Soon Harry Potter fans will finally have the chance to take that leap of faith onto platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross station en route to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
As part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley expansion, Universal Orlando is creating a real life version of the famed Hogwarts Express train, connecting the existing Hogsmeade Village area of their Islands of Adventure theme park to the London waterfront opening this summer at Universal Studios Florida.
A few days ago, Universal teased they would be revealing new details about the Hogwarts Express ride this Friday. Now just after midnight, those details have emerged.
Universal Orlando describes the Hogwarts Express as follows:
• Being transported from the Muggle world to the wizarding world as you pass through the brick wall at King’s Cross Station to arrive at Platform 9 3/4
• Watching in amazement as the Hogwarts Express pulls into the station – its billowing steam and authentic whistle beckoning you to hop aboard
• Sitting in one of the train’s cabins with your family and friends and actually riding the Hogwarts Express – just as your favorite characters did in the Harry Potter films
• Looking outside your cabin window and enjoying a scenic, breathtaking journey through the British countryside as you encounter magical creatures, some of your favorite Harry Potter characters… and even Dementors.
The Hogwarts Express trains will seat roughly 200 passengers and the ride will last around 7 minutes.
Visuals will be featured in the “windows” of the train, showing familiar characters in a 3D-style manner that offers a better view than a simple 2D screen. It’s not traditional 3D (no glasses), but also not exactly flat either.
A few newly released images from the attraction are seen below.
Guests will need park-to-park admission to enjoy the real journey aboard the iconic locomotive.
The Hogwarts Express experience will combine storytelling, live special effects, lifelike animation and state-of-the-art technology to take riders between the two parks. Guests will see two completely different experiences depending on whether they’re traveling to Hogsmeade or London.
Once seated in the cabin, guests will be able to look out windows to see an authentic adventure unfold. They’ll see Hagrid come alongside the train on his flying motorbike, Buckbeak the Hippogriff swooping over the black lake, Weasley twins on brooms, the Knight Bus swerving through London traffic, along with other special moments and surprises.
The trip from Hogsmeade and Hogwarts to London and Diagon Alley will include Fred and George Weasley flying on broomsticks, Hagrid waving to the train, London streets, and Buckbeak the Hippogriff flying.
The trip from London and Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade and Hogwarts will feature the British countryside, Dementors, Hedwig, and Hagrid on Sirius’ motorcycle.
Universal Orlando has updated its web site to include these details plus a guide to ticketing.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express will open this summer. No date has been announced yet.