Some time last evening (it’s a complicated story), Universal started to leak out their ‘News’ about the highly anticipated new Hogwarts Express attraction in the Diagon Alley.
While Universal clearly had an opportunity to use London’s GMT Time zone to ‘make their announcement on the 14th of March’, it instead blurted out clumsily through a select bunch of social media and website owners in the UK and South America long before their domestic market caught up.
Interestingly, Orlando Informer, as the biggest independent website, was not on that list, which no doubt will infuriate its owner Dan Hatfield, who had previously even shut down his site completely in outrage at not being included in the media launch of Transformers The Ride 3D.
The upshot is?
Not much really! We are no further forward with an opening date and merely got fed with what we already know through hefty and almost certainly deliberate leaks by Universal over the last 6 months.
One blog that I follow even claimed that this was all part of Universal’s cunning plan to keep some surprises back for the guest’s first ride.
I suspect however that this is just the signs of an organisation that has mastered how to use social media to great effect, leaving the job to the public rather than blowing billions on marketing that in the end, is swept under the carpet once the ride fully opens.
If you think of Disney’s massive budget for New Fantasyland marketing, where is the benefit once the construction boards come down?
10 out of 10 to Universal for efficiency, but 0 out of 10 for not including me lol
Carrying on the lighter note, as the news broke, I loved watching tweets from one satirical observer as the news dripped from Universal’s rather leaky cauldron’ :
- ‘You’ll Board it and go places’
- You board the train by walking through doors. It stops at a station. It’s red. Choo choo.
- It’ll have seats
- It’s a big red train that goes on rails
- Harry Potter