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June 18, 2010 10:22 AM   Subscribe

The long awaited Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened this morning at Universal's Islands of Adventure to much fanfare, including appearances by many of the movies' stars.

The Twitter feed documenting the crowds indicates a six hour wait to get into the area.

While some are heralding this as Universal's big break, others have concerns about the crowd control, and the reaction of ticket buyers who may be disappointed that this "theme park within a theme park" is small, crowded, and only has one new ride which may not be friendly to plus-sized riders.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (109 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
which may not be friendly to plus-sized riders.

Yeah, I'm not allowed in the Bugs Bunny Bounce House, either. It's almost like this ride based on children's entertainment wasn't designed for fully grown but developmentally stunted adults.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:33 AM on June 18, 2010 [13 favorites]


Finally renaissance fair nerds/larpers have employment opportunities.
posted by sexymofo at 10:36 AM on June 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I WANT TO GO TO THERE
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:37 AM on June 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ching, ching.
posted by ericb at 10:40 AM on June 18, 2010


When I lived in Florida, I always always always enjoyed Universal much more than any of the Disney parks. Not only were the rides just a little better, but the atmosphere was just a bit more real. If I'd actually lived in Orlando at the time, I would definitely have just got a yearly pass so I could go in there and hang out. Never felt that way about Disney.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:41 AM on June 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's almost like this ride based on children's entertainment wasn't designed for fully grown but developmentally stunted adults.

You can't ride if you're under 4 feet, either.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:41 AM on June 18, 2010


They're going to have to make very sure that they've cleared out everyone after hours because I've known people who would make it their life's goal to live there.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:45 AM on June 18, 2010


Does anyone know what the new ride actually is? The article linked above doesn't say much, other than that it involves robotic arms.
posted by emilyd22222 at 10:45 AM on June 18, 2010


@emilyd22222, it's a mix between a flight simulator, roller coaster, 4D show and hologram experience.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:47 AM on June 18, 2010


You can't ride if you're under 4 feet, either.

So you have to be someone who's of average height for a ten-year old of either sex, but not yet over 260 pounds. Correct me if I'm wrong, but to me that sounds like precisely Harry Potter's target demographic.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:48 AM on June 18, 2010


For those wondering, the first review of Butterbeer™ is positive.
posted by gimli at 10:52 AM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


They definitely need to have a hotel themed off the dorms in Harry Potter.

Because, you know... some folks are trying to have magical experiences up in there.
posted by yeloson at 10:52 AM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


@emilyd22222, this NYT review gives a bit more description (although not a total run-down).
posted by _Silky_ at 10:53 AM on June 18, 2010


ericb: "Ching, ching."

張秋
posted by The White Hat at 10:58 AM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just hope they got the vibration under control on this new ride... Forbidden Journey indeed.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:58 AM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


SLYTHERIN REPRESENT!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:03 AM on June 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


So you wait six hours just to get near the attractions? Two of which are just re-themed coasters? Really? Who are these people, and how do I get my hands into their wallets?
posted by uncleozzy at 11:07 AM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


man, how long is it going to be before all the crazy 7-hour-wait-to-get-in hubbub dies down (....and i can go...)
posted by raw sugar at 11:08 AM on June 18, 2010


I've never had a more miserable time in an amusement park, than the day I spent at Universal. They seem to have purposely designed it to make the thing as crowded as possible. And, with speakers seemingly placed every ten feet blasting endless "exciting" music, the place is BLOODY FUCKING LOUD!!!!

I had a headache within the first hour I stepped in and it wouldn't go away all day.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:08 AM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who are these people, and how do I get my hands into their wallets?

Muggles are particularly susceptible to the Expelliarmus disarming charm. Wallets just fly out of their pockets.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:12 AM on June 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does Rowling get a royalty for each ticket sold?

Because I hate to think of her facing financial insecurity in her old age.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:20 AM on June 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


Does anyone know what the new ride actually is? The article linked above doesn't say much, other than that it involves robotic arms.

It seems to me that tagging a theme park ride with "Harry Potter" and "robotic arms" can only mean some kind of flying broom/quidditch simulator in which the robot waves you around in the air while the scenery is projected on the walls.

That would also seem to tie in with the commercials I've seen for this in which two happy kids are flying on brooms and get chased by a Dragon and fly with Harry.
posted by Naberius at 11:20 AM on June 18, 2010


man, how long is it going to be before all the crazy 7-hour-wait-to-get-in hubbub dies down (....and i can go...)

Undercover tourist claims Friday, Saturday and Sunday are good for Universal Studios, but I don't trust that. I'd suggest wait until fall, and if it's open, New Years Day. I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain (roller coaster park in California) some years back, and there were no lines anywhere. Even on the busiest ride, we got off and ran back through the empty lanes and waited one or two cars for an open seat. I think Fathers Day was/is also a good day, but I could be wrong.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:21 AM on June 18, 2010


I have friends going this weekend, and I think they're crazy. As natives, they should know better than to go to a theme park in peak season, much less the grand opening at a park that has a history of buggy rides. (Did Jaws ever work? I've never heard a story of that ride going without a hitch...)

Some of the interns in my office work at the park and have been telling us how concerned some of the shopkeepers are -- the body heat from guests during the soft opening was so intense (the shops are rather small) that confections were starting to wilt. One can only imagine how it will be this weekend.
posted by Wossname at 11:22 AM on June 18, 2010


it's a mix between a flight simulator, roller coaster, 4D show and hologram experience.

Wait, 4D? Oh, 3D plus physical effects. Right. Not to be confused with the fourth dimension of time or mind-bending concepts of a three-dimensional form that is rotated onto its mirror-image.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:26 AM on June 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm at Universal right now, and we have seen the line and opted out. The rest of the park is woefully understaffed and there is just a general air of confusion. My husband, who is s bit of a theme park scholar said that Universal got people to come, which was a higher priority than giving people the best experience once they were there, which is bow you know you're not at Disney. In the meantime we are waiting to ride Spiderman and will come back for Harry another day this week!
posted by Biblio at 11:30 AM on June 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


An alcoholic version of Butterbeer would probably be enough to convince me to visit. Alas.
posted by oinopaponton at 11:30 AM on June 18, 2010


"in which the robot waves you around in the air while the scenery is projected on the walls."
Yup, that describes most of the rides at Universal.
posted by amethysts at 11:31 AM on June 18, 2010


Does Rowling get a royalty for each ticket sold?

