Fodor's Expert Review Hogwart’s Express—Hogsmeade Station
If you're traveling on the Hogwarts Express for the first time, the trip will keep you under a magical spell so that when you arrive at King’s Cross Station at Universal Studios (at Platform 9¾ no less), you're still in a wizarding state of mind. After you've settled into the compartment, you can look out your window and see the village of Hogsmeade and towering Hogwarts Castle from your window. But it's when the train leaves the station that the visual effects really kick in. Hagrid waves goodbye, centaurs gallop beside you, and the Weasley brothers fly by on their broomsticks. The journey lasts about four minutes as Hogwarts gradually disappears in the distance and you travel briskly across the rainy British countryside, truly believing you’re actually leaving a land known only to wizards. But wait. When you roll past the streets of London you'll discover the fantasy will continue. When the train stops you're only steps away from the magic of Diagon Alley.