Oh what a dream it is to be a young witch or wizard traveling between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade Station… and that dream can come very true for anyone visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.
As this year marks the 20th anniversary of the beloved Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film, we thought it was the perfect time to reflect on Harry’s first time seeing this scarlet steam engine with our very own guide to the Hogwarts Express. This immersive ride is not only an ideal way to travel between both lands, it is also a storytelling journey where riders get to come across some familiar characters.
So grab your wand and a Chocolate Frog and I’ll meet you at Platform 9 ¾.
Just like the students of Hogwarts did each school year on September 1, you’ll be boarding the Hogwarts Express! No matter which land within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter you start in (Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida or Hogsmeade Village in Universal’s Islands of Adventure), you’ll be riding along with Harry Potter and his friends to or from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Boarding from Hogsmeade Station? Get your camera ready because the vision of the train pulling into the station with the smoke billowing is absolutely goosebump inducing!
I also absolutely love the queue within King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios Florida. Keep an eye out for a familiar poster advertising perfume before walking through Platform 9 ¾.
Queues in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are truly incredible and as can’t-miss as the rides themselves. Learn more about the details in Hogwarts castle here and the special items you’ll find in Gringott’s bank here.
One of the best parts about travelling on the Hogwarts Express is that there are two unique experiences each direction you ride.
When you board from King’s Cross Station in London, you’ll feel like you are a student en route to your first term at Hogwarts. With appearances from some school friends, a trolley full of treats, and some menacing Dementors, you can enjoy a smattering of immersive delights.
If you’re heading from Hogsmeade to London, it’s a whole new experience. Keep an eye out the window for familiar faces greeting you (some more friendly than others) and the infamous Malfoy Manor.
- A Park-to-Park ticket is required to ride
- Under 48” (122 cm) Requires Supervising Companion
- Universal Express Pass is available
MEET THE CONDUCTOR
When you exit the Hogsmeade Station and enter town, you’ll get a chance to meet the Hogwarts Express conductor! Make sure to stop by for a great photo-op.
PRO-TIP: Download the official Universal Orlando app to easily find the times the conductor will be out and about ready to meet you!
Stop by Globus Mundi in Diagon Alley for all your travel-related merchandise needs. The shop has lots of cool items themed around Hogwarts Express, including everything you need to rock your luggage out in style.
Next time you’re at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, make sure to take your own journey on the Hogwarts Express.