Hogwarts Express is Arriving at Universal Orlando

Written by Eric Davis. Posted in Features, Orlando Parks, Universal Orlando

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Published on August 13, 2012 at 11:17 pm with 7 Comments

Robots and trains and wizards, OH MY!  In any other place this would seem outlandish.  But, for the folks at Universal Studios Orlando, it’s all in a days work. This week, we track the continued progress on three projects happening at the resort.  First up is the Transformers attraction site with a huge gaping hole in the earth and cement and foundation work continuing.  Next is the Harry Potter expansion into the Studios Park along with new information on where the Hogwarts express will run through the backstage areas.  Finally, we end with the news that the Midway games are progressing again near the Simpsons ride.  Let’s get started.

TRANSFORMERS
We are standing in front of the yet-to-be-announced Transformers: The Ride 3D.  Quite a bit of excavation work has now been done and the foundation is being poured.  If only the weather would cooperate.  The Florida thunderstorms, that Orlando is known for, keep leaving behind pooled water and making things difficult in general.


Here we have a clear look at the foundation laid thus far.


In the bottom of this picture you can see the milky, brown
water collected at the lower portions of the site.


The Rip Ride Rock-it coaster looms in the background.


More rebar waiting to be used.

Earth-movers continue to transport dirt from the site at a frenzied pace.

HARRY POTTER
And now for something completely different. The far corner of the park is beginning to take on the shape of waterfront London.


The square-like pedestals will serve as the base for lamp posts along the water.

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

While it is still very far from completion, the area already promises to be a real beacon along the lagoon and a major draw in the park.

What’s more, Universal has begun backstage construction along a long path which runs directly between Universal’s new Harry Potter construction site and the current Wizarding World at Islands of Adventure. Though, due to the location of the construction and it’s length, it will severely impact resort operations from the parade staging area, to costume facility access and general back stage navigation. But this is a project of such importance, that it is well worth the current growing pains.

The red line is the path of construction for the Hogwarts Express. It will more or less follow the current backstage road called 5th Avenue.

MIDWAY MANIA

After a brief hiatus, it seems that the midway games construction is back on. This project was made necessary when the previous games, which were located near JAWS, were displaced do to the Harry Potter Construction.

Transformers, Harry Potter, game construction, there’s a lot of work going into the future of Universal Orlando. We’ll do our best to keep you informed of the changes as they occur and hope you’ll keep us in the loop as well.

What pieces of Universal’s expansion are you most looking forward to?

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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7 Comments

Comments for Hogwarts Express is Arriving at Universal Orlando are now closed.

  1. Here’s my question for Universal
    The train is going to two parks how is the admission going to work out???

    • Universal sells mostly park hopper tickets now. This won’t be a problem for them. I’m sure that if someone has a one park ticket and wants to upgrade, there will be a way to do so at the train station. Really smart business move.

  2. I would think they will stop selling single park tickets as this would make the most sense logistics wise.

  3. Thank you for the Hogwarts Express construction map. I know that route exactly. 5th Avenue! Spent a bit of time backstage with some guys from Universal Creative (former Imagineers) in the early days of Islands of Adventure. Glad to see their dreams are as big today as they were back then.

  4. People think I’m crazy but I just think Universal Orlando is becoming a big hodge podge of attractions. They’re darn good attraction on their own but together/next to eachother they don’t make any sense (at least to me). Theme is thrown out the window. Not so much IOA but Universal Studios Orlando. My 2 cents…

  5. I wonder how the train ride will work, can’t imagine they’ll have people look out the windows at backstage areas. Maybe something like a train simulator with screens in place of the windows where you’ll see some Potteresque scottish landscape?

    Maybe they also could raise the tracks above ground to allow the regular backstage traffic to go on undisturbed underneath it.

    BTW, has Diagon Alley / Universal Potter Area offically been announced or is it all still unofficial?

    • There are some new screens that go from being completely transparent, to a non-transparent video monitor.

      I imagine Universal Orlando is going to use a technology like on the Hogwarts express. They are not building a tunnel, or elevated track. This is going to be a surface track that shares the road, kind of like a street car track.

      here is a video of the Samsung Smart Window http://youtu.be/mTVPVobDrms