I don't know ... but if I were to make a guess ... she has her own company that licenses the IP to Universal, Warner Bros, EA, etc, for various purposes (movies, toys, games, etc), and does so in exchange for revenue royalties.

So ... yeah ... you could say she gets a piece of every ticket sold (and every toy, every game, etc), although it's likely not specifically enumerated out to that level of detail.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:33 AM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's no possible way this can live up to people's expectations, mine included. It's going to be too small and generally underwhelming.

A perfect Harry Potter park would have a full-sized Hogwarts (completely explorable, oh, and it's a hotel) and Diagon Alley and the Ministry of Magic, and you have to get there by train, and they have trained owls that deliver mail. You'd get sorted by an actual, working Sorting Hat. There's a Quidditch ride and a Goblet of Fire ride and a Chamber of Secrets ride, and other rides I can't imagine. You can buy butterbeer and wands and broomsticks and robes (dress robes, too) and candy and other misc. wizarding items. Want to visit the Shrieking Shack? Go right ahead. Take a tour of Azkaban? Sure thing. They'd host dances and bands and sporting events. You'd eat dinner in the Great Hall. The staircases in Hogwarts actually move, and the paintings talk, and the rooms have passwords. You can take classes like Divination or Defense Against the Dark Arts. They'd have special occasions when actors from the films would reprise their roles in real life.

tl;dr: My dreams will never come true.
posted by reductiondesign at 11:39 AM on June 18, 2010 [34 favorites]


I wish they would make a full-sized Starwars theme park.
posted by cell divide at 11:41 AM on June 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wish they would make a full-sized Starwars theme park.

...so, an entire universe, basically?
posted by elizardbits at 11:44 AM on June 18, 2010


I wish they would make a full-sized Starwars theme park.

I just figured out what we need to do with Mars.
posted by reductiondesign at 11:49 AM on June 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


Other theme parks in need of a home:

The Shining - Hotel
Cujo - Farm Animals/Petting Zoo
Old Yeller- Animal Rescue Park (rescue them OR ELSE)
Dawn of the Dead- Mall
Brokeback Mountain - your guess is as good as mine
posted by HuronBob at 11:52 AM on June 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


A perfect Harry Potter park would have ...

There was a rumor that several years ago, when Disney was negotiating for the theme park rights, that Rowling presented potential licensors with what her vision of a Harry Potter themepark would be.

It was beyond extravagant. There was no front entrance, in the manner of how we expect a theme park entrance. Instead, each party of guests would be greeted at the front door and escorted through a mock-up of The Leaky Cauldron, whereupon the park host would tap the magic brick in the back wall, opening the door to Diagon Alley.

That was just the entrance. The document then went on to describe all sorts of wonderful ideas. Wonderfully expensive ideas.

Rumor had it that Disney read it, figured the ticket price would have to be $500 per person, and passed.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:52 AM on June 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


Wait, 4D? Oh, 3D plus physical effects. Right. Not to be confused with the fourth dimension of time

Well, I suppose if you're considering time to be a fourth dimension, then 4D would be accurate. Otherwise it might as well just be an attraction called stasis booth.

(I get pissy too when attractions book themselves as 4D.)
posted by Avelwood at 11:52 AM on June 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


...so, an entire universe, basically?

Well, they do call themselves Universal.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 11:52 AM on June 18, 2010


Look at these lines. That's nuts. Even if it was a full-sized theme park in its own right, as reductiondesign suggests, it wouldn't be worth waiting for that.
posted by nushustu at 11:53 AM on June 18, 2010


They should've hired Harry and the Potters to play for the line.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:54 AM on June 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


There was a rumor that several years ago...

You've just made me lose faith in everything. That's exactly what it should have been.
posted by reductiondesign at 11:54 AM on June 18, 2010


They should've hired Harry and the Potters to play for the line.


There's also Draco and the Malfoys, Hermione Crookshanks, The Whomping Willows, The Remus Lupins, ect.ect. ect.

It's a whole genre of music called "Wizard Rock".
posted by From the Fortress at 12:11 PM on June 18, 2010


All employees should look like house elves.
posted by Cranberry at 12:16 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


All employees should look like house elves.

Uncle Tom Bombadil
posted by Babblesort at 12:27 PM on June 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan (have only read the first two), but I love rich fantasy settings and Medieval Times and RenFests and things, and had hoped to be able to go to this before moving from Florida in about a month. Looking at those lines--especially in light of how awful the weather's been in Central Florida (horrendously muggy days and tremendously stormy afternoons)--I'm thinking not.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:40 PM on June 18, 2010


Yeah, so I work there (seasonally). I've spent the past couple of weeks perfecting my invisibility cloak, hoping that my supervisors would forget my existence. I haven't the ability to say "No" when asked to pick up a shift. It worked, I'm not there today, thank god.

Hogsmead looks amazing, the theming is incredible. It is a small area of the park, so huge crowds are going to be a problem with traffic flow. It is a place where people are going to just stop in their tracks and block the paths.

I probably won't even try to go there for a few months, sneak in at opening on a weekday sometime after school is back in.
posted by Jazz Hands at 12:41 PM on June 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


yeah, the theming is absolutely amazing but it is one tiny area inside the Islands of Adventure theme park. That being said, Universal was very smart about expanding other attractions both at IOA and Universal Studios (the new Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster, the new Simpsons ride, etc.) to try to help take up some of the overflow. Even so, you couldn't pay me enough to be in that park today, and I'm a guy who is completely unfazed by crowded theme parks and long lines.
posted by Lokheed at 1:05 PM on June 18, 2010


So let me get this straight, these rides they vibrate?
posted by jeremias at 1:15 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


You'd get sorted by an actual, working Sorting Hat.

