Universal Orlando: Hogwarts Express Blowing Smoke, Plus HUGE Pic Update!


With Spring Break marching in like a lion, Universal seems to be rushing to get as much done as possible while not closing anything down. With that comes an update from the official Website saying that Dueling Dragons(not Dragons Challenge) will be closed from Feb. 27th to March 18th. March 18th? Wait thats Thursday! So that means they must have the rehab completely done right?

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As you can see, it’s hard to tell if any work, other than some cleanup, has been done at all on Dragons. It looks brighter, but thats about it. Perhaps they just wanted to put the coaster down so that they could get more work done on the surrounding areas? Or maybe it was so they could change over the dragon coverings for the new dragon themes? Perhaps we’ll see on Thursday, but my guess is that they are going to push that date back even more.

Speaking of which, Hulk seems to have suffered a minor setback. They were doing work in the little lagoon area underneath the track, but because of the rain, seem to have been flooded out. You can clearly see where they have been sandblasting the crud off the supports, and even some of the track appears to be brighter, but hard to say if they were going to really do any hard core painting.

Now over to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We walk up and low and behold, the Hogwarts Express was testing it’s smoke stack! People all around were going bugfrog for it to, trying to scale the wall and trying to get the best angles possible. We werent able to do much better, but I did manage to snag this video with my phone:

Exciting stuff was happening as a lot of big visible changes seem to have stopped. Most of the buildings are done, but now we’re moving on to the aesthetics of the world itself. Touches were being made to the flying hog statues that were installed last week, as well things like lights being visibly on inside of Three Broomsticks. Plus there was something of notice covered up along the Flying Hippogriff track. At first it looked to be something on the track (perhaps a train?) but if you look close, its on the roof. Maybe this is just a piece of the house, or its just a stand to put something else on? Whatever it is, they dont want it exposed just yet.

Over to the greenhouse, queue rails are being placed outside, and the hole from the book that you make your entrance to the castle is now more exposed than it was. But the best part are the flower pots. Yes, they are just flower pots, but look closely next to them. What we seem to have are wires and boxes. We’ve heard rumors that there will be animatronic plants in the greenhouse, perhaps this is where some of them will be?

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Other points of interest. If you go over the bridge overlooking Dudley, and look to the left…you’ll notice another small waterfall and some rocks. They look very ragged and aged. Wonder why they didnt get any attention?

And now for some random pictures

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