Friday, March 14, 2014

Universal Orlando Release New Details on the Hogwarts Express Experience

Universal Orlando released today new details on the Hogwarts Express experience! 200 guests will be able to embark inside the train which will be departing from Hogsmeade station at Islands of Adventure or Kings Cross Station at Diagon Alley for a ride that will last around 7 minutes! 

And now, today's Universal Orlando press release:

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 14, 2014) – One of the most memorable and exciting experiences from the Harry Potter series will come to life at Universal Orlando Resort this summer. Imagine:

• Being transported from the Muggle world to the wizarding world as you pass through the brick wall at King’s Cross Station to arrive at Platform 9 ¾
• Watching in amazement as the Hogwarts Express pulls into the station – its billowing steam and authentic
whistle beckoning you to hop aboard
• Sitting in one of the train’s cabins with your family and friends and actually riding the Hogwarts Express – just as your favorite characters did in the Harry Potter films
• Looking outside your cabin window and enjoying a scenic, breathtaking journey through the British countryside as you encounter magical creatures, some of your favorite Harry Potter characters... and even Dementors... 

Since the very first Harry Potter film, every fan has dreamed of taking the same classic journey Harry Potter did aboard the Hogwarts Express. And this summer – they will get to live it.

Today, Universal Orlando revealed never-before-released details about the Hogwarts Express experience that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley – the all-new, magnificently themed land opening this summer. The train will connect the new land in Universal Studios Florida with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure – allowing guests with park-to-park admission to enjoy a real journey aboard the iconic locomotive.

Never before has this been done – creating an actual train ride experience to connect two spectacularly themed environments. The Hogwarts Express experience combines powerful storytelling, live special effects, lifelike animation and state-of-the-art technology to take riders on the journey of a lifetime. Guests will enjoy two completely different experiences depending on whether they’re traveling to Hogsmeade or London.

Once seated in the cabin, guests will be able to look out their windows as an incredibly authentic and magical adventure unfolds before them. They’ll see Hagrid come alongside the train on his flying motorbike, Buckbeak the Hippogriff swoop gracefully over the black lake, the Weasley twins on brooms and up to their usual antics, the Knight Bus swerving through London traffic – and other special moments and surprises.

Universal’s Creative team has been working closely with Warner Bros., Stuart Craig and the production team from the Harry Potter films to create a sensational Hogwarts Express experience that the entire family can enjoy. The Creative team has gone to great lengths to ensure the experience is true to the books and films. Everything about the train is authentic – from the paint and the materials used to build it.... all the way down to the whistle.

Park-to-park admission is required to experience the Hogwarts Express journey from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley (located in Universal Studios Florida) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade (located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure)."

Universal also released the three images below and these scenes with Hagrid, Weasley and Buckbeak the Hippogriff are some of the scenes that the passengers will see when they look out the "window" of the Hogwarts Express. Of course, the window will be video screens that will give the illusion to the passengers that they are travelling through the Scottish highlands. The movies on the "windows" of the Hogwarts Express will be more of a kind of a 3D experience, as it won't just be a flat movie screen and guests will be able to see around the image in front of them (including above and below, and to the sides). 

More infos about the differences between the two rides from Snitch Seeker as it will be two different experiences:

From Hogsmeade/Hogwarts to London/Diagon Alley:
- Fred and George Weasley flying on broomsticks in Muggle clothes across the Scottish countryside outside of Hogwarts, presumably as they escape from the castle after their seventh year. 
- Hagrid waving goodbye to students (and guests) riding to London on the Hogwarts Express, from the Hogsmeade train station.
- A visual of the Muggle London street, including the big, purple Knight Bus, as guests and the train get closert to Diagon Alley and King's Cross.
- Buckbeak the Hippogriff flying over the black lake at Hogwarts.

From London/Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade/Hogwarts:
- Watch as the Dementors come to the attack, just like in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. 
- See a general visual of the British countryside, as in the movies.
- Watch Hedwig gracefully fly across the countryside by the window.
- See Hagrid riding on Sirius' motorcycle next to the train as it zooms north to Scotland.

All this looks incredibly exciting and i, personally, am very curious to see how they will achieve the pass through the brick wall at King’s Cross Station to arrive at Platform 9 ¾. As obviously they won't take the risk to let the guests crash their head on a real brick wall  i'm betting on a projection of a high-definition image of the wall on a mist screen through which guests will walk to enter Platform 9 ¾ ... we'll see if i'm right or not!

Pictures and video: copyright Universal Studios, Warner Bros

1 comment:

mr.Lime said...

I really feel sorry for that little Dwarf Coaster at WDW, which will probably be very nice, but by far not as spectacular than Potter phase 2. I'm absolutely not a Harry Potter fan (haven't read a book or seen a single movie of the franchise), but as a themepark fan I am very excited about this huge Universal expansion.

At least some resort in Orlando isn't spending 1.5 billion dollar on bracelets while (at least) 2 of their 4 themeparks look like outdated museums.