Unless there's a way for parents to seed the "right" house to the hat operator person beforehand, that sounds like a really good way to alienate a lot of hopeful kids who didn't get picked for the right house.
posted by Evilspork at 1:21 PM on June 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Unless there's a way for parents to seed the "right" house to the hat operator person beforehand, that sounds like a really good way to alienate a lot of hopeful kids who didn't get picked for the right house.

Just one of many reasons that a true Harry Potter park can never be.
posted by reductiondesign at 1:30 PM on June 18, 2010


It's almost like this ride based on children's entertainment wasn't designed for fully grown but developmentally stunted adults.

My husband's too big (tall and broad in chest even if he were thin) to ride many standard amusement park rides, particularly those with shoulder harnesses, like all the hanging coasters. It's put a huge damper on our amusement park fun. Even my ex, who wasn't that tall (6'1") was too big for some nominally adult rides. The problem isn't that the rides are designed for little kids, it's that they're designed for a limited group of adults.

I'd love to go, but preferably a couple of summers from now, after all the hoopla from the movies has died down.
posted by immlass at 1:31 PM on June 18, 2010


An alcoholic version of Butterbeer would probably be enough to convince me to visit. Alas.

And just to let you all learn from my experience and save you a lot of trouble: you cannot make Butterbeer using what would seem to be a very obvious recipe.
posted by CaseyB at 2:07 PM on June 18, 2010 [13 favorites]


Unless there's a way for parents to seed the "right" house to the hat operator person beforehand, that sounds like a really good way to alienate a lot of hopeful kids who didn't get picked for the right house.

The kids who get chosen for Ravenclaw don't get to go on any rides or have any adventures. They must sit quitetly out of sight and do homework.
posted by Widepath at 2:09 PM on June 18, 2010 [12 favorites]


Ravenclaw is the most bad-ass sounding of all the houses though.
posted by Mister_A at 2:12 PM on June 18, 2010


Nah, Ravenclaw's the "clever" house. Hufflepuff is the"other" house. It's where the wizard equivalent of middle managers come from.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:18 PM on June 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Other theme parks in need of a home:

The Shining - Hotel
Cujo - Farm Animals/Petting Zoo
Old Yeller- Animal Rescue Park (rescue them OR ELSE)
Dawn of the Dead- Mall
Brokeback Mountain - your guess is as good as mine


Don't waste your time on Proustland. The crowds are strange, the memories bittersweet and by the time you get to the damn cookie, it's stale.
posted by thivaia at 2:18 PM on June 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


This ride, it vibr—DAMMIT!
posted by Sys Rq at 2:32 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's a question I've always had but never been in a situation (casual chatting with a whole room of Harry Potter fans) where I could ask it.

Preface: I read half the first book - wandered away and then it was this huge thing and I saw maybe 3 of the movies so far sooooo-


What do the Wizards do?

I get that there is this world that runs parallel and unseen to our own where there is Magic and magic schools and an entire other economy and social structure to serve this world and it's Wizards ...but to what end? What happens after graduation, so to speak, why train wizards at all? It's it just to keep a running squad of Good Guys around in case of magical attack or Dark Evil Magic like they're the Green Lantern Corps or ...what? Is it purely academic? Is Hogworths like going to Oxford and once you're in and you're set for life to do whatever you want or?
posted by The Whelk at 2:32 PM on June 18, 2010


Unless there's a way for parents to seed the "right" house to the hat operator person beforehand, that sounds like a really good way to alienate a lot of hopeful kids who didn't get picked for the right house.


Now I'm imagining helicopter wizard parents having histrionics in Dumbledore's office, wondering if he couldn't perhaps suggest to the hat that their gifted child belongs in Griffyndor.
posted by yellowbinder at 2:34 PM on June 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Somebody should open a theme park with a bunch of isolated mini-parks inside it, which guests are randomly assigned to for the day when they enter. Some of the mini-parks would be awesome, with roller coasters and robot arms and "4D experiences." Some would be less awesome, with worn-out carnival games and bumper cars. Some would be nothing but dissonant bagpipe concerts and sing-alongs with generic costumed characters. Assignments would happen for individuals, so most families would be separated after entering. Also, one lucky guest would be chosen each day for a special mini-park all to him/herself, with the absolute best stuff of all (with no lines) plus a cash prize of $10,000. One not-so-lucky guest would spend the day swatting mosquitos in mud pits in the hot Florida sun.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:35 PM on June 18, 2010


The Winsome Parker Lewis


And we'll call it . . . . The Immigrant Experience!
posted by The Whelk at 2:38 PM on June 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Only if it takes six years and $15,000 in legal and filings to get into the park, or alternately a dangerous swim across a moat patrolled by heavily armed guards. Actually that would be a pretty cool park too.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:40 PM on June 18, 2010


...but to what end? What happens after graduation, so to speak, why train wizards at all?

As far as I could ever tell (I only read the first five books), the wizard parallel society exists to allow wizards to live openly apart from "Muggle" society, without being in conflict with the latter. Without Hogwarts et al, wizards wouldn't disappear, they'd just be untrained and stuck in Muggle society, causing problems.
posted by AdamCSnider at 2:52 PM on June 18, 2010


I get that there is this world that runs parallel and unseen to our own where there is Magic and magic schools and an entire other economy and social structure to serve this world and it's Wizards ...but to what end?

Because magic is awesome and using it is way more fun than being a normal person? Seriously, if you could do all these amazing things (and people don't need wands for magic, it just helps) you would want to get together with other people like you and do awesome things together. The only reason it's hidden is because normal people couldn't deal with it. (see: witch burnings.)

The wizards need hardly any technology. Instead of flying to someone's house you can just magically appear yourself there. Instead of going to the dentist or doctor you can have someone magic your teeth or bones. The society's convenient enough that it's worth sustaining, but it requires some training.

There are also dragons and evil wizards and curses and all that that wizards need to take care of, too. Good stuff.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:26 PM on June 18, 2010


In related news: Radcliffe ‘weeping like a baby’ at Potter’s end.

