MTV News recently brought you an interview with Universal president Mark Woodbury and art director Alan Gilmore about Universal’s newest attraction, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Those who looked closely at the video accompanying the article would have noticed that Woodbury and Gilmore are standing in one of the most iconic rooms in Hogwarts castle: Dumbledore’s office.
The interview took place inside the recreation of Hogwarts castle at the park, which houses Universal’s newest ride , Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Dumbledore’s office is one of the final rooms guests will walk through while they’re in line, and it’s also the first time fans will get a chance to “see” one of the characters in the film.
In Dumbledore’s office, on a second level behind where Dumbledore’s chair sits, a projection of Dumbledore (acted by Michael Gambon himself) will greet guests as they enter the castle. With the lighting dimmed just right, it will seem as though a real person is speaking to visitors.
The story line behind Forbidden Journey gives an explanation for why a bunch of tourists are being allowed into such a hallowed wizarding building. “It’s a very special day: Muggles are being allowed into Hogwarts for the first time,” Gilmore said. “Dumbledore is a little bit surprised when he meets you, but he still welcomes you and says, ‘Carry on, I want you to see more of my great, great castle.’ It’s really integral to the whole experience.”
While Gilmore describes the room as an “absolutely authentic recreation of Dumbledore’s office from the movies and books,” it is actually more accurate than what can be seen in the films. Dumbledore’s office in the previous movies has just been a variety of sets for filming, while this room had to be a complete recreation that allowed fans to get up close and personal with the props.
But Dumbledore’s office isn’t the only memorable Hogwarts room that fans will get a chance to see. Their journey will begin the caves below the castle and end at the Room of Requirement, with many stops along the way.
“We kind of cherry-picked the best elements of Hogwarts castle,” Gilmore explained. “We took some of the most iconic spaces — the green house, the portrait room, the Defense Against Dark Arts classroom and, of course, the Gryffindor common room, which really is Harry’s comfort zone. It’s a place where him and Hermione and Ron hang out and discuss their daily activities and you, as a guest, can come and experience that room as well. It’s a really, really great part of the whole overall experience.”
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