Friday, May 17, 2024

Can You Ride The Harry Potter Train

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The Lone Scotsman Jacobite Memorial

Why This Hogwarts Express ISN’T a train!

This is a wonderful monument standing proud at the very tip of Loch Shiel.

Its presence there dates back to 1745 when the local tribes rose up and fought alongside Prince Charles Edward Stuart who believed he had a better claim to the English throne.

Itâs a wonderful monument located at a truly remarkable spot, plus itâs just 2 minutes walk before the car park.

How Much Is The Hogwarts Express At Universal

The most common ticket: one-park-per-day ticket, costs about $125 .

However, since the Hogwarts Express takes you from one park to another, you can upgrade your one-park-per-day ticket to a two-park version at the nearby ticket booths for an extra $55-$70 or buy a two-park two-day ticket and enjoy Universal Orlando in all its glory.

Make Sure You Get A Park

Universal Orlando operates three separate parks: Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and the Volcano Bay water park. Each park requires a ticket for admission.

The resort sells two basic types of one-day tickets for the two theme parks: single park admission and park-to-park admission. As its name implies, a single park pass grants admission to one of the two parks. Guests cannot leave one park and go to the other using a single park ticket. A park-to-park pass, however, allows park hopping between the two parks. You could add a single-day Volcano Bay ticket to the mix, but itd be crazy to expect that you could reasonably visit all three parks in one day and enjoy everything they offer.

Universal also makes multi-day passes available. Visitors can purchase from one- up to five-day passes. There are two kinds of multi-day passes: two-park passes include the two theme parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, and three-park passes that include the two theme parks plus the Volcano Bay water park.

Here is where a gets a bit tricky: The multi-day passes also come in one-park-per-day and park-to-park versions. A two-day, two-park, one-park-per-day pass, for example, would allow a ticket holder to enter Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida on each of the two days, but not both parks on any one day. A park-to-park pass, however, would allow a ticket holder to go back and forth between both parks. Got it?

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Where Is The Best Place To Sit On The Jacobite Train

If you book your tickets on the phone, there may be the possibility of requesting where you actually sit on the train. If this is the case, then we recommend you sit on the right-hand side of the train. Not only does this offer the best views of the entire journey, but it also gives you the best view of the Viaduct .

So if you’re here for that Harry Potter Express experience, you’ll want good views of the Viaduct..

Where Is The Harry Potter Train In Scotland

Magical Harry Potter themed festival and train ride coming near Toronto ...

The Jacobite train goes from Fort William to Mallaig, and is a return trip by steam locomotive. At 84 miles in total, the round trip takes you via Glenfinnan and Arisaig. Heres a little more about each of those destinations.

Fort William

Fort William can be found to the south of the Great Glen and is famous for being at the foot of the UKs tallest mountain, Ben Nevis. Its an incredibly photogenic spot and a popular place to use as a base while touring the Highlands.

Read more Fort William Travel Guide


Crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland is one of the most spectacular parts of any journey aboard the Harry Potter train from Fort William. From the 21 arch viaduct, the Jacobite monument and Loch Shiel can be seen.

When time permits, the train driver will stop while traversing the viaduct so passengers can fully appreciate and photograph the panoramic views. While at Glenfinnan station, there is time to explore the on-site West Highland Railway Museum if you wish.


The steam train from Fort William to Mallaig can also stop at Arisaig upon request. This small place plays host to the Highland Games every July, and is positioned on the shores of the Loch of the Cells. During the summer season, visitors can also take the Shearwater boat from here to the Small Isles.


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How Does The Hogwarts Express Work At Universal

The Hogwarts Express connects two parks of Universal Orlando Resort Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.

As mentioned earlier, it works as a two-directional train instead of a unidirectional one using the funicular cable car railway technology.

You can access the train from both parks and get transported from one to the other.

On the way there, instead of the backstage operations of Universal Orlando you will see beautiful scenes of British countryside with a slight chance of Dementors through the cleverly curved screens posing as windows.

The Queueing Time Is Almost As Bad As Being Turned Into A Ferret

I think everyone can agree with me when I say that the worst thing about theme parks are the long, awkward and boring queues. Due to the sheer number of rabid Harry Potter fans, the queue for Hogwarts Express can get quite long on peak days.

On the bright side, the attraction now accepts the Universal Express Pass that allows you to skip the queue. Youre welcome.

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The Top 5 London To Harry Potter Studios Tours

  • Departure point: Victoria coach station, London
  • Whats included: Transport, entry fee
  • Whats not included: Lunch, hotel pick-up, extras

This is one of the easiest ways to get to Harry Potter World from London, especially if youre staying closer to Victoria than to Euston. Victoria is more central for many, whereas Euston lies to the north. Three Underground lines including the District and Circle lines also have stops at Victoria as compared to two for Euston.

This trip allows you four hours at the studios, with the rest of the time being taken up with travel to and from London. Another key advantage of this inclusive ticket is the fact that you will get to skip the line .

