Universal Orlando Update: All aboard the Hogwarts Express

Written by Eric Davis. Posted in Features, Orlando Parkhopper, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios

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Published on October 29, 2013 at 3:30 am with 56 Comments

All aboard!  It is time for another Universal Orlando update, and this week brings you updates from both parks in the Universal Orlando Resort, along with a peek at the Hogwarts Express train, now on its tracks!  So get your ticket ready, because it is time to get the Orlando Parkhopper rolling!

Hogwarts Express Station

At Islands of Adventure the Hogwarts Express Station is turning into a massive building, that is now giving riders of Dragons Challenge some new close calls to amp up the excitement level. The show building and queue for the Hogwarts Express have been built close to the Dragons Challenge ride.

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Jurassic Park Games

Over in Jurassic Park, the newly relocated games are getting interior work, soon the team members will move into their new location.  We should see some new construction walls start to go up in Jurassic Park after the new year for some major construction. Hogwarts Express won’t be the last major attraction for this park.  More on this very soon.

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Diagon Alley Details

Details continue to be revealed on the exterior London Facade.  At the King’s Cross station, glass has now been installed in the large entrance and more details on each facade are beginning to show.  This area of the park, is going to elevate the park to a whole new level when it opens next year.

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Hogwarts Express Train on the Tracks

Earlier this week, Universal announced that the Hogwarts Express Trains were being lifted on to the tracks.  Guests in the park who look between the gaps, are now able to see these beautiful trains high on their tracks. Pictures don’t do these vehicles justice.  It will truly be magical when you see the Hogwarts Express ferry guests back and forth, from London to Hogsmede next year (plan your trip now)!

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 CityWalk

Just when you start to think that Universal is starting to wrap up construction, new construction walls pop up and a new project makes its way through development. Right now, CityWalk is seeing massive work being done to it.

Red Oven

More details are now visible, along with the new exterior structure that was constructed for this new quick service eatery.  Hiring took place this past month, and soon Team Members will go through training, as they get ready to open this new venue.

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Starbucks Moving

The location formerly known as the Endangered Species store, is completely gutted and ready for construction to start.

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Latin Quarter rumored to become Don Quixote

The massive new facade replacing Latin Quarter is taking shape,with the old Spanish Mission outline visible, which allows us to imagine this new dramatic facade.

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New CityWalk Kiosk

Over at the entrance to CityWalk, a new set of construction walls have popped up for what seems to be a new kiosk.  More details to come as we learn more.

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That wraps up the Parkhopper for this week.  With Halloween Horror Nights now over, and Christmas on the way, we will be bringing you great holiday coverage: Macy’s Holiday Parade, Grinchmas, concerts and more.  Until then, enjoy the latest edition of the Unofficial Universal Podcast with Lee, Tracey and Darren as they discuss all the news from around the Universal world.

About Eric Davis

By day, Eric is in Marketing and Social Media. But on the weekends, he's a theme park addict. Eric is a frequent contributor to MiceChat's Orlando Parkhopper columns and tends to focus his efforts on what's new and what's news at Universal Studios and SeaWorld.

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56 Comments

Comments for Universal Orlando Update: All aboard the Hogwarts Express are now closed.

  1. First another great update Eric.

    How visible is Duelling Dragons going to be from Diagon Alley? This could easily take away a lot of the atsmophere and vibe straight away looking into this steel mess. Plus the noise level from riders screaming. Can someone give me assurance this is not going to be the case.

    I’m glad Islands of Adventure is getting more attractions. Because it needs them. I don’t care what the deluded fan boys who enjoy midway games think to this but the truth is this Park with exception of Spider-man and Harry Potter has very little appeal to the wider audience. Jurassic Park is a good area but Disney has Dinosaurs too! Marvel is just such a loud area of the park. The music is loud to begin with but then you add on the noises from the rides and it’s got no character or vibe. I only recognise half the Characters from Toon Lagoon and I can’t find anything to like over at Suess Landing. On a small positive I do like the lost continent. Although Mythos is way overrated. So adding new rides is the way forward and I look forward to seeing what Universal Creative come up with for this Park.

