On Monday, Thierry Coup (vice president of creative development at Universal and head honcho of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) posted on his Twitter the first photo of Wizarding World’s Hogwarts Castle. In the picture, the castle looks massive and like it came right out from the set of the movies. But since we know looks can be deceiving (like Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World), we asked Coup today when we had a chance to talk to him some specifics about the structure.
“I can tell you when you stand in front of it, it appears to be about 700 feet tall. Truly, you cannot tell how big it is, it’s just impossible,” he said. “The castle itself, of course we couldn’t make it 700 feet tall, but it’s definitely about 15 stories tall. It just feels like it goes forever. It’s gigantic.”
While 150 feet isn’t nearly as tall as Hogwarts is depicted in the movies, turns out the castle technically is much bigger than the Hogwarts from the films.
“They actually use a fairly small model in the movies,” Coup said. “This is gigantic compared to what they use in the movies.”
But the exterior of the castle isn’t nearly as impressive as what the interior promises to be. The castle houses the ride Universal is being most hush-hush about: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. According to yesterday’s USA Today article, the ride “uses robotic arms to move passengers in various ways as they pass through scenes from the movies.”
Coup told us, however, that the waiting line for Forbidden Journey will offer as much excitement as the ride itself. When we asked him how young children would feel about some of the rides, he said even if they don’t want to ride Forbidden Journey, the walk through Hogwarts castle would be worth it because they would be able to “visit all the iconic rooms” described in the “Harry Potter” books and movies.
Since Universal has been working with the films’ production designer, Stuart Craig, and art director, Alan Gilmore, the rooms are supposed to be very accurate representations of the interior of Hogwarts — so much so that most of the props used in the rooms are the actual props from the films and are on lease from Warner Bros. Later releases from Universal will tell which rooms are going to be included in the castle — and whether actual actors will be recreating the scenes promised for the Forbidden Journey ride.