Video: What am I going to do now?
posted by ericb at 3:53 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


My impression from watching the movies was that half of the wizards worked at the ministry, some worked at the prison, some worked at the school, and some worked in the shops. Just like in real life!

I've also wondered if wizards got Masters' and PhD's and teaching certificates. Actually I was first wondering if there were grad students at Hogwart's or if they went somewhere else. This was during my grad school graduation a couple of weeks ago. It was boring and everyone was wearing academic robes so there you are.
posted by amethysts at 4:04 PM on June 18, 2010


The books also never really explained why some wizards could get along in Muggle society and why some could not. There was some hand-waving about it being such a separate culture that wizards are essentially cultural aliens sharing the planet with Muggles, but I can imagine there was something baked into their brains/DNA/pureblood that made them mentally inflexible.

Also, Hogwarts is like teaching English to an English-speaker. Sure, you speak the language already, but do you really know how to use the language?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:25 PM on June 18, 2010


My brain is muddled and full of fanon, but there are various interviews with Rowling where people have asked her what the characters did after the books. They range from becoming aurors (which is sort of like magical FBI agents) to "normal" stuff like lawyers, healers (doctors), running retail businesses catering to the magical population's wants, all the way to wandering the world and doing research about never before discovered magical species in the wild. There's a wizarding newspaper with reporters, photographers, and so-on, there are homemakers and sports stars, wizarding rock bands, people who work complex magical security for the goblin banks, and, of course, all of the employees of the Ministry of Magic. Since the magical population is only a tiny fraction of the whole world, and much of the gruntwork and undesirable labor can be handled through judicious application of magic, it's kind of like an entire culture of white collar people, with a few aristocratic inbred families holding a lot of hoarded wealth. One gets the impression, at least by the last book, that this is a change from only about 40 years prior, when there was a greater divide in standard of living between aristocratic wizards and the rest of them.

Oh god, I could go on about this for hours. What is my life??

Anyway, as for the theme park, I desperately want to go, but only in the off-season. I'd like to be able to walk around wearing a homemade House Sparklypoo scarf in comfort.
posted by Mizu at 4:35 PM on June 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


The books also never really explained why some wizards could get along in Muggle society and why some could not. There was some hand-waving about it being such a separate culture that wizards are essentially cultural aliens sharing the planet with Muggles, but I can imagine there was something baked into their brains/DNA/pureblood that made them mentally inflexible.

I always thought it was just a matter of some wizards hating the muggles or half-bloods. It's not a matter of they literally couldn't, but rather they would choose to enslave muggles before working for/with them. Remember how Draco et al always made fun on the non pure breds?
posted by jmd82 at 4:43 PM on June 18, 2010


There's the culturally ingrained sense of uniqueness and specialness that wizards grow up with, but there's also a serious imperative for the magical population to keep themselves secret. I forget the official timeline, but there was a statute of secrecy declared a few hundred years in the past, implying that for the majority of human history, wizards and muggles did integrate, perhaps with often dangerous results. In the second book of the series, it's really established how dangerous it is for wizards to be seen doing magic. There are all sorts of rules and regulations about it; you can get thrown into jail or otherwise penalized and fined.

Magic is presented as a metaphor for various abilities, but mostly it's like another limb or sensory apparatus. If you're used to hearing sound, it's quite difficult to suddenly immerse yourself in a culture where nobody can hear. You can learn to handle it, but you have to learn things like signing (in a wizard's case, how a lot of technology works and its associated terms), centuries of culture and different social cues, and so-on. The difference is, a hearing person isn't threatened with imprisonment, loss of employment, or expulsion if they're caught listening to music.

That metaphor got really hamfisted there at the end, but that's the best way I've managed to explain it to fellow nerds who spent more time in the 90s obsessing over Buffy instead.
posted by Mizu at 5:00 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but it's more than that, to the point where some Wizards (e.g. the Weasley father) could barely dress themselves sufficiently to pass among Muggles as "normal." Kingsley Shacklebolt was assigned to protect the British Prime Minister precisely because of his skill in passing for a Muggle and not attracting attention to himself.

So, yeah, that homeless guy on the corner dressed in rags pushing a shopping cart? Wizard.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:01 PM on June 18, 2010


So, yeah, that homeless guy on the corner dressed in rags pushing a shopping cart? Wizard.

You mean he's telling the truth???
posted by Sys Rq at 5:15 PM on June 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't know, Cool Papa Bell. Humans are remarkably diverse. Have you seen Two Kenyan Guys? It's a slickly produced tv show with educated, enthusiastic, curious people, and their lives are so incredibly different from a typical North American's that it makes the homeless raggedy guy on the corner fit right in with me. People who spend their whole lives in a small, secretive subculture are similarly strange to a "normal" person. Think about the Amish and their tribulations during Rumspringa, or heck, when a Harvard legacy kid shows up in Southie. The Harry Potter books rely on a lot of hyperbole, but it's not all that much of a stretch.
posted by Mizu at 5:26 PM on June 18, 2010


My husband, who is s bit of a theme park scholar said that Universal got people to come, which was a higher priority than giving people the best experience once they were there, which is bow you know you're not at Disney.

Have you been to Disney lately? Because we went there over Spring Break, and even stayed at a Disney resort for the first time, and it was miserable.

The crowds were worse than I have ever seen anywhere, and I used to work at Busch Gardens, when the park could literally only hold 28,000 guests and would close down if it got to that point. Seemed like Disney had no concerns about over-crowding at all. After a parade, which we didn't choose to see, the people lining the main areas were packed so tightly together that we couldn't walk, even holding on to each other. We could hardly wade through the crowd. It was awful.

In Universal, I've seen it crowded, and of course this Harry Potter thing will drive it over the edge, but I never got the sense that I was unsafe or about to be trampled like I was in Disney.

With the exception of one after-hours night and one early-morning hour, which is only available to the resort guests, the lines at the Disney parks were hours long, and the "Express Pass" for most rides had you returning SIX TO EIGHT HOURS LATER. Which meant staying all day in the crowds and the heat for the unlucky people who couldn't park-hop (costs extra) or go back to the resort. Monorails are like subways in Tokyo now--they pile you in like sardines. Oh, and those extra hours for resort guests really didn't get us much. The evening hours were packed, and the parks only opened one hour earlier for us, so we only had a little time with "short" lines.

