This image of the Hogwarts Express pulled in to the London Kings Cross Station at Universal Studios Orlando is the most “liked” photo I have ever posted to my Instagram account. As a self-proclaimed Harry Potter nerd, I couldn’t be more proud of my fellow nerds loving on it.
Last month my friend “Travel with Rick” presented me with the opportunity to tag along with him as his guest to the “Diagon Alley Sneak Peek” Event. I thought I might die at just the prospect of stepping foot onto the Hogwarts Express so I accepted without hesitation.
Our group entered Islands of Adventure and made our way back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the Hogwarts Express Hogsmeade Train Station. The Hogwarts Express now connects Hogsmeade (in Islands of Adventure) to London Kings Cross (in Universal Studios) which is the entryway to Diagon Alley.
The train station is grand and true to the movies in every sense.
As you enter through it’s sturdy stone archway you are presented with a winding trail lined with pine trees to take you back to the station where you will board the Hogwarts Express. The walkway leads you past the main building and down into the depths of the station.
Designers did a good job of placing most of the queue line inside the station under cover from the Florida sun. You can find stacks of luggage being stored in the station before climbing the stairs leading up to the train platform.
Once on the platform you will be directed into a queue area where you will await your train service to London Kings Cross Station. When the train arrives passengers are loaded into compartments. Each train compartment sits roughly six guests.
You can see the steam from the train and the bricks from the station out your compartment window. This is where the magic happens when the train pulls out of the station, but be sure and pay equal attention to what is going on on the other side of you where shadows lurk in the train corridor.
After your quick ride from Hogsmeade to London Kings Cross you will exit the train and make your way into the Kings Cross Station. You can gather by the expression on my face what I thought about my first ride on the Hogwarts Express.
It is here in Kings Cross where you need to keep your eyes peeled for the elusive “Platform 9 3/4”.
Once inside the Kings Cross Station you will make your way from the platform down into the station where you will encounter more passenger luggage and queue lines for the return trip back into Hogsmeade.
Be on the lookout for this “easter egg” when in the London Kings Cross train station. Divine Magic is a muggle perfume whose billboard made an appearance in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. See if you can spot it.
Friendly Kings Cross train station attendees are there to help you find your way into London and may or may not point you in the direction of Diagon Alley. They are muggles after all.
London Kings Cross Station is just as grand as the Hogsmeade Station with painstaking detail that makes you feel as if you have stepped into the movies.
Check out Part 2 of this Diagon Alley Tour here: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley Photo Tour – London Kings Cross at Universal Studios