For years, Muggles worldwide have dreamed of visiting the magical world of Harry Potter. That fantasy became a reality in 2010 when Universal Studios Florida’s Islands of Adventure opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Upon entering the award-winning theme park land, guests are greeted by the Hogwarts Express, the iconic locomotive that takes Harry and his friends to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry each year. While initially designing the park, Universal planned to paint an existing train engine and transport it to Orlando. Unfortunately, it became clear that such a feat was cost-prohibitive, so Storyland Studios was asked to fabricate an authentic, screen-accurate, 1:1 scale replica of this beloved steam engine.

We started by studying the original blueprints and digital models used in the Harry Potter film series to ensure our piece would hold up to the scrutiny of the passionate Potter fans who would visit the park every year. Our team of artists then began to work their magic to transport the Hogwarts Express from the page and silver screen into the real world of Orlando, Florida. We started by building a steel frame for support then cladding it in custom fiberglass panels to minimize weight. Once the basic shape was complete, we added all the essential details using sculpted foam, CNC cut wood, and metal adornments. Last but not least, our finishing experts hand-aged every inch from the heat warped smokestack down to every nut, bolt, and rivet.

Since opening, the Hogwarts Express has become one of the most popular photo destinations for millions of yearly guests looking to capture memories of their magical vacation.