One of the things I had been most looking forward to in Universal was taking the Hogwarts Express between the Universal Studios Park and Islands of Adventure. This post is going to be a bit photo heavy, but I think it’s good. So first, the outside of King’s Cross Station is a bit smaller (actually a lot smaller) than the King’s Cross Station in London, which I walked by this past summer. The outside of the Tube station though has the exact same Underground sign and other signage that they have in London. Inside the station there is even a sign saying “Park your prams here” and pram is the word for stroller over there. It really feels like you are in London and not Florida for a minute. If only the train workers in this section had British accents too…
When you first enter, you have to stand in a line (of course) and eventually make your way up to the train workers who make sure that you have the double park ticket. You cannot ride the Hogwarts Express unless you bought the pass that covers both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. But, if you get to this point and only have the one park pass you can always pay to upgrade to the other pass within King’s Cross. This double park Harry Potter thing was genius for getting people to visit both parks. I should also point out that the King’s Cross station is in Universal and takes you from Diagon Alley to Hogwarts and Hogsmeade over in Islands of Adventure. You can ride the train the other way as well, but I did not do that this trip.
Continuing in another line which moves fairly quickly, you wind you way around and eventually see a cool illusion affect that shows the people in front of you walking through the wall of platform 9 and 3/4. I took a photo of it, but it did not do the effect justice.
Finally we got to the platform! The whole process only took about 15 minutes and was in peak afternoon times but in January so I am not sure how long it would take if you visited during the summer. As you can see in the first photo though, the lines could really wind around. I took a selfie with the 9 3/4 platform sign to commemorate getting on the train to go to Hogwarts for the first time. The platform is fairly large. I would say probably a few hundred people fit on every train ride. And then you have to wait for the train to return with people from Hogsmeade. When we got on, people were not very good about going to the assigned cabin they were supposed to but it was all sorted out.
I didn’t take any photos during the actual train ride but the different effects were really cool. The train ride was short…maybe five minutes long. The only thing is I wish they had given me a free chocolate frog or something on the train ride. Even though the ride warns against motion sickness, I didn’t think it was really that bad at all. I was sitting forward though and it might have been worse if you were riding backwards and looking out the “window.”