All this was at the beginning of our Spring Break, which was during an off-season "value period," not at the peak of the season, as our Spring Break is a week before Orlando's anyway.
posted by misha at 5:39 PM on June 18, 2010


It was a combination of cream soda, root beer topped with a special buttery, shortbreadish foam which really can't be replicated.

So a 50/50 mix of A&W root beer and creaming soda laced with diacetyl? I give Todd Wilbur til the end of the year to come out with a clone. An alcoholic version will be out about 30 seconds later.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:41 PM on June 18, 2010


Hrm...maybe it's not even that interesting: "butterbeer ($8.50 in a souvenir mug) ... is indistinguishable from a good-quality cream soda."
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:48 PM on June 18, 2010


Well, that would explain why children are permitted to drink it in the books.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:06 PM on June 18, 2010


. Since the magical population is only a tiny fraction of the whole world, and much of the gruntwork and undesirable labor can be handled through judicious application of magic, it's kind of like an entire culture of white collar people, with a few aristocratic inbred families holding a lot of hoarded wealth. One gets the impression, at least by the last book, that this is a change from only about 40 years prior, when there was a greater divide in standard of living between aristocratic wizards and the rest of them.

Huh. Interesting. Makes sense if there has to be a very clear and big separation between the Magical and Non-Magical Worlds, and with the threat of evil magic and dragons and the like, you'd want a stable population of skilled good guys keeping their skills up.

However, this would mean the majority of the Wizard population was born into that world and that world only? Cause of the aforementioned inability of Wizards to function in the Non_Magic world (I assume this goes both ways, like if you plucked your average person and dropped them into Hogwarts they'd go all screaming mad in a short time? The Amish analogy seems to fit) And very few Wizards are "called" into it from the outside? Cause that seems like a theme that comes around a bunch. Is that one of the reasons why Harry is special, cause he can deal with both worlds at once and (I think this was implied? I could be wrong) spent a long time being "normal" and was too old to join?

Interesting! I imagine this is the same look Jen got on her face when I was enthusiastically detailing the rules for Vampires in Buffy and the creepy Slayer Origin story. I am rarely, if ever, on her side of the conversation with these things, or like my SO when I was prepping him to watch an episode "Oh okay so she's a witch and he's cursed and she's secretly a bad guy-" he moaned and went "Oh god it's like watching Dallas with your mom."
posted by The Whelk at 7:17 PM on June 18, 2010


One of the key parts of a more... er... "mature" reading of the HP books is the understanding that Harry is not, in fact, inherently special at all. His ability to integrate between the two worlds of wizard and muggle is in no way unique. Hermione, his best female friend, is muggle-born, and her familiarity with the muggle world is key to the survival of the main characters in the last book. In fact, Harry's horrible treatment at the hands of his muggle relatives causes him to reject mundane cultural knowledge in many ways once he reaches a certain rebellious age (I'd say sometime around The Order of the Phoenix, so 15) and there are no implications that he ever returns to muggle society in the future.

There are lots of muggle-borns and wizards from half magical, half mundane families who attend Hogwarts and have similar experiences to Harry. One of his roommates, Dean, is half-muggle, and his status as "impure" causes him to go on the run in the last book, having an alluded-to harrowing adventure that echos Harry's trials in some interesting ways. The Big Moral of Harry Potter is that your choices make you special, not what you've been given or the skills that you are born with. So Harry, although he is thrust into having lots of expectations and a deathly enemy, chooses to make himself special. Voldemort, the Big Bad (to use Buffy terminology) makes the choice between having Harry Potter or Neville Longbottom as an enemy in the very beginning of the story. Neville chooses to make himself a hero as well, and so-on.

In interviews and during various bean-plating there has been implied by Rowling that there is a "magic gene" that is dominant. So, wizards are normally going to have baby wizards, but not always. This doesn't quite play out because the tendency for muggles to have baby wizards with absolutely no mysterious history of possible magical ancestors is portrayed as kind of high, and furthermore the whole magic-as-genetically-explained thing takes all the fun out of it.

Anyway, this is why I love Harry Potter. The books are not the most brilliantly written, but the bean-plating, oh, the bean-plating. The fandom is just insane about examining every possible aspect of the fictional world. If you're *really* interested in this sort of thing, you can quite easily google around for many, *many* essays and papers, written with scholarly diligence (complete with bibliographies) on practically any aspect of Harry Potter world-building that strikes your fancy.
posted by Mizu at 7:55 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


This doesn't quite play out because the tendency for muggles to have baby wizards with absolutely no mysterious history of possible magical ancestors is portrayed as kind of high, and furthermore the whole magic-as-genetically-explained thing takes all the fun out of it.

I can get it, it's a bit like being a Mutant in the X-Man universe, but if the world's are so separate, for whatever reason, doesn't that mean you have a lot of kids being taken out of homes and then never being allowed to see their mundane families again - which works for kids like Harry but not not everyone? Do people ever decide to stop being Wizards? Are mixed magical-mundane families just under an agreement that This Is What Happens if their kid gets all magic'ed up?
posted by The Whelk at 8:08 PM on June 18, 2010


Muggles who are In The Know about wizards can totally see their magical relatives! There's an agreement that you can't talk about it with other muggles. You can say "this is my cousin Hermione, her parents are dentists and she's a lawyer that fights for minority rights!" but you can't say "this is my cousin Hermione, her parents are dentists and she's a *magical* lawyer that fights for sentient magical creatures' rights!" to another muggle.

There are mixed marriages and the complete separation between wizard and muggle spaces is quite rare. The only town in all of England that is exclusively magical is Hogsmeade, the town right outside of Hogwarts. Most places that are magical are found wedged in between mundane places. Many magical places can't be noticed by muggles, until a wizard shows them. This is alluded to lots of times, and outright explained when places like Grimmauld Place (an ancient wizarding house in London) and the memorial for the Potters' in Godric's Hollow are introduced. (Harry and Hermione see a normal statue that transforms into a memorial when they get close enough.)