    • Dueling Dragons is on the other side of the resort from Diagon Alley. You can’t see Dueling Dragons from Seuss Landing within the same park, and hell, you can barely see it within Hogmeade itself.

      On a related note, having the Train Station in Hogsmeade so close to the coasters is great – they’ve been hidden for too long. The ride used to command 45+ minute waits but has been a walk-on for the past 3 years because guests unfamiliar with the area can’t even see it.

      • I’m not convinced Guests being able to see Duelling Dragons from the train station is a positive thing. People will be fully immense in the Harry Potter experience. With its stunning buildings and areas and in the distance see something so rough and un themed resembling something you’d find at Six Flags. I hope Universal tear it down.

      • @Malin Guess what. it’s a theme park. Suspense your disbelieve or don’t visit them.
        Never noticed the tracks under the Goofy plane or the tracks visible trough all the concrete at the dwarf coaster. You can see the show building for Splash mountain or the flat back of the Disco Yeti coaster mountain. You can see the Tangle Tower Toilet miniature from Liberty Square and the list goes on and on.

        I think Universal is doing an amazing job finding new land to expend their parks and the scale and detailing are amazing.

      • @Tielo Guess what this is a message board where we can discuss and raise concern about Theme Park issues. Don’t like it don’t read it! Disney has some issues too but I’m not talking about them today. And what you list is quite minor vs a steel structure with screaming riders. It’s a valid point and one worth discussing…

      • Looking at the construction photo’s I see you get out of the station underground. There is a long trench getting more shallow when you reach the exit (or the entrance of Hogsmed). I also read that on the opposite side from where you exit there will be a wall of trees blocking the view and sounds of the coasters on that side. On the side you exit you see the huge train station structure so that will block some more sound and visuals. Together with steam train noise, steam from the engine and the guests embarking the train I think your “worries” are largely taken care of. But yes you will see the coasters at some point bit I don’t think they will be that intrusive. When it was Duelling Dragons I always wished I could wander around the base of the huge spaghetti bowl. Anyway Universal (unlike Disney) don’t have massive amounts of space and I think they do an awesome job with what they’ve got. Seeing Disney messing up their perfect transitions at MK worries me more then the improvements Universal is making. That’s why I reacted a bit irritated and I’m sorry for that.

        For the games at Jurassic Park. First of all I don’t care for them but it seems the most logical place. The new JP movie will feature the former dinosaur amusement park that is was supposed to be before hell broke loose in the first movie. They cleaned up the outbreak and it’s now a theme park (probably with games and everything) so it will be a perfect fit (just like the Simpsons ones). Just like those games at Disney I’m not sure why someone would like to spend money on these things but they bring (at least at the Simpsons area) some much needed Kinect energy and probably enough money to have them in the parks.

    • Malin, you’ve got it all backwards, again.

      See, you are suppossed to be flying with the Dragons and like a Dragon at WWOHP. Dragons don’t fly along the ground just to make you and Brady’s Mom happy. So, the tracks are up high in the air because you are flying around like a Dragon.

      Hippogrifs fly too, and that ride would also be silly to put your tracks on mountains and hills because you are pretending to be flying with the creature.

      Instead of thinking of the Dragon ride from the ground, get on the ride and see how cool it will be to fly all around the Train Station while the Hogwarts Express operates below. Imagine how amazing it will be to be on a Dragon, swooping down and all around Hogsmead, the train station, the Hogwarts Express as hundreds of thousands of guests who skipped the WDW Theme Park Museum, enjoy the better new technology of the modern theme parks of today.

      Or, you can ride Little Mermaid again, as it’s a walk on.

