Hobbiton Expansion: December 18, 2019

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    Hobbiton Expansion: December 18, 2019

    According to 'Stuff.nz', Hobbiton was given the Go Ahead to Expend

    Hobbiton itself is not expanding, however the number of people allowed to tour though Hobbiton each year is about to increase from 300,000 visitors per year to more than one million. Which means up to 3,500 visitors per day for tours, the article did not say how many are allowed to visit per day now. The tours can have up to 12 events a year with each event allowed up to 500 people. The noise levels will be extended to 10:30 pm.

    Hobbiton is going to become a very busy place and photo opportunities without other people in them, could become an almost impossibility from the sounds of the info in the article. It will allow people more opportunity to visit Hobbiton, as there have been times in which people have been turned away, due to full tours.

    I wonder if this will mean that Weta will be under more 'pressure' to create more/different hobbit holes each year?

    I do find it most interesting that the picture of a hobbit hole that Stuff.nz used in their article, dated October 4, 2019, is not even found in Hobbiton, but was the hobbit hole that was set up and used at the Flower and Garden show in New Zealand in 2017,

    #2
    Interesting. If this means that there will be more interest in visitors at the shop wanting to buy hobbit holes and it leads Weta to make even more of them, I like it.

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      #3
      To be honest, I don't like that the number of visitors is increasing at this pace... more people visiting Hobbiton doesn't mean all of them will like the place. It just seems that Tourism New Zealand did a good job on advertising Hobbiton...

      I

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        #4
        As it eventually happens with all tourist attractions that become increasingly popular, the inevitable consequences are overcrowding, long lines, raised prices, and worst of all, callous tourists that damage things.

        It may be good for making more money, but I personally don't like Hobbiton moving in that direction. I've travelled extensively and unfortunately have witnessed all-too often that the average tourist can be very unaware, and even disrespectful of where they are and to be careful and not do stupid things. As for trying to take a decent photo without five random strangers in it, forget about it. I can't remember how much time I've lost waiting politely and silently with camera in hand, waiting for other people to take the hint and move so I can have my turn at taking a photo, while they just sit there, blissfully unaware or wilfully ignorant, and simply won't move along.

        Good and quick way for a place to lose it's magic. Haven't been to Hobbiton yet, really want to, and this news makes me want to less so.

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          #5
          I hope this isn't true. When I went in 2014 I was able to get quite a few photos with no one in them. Hung back in the group and made the most of my time there. It was lovely. Luckily we had amazing weather that day as well!

          Still - I suppose it is a good sign that people's fascination with Middle Earth isn't waning!

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            #6
            Originally posted by Beast View Post
            Still - I suppose it is a good sign that people's fascination with Middle Earth isn't waning!
            If the tour guides are to be believed, some of the visitors have no idea about the connection to the middle earth movies. It's just another "must see" tourist hot spot.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Stig View Post

              If the tour guides are to be believed, some of the visitors have no idea about the connection to the middle earth movies. It's just another "must see" tourist hot spot.
              I was just thinking the same thing. Most people arrive somewhere, they look up a list of popular and favourite things to do on the internet or from a flyer in their hotel lobby, and off they go into the tour bus, without barely a clue as to the context and background of what they are about to see. Sure many will learn some facts while they are there, but most are in auto-mode and could care less about hobbits and Middle-earth. They're there because everyone else is.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Valkrist View Post
                They're there because everyone else is.
                That's just the worst. I am a bigger fan of being where there aren't others.

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                  #9
                  Makes me wonder when's the best time of year to head to Hobbiton where it's not as crowded, given this news.
                  Radagaster from S&F, LOTRGuide

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Stig View Post

                    If the tour guides are to be believed, some of the visitors have no idea about the connection to the middle earth movies. It's just another "must see" tourist hot spot.
                    When we were there in 2015 one of the tour guides had not even seen any of the Hobbit movies and it had been about a decade since he had seen the Lord of the Rings movies. So it really doesn't surprise me that tourist that go there know nothing much about it.

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                      #11
                      Sadly true, that is also summarized in the new article...


                      "Film Tourism in New Zealand is continuing to evolve, as we have seen with Hobbiton's planned expansion ... which will create even more jobs and business opportunities in the region," he said.

                      Forrest said half of the visitors the attraction received had not seen the Lord of the Rings movies or read the books, but associated the country with Middle Earth and wanted to have that experience.

                      Weta Workshop head of tourism Jake Downing said it was planning a new attraction in Auckland, which would be based on the firm's own intellectual property. It would be a "fantastical journey through the Weta Workshop".

                      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/116...etter#comments

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Minuialwen View Post

                        When we were there in 2015 one of the tour guides had not even seen any of the Hobbit movies and it had been about a decade since he had seen the Lord of the Rings movies. So it really doesn't surprise me that tourist that go there know nothing much about it.
                        That is awful!!!!! Surely that should be an important part of the interview process?!?! Surely they are expected to be able to answer questions about the films and how they were filmed etc... That is shocking. I would understand if the films were over 30 years old, but they're not!

