Hogwarts Express?

Ok how does Hogwarts Express work. Does it run both ways from Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios or is it just a one way trip form Universal to Islands of Adventure?? If your in the wrong park whats the best way to get between parks?

Runs both ways. There are actually two trains that pass each other halfway through the ride.

Remember you need park hopper tickets for the attraction.


Oh, yeah. What @ParkscopeJoe said!

What is the best plan to ride twice? Is it worth starting at US direct to IOA in morning and then circle back when finished with IOA? Or is there a better plan? Thanks

@Cynkane The Disney Dish podcast with Len and Jim Hill, episodes 55, 57 and 59 have some great Hogwarts express info. Don’t know if they will answer your specific question but they are pretty good.

It’s really up to you and what else you have going. We just came back, and the lines for HE were not bad – riding one way and immediately hopping in line and riding back would have worked just fine. If you have stuff to do in the other park, though, riding over, knocking some stuff out and then riding back would be a nice way to break it up.

@Cynkane most people usually go USF to IOA, do Hogsmeade, then go back. Usually HE maxes out wait times in the late morning/early afternoon in USF.

I recommend going USF to IOA, personally. Or since IOA is now EARY entry go into IOA and ride HE over.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I appreciate it. I would like to start in IOA and end in US since we are going the night of the Marti Gras parade. But would like to do whichever will make the best use of our time and get to see the most of Harry Potter. Again Thank you

Maybe you can help as I can’t get a straight answer enem bye calling. Going this Saturday. Park close 9pm MG parade 7:15 and concert at 8pm will the tides be open during parade and concert? Want to stay for parade no interest in concert not sure when to tell taxi to return for us? If rides are closed we can leave before 9

Rides close at advertised park closing time. HE closes at the earliest park closing (if IOA closes at 7 and USF closes at 8, HE will close at 7).

I just learned that Universal does not have early entry - would have been nice to know before we booked onsite hotel. Has anyone attempted to go to IOA early entry and catch HE over to Universal so you can be in line for Gringotts by the time Universal opens the gates? Seems a bit ambitious, and touring reports a 47 minute wait for the 8:15am departure train ride?

Universal never guarantee which park will open for Early Entry only that one of them will and its only the WWOHP that will be open in the park. It is posted very clearly when you book. You can cancel most Universal hotel rooms up to 24 hrs before arrival. The 47 minute wait time is the average wait at mid day as Hex isn’t open You will not get a daily wait time before a ride officially opens which is 9 am for hex at present. Liners have reported success with entering IOA at 8 am with EE doing FJ then catching the First Hex at 8.30/8.40 getting to Kings Cross slightly ahead of those walking in.


I think you mean USF does not have early entry. Islands of Adventure does. Just want to be clear here.

Diagon has been opening half an hour prior to USF park opening, so a trip on Hogwarts Express over to USF would be great at that point. Both ‘trips’ are unique, and the USF to IOA trip is the longest in the late morning and early afternoon.

Seth would be able to help the most, but you will be more than fine with the changes made.

Trying to work out a touring plan for IOA and USF for March 30th. How do you figure out which park gets EE? We aren’t staying onsite and a wise liner suggested I start out at HP at the park that does not have EE that day so I don’t get stuck behind a crowd that has already been there an hour. Thanks!!

Current EE for onsite is at IOA but it can change at anytime. They don’t advertise changes only tell guests at check in. Personally I would do a few different tp starting in each park and work it from there. Also currently Skubersky is recommending leaving Gringotts until after 4 pm as its alot quieter then BUT they close the ride line an hour before park closing.

Thank you! I found something in one of the Orlando newspapers that said that both parks would have early
EE that day, but don’t know if that’s true. I did two parallel TP starting in different parks and time difference
was only 17 minutes, so maybe it won’t make a difference which park we start in. Thanks for the help!!

The paper is probably referring to the fact that they both open at 8 to the general public which is 1 hr earlier than usual. However one if them will open at 7 am for onsite guests

There is information posted elsewhere that early park admission will be at both IOA and USF from March 28 - April 11 for the busy Easter/spring break period. As always, subject to change.

http://orlandoinformer.com/page/articles.html/_/universal/harry-potter/early-park-admission. Found this article @Skubersky can you confirm OI info. And that EE is switching back to USF in April?