      • The fact most of the ride is hidden at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter makes me believe not even Universal Creative see it your way any longer. And I hope it will do its best to hide the view point away from the Train Station. Time will tell. Right now I care very little about the ride experience because I can do the exact same coaster at amusement parks around the world. What I care about is how much of an eyesore red and blue tracks with screaming riders is going to make the whole experience. I want Diagon Alley to be truly amazing because it’s going to take that much to make me come back next year. But I have valid concerns. Which no one really has answers for except for Universal’s PR Dept (Captain America) By the way from now on any Disney related criticism being made towards Disney I’m going to ignore. It just derails the discussion. And midway games does not make Universal or Islands of Adventure a modern Theme Park.

      • I know. I would be tired of trying to defend WDW too.

      • I am not tired of defending WDW. Just trying to be respectful to Eric. I doubt he writes these articles so the likes of you can be disrespectful and use it as an excuse each week to find reasons to attack Disney. But I guess attacking Disney makes you feel more secure about Universal and it’s offerings… Especially when someone like me decides to be negative towards them. Despite your responses to my criticism very little of it has been in defense of the issues I’ve made towards Universal. Most of it seems to be tiresome comparisons to Disney. But if it makes you and others more secure towards your insecurity against Universal by attacking Disney then I’m glad you can find some use. Just don’t expect me to join along with it!

    • @Tielo I certainly hope your right but we won’t know for certain until it opens up in the Spring. In regards to the space issue that might not had been the case if Universal didn’t foolishly sell away the land it had reserved for the third park. By the way do you have anymore compelling reasons for the other games in the park?

      • We think you are funny Malin because it’s like you have a 6 foot long board sticking out of your eye and you are telling someone else that they have a speck of saw dust in their eye and you want to tell them how they should remove it.

      • I think your funny Captain Action. Because you can’t handle to see anyone being negative towards Universal Studios. I can’t seem to even mention a bad word toward Universal without the response slamming Disney. Sad fact is why I have decided to defend Disney a bit towards the tired criticism it seems to pick up from a few on here. I am also a Universal Studios fan and have had the opportunity several times to visit the Orlando, Hollywood and Japan parks. In fact I’ll be in the Hollywood park in July. You don’t know this about me because you decide to just jump to your own conclusions and how I must be a Fan or work for Disney because I dare to question how Universal operate its parks. Universal Orlando after many years is starting to heavily invest in its parks. That’s great news but the day to day operation are far from perfect. If you disagree then you are clearly in denial. I am a big enough fan that I can enjoy the parks but also at the same time I am not deluded enough that I can’t point out its flaws.

  2. Thanks for another great update. Very excited to see all the construction happening. I think I am more excited about the train than the new Gringotts coaster, which is strange since I’m a coaster fan.

    It will be amazing if Universal does immediately follow this up with a new attraction in Jurassic Park.

    • DuckyDelite, I kinda feel the same. I remember being blown away by the 3D King Kong ride at Universal Hollywood a couple of years back. I didn’t really care about the attraction before riding but I couldn’t believe how real everything seemed even when Kong pulled the back car, full of guests, off of our tram!

      I know the Hogwarts Train won’t be in a tunnel like Kong, but I’m sure the technology of putting the images the imagineers want up on the windows will remind me of the 3d Kong experience. I hope there are several versions of the trip which will make it a different experience each time.

      It’s going to be great!

  3. Universal and Islands of Adventure are parks built for Millennials. If you want an old quiet theme park with stuffy out dated history tour rides go to Disney.

    The bubble gum pop dance parties at Disney are far more annoying then people screaming on a thrill ride.

    • I completely agree, UOR is an exciting modern theme park/resort.

    • And we Gen Xers can afford to go to both, and have dinner in a nice restaurant during the dance parties.

    • A category of which I fall into and yet my desire to see video based rides from movies released in the last 5 years is small. Also why attractions like Toy Story Mania and Star Tours are not high on my to do list when visiting Disney Hollywood Studios a park which is not that much older then Universal Studios to be fair.

      The dance parties are annoying your right! But at least you don’t leave them with a headache. Universal Creative created Marvel to sound like it does and it’s just a mess with no clear audio background music. How can I soak up and enjoy the atsmophere when I can’t even make it out clearly enough. Again this is not how I like to enjoy my Theme Park experience.

