J.K. Rowling stopped Universal Orlando from converting ‘Back to the Future’ train for Hogwarts Express

in Harry Potter, Movies, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Florida

“Back to the Future” fans can no longer enjoy the classic ride at Universal Studios Florida, but if it wasn’t for Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling there would hardly be a trace left of the popular film franchise at the park.

As the story goes, Universal Orlando was busy planning the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and giving Rowling a tour of the area. That’s when they came across the “Back to the Future III” time travel train from the second sequel. “12 Monkeys” showrunner and die-hard “Back to the Future” fan Terry Matalas explains in a recent interview with The Nerdy Bird what (allegedly) happened next.

“The story behind the train is when they were walking J.K. Rowling through the park, they were going to use the train or convert the train for the Hogwarts (Express) at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” recounted Matalas. “She was like ‘No, absolutely do not do that, please do not. This is iconic. Keep it totally as it is.’ So J.K. Rowling actually saved the Back to the Future III time train from being (turned into a Harry Potter attraction).”

USA Today explains that another anonymous train was used instead, but Back to the Future fans can thank Rowling for preserving a significant piece of history from the film trilogy.


  1. Laurie

    This is a nice story, and much respect to her for appreciating Universal’s cinematic history-it’s a shame they were even considering converting it. Now, if she had stepped in and saved JAWS, my once undying love for USF would have remained intact.

  2. Lucian

    It aggravates the hell out of me that Universal seems content to stomp all over its history in a headlong rush to cash in on the current “biggest thing”. Thank you, J.K. Rowling!!!

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