The unhealthy balance of muggle and wizard society is an important part of the story, and one that isn't particularly well-resolved. A lot of the problems are glossed over, and since we're seeing it from Harry's perspective, we don't need to examine them to get the story. It's this uncomfortable relationship with secrecy and access to hidden things that makes the undertones of the books as interesting as they are, and is actually what got me into the fandom in the first place.

A lot of the societal problems present in the books would be resolved if there wasn't such a lot of arrogance inherent in wizarding society. That's an extremely important part of the last two books, and I'm unsure if it's something Rowling knew she was doing when she started writing the story or not.
posted by Mizu at 8:24 PM on June 18, 2010


Oh, and:

doesn't that mean you have a lot of kids being taken out of homes and then never being allowed to see their mundane families again
No, Hermione and lots of other kids go home to visit their families during the holidays and presumably make their own choices to see whomever they wish once they've reached the age of adulthood in the wizarding world, which is 17.

Do people ever decide to stop being Wizards?
This is something that is examined in a lot of fanfic, but not in the books. People go into hiding and on the run and utilize the muggle world for this, but if you had magical powers, would you stop using them? There's the implication also that people with magic who don't learn how to control it starting around age 11 can have horrible, terrifying accidents. However, you could probably lead a totally mundane, non-magical existence if you wanted to, once you learn how to control yourself.

Are mixed magical-mundane families just under an agreement that This Is What Happens if their kid gets all magic'ed up?
Lily, Harry's mother, and Petunia, his aunt and Lily's sister, evidently talked freely about magic with one another during summer vacations and the like. Petunia was extremely jealous, and her shameful treatment of Harry has a lot to do with this, but she never broke the rule of telling people not related to a wizard about magic. It's unclear if this is enforced in any way or not.

And now, I should really go shut up because oh my god this is a thread about an amusement park and I am the biggest nerd eeeeeveeer
posted by Mizu at 8:40 PM on June 18, 2010


You can say "this is my cousin Hermione, her parents are dentists and she's a lawyer that fights for minority rights!" but you can't say "this is my cousin Hermione, her parents are dentists and she's a *magical* lawyer that fights for sentient magical creatures' rights!" to another muggle.

Huh, okay. But what if you did? How do they stop all these mixed relationships from outright spilling the beans? I know it's a small segment of the population and saying "Hi! Meet my wife, she's made of MAGIC!" makes you sound ....not well, it's bound to happen eventually.

Why is there such a taboo about keeping the world's separate? Do they fear their mighty Wizard stuff would be misused? Or a "we'll we're super-great and totally separate but they're like 99.9% of All People and could take us out if they really wanted to" or?

There's the implication also that people with magic who don't learn how to control it starting around age 11 can have horrible, terrifying accidents. However, you could probably lead a totally mundane, non-magical existence if you wanted to, once you learn how to control yourself.


Ah! It is like X-Men, so once you get your powers you become really dangerous to be around unless you've been guided away. Gotcha.
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 PM on June 18, 2010


Actually a lot of this can be buried away with "The Wizard world is very, very small." Even a population of a million would be enough to hide isolated incidents around the world. Are there schools worldwide or is it concentrated in England?
posted by The Whelk at 8:46 PM on June 18, 2010


The Whelk, have you read Lev Grossman's The Magicians yet? I don't know how it would be with no background on Harry Potter (like I said, I only have a bit of one), but it's sort of a grown-up take on a lot of these questions. In Grossman's version of the wizarding world, graduates from magical schools end up being the idle rich among the non-magic plebes--and pretty unhappy for it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:48 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I OWN IT BUT HAVE NOT READ IT SO NYAHNYAHNYAHICANTHEARYOU
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 PM on June 18, 2010


Also, while I didn't read the books and have seen less then half of the movies, I kinda find Harry Potter fandom interesting, in the ways and places it's spread. I really think it has to do with the idea of a School that takes you in cause you're different, like the X-Men I keep referencing above, I think that idea is very powerful to people, that you can go to a place with people Just Like You! where you're not weird anymore and you learn how to do awesome stuff other people can't do.
posted by The Whelk at 8:56 PM on June 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


and it's a group, communal setting not you are The One Girl In All The World thing. Interesting.
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 PM on June 18, 2010


That's such a classic YA/fantasy trope, though. Like, Pern! And Mercedes Lackey! And X-men! But I like that, too. Makes me feel as though I could be magic.

(Promise you that wasn't really a spoiler up there as much as a MAJOR AND IMMEDIATELY APPARENT THEME. Also, you should get started on that shiz because it's REALLY GOOD.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:07 PM on June 18, 2010


Are there schools worldwide or is it concentrated in England?

There are at least two other schools in Europe: Beauxbatons (France) and Durmstrang (possibly northern Europe). Those may be the only other schools mentioned in the books but it implies that schools exist worldwide but not in every country. For example, an Irish student attends Hogwarts and one from Bulgaria attends Durmstrang.
posted by 6550 at 9:09 PM on June 18, 2010


Back! And still gettin' my nerd on.

Huh, okay. But what if you did [tell people about magic]?
Employees of the Ministry of Magic, possibly including Ron's dad, would show up and manipulate the memories and sometimes environments of the affected muggles. You would be penalized in some way. Any "misused muggle artifacts" (normal stuff that's been magic'd up, for fun, profit, meddling, or convenience) would be taken away and disenchanted by the Ministry (and Ron's dad.) One of the most controversial plot points of the last book deals with memory charms. The crazy thing about wizarding society is the fact that clearly, magical people are aware that memory can be manipulated, that it is untrustworthy and people can't necessarily know their own selves. It's super creepy! Great stuff for getting a kid to start thinking and talking about literature and morality.