      I personally can’t wait for the Midway Games to open up at Jurrasic Park. This will drown out another area of the park with noises. Perhaps it’s time we refer to this area as Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama 2.

      • Yes, the Dwarf Coaster cars themselves are better than all of Diagon Alley and Hogwartz Express and WWOHP, right? That still wins the, “Funniest Comment Made by Anyone on Micechat” award.

        Why don’t you comment on the little 2 foot tall dollhouse called Beast’s Castle at New Rockland?

        Please comment on the 18 inch tall dollhouse on top of the 8 foot pole called Rapunzel’s Home.

        Please comment on the 3 years and counting for WDW to build one kiddie coaster.

        Please comment on the Little Mermaid Ride (the new WDW Imagination Ride equivalent) which guests have given a big thumbs down on because it’s most often a walk on.

        Please comment on all the attractions Universal has built in the last 3 years and the attractions WDW has built over the last 7 years, and you can even include the themed toilets at WDW, you know, to help out your side.

        I know that if you see some tracks too close to something that you get very upset, so these things at WDW must be driving you insane.

      • Can you provide the exact quote because I don’t recall saying it the way you just quoted it! Guess your changing a few words to better suit your argument. I do recall saying how wonderful the new trains were for the Mine Coaster after seeing them on a recent visit to the central workshop. And I also did say that Universal needed to bring it with regards to Diagon Alley after being left underwhelmed by my recent visit here. But you seem to be taking the comments out of content. Do you work for the media by any chance? Now I could comment on WDW because I know the fan boys love to talk about it! But for once can some not make a constructive criticism about Universal without trying to bash Disney. I know its hard about how about next week we don’t mention Disney at all… Oh and lets talk about the new rides to come to Universal in the last three years. Despicable Me is not a new ride. It’s a new video being installed into a 24 year old ride system. Transformers is another ride using video. And while fun is also identical to Spider-man. The night-time show is hardly advanced. I remember seeing a show like this at SeaWorld when I was a kid inside the arena that does the Water Ski shows. The Parade is cute but musical arrangement is horrible. And please don’t ask me to rate the new Spinner ride. The Harry Potter ride is excellent but the surrounding area was poorly designed from a capacity point of view. Not reflecting the size of the crowds. The fact this area of Islands of Adventure is always crowded while nothing else is further adds to several points I’ve already made. One positive about Diagon Alley is that we can finally enjoy Harry Potter without feeling like a sardine.

      • I know that it is tough to defend WDW’s track record the last 10 years. So, you have to try and take Universal down.

      • I’m responding to an article about Universal. Why do I need to mention WDW. Besides you asked for my comments. I’ve given them.

      • Same shopworn Disney complaints, it could almost be another one of Newton’s laws of mechanics.

  4. Looking very cool!

    • Hey Lost Boy. I’d love to give you something new but WDW won’t do anything new so we are kinda stuck with WDW in the Dormant Land they have created.

      Maybe WDW will really make Avatar and then we can all see the pretty light up plastic plants, but that will be a decade from now.

      With the kiddie coaster going on 3 years with no completion, I’m realizing a new AvatarLAND will take WDW at least a decade to build. I wouldn’t look for it to complete in a decade but just that WDW would be building in a decade.

      So, look for new material from me around 2024 or so.

      • Like I have already said Lost Boy they are all secret bitter Disney fans. It’s almost comical seeing people like Captain Action use the same old complaints in a desperate attempt to get an reaction out of people. Sad reality is that for the people who enjoy Disney we don’t need to defend it.

      • Pop goes the weasel.

  5. I’m still amazed at how quickly this is all coming together.

    Great update.

  6. The dance parties do give me a headache and they are always right in the middle of the park where there is no easy way to walk around them. I don’t want to watch creepy characters dance to bad club music with a bad dj. It makes the place like a Chuck E Cheese and cheapens the experience for all.

