Universal Orlando Announces It’s Changing ‘Harry Potter’ Ride

in Universal Orlando, Universal Studios

Wizarding World of 'Harry Potter's Hogsmeade at Universal Orlando

Credit: Universal Studios

There’s a reason that Universal Orlando Resort has quickly become considered legitimate competition to Walt Disney World Resort, and, by many, the new theme park industry leader.

From thrilling rides like Jurassic Park River Adventure and The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure to the family-friendly fun of the all-new Minion Land and E.T. Adventure at Universal Studios Florida, there’s something for everyone. Movie enthusiasts can step into the action-packed universe of Transformers: The Ride 3D and embark on an adventure, and fans who want to know more about the behind-the-scenes work of putting together movies can check out Universal’s Horror Makeup Show and Animal Actors on Location! The resort also boasts an array of restaurants and shopping options, including the lively atmosphere of Universal CityWalk.

Universal Citywalk
Credit: Universal Cityalk

Of course, perhaps the most popular offering at Universal Studios Orlando is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – an immersive and magical experience. This themed area, divided between Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, transports guests into the pages of J.K. Rowling’s iconic series. The attention to detail in recreating Hogsmeade Village, complete with snow-capped roofs, and the eerie Knockturn Alley in Diagon Alley, with its dark and mysterious atmosphere, is truly remarkable. These meticulously designed environments make visitors feel like they’ve stepped directly into the Harry Potter universe.

The lands include several popular attractions, including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, The Flight of the Hippogriff, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

Universal Orlando Resort entrance
Credit: marcsfc / Flickr

However, the crown jewel of the Wizarding World experience may very well be the Hogwarts Express. This magical train ride is a unique attraction that seamlessly connects the two Universal parks, providing an authentic and exciting journey for guests. The Hogwarts Express transports passengers between King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios and Hogsmeade Station in Islands of Adventure. What sets this experience apart is the storytelling woven into the journey as you peer out of the windows and see various scenes and characters from the books and films.

To ride the Hogwarts Express, you have to have a park-to-park ticket or a Universal Orlando Annual Pass. If you’d like to upgrade your ticket to make sure that you can experience the Hogwarts Express, you can visit or get in touch with Universal’s Guest Experience Team, who will be happy to share your options and help you with any upgrades you’d like to make.

hogwarts express at universal studios florida
Credit: Universal Orlando Resort

Speaking of upgrades, the Orlando Informer has now confirmed that Universal Studios Orlando has officially changed the Hogwarts Express to give guests a more accurate experience.

BREAKING WIZARDING WORLD UPDATE  Hermione’s voice in the on-board audio for the Hogwarts Express at Universal Orlando Resort has been changed, and is now more accurate to the Harry Potter films.

According to the report, Universal has officially changed Hermione’s voice to give a more accurate representation of what fans hear in the movies. Both Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) chose not to lend their voices for the attraction when it was constructed.

Radcliffe shared in an interview with The Daily Beast several years ago that the reason was that he “wanted to draw a line.”

“A while ago, they asked me to do more stuff for the theme park, and that was my moment to try and draw a line because that theme park is going to keep expanding and keep going to more countries, and there’s going to come to a point where I’m going to be 30 years old, and if I was still doing that then, that would be a huge problem,” he said.

Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) using the Time-Turner in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'
Credit: Warner Bros.

While Radcliffe and Watson did not lend their voices for the Hogwarts Express, the two stars can be seen on both Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, as well as Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

There have been rumors that they might return once again for a new ride that is being built in Epic Universe– Universal’s newest theme park– but nothing has been confirmed currently.

If you’re planning a trip to Universal Orlando in the near future, you should know that the Hogwarts Express is scheduled to close down for refurbishment from December 10 through December 16. For the latest info on closures at Universal and much more, please visit the theme park’s official website.

Have you noticed these changes to the Hogwarts Express? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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