Universal Orlando received two wrapped gifts yesterday, and Harry Potter fans will surely be able to identify them.
On Universal’s back lot someone snapped photos of what are clearly the Hogwarts Express trains wrapped up to stay out of the public eye. The cars appear to be sitting on tractor trailer beds from their move on the Florida highways.
The vehicles have arrived just in time for September 1, the day in J.K. Rowling’s books where students ride the train to their school of witchcraft and wizardry.
The trains will be taking guests from the existing Wizarding World Hogsmeade land at Islands of Adventure to the new Diagon Alley expansion being built at the neighboring Universal Studios park.
UPDATE: At least one of the trains has been unwrapped! Check it out (thanks again to HTF on Twitter):
A few weeks ago we shared with you photos of the Hogwarts Express passenger cars after their arrival back stage. The passenger cars are what guests will be riding in as they make their way between the lands. Rumors indicate that scenarios will play out on the digital windows within the train cars during your journey so it feels like you’re actually traveling across the Wizarding World.
Although the trains are now at Universal, don’t expect the expansion to open up any time soon. Reports indicate that the theme park is planning a summer 2014 launch to coincide with the original Wizarding World’s 4-year anniversary in June.
Concept art for the Diagon Alley expansion depicts Gringotts, a London waterfront, and more hidden secrets.
In the mean time, Universal and Warner Bros. have teamed up to host A Celebration of Harry Potter at the original Wizarding World this January. Fans will be able to take wand lessons, participate in cast meet and greets, and more.
Thanks to HateToFly on Twitter for the photo.
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