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Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts – Closed for Two (2) Days from February 25-26, 2015

One of our many visits to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley was on February 24-26, 2015.  Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts was open only on the first day of our visit, with 1.5 hour wait times in both the regular and Single Rider lines.  So much so, that they closed the Single Rider line as it was exceeding the regular wait time.  Having never seen the “extended” area of the ride, we took the time to wait, and take a few new photos of the extended queue area as well as some updated photos of the interior queue and pre-show.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts was completely closed for the next two days for “preventative maintenance” which we later found out was actually to repair a damaged portion of the screen from the climax scene of the ride.

While this information has not been confirmed officially by Universal, according to inside-sources, testing was being done on the ride Tuesday night, which is standard procedure. During the testing, an accident may have occurred during the climax scene… SPOILERS AHEAD: in which Harry, Ron and Hermione – with the help of the Ukranian Ironbelly dragon – rescue guests and pull them up from the caverns of the Gringotts vaults. During this effect, the ride vehicles launch forward through a cloud of steam just after KUKA arm (the same robotic arm that powers Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride) removes a portion of the screen in order to allow the vehicles to pass through. Apparently, that evening during testing, something prevented the screen from moving which resulted in a vehicle smashing into it.

As of February 27, 2015, the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride has safely re-opened.

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Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts – Extended Ride Queue Photos

One of our many visits to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley was on February 24-26, 2015.  Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts was open only on the first day of our visit, with 1.5 hour wait times in both the regular and Single Rider lines.  So much so, that they closed the Single Rider line as it was exceeding the regular wait time.  Having never seen the “extended” area of the ride, we took the time to wait, and take a few new photos of the extended queue area as well as some updated photos of the interior queue and pre-show.

Visit our full review from September 2014 of the queue and ride with extensive photo gallery

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts was completely closed for the next two days for “preventative maintenance” which we later found out was actually to repair a damaged portion of the screen from the climax scene of the ride.

Read our full article to learn more about what may have happened to instigate a 2 day closure of the ride.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley & London Embankment

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley opened officially on July 8, 2014 and features a variety of carefully recreated shops, restaurants and entertainment situated throughout Diagon Alley and the adjacent areas of Horizont Alley, Carkitt Market and Knockturn Alley.  The featured attraction is Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts – a multi-sensory, multi-dimensional journey that combines an indoor roller-coaster with a 3D dark ride themed around an incredible adventure  where riders navigate their way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults and encounter many familiar friends and foes.

After exploring the London Embankment – which includes a row of landmark building facades for King’s Cross Railway Station, Charing Cross Rd Sandringham Building (with Screed & Sons Bookshop), Leicester Square Underground Station (with “Record Shop”), Wyndham’s Theatre, Grimmauld Place, plus a courtyard featuring the Statue of Eros from Picadilly Circus and a full-sized replica of the Knight Bus from Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban – you walk “through” the secret brick wall and are instantly transported into Diagon Alley.  Everywhere, music from the films and thematic sound effects are playing, the air is “cooler”, it smells wonderful, and it is common to see adults and children alike moved to tears. There is literally magic happening everywhere – some ongoing as set pieces, some as performance art and some provoked by muggles, wizards and witches possessing the new interactive wands that enable spells to be cast upon specific magical objects throughout the area.

Below, are several photo galleries with detailed captions.

Visit our separate photo gallery featuring Diagon Alley at night!

Exteriors & Environment

London Embankment

Diagon Alley

Shops & Restaurants

The Leaky Cauldron
Step inside the famous Diagon Alley pub and fill up on traditional British food including cottage pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. And of course, you can enjoy a frothy Butterbeer.

Madam Malkin’s Robes For All Occasions
Shop for a variety of wizardwear such as a selection of authentic wizard’s robes, character costumes and more.

Eeylops Owl Emplorium

Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour
Guests looking for something on the sweeter side can visit this Diagon Alley ice-cream shop for frozen treats in interesting and unique flavors like strawberry and peanut-butter, Butterbeer and many others.