                        All the LOTR and Hobbit tours I did in NZ the guides were fantastic and knew the films 'almost' as well as I did and they had some pretty cool stories from behind the scenes that I didn't know about even having memorised the DVD appendices...

                        All the Middle Earth fans in NZ and around the world who would love to work in Hobbiton and they hire people who couldn't care less... I just don't understand it.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Minuialwen View Post

                          When we were there in 2015 one of the tour guides had not even seen any of the Hobbit movies and it had been about a decade since he had seen the Lord of the Rings movies. So it really doesn't surprise me that tourist that go there know nothing much about it.
                          I haven't seen the movies since 2012, methinks


                          Originally posted by seregon13 View Post

                          Forrest said half of the visitors the attraction received had not seen the Lord of the Rings movies or read the books, but associated the country with Middle Earth and wanted to have that experience.
                          Now I wish the added a couple of boxes to their form when ordering a tour.

                          Choose one:
                          [] I am here for the NZ tourist experience
                          [] i am a big fan of the movies

                          And then group the people accordingly

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by seregon13 View Post

                            Weta Workshop head of tourism Jake Downing said it was planning a new attraction in Auckland, which would be based on the firm's own intellectual property. It would be a "fantastical journey through the Weta Workshop".
                            That must be the new museum with all of PJ's LOTR movie bigatures, props, set stuff etc from storage which they're hoping to put on show... awesome!

                            At least that would be my guess

                            EDIT: Oh hang on, isn't that in Wellington? Maybe the Auckland thing is Magic Leap related
                            Last edited by Valar; 25th October 2019, 22:57.

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                              #15
                              Visited a month ago and it is amazing..! Having said that, it already feels crowded as it is. You spend only 10’ in the Dragon Inn, barely enough time to enjoy it... and there is always people everywhere....

                              At 300k visitors per year they are already making a revenue of circa $30m before food/gift shop revenue!!! I wish they didn't try to overexploit this.... but I guess gold fever is a real thing...

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by DemisGR View Post
                                Visited a month ago and it is amazing..! Having said that, it already feels crowded as it is. You spend only 10’ in the Dragon Inn, barely enough time to enjoy it... and there is always people everywhere....

                                At 300k visitors per year they are already making a revenue of circa $30m before food/gift shop revenue!!! I wish they didn't try to overexploit this.... but I guess gold fever is a real thing...
                                I was so very afraid of this, see bolded part. One never has spent much time in the Green Dragon, which to me was alright, as I wanted to see as many hobbit holes as possible. It was 10 -15 minutes at the Green Dragon when I was there for the first time in March of 2013.

                                Yes gold fever is a real thing, and unfortunately way to many people have it.

                                Having said all that, glad you still found it amazing!!

                                Thanks for posting about Hobbiton DemisGr.

                                Any pictures you would like to share are always most welcome.

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                                  #17
                                  The evening tour is the best way, you're not rushed on the tour because you're the last tour group so nobody is behind you, and you can spend extra time on the hobbit holes with no one else around.

                                  You also get to spend more than an hour in the Green Dragon enjoying the "hobbit sized feast" followed by pudding too then back out into Hobbiton by lantern at night once your bellies are full

                                  In fact I highly recommend two tours on the same day, we had a daytime tour with some ginger ale briefly in the Green Dragon, then lunch with cup of tea at the Shire's Rest cafe, then evening tour with supper/cup of tea/pudding etc which went for maybe two hours. I suppose there was a lot of food involved when I look back on it now

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                                    #18
                                    Private tours always seem the most relaxed with flexible times and routes and it feels much less rushed.
                                    However they have increased the prices. It was $500 NZD in 2016 and now it is $750NZD
                                    Still worth it in my opinion, particularly in a group of 4.

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                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Valar View Post
                                      I suppose there was a lot of food involved when I look back on it now
                                      What better way to celebrate Hobbits?

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                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Valar View Post
                                        The evening tour is the best way, you're not rushed on the tour because you're the last tour group so nobody is behind you, and you can spend extra time on the hobbit holes with no one else around.

                                        You also get to spend more than an hour in the Green Dragon enjoying the "hobbit sized feast" followed by pudding too then back out into Hobbiton by lantern at night once your bellies are full

                                        In fact I highly recommend two tours on the same day, we had a daytime tour with some ginger ale briefly in the Green Dragon, then lunch with cup of tea at the Shire's Rest cafe, then evening tour with supper/cup of tea/pudding etc which went for maybe two hours. I suppose there was a lot of food involved when I look back on it now
                                        Yep.... I wanted to do that so badly..... but it was all sold out ... maybe next time!

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