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7 Things You MUST Know Before Riding the Hogwarts Express at Universal Orlando

5. It’s easiest to watch others walk through the wall

King's Cross

The wall between platforms 9 and 10 is a magical barrier. In the books and movies, it appears to be solid brick before you walk through it. To recreate this effect in the London station, there’s a small area where it looks like you’re walking through a wall to the guests behind you. You’ll watch several other people pass through the wall ahead of you, but when you actually come up to the wall yourself, you see a bright light above and an open hallway ahead.

There is an interesting sound effect to accompany your transition so it isn’t completely without its charms, but going through the wall looks much cooler when you’re watching it from further back.

6. Strollers go on the attraction

Hogwarts Express

For most theme park attractions you park your strollers outside before boarding. Since the Hogwarts Express doesn’t drop you off somewhere that you can just pick your stroller up again, you’ll need to take it with you. Don’t park your stroller nearby thinking you’ll grab it later. You’ll have to wait in the long return queue or hike from park to park to get back to it. It goes right on the train with you.

The only exception to this rule is with Universal’s rental strollers. Team members can instruct you where to leave your stroller in one park and pick up a new one in the next.

7. The action takes place both on and off the train

Hogwarts Express Attraction Show

The most amazing feature of the Hogwarts Express is the way you experience the show. Each car seats approximately eight guests. Once you’re on, the doors to your compartment close and you’re in for an unforgettable experience. Naturally, your eyes are drawn to the action taking place outside the window.

However, this isn’t the only place where the show will happen. The frosted doors on the opposite side of your car feature a great deal of action as well. You’ll see other riders on the train move up and down the hallway, including many characters that any Potter fan will know.

The Hogwarts Express offers an outstanding experience that’s truly unlike anything available in other theme parks. Make sure you plan plenty of time to board it both ways so you can enjoy all the immersive details available with this experience.

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There are 14 comments.

Does anyone know who's house it is that you see on the train? It looks like Tom Riddles but it doesn't have a graveyard.

Malfoy manor

According to an article I found from the Orlando Sentinel, it is the Malfoys' manor.

Correction for number 6: DO NOT TRY TO TAKE YOUR STROLLER ONTO THE TRAIN!!!! Leave it directly outside the train and a team member will put it in the front or the back.

Any Harry Potter fan should know exactly what they are going to go through, but this article does explain a lot to people who are going to Universal (I mean London, England!)

Don't forget about the threshal when you get off in IOA you can see the cart moving all 'on its own'

Could someone please confirm the 2 park ticket rule? Do you need to have a hopper ticket or does it mean a 2 day ticket?

Hi Janette- you need to have a park hopper, because the Hogwarts Express runs from park to park (US to IOA). It does not need to be a two day.

I have a 2 day base ticket to Universal / IOA but will only be there for 1 day. Can I use the ticket to both parks on the same day and go back and forth between the parks on the train???

Unfortunately you can't use 2 days of a base ticket to park hop. You can always upgrade the ticket, but that'll cost a few extra bucks and may not be worth it for a singe day visit. I'm visiting for 2 days in November and am weighing up how much we want to go on the Express...

The wizarding world of Harry Potter is a separate park?

No, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is not its own park. It is a part of Islands of Adventure (Hosgsmeade and Hogwarts) and the original Universal Studios Park (London/Kings Cross and Diagon Alley). If you wish to ride Hogwarts Express between the two locations, you need to have a park hopper as you will be boarding in one park and deboarding in another.

We want to travel in both directions on the train, can we board and travel one way and stay on the train to travel back? Or do they make you get off the train and stand in line again?

You will not be able to stay on for the ride back. You will need to depart and wait in line for the ride back.
From my experience it is most fun to start in London and ride to Hogsmeade/Hogwarts first for a more "authentic" experience...from there, you can shop around Hogsmeade, check out the rides and experiences and then board Hogwarts Express "home" to London again.

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