Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hogwarts Express Soft Opens at Universal Studios Florida (July 1, 2014)

On July 1, 2014 Universal soft opened the Hogwarts Express

After years of planning and construction, the Kings Cross and Hogsmeade Stations were open for guests.

While it was a "soft opening", it seemed to run flawlessly nearly all day, once it opened around 3PM

Notice to guests that Hogwarts Express is in technical rehersal

Kings Cross is huge.

If you are traveling with a Universal rented stroller, you leave it and pick up a new one at Hogsmeade

You need a park to park or Annual Pass ticket to ride. Scanning of passes is done here near the entrance.
Looking back toward the entrance.

You enter a long, almost tunnel like part of the station. Very authentic feeling.

Exit for the passengers from above.

If you have your own stroller, wheel chair or ECV you can take the elevator up to the 2nd floor boarding area.

Lots of vintage luggage in the Kings Cross station.

Once thru the queue, you head upstairs to go to platform 9 3/4 and board the Hogwarts Express

After heading thru this narrow passageway, you enter the huge station where the train boards.

The sheer size of the station is awe-inspiring

If the train is in the station, you pass right near it in the queue.

Hogwarts Express Train in Kings Cross

After the train is fully loaded, the porters will fill up the lines again for the next train

Lots of 9 3/4 Hogwarts Express signage

Loading instructions for Hogwarts Express

On-board Hogwarts Express
Did not take too many pictures in Hogsmeade Station, since I was recording video, but got a few shots.

Outside of the Hogsmeade Station

Near the boarding area in Hogsmeade

Prior to boarding in Hogsmeade

Loading / Unloading area for the Hogwarts Express in Hogsmeade

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