The Hogwarts Express attraction that will link Universal Studios Florida's new Harry Potter land with the existing Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure is rapidly taking shape.
Due to open in 2014, the Hogwarts Express will feature stations in the Hogsmeade-themed area of Islands of Adventure, as well as in the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida. It will recreate the journey between London and Hogsmeade that Potter and his friends take at the start of a new term at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Large sections of track are in now in place for the ride, which will pass through backstage areas of the Universal Orlando Resort (riders will see a simulated recreation of scenery flying past in the enclosed carriages). This includes a bypass section that will allow two trains to pass each other, traveling in opposite directions.
The station at the Islands of Adventure end of the ride is under construction, as can be seen in this photo from Autism at the Parks:
— Autism At The Parks (@AutismAtThePark) May 13, 2013
Pictures were also recently posted to the WDW Magic Forum showing what seems to be the first train for the Hogwarts Express. Two of these are said to be coal cars, with the rest being passenger cabins.
As the final piece of the Wizarding World jigsaw the Hogwarts Express is a truly groundbreaking ride. An attraction of this nature, linking two separate but similarly-themed areas in different theme parks, is almost completely without precedent. It's the first attraction in our database of 3,500 rides and shows that we've need to categorise as belonging to two theme parks!
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