Harry Potter fans are in for a treat today, with author J.K. Rowling posting the first part of her original story History of the Quidditch World Cup on the Pottermore.com website. In addition, Universal Studios has released a new video from their Hogwarts Express attraction, which was announced back in January. Take a look at the video below, then read both of the official press releases for more details.

Pottermore.com, the digital platform from author J.K. Rowling devoted to the world of Harry Potter, today posted the first part of her History of the Quidditch World Cup. Rowling's 2,400-word history of the thrilling game played by witches and wizards on flying broomsticks is featured in the popular Harry Potter series of books. "History of the Quidditch World Cup" is one of Rowling's longest pieces of original content ever posted on Pottermore, which launched April 2012.

Here's what Susan L. Jurevics, Chief Executive Officer, Pottermore had to say in a statement.

"We're thrilled to have the opportunity to publish such an imaginative and engaging story from J.K. Rowling about the history of the Wizarding world's most exciting sport. We're committed to being the only digital destination where fans can discover new original content about the world of Harry Potter from J.K. Rowling. History of the Quidditch World Cup helps us not only fulfill that mission, but it also serves to entertain and delight our community.

History of the Quidditch World Cup will be available in two sections over the next week on Pottermore.com. Part one, which was posted today, provides historical background about the tournament, information about how the tournament works, and examples of controversial tournaments, including the infamous 1877 match played in Kazakhstan's Ryn Desert now known as the Tournament that Nobody Remembers.

Part two of J.K. Rowling's History of the Quidditch World Cup will be published Friday, March 21. It will feature amusing recaps of some notable recent matches that have been held every four years since 1990.

History of the Quidditch World Cup is characterized by Rowling's humor and wry observations about the sport. In one section about Quidditch regulations, she writes: "The rulebook concerning both on- and off-pitch magic is alleged to stretch to nineteen volumes and to include such rules as 'no dragon is to be introduced into the stadium for any purpose including, but not limited to, team mascot, coach or cup warmer' and 'modification of any part of the referee's body, whether or not he or she has requested such modifications, will lead to a lifetime ban from the tournament and possibly imprisonment.'"

One of the most memorable and exciting experiences from the Harry Potter series will come to life at Universal Orlando Resort this summer. Imagine:

  • Being transported from the Muggle world to the wizarding world as you pass through the brick wall at King's Cross Station to arrive at Platform 9 ¾
  • - Watching in amazement as the Hogwarts Express pulls into the station - its billowing steam and authentic whistle beckoning you to hop aboard
  • - Sitting in one of the train's cabins with your family and friends and actually riding the Hogwarts Express - just as your favorite characters did in the Harry Potter films
  • - Looking outside your cabin window and enjoying a scenic, breathtaking journey through the British countryside as you encounter magical creatures, some of your favorite Harry Potter characters...and even Dementors...

Since the very first Harry Potter film, every fan has dreamed of taking the same classic journey Harry Potter did aboard the Hogwarts Express. And this summer - they will get to live it.

Today, Universal Orlando revealed never-before-released details about the Hogwarts Express experience that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley - the all-new, magnificently themed land opening this summer. The train will connect the new land in Universal Studios Florida with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure - allowing guests with park-to-park admission to enjoy a real journey aboard the iconic locomotive.

Never before has this been done - creating an actual train ride experience to connect two spectacularly themed environments. The Hogwarts Express experience combines powerful storytelling, live special effects, lifelike animation and state-of-the-art technology to take riders on the journey of a lifetime. Guests will enjoy two completely different experiences depending on whether they're traveling to Hogsmeade or London.

Once seated in the cabin, guests will be able to look out their windows as an incredibly authentic and magical adventure unfolds before them. They'll see Hagrid come alongside the train on his flying motorbike, Buckbeak the Hippogriff swoop gracefully over the black lake, the Weasley twins on brooms and up to their usual antics, the Knight Bus swerving through London traffic - and other special moments and surprises.

Universal's Creative team has been working closely with Warner Bros., Stuart Craig and the production team from the Harry Potter films to create a sensational Hogwarts Express experience that the entire family can enjoy. The Creative team has gone to great lengths to ensure the experience is true to the books and films. Everything about the train is authentic - from the paint and the materials used to build it....all the way down to the whistle.

Park-to-park admission is required to experience the Hogwarts Express journey from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley (located in Universal Studios Florida) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade (located in Universal's Islands of Adventure). For more information about the Hogwarts Express - including a new video that features a first-look at the ride experience - and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit UniversalOrlando.com/HarryPotter.