  • Departure point: Bulleid Way, Victoria, London, SW1W 9SH
  • Whats included: Transport, entry fee
  • Whats not included: Lunch, hotel pick-up, extras

This family tour is like the previous option but designed for a group of up to four. Transport is provided by Golden Tours, the partner that Warner Bros Studios recommend for coach travel from London to the Wizarding World.

During the day youll also have four hours at the studios, and you can choose how to spend that time. Will you try a Butterbeer, board the Hogwarts to London steam train, drop into some of the shops on Diagon Alley or have your picture taken in the Gryffindor common room?

Departure point: London zone 1 hotel or meeting point

Whats included: Transport, entry fee

Whats not included: Lunch, hotel pick-up, extras

Departure time: Varies

The Hogwarts Express Oi Fun Facts

Jacobite Express: Riding the Harry Potter Train in Scotland

There are, arguably, more Easter eggs in the Hogwarts Express queue and ride experience than practically any other attraction on the planet the perfume advertisement in Kings Cross Station, for example, or the thestrals outside of Hogmseade Station. Discussing what you managed to see with your friends and family afterwards is a major part of the fun.

Also, did you know that the Express is the first theme-park attraction in the world to be designed for literally anybody? Even if youre an infant or on an oxygen tank, everyone can take the ride from London to Hogsmeade .

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How To Get There: Driving Parking & Public Transport

Youll need another morning to spend in Glenfinnan to actually capture photos of the Harry Potter train bridge AKA Glenfinnan Viaduct. But its soooo worth it!

If youre driving to Glenfinnan, you can park at the Glenfinnan Visitors Centre Car Park for £3 for the whole day. You can also park at a nearby church and you might also hear about another free car park just next to the visitors centre. This space has actually been reclaimed by locals so it will soon become another paid car park. The postcode for your GPS is PH37 4LT.

Aim to park around 30/45 minutes before the train is due to cross the viaduct. That way, youll be sure you can find a spot both in the car park and at the viewpoint.

You can also travel by public transport from Fort William to Glenfinnan. Check out ScotRails West Highland line website for information on tickets, prices and timetables.

First Class Vs Standard Class

This is a tourist experience, rather than an A to B transport service, so it’s all about soaking in the marvellous views of the Highlands as well as day-dreaming of Hogwarts and looking out for Harry Potter filming locations.

The whole aesthetic of the train is catered to this too, with its 1950s interiors harking back to the golden age of rail travel.

The £27.50 difference between First and Standard class tickets will give you larger, more comfortable seats, extra leg room, and complimentary tea/coffee each-way. As well as being more spacious, the first class carriages are also a bit fancier overall, with cloths, lamps, fabric finishings.

In Standard Class, you’ll be seated at tables for four, whilst First Class has the option of tables for two.

There are also a limited number of First Class compartments available on the morning train service. Akin to what you see in the Harry Potter films, are private with a sliding door and seat six people – if you can’t see the option on the booking menu, then they will already have been taken

If money is no object, or you’re treating a Potter fan to a one-off travel experience, then go for the first class and you’ll still have a great time with the exact same views in Standard Class!

It is however generally thought that you get the best views if you sit on the left hand side heading from Fort William to Mallaig, and on the right hand side on the return leg.

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Overlaps And Catch Points

Some railways fit at the ends of crossing loops so that if a train overruns the loop, it is derailed rather than collide with an opposing train.

Since the available space for crossing loops is usually limited, they do not normally have an overlap between the starting signals and the end of the double line. In Australia, the policy provides for overlaps of about 500 m and 200 m respectively in an effort to avoid derailment or collision.

How Scary Is The Hogwarts Express

You Can Now Ride A Harry Potter

Hogwarts Express

We rate the Hogwarts Express one out of five Dementors in terms of fear factor. With a smooth ride and a mostly passive experience, the attraction really is designed for the whole family. The only potential hang-up here is for small children, who will probably be frightened by the boarding Dementor which is a creepy-but-very-brief encounter.

Read Also: When Were The Harry Potter Movies Made

How To Get To The Glenfinnan Viaduct

simply follow the A830 out of Fort William to Glenfinnan. Its an easy and very scenic drive.

Park at Glenfinnan Viaduct and Monument Car Park. It costs £3.50 and is pretty big so you should easily find a space.

Some guides suggest parking for free at the nearby church, but when I went there was a sign saying parking was only for church visitors. So I think it would be unfair to park there.

You can take the Route 500 Bus from Fort William which takes about 30 minutes to reach Glenfinnan. There arent many departures a day but a couple arrive in time to see the train go by.

You can also take a 33-minute train ride from Fort William to Glenfinnan with ScotRail. Glenfinnan station is a little further away from the viaduct so youll have to walk more, but there is a lovely hiking trail from the station to the viewpoint, which also passes a viewpoint of Loch Shiel.

