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Old 03-14-2014, 04:01 AM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
Post Wizarding World's Hogwarts Express details revealed: Dementors, twins, Hagrid, more

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will connect both Hogsmeade village with Diagon Alley via a running Hogwarts Express, which should seat around 200 people per ride, and run an average of 7 minutes from the start of the ride to the very end, stated Universal Orlando Resort's Michael DoQui, senior producer for Universal Creative, at a press event on Thursday evening in New York City.

SnitchSeeker was at the event, and can now give details about the long-awaited Hogwarts Express train and what experiences will come with its ride. Do note that although there were many more experiences for Harry and his friends on the Hogwarts Express in the book saga, the train at Universal focused more on the films. Universal admitted they used some of the props and sets at Leavesden Studios (where the film series was shot) as a reference for the buildings and structures at Diagon Alley.

The Hogwarts Express will have several environments, different for the rides from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley and vice versa, but will not be seasonal visuals. From what was stated during Thursday's events, and confirmed by Oliver Phelps himself (who was in attendance), he and James filmed new scenes just for the Hogwarts Express (though nothing else, he admitted), as well as Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid.

The Hogwarts Express train will have 'windows' which are actually screens that will show scenes from the Harry Potter saga. Some include:

From Hogsmeade/Hogwarts to London/Diagon Alley:
• Fred and George Weasley flying on broomsticks in Muggle clothes across the Scottish countryside outside of Hogwarts, presumably as they escape from the castle after their seventh year. (Oliver admitted he and brother James filmed the scene AFTER the completion of the film series, and that the pair actually wore red wigs for their characters)
• Hagrid waving goodbye to students (and guests) riding to London on the Hogwarts Express, from the Hogsmeade train station (similar to the final scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and also a new scene shot by Robbie Coltrane)
• A visual of the Muggle London street, including the big, purple Knight Bus, as guests and the train get closert to Diagon Alley and King's Cross
• Buckbeak the Hippogriff flying over the black lake at Hogwarts
From London/Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade/Hogwarts:
• Watch as the Dementors come to the attack, just like in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (though doubtful if David Thewlis will come about to save guests as Lupin with the Patronus charm)
• See a general visual of the British countryside, as in the movies
• Watch Hedwig gracefully fly across the countryside by the window
• See Hagrid riding on Sirius' motorcycle next to the train as it zooms north to Scotland

A few other notes from the event about Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express:
• Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes will, as already reported, incorporate all of the merchandise from the now-closed Zonko's joke shop, and will include chandeliers on the ceiling.
• To those wondering, the Hogwarts Express ride, as Universal stated, will not be similar to the King Kong ride of the past, as their team worked with more advanced technology.
• The visuals on the 'windows' of the Hogwarts Express will have more of a 3D experience, where it won't just be a flat movie screen, but guests will be able to see around the image in front of them (include above and below, and to the sides).
• Universal stated there will be an 'entertainment area' at Carkitt Market in Diagon Alley, which is on the right area of the town outside of Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment shop.
• The Harry Potter design team of Stuart Craig and Alan Gilmore, who also worked on both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, went to King's Cross in London to get an idea of how to build that aspect in the Orlando park.

The full press release, issued by Universal Orlando Resort, can be read below. Universal stressed again that no opening date as been chosen, just that Diagon Alley will open this summer.
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 14, 2014) – One of the most memorable and exciting experiences from the Harry Potter series will come to life at Universal Orlando Resort this summer. Imagine:

• Being transported from the Muggle world to the wizarding world as you pass through the brick wall at King’s Cross Station to arrive at Platform 9 ĺ
• Watching in amazement as the Hogwarts Express pulls into the station – its billowing steam and authentic
whistle beckoning you to hop aboard
• Sitting in one of the train’s cabins with your family and friends and actually riding the Hogwarts Express – just as your favorite characters did in the Harry Potter films
• Looking outside your cabin window and enjoying a scenic, breathtaking journey through the British countryside as you encounter magical creatures, some of your favorite Harry Potter characters... and even Dementors...

Since the very first Harry Potter film, every fan has dreamed of taking the same classic journey Harry Potter did aboard the Hogwarts Express. And this summer – they will get to live it.

Today, Universal Orlando revealed never-before-released details about the Hogwarts Express experience that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley – the all-new, magnificently themed land opening this summer. The train will connect the new land in Universal Studios Florida with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure – allowing guests with park-to-park admission to enjoy a real journey aboard the iconic locomotive.

Never before has this been done – creating an actual train ride experience to connect two spectacularly themed environments. The Hogwarts Express experience combines powerful storytelling, live special effects, lifelike animation and state-of-the-art technology to take riders on the journey of a lifetime. Guests will enjoy two completely different experiences depending on whether they’re traveling to Hogsmeade or London.

Once seated in the cabin, guests will be able to look out their windows as an incredibly authentic and magical adventure unfolds before them. They’ll see Hagrid come alongside the train on his flying motorbike, Buckbeak the Hippogriff swoop gracefully over the black lake, the Weasley twins on brooms and up to their usual antics, the Knight Bus swerving through London traffic – and other special moments and surprises.

Universal’s Creative team has been working closely with Warner Bros., Stuart Craig and the production team from the Harry Potter films to create a sensational Hogwarts Express experience that the entire family can enjoy. The Creative team has gone to great lengths to ensure the experience is true to the books and films. Everything about the train is authentic – from the paint and the materials used to build it.... all the way down to the whistle.

Park-to-park admission is required to experience the Hogwarts Express journey from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley (located in Universal Studios Florida) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade (located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure). For more information about the Hogwarts Express – including a new video that features a first-look at the ride experience – and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit
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