    At least Universal actually opens new attractions and closes out dated ones. There are way too many NEW rides for me to even care about background music except for the version of Jurassic Park that is played on steel drums which is amazing.

    I don’t want to be forced to use a Mickey Mouse magic band or go on old stuffy rides that are about events that I already learned about in middle school history class. Just give me a regular ticket and state of the art attractions. The best solution is the simplest solution.

    Universal does not need clowns in their new expansion area like Disney which says a lot about the state of both parks.

    • Parades, Shows and other entertainment have always been part of the Disney experience. And Walt Disney wanted his parks to become a place of education and not just entertainment. Find it hilarious your trying to find fault and complain against it!

      Despicable Me uses the same ride system that it has for the last 24 years.

      The Magic Bands are kind of cool and I was able to use them for everything on my last trip. So much better then a paper ticket and finger scanner. Nice to see also that FastPass + is a free service and not something I have to pay $50 for at Universal to skip the rides.

  7. Thanks for the great update Eric!

    I am thrilled to see all of the amazing pictures. It’s stunning how quickly these buildings are coming together, but I guess time is of the essence for this mega project. Looks like the ride components are almost ahead of schedule and just waiting for the buildings to catch up.

    Any idea on how they are going to theme the entryway/approach into the Hogsmead Station in IOA? Do we have an official opening date yet?

    I am very excited by all of the construction going on at Universal and eagerly wait for the next update. It seems like it’s a great time to be covering Universal Resort.

    Thanks again!

  8. Great Update Eric

    Once again, the comment section is a war zone between WDW and USO! So lets clarify this AGAIN!

    While there is no theme park is perfect (to everyone) there is an underlining theme to what we expect as a visitor and to pay OUR money to experience something new. I have not been to Florida to 10 years now, and I am looking forward to go back again soon. Since then, nothing at WDW has built makes me scream that I must go there soon, except for Expedition Everest. New Fantasyland caters for the family with the young children. Not me, but another visitor. Universal again caters for a specific audience, which is families with teens and young adults. The franchises which are used today at USO are specifically modern and quite right, Jaws in a old film, and to be fair, people now watch it for nostalgia. I have said this many times that to build new attractions, they have to replace older rides. Universal have been doing this with the studios park recently like crazy, with Jaws becoming Harry Potter. WDW has been doing this as well, but instead of new experiences, it is the meet and greets. Again fine for young children. I can relate queuing to see Mickey Mouse in his home, but now, as I have got older, I want to see them spontaneously. Not every character has a meet and greet in WDW, but is now imbedded in Disney’s fans lore, and as such, when ever a new meet and greet is made in any other theme park, they say that there is a lot of catching up to do with how many meet and greets!

    Another area in discussion is sight lines. While the dragons coaster has large scale metal poles that holds the track, and can be seen in the park. It is industrial compared to the whimsical and magical Potter land. But, it is a popular ride, one of the best coasters in Florida! Why remove it if it is popular? Again, Disney has the same problems with the Tangled Tower, and the Mickey Hat in DHS! Also, what is wrong with coaster track and infrastructure? Disney does it with a flying coaster, such as Goofy’s Barnstormer, anyone! You are flying on tracks! But I digress, it is a good coaster to start children on, and there is nothing wrong with it. Same thing applies with Dragon Challenge. I love the roar if that coaster! Sounds like a Dragon flying past Hogsmeade village. Really nice to watch videos of the area and hear a roar of a dragon. Something that is missed from WDW?????

    Finally, the new potter land or as I call it Project London, is brand new in terms on ride technology. We have seen the new Hogwarts Express locomotive and carriages and I can say, as a British Train Enthusiast, they look spot on to the real 5972 and MK 1 Carriages. Perfect representation of a British locomotive and coaches! Superb! Also, what I love about the this is despite showing us the train, we still don’t know the ride system! Same for the Gringotts Bank Coaster! Both using mine carts! But which will remain on top!

