March 18, 2014 by Ray Yanek
*Disclaimer* Despite the title of this blog and the pictures of the train tracks above and despite the last post about the Amtrak Writer’s Residency, I honestly don’t have any sort of obsession with trains…
Oh screw it, this is going to be another post about trains. It is what it is…
I’ve been blessed with a lot of things in my life; a lot of wonderful things have been placed into my care, namely my wife and two beautiful children.
Although my kids are now older, although the movies don’t play as often and my daughter doesn’t lose herself in the books anymore, I’m very grateful that my children grew up with Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger, and Ron Weasley. I’m glad they got to meet Hagrid and Dumbledore, and got to visit Hogwart’s on quite a few occassions.
One of the first blog posts I put on Writing the Rails dealt with Harry Potter and my daughter. It was one of my favorite posts and one that garnered quite a few views.
You can read it here by clicking the title. Why I Never Read Harry Potter.
Although I’m not a big amusement park person–I’m not much on crowds and only lukewarm about roller coasters–the energy was incredible the year we drove to Orlando on our way to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando.
We had an incredible, although somewhat poignant, time and you can read about that here: 18 Hours to Hogsmeade.
My wife always talks about going back to Universal before the kids get too old, and even though I tend to respond with a ‘meh’, I think I would take the kids again, especially after reading about the new attraction in Orlando.
According to the Universal Studio’s website (which you can view here) the Hogwart’s Express will transport park-goers either from King’s Cross station located in Universal Studios to Hogsmeade in Universal Studio’s Island of Adventure. Or you can start your journey from Hogsmeade and travel the other way. Both journey’s are different.
But the Hogwart’s Express sounds more like an actual ride than just a souped-up version of an amusement park trolley train. You will actually need to pass through a wall to reach Platform 9 ¾; riders are assigned to a “seating compartment” which I’m assuming will resemble the compartment where Harry, Ron, and Hermoine first met; passengers will get to experience the English countryside through the window; and other characters from the story will appear outside of the train. According to an article in The Huffington Post (which you can read here), riders will catch glimpses of Hagrid on his motorcycle, the Weasley’s on broomsticks, and the Knight’s Bus.
In order to use the Hogwart’s Express though, you are required to purchase a Park-to-
Park pass, which The Huffington Post article states runs about $136.32.
Maybe the train will run you through Gringott’s as well…
Still, I would loooove ride that train with my wife and kids.