Is The Universal Studios Hogwarts Express Worth It? YES!

Is The Universal Studios Hogwarts Express Worth It? YES!

Planning a vacation to Universal Studios Orlando in 2018? Here are 5 reasons why riding the Hogwarts Express between parks is worth it!

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As almost lifelong residents of the American Southeast we were never farther than a 9-hour drive to Orlando, Florida. Translation: we went to Disney World and Universal Studios a lot.

Considering the amount of time we would visit these parks and the hefty cost of such a trip, there’s one thing we had never actually done: a park hopper pass for Universal Studios to ride the Hogwarts Express between Harry Potter parks.

Each park hopper pass is an extra $50 per person, and it’s the only way a guest can ride the Hogwarts Express between parks.


We were at Universal Studios Orlando frequently enough to do a single park on different days, so we weren’t sure the Universal Studios Hogwarts Express is worth it just for a train ride.

Well, call me a Dumbridge Muggle because I didn’t get it. But now I do.  I promise.

Yes, essentially it is just a train ride. But it’s a really freakin’ cool train ride- especially if you’ve ever even heard of Harry Potter!

Here are just 5 reasons why the Universal Studios Hogwarts Express is Worth It!


1. You Can Get Away From the Harry Potter Crowds

Crowds at Harry Potter Universal Studios Hogwarts Express is Worth It


My #1 reason why any Universal Studios Harry Potter park may not be worth it is the crowds.

Potterheads be everywhere!

Honestly, I get it. I love Harry Potter (I even took a college course on Harry Potter, as taught by none else than my mother). I love being immersed in his world.

The unfortunate part is not being a nerd, it’s the fact that each Harry Potter park is so incredibly crowded you can hardly see your hand in front of you, much less that super cool dragon on top of Gringott’s.

The entrance to the Universal Studios Hogwarts Express is a crowded mess, but once you pass the ticket counter you’re shown in to the train station in neat lines. Ahhhhhhh, order.

The fact is that only a percentage of Harry Potter goers have the Hogwarts Express park hopper pass, so it’s bound to be the one attraction that’s less crowded than any other in either Harry Potter park.


2. Become Immersed in Harry Potter

Kings Cross Terminal Harry Potter World Universal Studios Hogwarts Express is Worth It


This should go without saying, but I don’t know you so I’ll go ahead and just say it: the Hogwarts Express waiting area and train ride really make you feel like you’re on your way to the famous wizarding school!

The details of each side of the train station are exact matches to those shown in the movie. There are signs for Platform 9 3/4, suitcase carts, the decor of each train stall, and real life cloaked train conductors showing you the way!

To bring your childhood hero’s world to life is probably what brought you to Universal Studios to begin with, so you may as well pay up to make the experience even more mind blowing.

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3. It’s a Once-in-a-lifetime Harry Potter Experience

Group Drinking Butter Beer Universal Studios Hogwarts Express is Worth It


You can actually become a Hogwarts student while waiting for the Hogwarts Express! Don’t just see it. Do it!

Your fandom can really shine as you appear to actually walk through the wall between platforms 9 & 10, thanks to a little-known muggle magic called reflecting glass and lights.

You’ll see Hedgwig all set in her cage, ready to follow Harry to Hogwarts, carefully eyeing and hooting at the other passengers.

While on the train you’ll come ear-to-ear with our 3 heroes, and shadow-to-shadow with some hungry dementors.

It’s the closest you could ever come to making those dreams of becoming a wizard a reality!

Read: Why You Should Visit Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights


4. Well, The Hogwarts Express is a Really Cool Ride

Universal Studios Hogwarts Express is Worth It


Let’s pretend you’re not a die-hard Potterhead. That’s ok! Harry Potter taught us all to be a little more accepting of the filthy I mean, super cool Muggles!

When it comes to the Universal Studios Hogwarts Express, the fact is it’s just a really cool ride. And that’s probably the other reason you came to Universal!

You’ll ride on a real train with amazing special effects playing all around you the entire time.

Universal Studios attractions are all about making the guest feel like they are part of the Hollywood movie experience. Whether or not you’re familiar with the nuances of the Potterverse, the Hogwarts Express definitely delivers!

State-of-the-art effects marry old school technology to make this an unforgettable experience for anyone!

5. Access Both Universal Studios Parks

Universal Studios Globe Universal Studios Hogwarts Express Is Worth It


Another reason that should probably go without saying, but, again, I don’t know you.

Depending on who you ask, the best reason for upgrading to the Universal Studios Hogwarts Express is being able to access both parks. And not just access them, but to sit down and take a really cool ride between them instead of walking back and forth like a chump.

To any Potterhead or theme park fan, this reason is enough to splurge for the upgrade. The fact is, each Universal Park is not quite enough on it’s own. The parks just aren’t as big or as full as Disney. They just aren’t.

Each is really fun, but you’ll probably feel done by early dinner time. Getting the park hopper pass means one really full, really amazing day of experiencing the best from both parks and riding the Hogwarts Express to get between them.

Yes, it’s also one expensive day, but probably a better overall experience and cheaper than 2 individual park tickets to visit each park on different days.

