June 22, 2013

You know that feeling you had as a kid going to Disneyland for the first time? You'd entered a magical place where everthing was perfectly amazing.That is how it feels, as an adult, going on the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Perfectly magical.

The tour starts as you enter through these doors into the great hall.

Which is set up exactly as it was in the movies. Even the paved floor is real. It is so crazy to think that this was literally where the movies were filmed. At one point this room was filled with actors -Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were here!

Hogwarts Gates
You literally get to see everything. There is such a high level of detail in every tiny thing it seems impossible that anyone would have even noticed watching the films. It makes you feel that you really have been granted exclusive muggle access to the wizarding world.

 For example - did you know that with every horcrux that is destroyed Voldemort's cloak goes a paler and paler green?

We were lucky enough to go during Animal Actors week. We met Trevor, Fang, Hedwig, many kittens from the plates on Umbridges wall and randomly the crow from Game of Thrones (apparently, I haven't actually seen that show).

A sleepy Fang

Visiting the Dursleys with our pal Hedwig
I was fascinated by the fact that 'owl socks' are a thing. In the film the owls have to wear little fluffy socks around their ankles to cover up any rings they have. 

Hedwig was not happy when her keeper tried to explain these to me by touching her feet. In this picture she is literally about to stamp on his hand. In case you haven't experienced this yourself, seeing a fluffy white owl stamping on a fully grown man is highly amusing.
"Yes, I will stamp on that."

The sets were exactly as they were used in the film.

The cupboard under the stairs
Ronald's bed in the Gryffindor dormitory

The Weasley Kitchen
Interestingly this was all built completely wonky to make it seem Arthur has made it all himself.

My favourite set of all was Dumbledore's office. It was so interesting to see the hundreds of different random magical items he had all over the place, the cupboard full of memories, and the millions of books on his shelves. Although apparently they're actually just phone books with fancy covers. I really just wanted to go in and explore the whole room but unfortunately it was frowned upon to go under the ropes.

The sets were so realistic that when my friend snuck up behind me singing the theme tune I did wonder if I might actually be Harry Potter (although perhaps Luna might be more realistic).

Who incidentally had a lovely wardrobe :)

As you go on through the tour you get to 'The Creature Shop' where you see all the make up and masks and creatures that were made especially for the film.

This basilisk is giant -it was pretty much as tall as me. I know I'm little but I do at least tend to tower over the majority of snakes.

One of my favourites of the Creature Shop was 'The Monster Book of Monsters'.

And Dobby of course.

There is literally no bad bit this tour. I was completely fascinated for the entire 5 hours I spent there. From the Creature Shop you continue into the epicness of Diagon Alley. An actual street all within the studios where the shops are fully set up both inside and out.

Just paying in my galleons

 The tour comes to its grand finale with a complete scale model of Hogwarts.This is what they used for the panning shots of the castle. The work that must have gone in to is crazy.


 Incredibly beautiful.

If you look at the people in the background you can get a feel for the scale of this model.

We had the best time at Harry Potter Studios and I cannot recommend it enough. I absolutely loved it.


 I'm still waiting on my letter though...


p.s. You also get to ride a broomstick!