Why is there such a taboo about keeping the world's separate?
A big part is that This Is The Law. The law, of course, is corrupt and infiltrated with racist pompous dirtbags. There's a lot of Tradition involved with a capital T, and a lot of "well they couldn't take advantage of the magic anyway" apathy. There's also a level of condescension. Wizards see muggles and think "isn't it just precious how they've managed to invent cars because they can't just apparate where they choose?" Some wizards take a more enlightened tack and think "isn't it ingenious how they've worked around their limitations?" and others think "technology! It's just like magic!" The conflict between all of these viewpoints is, of course, crucial to the backstory of the books. (Almost none of the interesting stuff that I've blithered on about is touched upon in the movies. For the love of god, read the damn books already. It'll only take you a week, tops, I swear.) So back to my point, the more "liberal" wizard would want to keep the muggle and magical worlds separate in order to give muggles validation in their way of life. Since magic is so clearly superior (although it is cleverly shown not to be on many occasions) they don't want to infringe upon muggle society any more than they need to.

so once you get your powers you become really dangerous to be around unless you've been guided away.
This is not the normal case, no. Magic is shown to be a natural tendency, so an untrained wizard, if defenestrated, would bounce away on the ground and land unharmed, as survival instinct (well, hopefully). There's a great risk in not learning how to control your magic because it is shown to be instinctual and emotionally triggered. There is one canon character who was horribly abused and it caused her magic to go awry in a deadly way. Also, not every wizard goes to school. Wizarding families always have the choice to train their kids at home. Hogwarts costs money, after all. There are tests one takes to show achievement and to get licenses to perform certain forms of magic, and fandom has assumed that, if you were trained at home you could take these tests externally, much like a GED and the SAT and a driver's license.

Lev Grossman's The Magicians
Is awesome. Go read it.

where you're not weird anymore and you learn how to do awesome stuff other people can't do.
Yep. This is a super common conceit that you can find in YA literature all over the world. Also, of course, in comics and tons of tv shows. I feel like it has its roots in military tales. You get to be honored, you get special training, you get to be part of a team, you get privileges others in your society do not receive, and you often enter this group at the turning point of puberty or adulthood. Mostly, though, Harry Potter reminds me, at least the first book, of Matilda.
posted by Mizu at 2:04 AM on June 19, 2010


Unless there's a way for parents to seed the "right" house to the hat operator person beforehand, that sounds like a really good way to alienate a lot of hopeful kids who didn't get picked for the right house.

On the old ET ride at Universal, someone would take the names of your group as you were entering, Then at the end of the ride, ET would say goodbye to you personally. So, it would be totally possible to seed a Sorting Hat.
posted by minifigs at 2:28 AM on June 19, 2010


Mostly, though, Harry Potter reminds me, at least the first book, of Matilda.

Ooh, good comparison to Dahl. I've always compared the books I've read to Edward Eager, but so few people have read him these days that they tend to not know who I'm talking about.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:48 AM on June 19, 2010


Why isn't this in Britain?

Bah.
posted by Quantum's Deadly Fist at 7:54 AM on June 19, 2010


where you're not weird anymore and you learn how to do awesome stuff other people can't do. - The Whelk

Yep. This is a super common conceit that you can find in YA literature all over the world. Also, of course, in comics and tons of tv shows. I feel like it has its roots in military tales. You get to be honored, you get special training, you get to be part of a team, you get privileges others in your society do not receive, and you often enter this group at the turning point of puberty or adulthood. - Mizu


I came back to reading this thread today after reading Matthowie's tea party thread. With tea partier Ayn Rand worship on my mind this jumped out at me suddenly as a good encapsulation of why Ayn Rand resonates among high school and early college folks. And why those who worship it in adulthood are rightfully dismissed by actual grown ups. It is YA fiction.

It serves a purpose and props up the part of people that is most weak in young adults; a stable sense of self. But yer supposed to grow past that. Have a strong enough sense of yourself to get past that and think in bigger terms like society and altruism. That the reality of lives outside your perception have as much importance and validity as your own even though you never directly interact with them.

Rock on with your nerd self Mizu. I could happily spend the rest of my life reading analysis of fictional worlds made by devotees.
posted by Babblesort at 9:14 AM on June 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Big Moral of Harry Potter is that your choices make you special, not what you've been given or the skills that you are born with.

This is a theme that starts almost from the very beginning, with Harry's choice to not be sorted into Slytherin.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:23 AM on June 19, 2010


Harry's choice to not be sorted into Slytherin.

Yeah, because everyone has choices and their choices determine their character, except the 25% of the world that's ambitious and cunning, because those are bad-people traits. The only person who does good things that has them gets the high accolade from Dumbledore that he was sorted too soon.

J.K. Rowling is a couple of years older than I am. I spent two years as an outsider in the British school system in my high school years (day school only), and I have 9 O-levels (OWLs) that I took during my time there. One of the things from my own school days in the UK that really struck me in the books, and that some things that Rowling has said about her own politics and experiences tend to support, is that there's massive class-based resentment of wealth and power in the books. The Ministry is good, and so many people work for it that it seems to be as much a social welfare program as a government, but it can be easily overrun by the dark forces of wealth and power, personified by Lucius Malfoy, a Death Eater and Voldemort lackey. The lower-level civil servants like Arthur Weasley and the Aurors (Tonks, Moody, Kingsley Shacklebolt), though, are solid folks. You get the same thing at the school with Malfoy buying a place on the Quidditch team for Draco by upgrading the team's brooms. There are good people from wealthy families, like Sirius Black, but posh society is so toxic that you have to write it off completely and disown/be disowned by your family to be good, and clearly that's the exception, not the rule.

Supposedly there are good (wealthy/posh) Slytherins and bad members of other houses, but we really don't see that in the course of the books, nor do we see much in the way of less well-off Slytherins, for all that it makes no sense that 1/4 of the wizarding world is filthy rich like Draco. The evidence in the books is that in almost all cases rich, Slytherin, and evil are almost interchangeable, which makes the "you can choose" moral of the story look like a fig leaf for authorial dislike of most of the bad guys.

