Universal decided to connect the two Harry Potter attractions located in their two adjacent parks with the Hogwart’s Express train ride, they anticipated it would increase the percentage of “Park to Park” admission tickets since you can’t visit both parks in the same day without the two park admission. Universal got more than a 45% boost in ticket money.
Universal incredulously didn’t anticipate that the Hogswart Express would become such a major attraction unto itself. I find this makes little sense since the train ride is not just the only fast way to reach both Harry Potter worlds, it is a wonderful four minute excursion which the entire family can experience, unlike most of the other Harry Potter rides.
Universal realizes if the ride bogs down with traffic it will impose a large problem (which fortunately I am never faced). The two trains with their three passenger cars and seven compartments means just 336 people can be riding the rails every four minutes.
The Universal people to a great job of boarding and debarking passengers at Platform 9 ¾ at both the urban King’s Cross Station in London and the rustic rural station at Hogsmeade where the village is covered in snow.
The technical staff spared no expense to establish authentic British railroad depots (sans the garbage when there is a strike) and there is even the infamous brick wall where you and all the other guests seem to dematarialize through it. Unfortunately for you can’t duplicate the view with your selfie.
As the two trains slowly move a few hundred yards through suburban Orlando, you are treated to a projected movie on the windows which is incredibly realistic and packed with Harry Potter characters and creatures. It is a low key almost relaxing ride and change of pace from much of Universal.
Even more impressive is the second show going on the frosted windows of the cabin door as secondary Harry Potter characters in shadow pile down the corridor. They are rather sloppy with their handling of spiders and frogs. And you will recognize the voices of the people.
It is absolutely essential now to arrive at Universal early and with map in hand head to the back of either of the two parks to reach the two Harry Potter centers. The Harry Potter rides are not part of the Universal Express plan so it means that many of the front of the park rides seem deserted until noon time.