    Thanks Again Eric

    Trumpet

    • Forgot to put in above;

      While I agree that Despicable Me uses an old ride system, the theme of the attraction, for me personally, overrides this entirely. The minions are lovable and it works so well for what people have said! So there is that!

  9. I’m impressed with the quality and speed that Universal builds new attractions. Nothing sits closed and vacant there like WDW.

    These Disney fans should stop worrying about steel supports for an working attraction and start asking WDW why whole areas are allowed to rot in plain sight like a depressed mall, even Six Flags doesn’t allow that. Wonders of Life, River Country, Discovery Island, The upstairs area of Image Works, the Sub lagoon for years, the skyway stations, River boats at Animal Kingdom, Art of Animation for a decade and the list goes on.

    People in decaying empty glass houses should not throw rocks at functional steel supports.

    • Universal fans really need to stop caring in such detail to what Disney is doing and start looking at the finer details with its own parks. The Midway Games are absolutely horrible. I have pointed out a major flaw with Duelling Dragons which no one wants discuss in to much detail. Seeing the comments continue to attack Disney I am starting to question if you guys are really Universal Fans or just angry and bitter Disney fans.

      • There’s a similar problem at Knott’s Berry Farm where you have roller coaster supports throughout the Ghost Town. In fact, now the stunt show audience gets a bonus view of the crotch coaster during the performance.

      • When parts of the Lighthouse at Islands of Adventure start crashing down and it is surrounded by safety nets, it will be a MAJOR flaw and I will take notice.

        Having park icons like the Tree of Life or Splash Mountain literally falling apart is much worse then a steel beam or Midway games. I care because WDW is so neglected that people could get hurt and sadly your mouse ear hat will not protect your head from a huge chunk of falling concrete.

      • Yes Malin, I answered your concern above but you keep your fingers in your ears while singing, “It’s A Small World After All”.

        Dragons fly. Hippogriffs fly.

        So, tracks go in the air and not along the ground whether flat, hill, or mountain.

        Look at the coasters. dragons and hippogriffs heads at the front. See, you are flying with a dragon or a hippogriff.

        Now imagine flying all around the Hogsmead station while the Hogwarts Train enters and disembarks with thousands of the happiest guests you’ve ever seen.

        Now, your concern has been addressed twice.

      • No CaptainAction what you have done is poorly attempted to spin a real negative into a positive. People at that Train Station are going to think “God this red and blue mass of steel looks so ugly up close” …

      • I hate the fact Silver Bullet is built right above the Stunt show. Looks terrible and the noise is distracting every time a train rushes pass. Guess we might have this to look forward to at Universal next year.

      • Mailin did not answer any of my concerns. Disney and Universal are always compared just like Coke and Pepsi. Its a losing argument if you have to limit what people are allowed to talk about in a free country. You can dish it out but you can’t take if people dish it back to you.

      • Well I do recall saying I wouldn’t be discussing Disney anymore since it’s not the topic of conversation. Since this is after all a comments section on Universal Studios. The fact we are still talking about Disney is because the Universal fans want to do so… Clearly I guess in this free country you guys live in you’d much rather talk and rant about Disney then talk about Diagon Alley or Universal Studios. How interested are you? . Again if we review this thread we can see that it was the so called Universal fans that brought the subject of Disney up and continue to wish to talk about Disney. If I read an article on Pepsi and then read the comments all talking about Coke I would think people clearly didn’t care for the product because your talking about the rival brand. This is the impression I’m getting when it comes to your interest in Diagon Alley. How many of you have commented and thanked Eric for his contribution. How many of you have discussed in any detail the trains or windows being installed. 2-3 people is my count. Truth is if you read the WDW update on a Friday are the WDW ranting about Universal. Answer is no!!!

      • You cannot defend an inferior product so you have to limit the discussion. I understand completely.

        Smart consumers compare companies in the same market segment. Pepsi is described as a sweeter version of Coke. They are both sodas just like WDW and Universal are both theme parks that buy the same rides at the IAAPA convention and use a lot of the same sub companies to build them.

