Universal Orlando Reveals New Hogwarts Express Details

One of the good things about Universal is that they know exactly how to build momentum  and the update on The Hogwarts Express at Universal Orlando Resort is no exception!

On Monday (10/03/2014) I was lucky enough to be invited by Universal to a special press conference hosted at Kings Cross Station – Now, before you Potter fans start getting all giddy it wasn’t at Platform 9 3/4, it was actually just round the back, at the Renaissance Hotel. I also travelled using the Victoria line from Oxford Circus and not the Night Bus ūüôā

The press conference was hosted by Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative and James Phelps who played Fred Weasley in the films. Mark joined us via a live video link from Orlando and as a special treat James was at the conference in person.

1-press

The event kicked off with a short video showing some of the ‘lifelike’ concept animation that the riders will experience along the route from Kings Cross to Hogwarts and vice versa. The footage was actually a world premier and showed some amazing scenes featuring Hagrid, Hedwig the owl, Hogwarts pupils on broomsticks and Hippogriffs flying past the train carriages all using the familiar back drop of the countryside.

1-hagrid

The train cabins will be windowless – in place of the windows the animation will be delivered to riders on glasses free 3D screens during their journey. Each carriage will be split into cabins. Each cabin will seat 8 riders with 25 cabins per carriage – this will give a maximum carriage capacity of 200 riders.

1-weasley

Here are some of the factoids that we manage to get hold of;

The train journey itself will last 6 minutes

6 minutes is about the average ride duration at Universal when you factor in getting on and off of the ride. On board the train you can expect Universal’s usual immaculate attention to detail which will ensure an authentic ride experience. Mark also hinted that as well as merchandising opportunities on board (probably the chance to buy chocolate frogs etc just like Ron does in the films) ¬†the train will have a few extra special experiences happening in the corridors.

The whole train ride experience will probably last around 60 minutes

Before you start moaning about how long the queue is, remember that this is Universal you’re dealing with! The queue itself will be part of the ‘whole’ experience. From the Kings Cross end we were told you can expect the platform to be busy with hustle and bustle of luggage cars, owls and eager Wizards waiting to board the train.

There will be 2 trains

One of the things we had speculated about here at Orlando Attraction Tickets was ‘will there be more than 1 train?’

Well, the answer to that is yes! There will be 2 trains running simultaneously. Each train will offer very different experience depending on which direction you are travelling in.

 Platform 9 3/4 entrance

Although no specific details were given on how you will enter the platform, from what was implied, we are speculating that Universal could use an optical illusion at the entrance of the platform. As in the film where students of Hogwarts run through a wall, we think that the queue may be positioned in such a way that it gives those waiting in line the illusion that those entering the platform will be passing through a wall.

Authenticity

Universal have gone to great lengths to make sure that the user experience is totally authentic.

Did you know that Universal sent a special team to the UK to research trains? They made sure that not only the look and feel of the train was correct, they even made sure that the ride, sound and even the fabric on the seats matched exactly. They have even taken great care to ensure that black smoke will billow from the train as it makes it journey.

Requirements

A multi-park ticket will be required to ride the Hogwarts Express. We recommend the Universal 2-Park Bonus Ticket or the Universal 3-Park Bonus Ticket

Universal have ensured that this ride is suitable for the whole family so no one will miss out! I for one cannot wait to see this in action. The sheer level of attention to detail by Universal on the train alone will no doubt ensure that the Hogwarts Express, will be a major attraction at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

Although many people have tried, none have so far succeeded in finding out the exact opening date for Diagon Alley. Universal are stating summer 2014. Here at OAT we reckon sometime in June 2014.

#SmilesIncluded

Karl

oat-banner-2

Universal Confirms Leaky Cauldron Restaurant & Gringotts Ride At Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley

Afternoon Thrill Seekers,

I’m just back from a morning at World Travel Market attending the Universal Orlando Resort press conference¬†I lived blogged about the event on our facebook page¬†here’s a summary.

There you go, not sure we learnt a lot but we did get a few things confirmed!
Smiles included,
Jamie
oat-banner (2)

First Pictures Of The Hogwarts Express Arriving At The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Hi Thrill Seekers,

Eeeeeeeekkk! This is a scream of excitement! Check out these new pictures of The Hogwarts Express being delivered to Universal Studios in preparation for the planned opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter РDiagon Alley in 2014!

hogwarts express 1The picture above is from yesterday as Universal representatives lowered the first train on to the recently built tracks.

hogwarts express 2I think you’ll agree the Hogwarts Express looks amazing and I can’t wait to ride it!!!!

Smiles included

Jamie

oat-banner-2

 

 

Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Pictures

Afternoon Thrill Seekers,

The expansion that must not be named…yet, looks like its in full swing. Although Universal have yet to announce the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion officially, the internet has been awash with rumour and conjecture.

Today thanks to screamscapes¬†anonymous source I’m able to share with you the latest imagery of what appears to be the track for the Hogwarts Express *squeal*.

The Hogwarts Express attraction is said to connect Islands of Adventure with Universal Studios, where the London section of the Wizarding World will be located.

hogwarts train trackAs Universal aren’t confirming anything at the moment (and why would they with Transformers so close to launch) we can only speculate what the Hogwarts attraction might entail.

Here at Orlando Attraction Tickets¬†we can’t imagine that Universal will just build a bog standard train that takes you from A to B, the idea of peering out of a window looking at the¬†backlot¬†of Universal kind of kills the¬†mythos, could the attraction incorporate a 3D experience within the train? Original cast members did recently shoot additional¬†scenes¬†specifically for the Wizarding World¬†could they have been filming a Hogwarts Express scene?

This story will run and run until we get something concrete from Universal but until then imagining the end product is so much fun!

regards,

Jamie

oat-banner (2)