Still not sure if the Universal Studios Hogwarts Express is worth it? See for yourself!

Get Universal Studios tickets here!


Planning your own vacation to Universal Studios and want to ride the Hogwarts Express? Pin this article for later!


5 Reasons to Upgrade to the Universal Studios Park Hopper to ride the Hogwarts Express Universal Studios Hogwarts Express is Worth It


Universal Studios Hogwarts Express is Worth It



  1. Confession: I’ve never been to Universal (or any Disney park) and I’ve never read (or seen a movie of) Harry Potter. What kind of freak am I?! I am pinning this for friends of mine who don’t live under a rock like I do. 😉

    1. Definitely NOT a freak, but I am surprised! If you ever get the chance to go (or at least see a movie) I hope you enjoy it!

  2. OMG I’m a huge potterhead and I’m super jelly cause unfortunatly more than a 9 hours drive this would be a 9 hors flight over the ocean! Such a cool experience that hopefully one day I’ll get to do! So awesome!
    PS: Wish they did a Harry Potter course here, I’d be a pro haha

    1. Oh wow that is far! Yes, it sounds like a great idea for Universal to build a Harry Potter World closer to you! I’m sure there are many others who would love to visit!

  3. Wow! This has been on my travel list for so long and you just made me want to schedule it asap! LOL! Looks like a great time 🙂

  4. My boyfriend is not a die-hard Harry Potter fan (somehow we still make it work), and even he loved the train. I can’t even imagine all the effort that was put into the details of the park, including the train. Adding the train ride to your itinerary just makes the whole experience that much more immersive! Your post makes me want to go back…

  5. If you are a Harry Potter fan most defiantly a place you want to visit. Just have plenty of time. The crowds are huge.

  6. I’ve never been to the Universal in Florida, but I live in LA and used to have a season pass to the one here. Hogwarts is my favorite place and literally just went to Universal Studios to hang out and drink butterbeer. I so need to go to the one in Florida.

  7. I can completely understand why you would want to do this. Even if youre not a Harry Potter fan this sounds like it would be so much fun. Ive never been to a Disney park maybe its time I did! Love this post!

  8. As a MASSIVE Potterhead I am giddy as hell just thinking about it. My friend and I have been planning this trip down to Florida for years where we can nerd out in our natural habitat. After reading this, I text her to stress that we cannot make it happen soon enough and that the Hogwarts Express would be mandatory. Thank you so much for the insight 🙂

  9. I’m pretty thrilled you liked this attraction! I’m an HP junkie and I’ve wanted to go see this forever. I’m so glad it’s good – I can’t wait to visit, and hope I have just as much fun!

  10. I have never been to universal but I have been to Disney land and Disney world! My kids are adults now but it looks like the adults can have fun too!

  11. Oh my gosh! This post is so helpful for us! We love Harry Potter and are planning a trip to Florida (we use to live in Florida before Harry Potter world arrived!)

    We will absolutely be looking into the park hopper passes now! Thanks for the great post!

  12. I have never been to Universal but think we’ll need a trip after the kids read the Harry Potter series. My HP exploration is limited to the actual Kings’ Cross station!

    1. I’d love to go to the real King’s Cross Station! I hope you can make it to Universal soon. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the recreation!

  13. OMG we went to Walt Disney World in Oct 23-27 AND Universal Studios in Oct 27 for my eldest child’s 12th bday! She is a Potterhead haha We, I meant, THEY did all the Harry Potter rides because I was too chicken to do the “scary ones” haha!

    I plan to write about our Orlando adventures on my blog once hubby has organized the pics and vids 🙂

  14. Your mum taught a Harry Potter college course?! That’s AWESOME!

    Also, this trip looks great. Hope I get to go back to Universal again one day! I went long before Harry Potter… 🙂

    1. My mom is the best! It was actually a Sociology course. She used Harry Potter to illustrate all the different social classes!

  15. The last time I went to Universal/Islands the Hogwarts Express wasn’t there yet. I love both parks and this seems like a really fun way to get between the two!

  16. I lived in Florida for years up until recently when I moved. When they first announced the construction of the Hogwarts Express I FREAKED OUT. Spoil alert: Huge Potterhead here. I’m disappointed I never got to go, but it’s definitely on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  17. I’m looking at visiting Universal and the Harry Potter Studios so this has been hugely helpful. The Hogwarts Express sounds so fun but I’ll just have to save up a little extra!


  18. I am planning a trip to Hogwarts in the summer and I too was contemplating whether or not the train ride was a good idea between parks. Thank you for sharing your experience, I may just try it lol!
    And how cool is your mom!?

  19. OH this looks like so much fun. I plan to go with my three grown daughters, we are all Harry Potter fans! The hubs despises all things Harry Potter so this will be an excellent girls trip!

  20. Taking my 3 adult children who love all things HP here in mid-December(16-18). Hopefully before the Christmas crowds! We are staying at a Universal hotel so we get early access. What rides/attractions do you suggest we do first thing before it gets crowded? We did get the park hopper pass so we can ride Hogwarts Express!!


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