I'm fascinated by the books and the society, mostly because of the gap between the obvious morals of the story and the way the world works. (Don't get me started on either the role of women in the wizarding world and/or wizarding demographics and economics. History major + Harry Potter as primary source material = many many many plates of beans!)
posted by immlass at 10:11 AM on June 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


What I always found most striking about Slytherin is how completely awful they are at being the villains they so want to be. "Slytherin" has become sort of a fan word for sneaky, devious, underhandedly ambitious bastard character types, but the actual in-the-book Slytherins are almost never devious at all; they're just petty bullies and snobbish racists. Snape is excellent as a theoretical-Slytherin; while he does engage in the petty bullying and nastiness, he's also a devious motherfucker who is not fucking around and will do whatever nasty, sneaky, underhanded, or coercive thing he has to in order to accomplish his goals. (Which is not a reflection on the goals themselves.)
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:34 AM on June 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Slytherin" has become sort of a fan word for sneaky, devious, underhandedly ambitious bastard character types, but the actual in-the-book Slytherins are almost never devious at all; they're just petty bullies and snobbish racists.

The books also collectively make the Slytherins/Death Eaters/Voldemort supporters idiots. You'd think they'd figure out after the first war that Voldemort is like a Greek god: having his attention and favor is only marginally less likely to keep him from killing you messily than having his attention and disfavor!

But the traits "cunning" and "ambitious" (and even "power-hungry") come directly from the Sorting Hat songs in the books (quoted here). This is exactly the sort of thing I beanplate a lot about the books: the evidence in the stories--the behavior of the Slytherin characters--doesn't directly follow what we're told by external sources--in this case the Sorting Hat, or generally Rowling--it's supposed to be.
posted by immlass at 10:53 AM on June 19, 2010


I think Rowling just can't write devious well. She should've given Roger Zelazny a call.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:56 AM on June 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


The crazy thing about wizarding society is the fact that clearly, magical people are aware that memory can be manipulated, that it is untrustworthy and people can't necessarily know their own selves. It's super creepy! Great stuff for getting a kid to start thinking and talking about literature and morality.

Man, Superman is NEVER gonna let Wizards into the Justice League
posted by The Whelk at 11:05 AM on June 19, 2010


Yes, a lot of the Slytherin-bawwww that goes on - "why aren't there any good Slytherins?" "why would they make a house for evil kids?" "why are they supposed to be smart when they're all such clear idiots?" "why hasn't the rest of the magical population figured this out and gotten all eugenics on their asses?" and so-on - comes down to bad writing on Rowling's part. I feel like, were she as good of a story crafter as she is a world builder, there would have been ample opportunity to fix all of these glaring issues with the books. She clearly can't write devious with malicious intent well.

Hermione and Ron both get up to some seriously devious shit, starting all the way back in the second book with brewing illegal potions and stealing a magical car and all sorts of nonsense, but it's always done with positive, short-sighted intentions. Don't get me started on how Dumbledore is actually the main bad guy. Rowling's perspective and politics and obvious Gryffindor-ality limits her own presentation of the wizarding world. This leads to uppity fic writers "doing it better" and all sorts of fun wanky stuff in fandom, but also leads to serious flaws with the narrative and top level themes of the books. Still fun, though.
posted by Mizu at 11:12 AM on June 19, 2010


I feel like, were she as good of a story crafter as she is a world builder, there would have been ample opportunity to fix all of these glaring issues with the books.

Her detail writing is brilliant, but her underlying worldbuilding is really bad. These are children's books, to be sure, and I way over-beanplate them, but every time we get out of school and into the adult world in the books, Rowling breaks my suspension of disbelief in a big way. For instance, Arthur Weasley lives in a mixed Muggle/wizard village (Hogsmeade being the only all wizard village in Britain) but he's so ignorant of Muggles that he can't pronounce "electricity" or "telephone", and he works in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office. And the Blacks are presumably even more ignorant despite living in London! My little beanplaty brain can't handle the contradictions.

I could go on in this vein, especially about the Slytherin vs Gryffindor and Dumbledore the irresponsible headmaster stuff (or to draw another point from the Whelk's comment, what about Hermione's mindwiping of her parents in DH?), but I'm already at my tl;dr limit on this thread, I think. You can assume a lot of violently agreeing head-nodding at your comments, Mizu.

For all that, Rowling does write gorgeously descriptive prose, which is what makes the prospect of seeing the wizarding world as an amusement park so exciting to me. I know a lot of it is a pastiche of England, but it's something that, despite all its flaws, is "magical" enough that I want to see and experience it for myself.
posted by immlass at 12:01 PM on June 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I cribbed my line re: Superman from this wonderful essay by Mefi's own mightygodking
posted by The Whelk at 12:05 PM on June 19, 2010


The Big Moral of Harry Potter is that your choices make you special, not what you've been given or the skills that you are born with.

The meritocracy lives on. 'That's right, kiddies. It doesn't matter if your parents are dead and you're in an abusive family and live under the stairs. You can triumph through your choices!*'

*choices may require support from inate supernatural abilities, powerful allies, increasingly improbable coincidences and the occasional deux ex machina.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:19 PM on June 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


immlass: "I could go on in this vein, especially about the Slytherin vs Gryffindor and Dumbledore the irresponsible headmaster stuff (or to draw another point from the Whelk's comment, what about Hermione's mindwiping of her parents in DH?), but I'm already at my tl;dr limit on this thread, I think. You can assume a lot of violently agreeing head-nodding at your comments, Mizu."

I for one could happily read you and Mizu beanplating Harry Potter for at least a couple more comments.
posted by minifigs at 3:45 AM on June 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ditto - and I don't even like the books!
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:48 AM on June 20, 2010


Ditto.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:39 AM on June 20, 2010


I really dislike the books for a fair number of reasons mentioned in this thread, but I've been fascinated by the bean-plating going on. I love seeing the underlying logic of worlds be analyzed, and this threads has some amazing examples of that.
posted by meese at 11:36 AM on June 20, 2010


I enjoy aggressive bean-plating of any fictional world. World-building is my favorite part of any exercise, having to make a stupid story to go in it is my least favorite. Maybe I should just write a Wiki or something.
posted by The Whelk at 12:53 PM on June 20, 2010


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