Escape from Gringottts is a theme park attraction located at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Opened in 2014, the ride is based on characters and places in the Harry Potter novels written by J. K. Rowlings.
In the books, Gringotts Wizarding Bank is located in London, England at Knockturn Alley and Diagon Alley (North side).
Owned and operated by goblins, the bank was founded by a goblin named Gringott in 1474. His bank is considered the safest place in the wizarding world (besides Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry) to keep a customers valuables.
The subterranean vaults beneath the bank extend for miles under London and are accessible through rough stone passageways and navigated by magic carts that travel speedily along their tracks.
Atop the bank building at the Harry Potter attraction, there is an immense fire-breathing dragon clutching the roof top. Every 15 minutes a flaming ball of fire emerges from its mouth.
In addition to storing money and valuables for wizards and witches, Gringotts also operates a Money Exchange building for Muggles (humans). The currency exchanged by Muggles is later returned to circulation in the Muggle world by goblins.
The Escape from Gringotts™ adventure begins when you enter Gringotts bank, walk through a spacious marble lobby with high ceilings and elaborately lit chandeliers.
Throughout the bank you will find information like the motto of Gringotts Wizarding Bank: “Fortius Quo Fidelius,” a Latin phrase that means “Strength through loyalty” and a Dante’s Inferno type the warning which reads:
Enter, stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn.
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.
As you near the entrance of the 3-D thrill ride, an interactive animatronic goblin bank clerk greets you with a message.
“If you wish to open an account, make your way to the security box where your Gringott identification photo will be taken. Then go directly to the opposite end of the corridor. From there, you will be escorted to the vaults. Well, that’s all. Move along” – Bogrod
As you proceed to the vault you walk down long, dimly lit corridors upon whose walls are hung portraits of goblin executives from the bank in gilded frames. You then encounter Blordak, a goblin who is in charge of showing clients opening new accounts into the vault.
At first, he can’t find his keys, but with a little assist from Muggle Bill Weasley and his magic wand, the keys are deposited into the goblins hand and you are off to the elevator (lift) which takes you beneath the bank.
Before boarding, a magical painting of a goblin begins to speak to the visitors with the warning:
“The journey to the vault is a high-speed ride with sudden and dramatic acceleration, at times, stopping and diving. Even some in the magical community find the ride challenging. Those with certain medical condition are advised not to ride. You must be at least 43 inches high to ride…unless you are a goblin.”
You then climb aboard a ride designed to take you to the deposit boxes within when you encounter the evil Voldemort™ and his cackling crony Bellatrix, as well as, trolls, and other creatures who stand between you and a safe return to Diagon Alley™.
The vault in the bowels of the bank is protected by a huge fire-breathing dragon, which eventually escapes with the help of Harry Potter and his wizard companions Ron and Hermione. The dragon is the same creature seen on the roof of Gringotts bank as you enter the building.
NOTE: As you visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you find magic in the windows of the many shops in Diagon Alley. Using a specially designed wand, you can activate various items with the wave of your wand and an incantation or two (“Ascendio” or “Descendo”) found on markers mounted in the stone at the base of certain windows.
Also among the many shops, you will come upon a House-Elf building, an employment agency that finds work for elves. There is also a statue of an house elf holding a lantern on one of the nearby walls.
At Sirius Black’s house at 12 Grimmauld Place, an animatronic model of Kreacher the House Elf can be seen peeking through the curtains of a second-story window.
Escape from Gringotts Ride (Video)