• Hogwarts Express

Hogwarts Express

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: May 08, 2024

Last Updated: May 15, 2024

Hogwarts Express
  • Year: 2014
  • Type: Train Ride
  • Single rider line: Yes
  • Minimum Height: None
  • Ride Duration: 4min
  • Very immersive
  • For Harry Potter fans
  • Park-hopper only
  • Some waiting issues

Hogwarts Express Review

Cruising on down Hogsmeade, you're relaxed and feeling good...

…next thing that you know, you're seein' a hippogriff in the neighborhood...

Choo-choo! All aboard the Magic School Train. Have you ever wanted to ride the Hogwarts Express? Yep, the same train that takes students from London King's Cross Station Platform 9¾ to Hogsmeade Station. It’s the perfect way to escape our boring daily routines and enter a magical world full of fantastic creatures, spells, and the beautiful Hogwarts. Well, at least that's how it works in J.K. Rowling’s vision. In the real world, the Hogwarts Express connects Universal Studios to Islands of Adventure and vice versa.

Universal Orlando Hogwarts Express.webp

To board this special locomotive, you don’t need a student’s permit or anything, but you do need a park-hopper ticket. Since this attraction connects both main parks in Universal Orlando, it’s only available to those who wish to visit Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios on the same day, which can be a bit of a bummer. But is it worth paying a little extra just to get aboard this train?

The Good

One of the best things about this “ride” is how immersive it is. The experience actually starts in the station, which looks amazing whether you are in Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley. Grab your camera and get ready to take some pics of locations you saw in the movies. Everything resembles a classic, vintage train station, and even the cast members are dressed accordingly.

hogwarts express universal (1).webp

Speaking of this, cast members will even roleplay their respective roles! I remember when someone in front of me had just bought a magic wand, and the cast member, as a Muggle, asked this person what they were carrying. The guest explained it was a magic wand, and the cast member was in disbelief, thinking that person was just crazy. It was pretty funny, honestly.

I don’t want to break your immersion, but each locomotive is actually an articulated cable car, built to look like a train. Now cast a spell to forget about this, alright? I mean, I bet you are going to forget this as soon as you step inside and take your seat. The interior does resemble a real train, even more so since parties are separated and put inside specific wagons and rooms as the door closes.

The “dark ride” part starts as soon as the train leaves the station. The doors and windows become screen projections that tell a story. Through the windows, you can see classic locations and characters from the books and movies, like Hagrid, the Weasley twins, and students playing Quidditch. Meanwhile, the screen pointed at the corridor shows glimpses of people walking around the train. You can even hear Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they walk around the train looking for food or just having a nice chat with each other.

Universal Orlando Hogwarts Express station.webp

One really cool thing is that each ride is different depending on whether you are leaving from Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade, so you can ride it twice to see what each place offers and then pick your favorite.

The Bad

You already know what the main problem with the Hogwarts Express is, right? Yeah, it’s the ticket you need to enter. Only a few students who want to attend Hogwarts actually buy a park-hopper ticket, so you need to spend a little more if you want to experience this attraction.

The second problem is that the Hogwarts Express isn’t very effective if your primary focus is moving from one theme park to another. You can wait up to forty minutes in line just for a train, and then spend another four to seven minutes on the ride and disembarking. That is precious time lost, considering there is a lot to see in Universal Studios and especially Islands of Adventure.

Universal Orlando Hogwarts Express train.webp

Will Kids enjoy it?

Probably yes. Kids will not only get to ride a train, which is fun, but also see cool set pieces displayed on digital screens that make it look like you're looking straight out a window. Plus, they get to enjoy good AC and rest their legs for a while. We know how tiresome it can be to walk all over Universal Orlando, after all.

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