Every Great Train Journey Has Unexpected Twists

Hogwarts Express Ride Universal

 

Promo_RR_Hogwarts_Express_tcm13-43989Universal Orlando’s new Hogwarts Express attraction at their soon to open Diagon Alley promises to keep that element of surprise right through until the first whistle of this amazing new locomotive’s journey.
As tight lipped as ever, Universal teased earlier in the week with a promise of ‘news’ about their new Harry Potter themed area inside Universal Studios.
In reality, overnight, a pre-release to some locations such as the UK and South America offered little more than 3 new images and a bit of confirmation of everything that was already known of the ride.

 

What the release appears to say is:

  • Guests will ‘go through’ the legendary wall on Platform 9 3/4.
  • The train will haul 200 guests at a time from Kings Cross to Hogsmeade.
  • Each train compartment will hold around 8 people, no standing.
  • The attraction will be family friendly
  • No height requirements
  • A six minute journey plus load/unload
  • A ’round trip’ will still need a Park to Park ticket
  • A ’round trip’ will require a second line wait.
  • The Kings Cross Station exit is ‘outside’ of Diagon Alley.
  • Painstaking research will recreate an authentically detailed interior to the carriages.
  • The trains will appear to travel through realistic landscapes with strong elements from the movies included.
  • The passengers won’t see any part of the Universal backlot on their journey.
  • Different visual effects will play out, dependant upon your seat position.
  • A different screenplay depending whether departing Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley
  • Characters and features will include Hagrid, the Knight Bus, Buckbeak, the Weasley twins, Dementors, and more.
  • No sign of an official opening date.
  • A Park to Park ticket will be required
  • $136.00 for one day Park to Park
  • $175.99 for a  day Park to Park
  • No confirmation about rumored changes to reflect night/daytime video on board.
  • No word about the number of possible video sequences possible on the ride.
  • No word as to how the 3D effect will work

So, we learn barely anything at all from the latest release.
The reason for that is two fold; officially, Universal are keen to keep the magic of visiting this for yourselves a special experience, and we like that a lot.
Secondly, Universal do appear to be quite selective about who they release ‘leaks’ to in order to keep social media buzzing and things like #diagonalley trending.

None of this is an accident, as Universal take an entirely different approach to Disney when it comes to launching exciting new attractions.
What’s more, they are getting good at it and we think 2015 will bring more rumors as they turn their attention to more new rides, possibly King Kong, and almost certainly a new water park.

Hogwarts Express New 1 copy Hogwarts Express New 3 copy