The Hogwarts Express is one of the most amazing experiences that Universal Studios has to offer. Harry Potter fans of all ages delight in the ride every time. I can’t even tell you how magical it is to look see Hagrid, Harry and a few others so “close.” It is truly an immersive experience and one worth doing.
I know a guy on the inside (wink) and have gone on the ride myself, so I’ve compiled a list of insider tips for riding the Hogwarts Express to help you make the most of your trip.
- You will need a park hopper ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express. I know that it’s a bummer but read #2!
- It has two different ride experiences. Each direction offers an entirely different experience and story. Ride both ways!
- No lunch trolley on board BUT there are snacks in the Kings Station queue.
- Each train station is very different from the other.
- King’s Cross Station is the muggle station. So you’ll see lots of typical transportation signs, the billboard as seen in the movie, a snack counter and platform 9 3/4.
- While in King’s Cross Station, you can walk through the wall at 9 3/4!
- In King’s Cross Station you can spot a feathered friend.
- Hogsmeade station is wizard themed.
- Hogsmeade queue is both indoors and outdoors, so keep the weather in mind.
- Strollers are permitted, but allow a team member to assist you.
- Up to 8 people will fit per train car and there are no straps or seat restraints required. So people of almost all sizes will be comfortable.
- There isn’t a bad view. There are things to see out the window and also through the frosted glass doors on the side. Plus there is plenty of unique detailing inside the train car as well.
- It really does move! It doesn’t just move a few feet, you are literally transported to the next park. Er… station 😉
- The train backs up into the station. If you happen to be stuck in longer line, you might just get to see the train pulling in. Backwards! This gave us a little chuckle. Though I know it’s completely normal for muggle trains as well.
- Steam and smoke pours from the engine. You can even feel a bit of warmth from the coals.
Not seen enough yet? Here are some more photos of the Hogwarts Express.