Thinkwell Group Congratulates Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter on the Successful Opening of its Largest Expansion to Date
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Thinkwell designed and produced the new Gringotts Wizarding Bank experience and new attraction hub working in close collaboration with the filmmakers of the Harry Potter film series.
LOS ANGELES, CA (April 30, 2019) – In ongoing collaboration with Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Thinkwell designed and produced the largest expansion at The Making of Harry Potter attraction since its opening in 2012. Thinkwell conceived and created the original experience and has been involved with the UK’s most successful attraction for every expansion since, including the addition of Platform 9 ¾, featuring the Hogwarts Express, in 2015 and the Forbidden Forest in 2017. This latest expansion includes the pristine Gringotts Wizarding Bank set as seen in the Harry Potter film series, a dynamic exhibition area, an exploratory vaults area, and an immersive surprise finale. In addition, Thinkwell developed and created the guest experience and media elements in the new, expansive central hub and entrance for the attraction, notably the massive “living mural.”
“Once again, Thinkwell is honored to have played an important role in the development, design, and production of new experiences at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London,” said Craig Hanna, Chief Creative Officer, Thinkwell Group. “Working with the Studio Tour team and the original filmmakers from the Harry Potter films is always an exciting experience. They challenge us to do our best work, and we are proud of how much visitors from all over the world love the experience.”
A new entry to the Tour is part of a 37,480 sq. ft. (3,482 sq./m) expansion that creates a more inviting arrival for guests with a new ticketing area, arrival hall, and entrance hub. In the new hub, guests are greeted by a massive 64 foot (19 m) long dragon, custom built by the filmmakers, suspended in the space. On either side of the dragon are two 135 foot (41 m) long photo murals that surround the lobby. With moving video backlighting and front mapped projected imagery, the living mural is slowly transformed with a 35-minute ambient and atmospheric series of magical media moments that reflect motifs and events from the Harry Potter film series.
“This expansion is our most ambitious addition since opening and the reaction from visitors has been fantastic. Gringotts certainly showcases the very best of filmmaking talent from the incredible set design to the beautifully crafted props. This extension, coupled with our new entrance and lobby, has taken to the Studio Tour to a new level of excellence,” commented Geoff Spooner, VP and General Manager, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.
The Gringotts Bank expansion is divided into six zones and is a seamless extension to the existing attraction. Guests exit out of the Creature Effects Area and into the new Gallery of Goblins, an area that highlights how the various Gringotts goblins were designed and created for the films. From there, guests move on to discover original models, designs, and inspiration for the making of Gringotts Bank and the vaults, and a variety of interactives and integrated media elements can be experienced throughout. Around the corner, visitors are amazed to find themselves in the pristine Gringotts Wizarding Bank set, one of the largest sets made for the films and now on display in the attraction.
After exploring the massive set, visitors move into the vaults area, where they see the Gringotts vault cart, the vault door, and further displays. Then visitors get a one of a kind photo opportunity in the Lestrange vault before moving onto the surprise finale, one of the most dynamic and immersive experiences in the attraction. Utilizing seamless custom computer animation, environmental effects, multichannel surround sound, and other elements, this surprise will be the capstone moment of a guests’ visit to the Gringotts expansion before returning to Diagon Alley.
In conjunction with the new guest arrival and entry areas, Thinkwell also created a 1,280 sq. ft. (390 sq./m) introductory experience for the attraction, including new exhibits, new media, and an entirely new 180-degree seamless projection preshow. Thinkwell conceived, designed, and produced all media for the expansion and Tour updates through Thinkwell Media.
Photos and media courtesy of Warner Bros. Studio Tour London