It’s a big update from Universal Orlando Resort this week as details have been released about the upcoming Hogwarts Express attraction. Plus, Starbucks has opened at CityWalk and other venues are getting closer as construction moves forward.  We finish this article with a new episode of the Unofficial Universal Podcast.

Cowfish

The Sushi-Burger fusion restaurant Cowfish is moving forward now that the upstairs Starbucks location has closed, and the exterior construction has begun in front of the old Pastamore location.  Downstairs will be the new Italian eatery, these should open midsummer.

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No time was wasted closing the Starbucks upstairs and walling off the entire area around it.

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Starbucks

The downstairs Starbucks has now opened, and is a beautiful industrial chic design. Guests no longer have to take the slow escelator ride to get their caffeine fix in the mornings.

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Plugs have been installed under all the benches to allow guests the ability to recharge.

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Outside, a lot of seating has been added which makes this once under-used entrance for the Endangered Species Store a place that guests can truly enjoy.

World’s Greatest Hotdogs

Around the bend and across from Antojitos, the building that will soon house the World’s Greatest Hotdogs as now been painted a teal color, and the old Galaxy Bar front has been gutted.

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Diagon Alley

Inside Universal Studios, Diagon Alley has hit another milestone.  The front walkway has now been walled off as they begin to add the themed elements that will be on the water front.

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Universal is currently building a berm here, where the show building, and non-themed areas will be hidden by trees and foliage.  Hopefully that works and we won’t be able to see the backstage areas once Diagon Alley opens this Summer.

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This path is very narrow, but this is great progress as we get ready for this amazing land to open!

Hogwarts Express Details Revealed

Universal recently released some additional details along with some art of what guests will see while riding the Hogwarts Express, from London and Hogsmeade

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 theHogwarts 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 sensationalHogwarts 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.

 

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The station for the Hogwarts Express in Islands of Adventure is really coming together now.

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The entry gates for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are moving forward to accommodate the new Hogwarts Express. You can see the new gates taking shape below.

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The following are promotional images for the Hogwarts Express.

Hagrid-at-Hogsmeade-Station

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Buckbeak

This ride will be enjoyable for all ages, and guests will experience a different story from London to Hogsmeade and Hogsmeade to London.  We can’t wait to experience this attraction when it opens this summer!

That wraps up this weekends update, we will now leave you with a new episode of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast where they talk about Universal Studios Singapore, along with news from around the Universal Orlando Resort:

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