Is The Jacobite Train Wheelchair Accessible

As its a restored steam train, the coaches of The Jacobite are not designed to allow wheelchair access. A ramp may be provided, but often wheelchairs are too wide to fit through the door. Its best, therefore, if mobility-impaired passengers can step up aided or unaided and walk at least a short distance.

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How To Visit The Glenfinnan Viaduct

Did you know that the Glenfinnan Viaduct attracts more than 300,000 visitors every year?

Making it the 5th most popular paid tourist attraction in Scotland .

Not surprising as itâs easily one of Scotlandâs most mesmerising places to visit!

Like most people, we knew the viaduct as the Harry Potter viaduct or Harry Potter train bridge, for its regular features throughout the series.

We couldnât wait to visit on our journey through Scotland.

And in the end, it turned out to be even more epic and magical than we could have imagined!

We were able to experience the viaduct both from the outside, and from within the train, when we rode the Jacobite train from Fort William to Mallaig.

Below Iâll take you through everything you need to know about the Glenfinnan Viaduct, right through from the best times to visit and how to get the best photos.

First up …

Psst!! … Do you have travel insurance sorted?

Before traveling anywhere, make sure you have your travel insurance in place. We recommend SafetyWing.â


  • You can pause and restart policies each month
  • They are more affordable than many providers

Day Scotland Tour + Harry Potter Train

Hogwarts Express Complete Experience (Diagon Alley To Hogsmeade) – Universal Orlando

Discover the spectacular scenery of Scotland on board the iconic Jacobite Train, a historic steam locomotive that inspired the famous Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter series.

Discover the spectacular scenery of Scotland on board the iconic Jacobite Train, a historic steam locomotive that inspired the famous Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter series.

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Where Is The Glenfinnan Viaduct / Harry Potter Train Bridge Location

This epic bridge is situated just 30 minutes outside of Fort William, on Scotland’s western coast.

Here is the .

You have a few different ways to get here, including:

  • Drive – You can rent a campervan and spend the day exploring not just the viaduct but also the other sites in the area
  • Take a coach trip – Tours operate from different parts of Scotland every day
  • Ride over it! – One of the best ways to experience it is to ride the Jacobite train over Glenfinnan Viaduct. For more info, check out our post on riding the Jacobite/Harry Potter train
  • Harry Potter Train Tickets & Tours

    You can buy tickets for first class seats or standard class:

    • £79.50 | Adult Day Return

    • £52 | Adult Day Return

    • £57 | Child Day Return

    • £30 | Child Day Return

    • £180 | Private Table For 2

    • £349 | A private compartment which seats up to six people.

    A child is classified as aged 16 or under, whilst those aged 3 and under travel for free and do not require tickets if they can sit on your lap .

    There is also a minimum £3.75 booking fee, and a steep £15 admin charge if you make an amendment to a booking. Going on the Harry Potter train in Scotland is not therefore a cheap option, and the costs will be high if youre planning on doing it as a family

    You can buy your tickets directly on the West Coast Railways website here.

    Galleons are not accepted.

    As mentioned, we highly recommend booking in advance. There are however sometimes a limited number of tickets sold directly on the platform on the day of travel, but these are not guaranteed to be available or sold in any great number. If chancing your luck, then it’s recommended to turn up at the station an hour before departure, and it’s cash only.

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    Riding The Hogwarts Express

    11/11/2021 | Reviews, Universal Studios

    When visiting Universal Orlando Resort, the most magical time you and your family will have is visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Hogsmeade! Universal has pulled out all the stops to make this the most authentic guest experience possible – you can read about all these worlds have to offer HERE and by searching the Me and the Mouse blog!

    One experience that is truly unforgettable is a ride on the Hogwarts Express. Only those with a Park to Park ticket at Universal Orlando Resort are allowed to take part in this experience. If you dont currently hold a Park to Park ticket, ask your travel specialist for an upgrade!

    Guests can board the Hogwarts Express either at Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station in Universal Studios, OR, at the station in Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure. Guests will be required to scan their Park to Park ticket upon entering either station. Food and drinks must be finished before boarding the train.

    On either side for boarding, however, you will queue up by Hogwarts Express team members, and will be ushered into designated cars. This is not like Disneys monorail system – as there are only a few that are able to ride at a time. Any wheelchairs and/or strollers can be accommodated, and team members can help you with the boarding process. Please note, no videos or flash photography is permitted once the doors are closed!

    Choose Between Experiences Not Rides

    Harry Potter Train Scotland: How To Ride The Hogwarts Express

    Now, many people may not know this but the ride from Kings Cross to Hogsmeade is significantly different from that from Hogsmeade to Kings Cross.

    The former is much scarier and includes a whole lot of Death Eaters and spooky Dementors furiously searching for Sirius Black while the latter is more of a happy ride with the Weasly twins swooping over you with a special appearance from you know who at the Malfoy Manor.

    So, if you have kids with you, head to Hogsmeade.

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