I did a few literary things on my trip (and managed to finish two books - yay!) so it will be fun to recap things and get back to blogging. Obviously today's post is all about the Harry Potter Studio Tour which was pretty magical, I have to say. And it was surprising to me, that for a weekday, there were a lot of people going to the tour. I mean, I know Harry Potter is uber popular, and the tour is awesome, but for some reason, I was thinking there wouldn't be such a crowd of visitors. Maybe because the tour has been around for awhile now. But it was nice to see the enthusiasm, and the little kids dressed up like wizards. :)
So the beginning of the experience - where we are sat in a theatre watching a taped introduction by Daniel, Emma and Rupert about the studio sets - to having the screen move up and reveal the doors to the Great Hall, was very cool. It reminded me of the Star Trek Experience that used to be in Las Vegas, where we were assembled into a small room, and the lights went dark, there was a rush of air, and when the lights came back on the walls around us had been raised, and we were on the bridge of the Enterprise! Of course we had just materialized there. LOL
So the tour begins in the Great Hall, where they have some of the costumes and the long tables that you see in the films. It is a great beginning of the tour, as you feel like you've just arrived at Hogwarts, and there is the sorting hat, ready to put you in your house (please Sorting Hat, can I be in Ravenclaw??)
From there you walk into a huge area, where they just have a massive amount of props and rooms from the films - like Dumbledore's office, and the Potion's classroom. And also an opportunity to take a photo/video riding a nimbus (or firebolt?) but that was too silly for me and my friend. LOL
|Mirror of Erised|
The next big soundstage housed the Hogwarts Express set, where we could board the train and look into the compartments, and each of them were staged to correspond to one of the films. And also the opportunity to push the luggage cart through the wall.
The next part of the experience was food - we could get snacks or a hot meal at the canteen, or of course a mug of butterbeer, which I found absolutely delightful. It was butterscotchy and delicious! I would love it if they marketed it and you could buy bottles for yourself!
The canteen opened on to an outside area where you can see Privet Drive, a version of the Hogwarts Bridge, and the Knight Bus. I'm glad it was a sunny day, so we could get some good photos of them!
The last soundstage housed a lot of the creatures and specially created items for the films. And Diagon Alley which did seem much smaller than I thought it would be. I realize I didn't take many pictures of what was in there, but the creepiest things were full size mannequins of Harry, Ron, Hermoine, and Hagrid. They looked pretty realistic. Oh and there was Aragog up in the corner, which I completely noped out on, I did not want photos of that creepy thing, thank you very much.
For the finale of the tour, I think it was appropriate that they ended on the scale model of Hogwarts which was incredible. It was huge, and realistic and it could be lighted for day or night. I loved walking around it and seeing all the detail. And it was a nice touch that just before we reached the full model, we could see the preliminary steps to creating Hogwarts - the many drawings and white cardboard mock-ups - to having the fully realized design.
The tour was great fun, and completely worth the visit. It makes me want to watch the films, and read the books again, which I may not have much time for right now, but I know someday I will revisit all of them again. This was the first event on my trip, and a perfect beginning.
Hopefully during the next couple weeks, I'll have posts about the Jane Eyre locations I visited, the couple Jane Eyre adaptations I watched and a special post about visiting the Cotswolds since it is such a gorgeous place!
Thank you for reading, and I hope to catch up with everyone soon!