Insider Info on New Hogwarts Express

It’s no secret that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is expanding from Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios Florida connected by the Hogwarts Express. The new attraction will have a London/Diagon Alley theme, featuring a Gringotts thrill ride, a new restaurant, a larger Ollivander’s Wand Shop, and other elements from the Harry Potter series.

As usual Universal Orlando officials have been reluctant to reveal details in order to build excitement. Dewayne Bevil, of Orlando Sentinel’s Theme Park Rangers, comments about all the rumors and Universal’s reticence:

Universal has not said this officially. You won’t find it on their website. Although it announced the Potter expansion, it didn’t say where, when or other details.We like facts, don’t you? And Universal doesn’t comment on rumors. It will be announced when the company is good and ready. And it’s maddening, I agree. Or brilliant. Or both.

However, Hypable and MiceChat’s Orlando Parkhopper offer up some details about what may happen as passengers ride the train from one attraction to the other.

According to MiceChat:

…the train will be an immersive experience hauling you between London and Hogwarts. You’ll encounter students on the train and see elements of the Potter world play out in front of you through the windows of the train (such as the Weasley’s flying car and a Dementor attack). Rides will offer variation, so if you make the trip between the parks more than once, you won’t experience the same exact story.

Hypable speculates:

We imagine that Universal may employ some of the technology they use on their King Kong 360 3-D ride at Universal Hollywood which surrounds you with screens to make you feel like you’re in a completely different environment. It looks like Universal is hoping to use scenes that happened on the train in the film on the park ride.

Orlando Theme Park News posts regular construction updates with lots of photos. Both Bevil and also posted photos this week.

Meanwhile, there’s a lot of spiffing up going on at Universal. MiceChat says there’s painting around Toon Lagoon and the Port of Entry, Suess Landing, complimenting Universal on the colors and quality of its work:

It is evident that Universal understands that while particularly high maintenance, this color palette is essential to creating a convincing atmosphere here. Kudos to Uni for maintaining the land as the designers intended it, rather than painting it all with blacktop after a season or two of wear.

Little by little, various bloggers are prying out information regarding the Potter expansion and the construction of Transformers, and keeping us updated in the Universal universe. We’ll keep you posted!



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