        Thanks Eric for giving Malin a board to troll on.

      • A Troll is someone who will say stuff to get an reaction out of people. The fact you and others brought Disney up and continue to want to go down this road I feel its you being the Troll. The fact your saying stuff to try and get a reaction and seem to be frustrated towards me not responding also seem to suggest this!!! Tell you what I’ll address all your concerns through a private message. And its a bit late to be thanking Eric now. Try again next week… Can you go without mentioning Disney?

  10. I forgot to add Pleasure Island as another closed and depressed empty mall area at WDW.

    • Completely agree with what you are saying. I think is because there is so much space, they can build more ‘stuff’ without demolishing.

      Personally, it is creepy to have a dead are in this ‘magical’ area.

  11. You can google abandoned WDW and see pictures. Every theme park has it strengths and weaknesses.

    The Orlando park that never seems to get knocked on here is Fun Spot which is surprising because it is only slightly better then Maze World.

  12. Might make me seem like a grumpy know-it-all but those Hogwarts Express coaches just look wrong! They should have 4 windows either side of the center door not 3! Also the windows should be more rounded! Apart from that they look fantastic! Just hope the engine has a Fireman and Driver, and the train has a Guard (And not an engineer, stoker and conductor! Harry Potter is English after all). Also I hope that they do something to honor the real Hogwarts Castle, GWR Hall Class 5972 “Olton Hall”!

  13. What it comes down to is this…..

    Universal continues to pack more punch for your hard earned dollars………Disney takes its customers for granted and has become very stagnant.

    The end.

    • Bingo mainejeff!

    • Speak for yourself one day was more then enough for me to do both Parks and Horror Nights. I don’t call that pack a punch with my money. And exactly the reason I applaud Universal CEO decision to invest more money into the Parks. The fact that Universal has to build Diagon Alley, Transformers and Despicable Me before people are willing to visit says it all about the current state of both Parks.

      • One of the best things about Universal is that the really dumb guests like @Malin who only care about themed bathrooms, wearing dumb hats and magic bands stay at WDW. It is a much more intelligent crowd at Universal and it is less crowded with better rides.

        You can tell how good Harry Potter is by how angry it makes the die hard Disney fans. All they can knock about it is that you can see a world class roller coaster. At WDW you can see safety nets before you go on a lame video based attraction in the park icon because the place is falling apart. How magical. They even exploit a dead person in another video based attraction that is is just an old Michael Jackson film from 1986 cheaply reused way past its prime.

        The last E ticket ride at Magic Kingdom was Splash mountain in 1992. The fact that Disney has to rip off butter beer says a lot more. Invest wisely or go to both and notice the differences.

      • Again desperate attempts to get a reaction. I look forward to your private message :)

  14. @mainejeff said it best.

    1992 is a really long time for a new E ticket ride. I’ll go to the park that opened one in 2013 and is opening another one in 2014.

    • Great comments solarnole. “Trying” to copy Butterbeer is really sad from the elder theme park leader of the past. I’ve never even seen anyone at WDW order a Lafou Brew, while the butterbeer lines are so long that we’ve taken to going into the Hogshead Bar to order our butterbeers.
      While Gaston’s is a walk in with no line because nobody wants a shank steak (ugh) or Lafou brew, like the Little Mermaid ride, a walk on.
      I think the Hogwarts Train might be an E ticket attraction too. Add that to Gringott’s E ticket attraction and Transformer’s E ticket attraction and we will have THREE new E ticket attractions to ride from Univeral in LESS than ONE YEAR!
      That’s how to treat the guests!
      We didn’t even talk about the new Universal value resort opening in about 5 months. Cabana Bay will have a kitchenette and bathrooms with three sinks and divided into three areas so families can get ready at the same time. The rooms sleep 5-6 I think. The resort will have a wave pool and lazy river all for about $90-$100 a night! That’s $50 less than a no frills basic value room at WDW which sleeps 4. Amazing!