MuggleNet Preview: Hogwarts Express at the Studio Tour
Harry’s first footsteps into the magical world took him beyond the barrier at King’s Cross and onto Platform Nine and Three-Quarters to join his long-lost wizarding community. From March 19, 2015, you will be able to recreate this experience for yourself – minus the actual trip to Hogwarts!
As announced this week, the studio tour’s latest addition to the attraction, and the first major one since its 2012 opening, will be platform nine and three-quarters and the original Hogwarts Express. MuggleNet was invited to a sneak preview of the site and has all the juicy details.
Yes.” said Harry. “The thing is – the thing is, I don’t know how to -“
Accessing the platform will be a touch easier for us Muggles than it was for Hogwarts students. It will become the final part of the J stage (the first indoor section of the tour), just after the Quidditch photo booth and near the recently added Dark Arts area.
Smoke from the engine drifted over the heads of the chattering crowd…
There won’t be any fear of overcrowding on this platform – it is massive! At the time of visiting, it was crowded with scaffolding, equipment, and a substantial building team and yet still felt spacious.
There will also be plenty of photo opportunities. By the train, on the train (possibly!), and three-walled mock-up carriages, set to the side of the platform and featuring the original exteriors from the films. And of course, there will be opportunities to recreate the trolley-in-the-wall moment.
A scarlet steam engine was waiting next to a platform packed with people.
Rather amusingly, the train, having previously been on display in a York museum, was brought down to the Studio Tour on the back of a truck, which pulled up right outside the tour in the main parking lot without being spotted! Once in place, the platform had to be built around the train. As it currently stands, the building is largely complete, with the walls now going through the various stages of painting to create the brick aesthetic of King’s Cross Station. While MuggleNet was there, half of the walls were in the garishly bright yellow primer colors, an early stage in the process.
Allowing visitors onto the train has yet to be decided, although it will likely be possible during an initial soft opening. It’s also worth noting that both the train and the extra carriages will have wheelchair access.
Finally, once you’ve managed to drag yourself away from this stunning new addition, you will find yourself in the newly enclosed backlot cafe.
That’s all we can offer up at this stage, but be sure to pop back in March for the full lowdown when the attraction is complete and officially open. Are you excited for this new feature?