Quality Quidditch Supplies
Purchase your Quaffle balls, Quidditch brooms, Quidditch apparel and team souvenirs.

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes
Fred and George Weasleys’ colourful shop offers a cornucopia of magical jokes, tricks and toys including Pygmy Puffs, U-No-Poo, Skiving Snackboxes, and more.

Ollivanders Wand Shop
This is where young wizards come in search of their most essential wizarding supply: their wand. Inside, towering walls reveal thousands of wand boxes stacked to the ceiling. And inside each box, a wand is waiting to choose a wizard.

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Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts – Queue & Ride Photos

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley opened officially on July 8, 2014 and features a variety of carefully recreated shops, restaurants and entertainment situated throughout Diagon Alley and the adjacent areas of Horizont Alley, Carkitt Market and Knockturn Alley.  The featured attraction is Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts – a multi-sensory, multi-dimensional journey that combines an indoor roller-coaster with a 3D dark ride themed around an incredible adventure  where riders navigate their way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults and encounter many familiar friends and foes.   This familiar story is from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione con their way into Gringotts Bank to steal (and, ultimately, destroy) the Horcrux in Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault that holds one-eighth of evil Lord Voldemort’s soul.

The Queue

SPOILERS AHEAD:  After walking through Diagon Alley, you’ll witness an escaped Ukranian Ironbelly dragon perched atop Gringotts Bank exterior, which growls and snarls every 15-20 minutes before emitting a huge burst of flames from which the heat can be felt on the ground below.  The ride queue is an immersive visit to the infamous Wizarding Bank that takes you through the main lobby which is adorned with marble columns, glittering crystal chandeliers, domed atrium ceilings and features animatronic goblin tellers hard at work that interact with visitors while writing on parchment.

After passing the bank manager goblin, which also speaks to you directly and encourages you proceed, you arrive in a corridor of bank offices where an attendant takes your photo for your bank record (also used as a ride souvenir).  Then you head down the corridor to Bill Weasley’s office – Ron’s older brother – with whom visitors have an appointment to open a new account.  The pre-show scene inside Bill’s office features practical sets in front of a screen that creates a three-dimensional feel.  Domhnall Gleeson reprises his role as Bill, welcoming guests to Gringotts and setting up their tour of the vaults below.

After leaving Weasley’s office, guests board one of a pair of lifts for a 10 mile trip down into the Gringotts vaults.  The elevators feature shaking floors and guests witness the plummet through the glass ceiling (achieved by perfectly timed video effects). When the doors open, you walk down a hallway to retrieve your cart goggles and then up a spiral staircase to the loading platform to board the the twin, 12-person roller coaster trains.

The Ride

SPOILERS AHEAD: As you begin your tour, the thieves stealing the Horcrux have been detected and Gringotts’ security defenses are coming to life. Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) appears to curse the visitors as potential accomplices to the theft of her vault.  Bill is near, and saves the visitors with an “arresto momentum” spell that angles the track downward and releases the carts into a spiral through the vaults.

Then, the Gringott’s trolls attack, thinking you are the intruder, and they hurl your cart away and plunging down hundreds of feet on a waterfall toward the rapids at the very bottom of the caverns.  Bill casts a levitation spell to save you and then sends you off the the vault for safety.  Just then, the walls of the vault explode toward you, and the hissing of the snake Nagini warns the arrival of Bellatrix and “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).

Bellatrix curses the visitors away, careening into the next cavern.  But they arrive again, riding plumes of black smoke, to torture you to a fiery death.   Harry, Ron and Hermoine arrive atop thew Ukranian Ironbelly dragon which is directed to fend off Voldemort’s fireball. Hermoine throws a chain which is magically hitched to our carts, and the dragon flies the visitors up and out of the cavern to safety.  Bill greets you with his congratulations and another encouragement to open your account at Gringott’s – “The safest place on earth!”

Photo Gallery

Below, is our comprehensive photo gallery for Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts including 70 photos with detailed captions of the exterior approach through Diagon Alley, through the ride queue, into the ride vehicles, official Universal screenshots of the ride experience and the exit through Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment:

Press Images