I know!”]

Andrew: So…

Emerson: This is awkward. If I had to summarize my experience over the past day in the park – you know how Arthur Weasley looks at really boring, mundane Muggle objects with the most – the purest look of fascination?

Andrew: Right.

Emerson: And he’s just – never been more excited to know how electrical outlets work. I walk around this park and I looked at the chipped paint on the walls or the cobblestones in the road and I think, “Wow! It’s so magical!”

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: It is pretty detailed. So what did – did you hit up all the rides? Are you okay?

Emerson: [laughs] Yes.

Andrew: Did you hit up all the rides?

Emerson: I did, I did. And I have to say, despite the hodgepodge plot – [laughs] – despite the lack of plot of the Forbidden Journey ride, [screams] wow!

[Audience cheers]

Emerson: That was how excited I was.

[Audience laughs]

Emerson: It was – it kind of scared me, I don’t know. I’m not sure if I’m going to ride it again, especially when I hear it’s kind of breaking down a lot but that’s all right. I don’t know. It’s just crazy everywhere and I’m paranoid that I’m going to get stuck right on the – upside-down in exactly the right position.

Ben: Is this your first time at a theme park?

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I don’t go on roller coasters! I haven’t been on Dueling Dragons. I just – I don’t go for that. By the way I forgot to mention when Ricky was up here you guys were talking about the queue, I had a very – oh, look, there’s an owl flying in the – oh, that’s nice. There’s – it’s a bit odd, because it’s not daylight, but all right.

Audience Member: It’s a gigantic owl.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s a gigantic owl. I think it’s Hedwig coming back for revenge. But I had a very odd clash of pop culture phenomenons when I was in the queue at the grand opening and I see Joey Fatone walking up through the queue, and I’m like, “Oh, yeah, you’re from ‘N Sync and why are you not like Justin Timberlake or something? Why are you Joey Fatone here? I’d prefer a better ‘N Sync member.” Anyway, so let’s hear some other thoughts from the park about – let’s hear some other thoughts. Matthew?

Matt: I haven’t gone anywhere past this place yet, so this is as far as the park I’ve been to.

Andrew: Ah. How about some thoughts from the audience? Anybody want to come – oh, this girl right here, front and center. Here take this microphone. I command this microphone. Here you want to move – move over here.

More Audience Feedback

Audience Member: Okay.

Andrew: What’s up? What’s your name?

Audience Member: I’m Tessa.

Andrew: Hi, Tessa.

Audience Member: Well technically I haven’t been on the roller coasters yet, but I have been on them before when they were what they were before.

Andrew: Yeah.

Audience Member: When it was Lost Continent it was so boring and I hated Eighth Voyage of Sinbad so much.

Andrew: Yeah.

Audience Member: So – but I have been on the Forbidden Journey, and it was a long line in the greenhouse at least.

Andrew: Yeah.

Audience Member: But I did manage to hear most of the plot. So I was riding it and I had been on a ton of rides like that before. Like Disney and that kind of thing. This is the first one where I was screaming and got me really excited.

Andrew: Yeah.

Audience Member: Because they had every single monster that I am scared of, of the Harry Potter section.

Andrew: Yeah. The monsters some of them actually – to be honest I was a bit scared by – here could you hand me the mic?

Audience Member: Oh yeah sure.

Andrew: To be honest I was not impressed by the Death Eaters, I think it was? Or was it…

Audience Member: The Dementors!

Andrew: Dementors! I don’t know. What did you think of that Micah?

Micah: It – I think that there’s really – the things they could have done a little bit better of a job with was the Dementors. And the dragon was pretty scary, the spiders…

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Did you guys notice at one point they – when they do take your picture there are these ghosts that come up and there’s four of them and they – they’re your faces on the ghosts. Yeah, yeah.

Eric: Well that’s not creepy at all.

Andrew: No, no, they’re your faces. Yeah. I – you don’t notice it because again this ride is flying by so fast that you don’t really register it and I was – but I was looking at it funny. And I was like, “Who are they?” I had no idea. But yeah, it turns out it’s you so…

Audience Member: One thing I hate is that the spiders spit on you.

Andrew: Oh yeah, the spiders spit on you.

Audience Member: Ugh.

Matt: The spiders spit on you?

Andrew: Any other comments, guys? Any other…

Audience Member: Yeah, I’d like to…

Matt: I didn’t even know spiders could spit. That’s pretty interesting.

Audience Member: Oh yes they can.

Andrew: Take this microphone. Hi, what’s your name?

Audience Member: I’m Rachel. Yeah, I just got back from the Forbidden Journey. I hadn’t ridden it yet at all until just then.

Andrew: And so you just went in the queue?

Audience Member: Yeah, like I just got back.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Audience Member: I walked in late.

Andrew: What did you…

Audience Member: It was so awesome!

[Andrew laughs]

Audience Member: It was – I didn’t understand it – barely because it was just crazy.

