In an extension of the ongoing partnership with Warner Bros. Entertainment and Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Thinkwell has returned to the world of Harry Potter to create a new immersive studio tour experience in Tokyo for the beloved IP. Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo – The Making of Harry Potter showcases the magic and artistry behind film production for fans around the world.
Working in close partnership with Warner Bros. and the original filmmakers who created the sets, props and costumes, Thinkwell led the design and production of the new attraction.
From the arrival exterior experience and the lobby’s seamless 270-degree, 80-meter wide 13K multi-projector screen with original animation, to engaging new interactives and stunning new galleries dedicated to the many filmmaking departments, the Tokyo Tour delivers a fan experience for the Harry Potter franchise like never before. Expected to welcome up to 9,000 visitors per day, the experience caters to local Japanese fans through custom media narrated by Kensho Ono, the Japanese dub voice of Harry Potter in the films, bilingual exhibit content with English, katakana, and kanji, plus localized food, merchandise options and more.
Thinkwell Media led the media development and production for all media throughout the Tour, with over 120 individual, original videos for a total of 195 pieces of content with a total runtime of almost 13 hours.
Thinkwell’s Montreal Studio crafted more than 10 immersive interactive exhibits that help seamlessly transport guests directly into the realm of the Wizarding World, including the Moving Stairs and Portraits interactive experience and the participatory audience-based Quidditch experience.
Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience is an outdoor, nighttime trail walk experience inspired by the iconic Forbidden Forest seen in the Harry Potter films. Guests will journey through an outdoor trail full of interactive surprises and illuminate some of their favourite Wizarding World moments as they come face to face with magical creatures and other enchanting forest wonders.
Thinkwell Group worked closely with Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment to bring this experience to life alongside UK partners, Unify, and ticketing/marketing partners, Fever.
The experience opened October 16th, 2021, and runs nightly on the grounds at Arley Hall & Gardens, a private estate in Cheshire, England.
Featuring more than 20 different moments of visitor engagement from classic scenes, creatures, and characters from the blockbuster Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, guests will explore the wooded trail for more than an hour of interactive enchantment.
- Encounter majestic Centaurs
- Cast a Patronus
- Pay their respects to a Hippogriff
- Cross paths with the infamous flying Anglia
- Discover a Niffler burrow
- And come across a variety of other surprises, from small to epic!
After their experience, guests can visit the Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience Village. There they can get savory, hearty British fare and sweets – including Butterbeer! – and warm up with house scarves, robes, wands and more in the Emporium.
Thinkwell designed and produced the all-new Welcome Center arrival and finale experiences at Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood. This new addition to the Tour reshapes the guest experience for both first-time and repeat visitors with all-new interactive, explorable zones.
Guests begin in the Storytelling Showcase, which welcomes and orients them to the Studio, its history, and its tremendous breadth of work in film and television. With an aerial view of the studio lot as a printed floor graphic and a replica of WB’s iconic water tower for a unique photo op, this space uses media, images, artifacts, and audio to highlight stories from the Warner family to Friends, and from animation to innovation. Guests then enjoy the tour’s signature preshow film in new state-of-the-art theaters before heading out to discover the secrets of the lot.
From the introduction of Warner Bros.’ history to then experiencing the scale of the lot and learning how the studio’s iconic shows and films are made, guests return for the new finale experience: Action and Magic Made Here. Divided into two major areas of Warner Bros.’ most popular film franchises—one dedicated to the heroes and villains of DC Comics and the other showcasing the magic of the Wizarding World—guests are immersed into iconic moments, sets, and artifacts from their favorite DC and Harry Potter films. From a recreation of Batman’s Batcave to vignettes of each Justice League member, the DC superheroes are brought to life with custom media and interactives, unique photo ops, and never-before-displayed film artifacts, including the Batwing. In the neighboring Wizarding World area, visitors can link their online accounts and be sorted into their house with the Sorting Hat, test their potion-making skills with interactive cauldrons, or explore Newt’s shed and the magical creatures from the Fantastic Beasts films.
From an arrival space that connects guests with Warner Bros. as the maker of their favorite IPs to a finale that lets them step fully into the action and magic of the movies, the new Studio Tour Welcome Center is a landmark addition to the world-class Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood experience. This was the first expansion to the Tour since Stage 48: From Script to Screen opened in 2015.
In ongoing collaboration with Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Thinkwell designed and produced the new Gringotts Wizarding Bank experiences and central entrance hub that are part of the largest expansion at the attraction since its opening in 2012.
The Gringotts Wizarding Bank expansion is divided into six zones and is a seamless extension to the existing attraction. Guests are able to discover original models, designs, and inspiration for the making of Gringotts Bank and the vaults, alongside a variety of interactives and integrated media elements. Visitors can experience the pristine Gringotts Wizarding Bank set for themselves, which is one of the largest sets made for the films and now permanently on display in the attraction.
In addition, a new entry to the Tour is part of a 37,480 sq. ft. (3,482 sq. m.) update that creates a more inviting arrival. Guests are greeted by a massive 64 foot (19 m) long dragon, custom built by the filmmakers, hovering in the entry space. Surrounding the dragon is a dynamic ‘living’ photo mural that features a series of magical media moments from the Harry Potter films.
The expansion also includes a 1,280 sq. ft. (390 sq./m) new introductory experience for the attraction, with new exhibits, new media, and an entirely new 180-degree seamless projection preshow.
Thinkwell conceived, designed, and planned the new expansion areas and produced all media in conjunction with Thinkwell Media.
Thinkwell was tasked with developing a new concept, design, and story for Magic Planet across multiple locations, and the Mall of Egypt’s Magic Planet is the first location to introduce Thinkwell’s new creative storyline and theme.
Magic Planet is the leading family entertainment center brand in the Middle East. This new design and site invites guests of all ages on an engaging experience that brings the dynamic story to life with fun characters, high-energy rides and games, interactive technologies, and immersive graphics that fill two floors. The interactive technologies and themed play spaces throughout the experience allow guests to chart their own galactic adventures with rides, games, activities, and characters.
The Snow Park at Ski Egypt – Africa’s first indoor skiing and snow park – was designed by Thinkwell, beginning with the creative vision, concept, and theme.
The Ski Egypt experience brings snow play to the forefront of the attraction, with a variety of activity-based adventure zones and play areas integrated into the 20,000 square meter space. A fun and playful combination of organic ice and snow structures are mixed with mechanical elements, like custom play structures, a themed train, and the central Tundra Towers, to bring the snow-covered themed environment to life.
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi’s largest and most innovative attraction, Batman: Knight Flight utilizes a next-generation robotic arm dark ride system (the first of its kind outside of Universal Entertainment theme parks) to take guests on a wild flight over the streets of Gotham. Combining integrated photoreal CGI media and stunning practical sets, effects, and animatronic figures, this state-of-the-art flight experience takes guests to new heights of immersive storytelling. Thinkwell provided concept design, schematic design, design development, in-field art direction and creative integration, IP management, production, media production, audio design, technical design, and onsite supervision for this blockbuster, one-of-a-kind attraction.
Stepping into Wayne Tech, guests are soon recruited by Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, for a special mission utilizing one of his company’s new “Drone Wing” crime-fighting aircraft. Once again the Joker has escaped from Arkham Asylum and is wreaking havoc on the streets of Gotham using some sort of suspicious “control device.” It’s up to guests to help Batman capture the Clown Prince of Crime and his merry coterie of supervillains, all of whom have a few diabolical tricks up their sleeves…
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