You’re a wizard Harry!

Last week I finally visited the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studios and my word was it worth the wait!

I only really became a fan of HP about a year ago, I watched the last film the day before we went and I am half way through reading the books. The films are great and what I’ve read of the books so far, are even better. My girlfriend is obsessed with the world J.K Rowling has created and what she doesn’t know about it, isn’t worth knowing. Which was great as it was like having my own little tour guide with me.

From the moment you enter you are immersed in to the wizarding world. And as luck would have it, it was decorated for Christmas so a huge tree welcomed us.

Upon entering the official tour you will be shown a couple of videos (1 in a lobby, the 2nd in a cinema) which are basically a highlight reel from when Rowling first thought of a young wizard going to school all the way to Harry’s victory over “he who must not be named”. I won’t spoil what happens if you haven’t been but before you know it, you are in the Great Hall (also decorated for Christmas) and it is amazing! Already you feel like you’re at Hogwarts!

And from there you enter a huge studio lot that contains 1000’s of props, costumes, displays and sets from the films/books that were actually used, these aren’t replicas people! It was so cool watching the goblet of fire being lit, the common room, the table of death eaters, how they made different kinds of snow, and that is just a pinch of what awaits you in the first part of this tour.

Once done, you then head to the infamous Platform 9 3/4 and a little known train called The Hogwarts Express. Its as magical as you could imagine and you even get to go on it! That’s right, you can walk through the carriages and see different scenes from all the films/books.

Now at this point you are only halfway through the tour and the next part is delicious. Because here you get the opportunity to try Butterbeer and I strongly recommend you purchase a glass. Its so tasty and you also have the option of getting it in a souvenir tankard (which we did).

Next you are taken outside as you see The Knight Bus, the front of the Dursleys home, giant chess pieces and much, much more. It was even (fake) snowing! We did rush this a bit as it was getting pretty chilly at this point.

Then comes the technical bit for all the real movie nerds out there. Here you will find out how the animatronics work, 100’s of masks, set designs, and my favourite bit, walking through Diagon Alley. The time, thought and creativity that has gone in to turning the biggest selling set of books in to this fantastic set of films is beyond belief. Its great to see how much time and effort has gone in to making them all and you really appreciate how hard they have all worked.

Sadly, all tours must come to an end but my word, what a way to finish it. As you turn a corner you are met with a huge scale model of Hogwarts! Below you will see some pictures of it but in no way do they do it justice. There is so much attention to detail its crazy! You will find yourself spending a lot of time just staring at how truly breathtaking it really is. I couldn’t think of a better way to finish off the tour.

There is of course a huge gift shop that is expensive but it comes as no surprise and was happy to purchase a couple of goodies to take away with me.

So all in all it was a fantastic day and if you enjoy any aspect of Harry Potter then I definitely think you should visit. If you’re still not convinced, check out some of my photos from the tour.

Have you been before? if so, please let me know what you thought of it in the comments section below.

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Categories: Odds & Sods

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