Andrew: So, I guess people are loving it but they’re not understanding it.

Audience Member: Yeah.

Andrew: So what it is? Just seeing everything?

Audience Member: Yeah. I think…

Andrew: Because it’s just like a…

Audience Member: I think they had to do that because otherwise – I mean you’ve got to get the Dementors and all that stuff and one person is going to be like, “Oh, there weren’t any.” That kind of stuff. But it was really awesome.

Andrew: Exactly.

Audience Member: Oh my god!

Andrew: What else have you done?

Audience Member: Nothing. I think I walked into Honeydukes but then they made us go do the thing out there.

Andrew: Oh, yeah. Has anyone bought and Honeydukes’ merchandise yet?

Audience Member: Actually…

Andrew: It’s quite expensive, isn’t it?

Audience Member: Well, not technically because it’s not all trade mark, like the fudge flies.

Andrew: Yeah but the chocolate covered frogs are like ten bucks. It’s pretty expensive, but at least you get the wizard card with the hologram and the wizard on it. Here comes one more person. Here Eric, could you hand that microphone off to her. Hi, what’s your name?

Audience Member: I’m Sammy.

Andrew: Hi, Sammy.

Audience Member: Hi. So I went to…

Andrew: Just hold the mic a little bit closer to your mouth.

Audience Member: Okay. I can’t go on many rides because I get sick.

Andrew: Oh okay, me too!

Audience Member: And…

Andrew: But I did it anyway. You should do Forbidden Journey even if you get sick. You should do it just because it’s a Harry Potter ride. Go ahead, so what did you have to say?

Audience Member: So, I walked through the queue though and I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t get to see more just through walking through.

Andrew: Yeah.

Audience Member: And…

Andrew: Well, that’s the thing – the queue, if you don’t stay in your place at the queue you can’t really experience it because it’s kind of like videos, right?

Audience Member: Well, I got to – I went through a separate line.

Andrew: Oh, you went through the single rider’s line?

Audience Member: Yeah – through the…

[Another audience member says something unintelligible]

Audience Member: No, they just sent me through a line where I just went through – just a separate line like everything that the people who were on the – going – actually going on the ride saw.

Andrew: Yeah. So what did you think of it?

Audience Member: Well I thought everything was really cool especially the projections of Dumbledore and Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

Andrew: Yeah, the projections looked very real! It’s actually kind of crazy, and especially the portraits!

Audience Member: Yeah, when you move their eyes follow you and I have no idea how they did that.

Andrew: That is creepy. I think there’s real eyes behind there. They just work eighteen hours a day doing that.

Audience Member: And I tried the Chocolate Cauldrons at the…

Andrew: Honeydukes?

Audience Member: Yeah at Honeydukes and it’s really good. Especially the filling.

Andrew: Yeah they are good. All right, well thank you!

Audience Member: Thank you.

Andrew: Anyone – one last – okay, come on up here, last one? Then we’ll wrap it up, and then we’ll all go party in the park.

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Hi, what’s your name?

Audience Member: Hi, I’m Taylor. I just wanted to say when you’re in the Forbidden Journey line it’s so cool, but when you stop to look at something people get so pissed at you!

Andrew: Oh, really?

Audience Member: Yes! There was one group they were right behind us and they were just like, “Uh.”

Andrew: The comment was people get annoyed when you stop in line to go look at stuff?

Audience Member: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Audience Member: And I don’t understand it.

Andrew: Just be like, “You guys stop! Gosh, we’ve got to listen to Dumbledore, okay?”

Audience Member: Yeah, and then they want to just keep pushing you through and it’s okay, fine, if you want to walk past, okay that’s fine.

Andrew: I guess they’re also – it’s also very hot. So they’re…

Audience Member: It’s not too hot.

Andrew: Well not inside, but.

Audience Member: No, when you’re standing outside…

Andrew: It’s very hot.

Audience Member: …it was really hot.

Andrew: Yeah.

Audience Member: But once in it’s kind of cool. I guess the building…

Andrew: Right, the building is keeping them cool, yeah exactly. All right, well thank you.

Audience Member: Yeah and then also it’s not as intense as you think it is, the ride. Don’t get freaked out. You’re not moving too quickly. So I think that’s one of the biggest things…

Andrew: I got freaked out. You do move quick. Don’t fool them. I won’t fool you guys, trust me. It was really fast.

Audience Member: Okay, well I didn’t think it did, so.

Andrew: [laughs] All right, well thank you!

Audience Member: Thanks!

Show Close

Andrew: Hey guys, so like we said, we’re going to keep it a short show. We’re going to merge this actually with the one we did earlier today in the hotel. So thanks everyone so much for coming out, and we hope you enjoy the rest of the night here at the Wizarding World, and any closing thoughts? Anyone? Emerson? How detailed everything was? Micah, you were going to say something?

Micah: Go have fun!

Andrew: Go have fun!

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: All right. Bye bye. Thanks a lot.