I don’t know if any of you are aware but I adore Harry Potter. I have read the books more times than I can remember and I have obviously watched the films an equal amount of times, I have participated in fan art and fan fiction in my youth and proudly wear the Hufflepuff colours.
So when my boyfriend turned up at my door with a surprise trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour I was over the moon! I couldn’t believe it, not only had he got us the tickets to the actual studio tour but tickets to go behind the seams.. literally and view some of the costumes and how they created them.
The day started with getting into his car to the sound of the hedwig theme and a long car journey towards Watford and towards the Warner Bro’s Studio, surprisingly there wasn’t many people there when we arrived, it was a week before half term happened so it was pretty quiet, we managed to sort our tickets out and head in with very little issues.
Walking into the Studio the first thing you see is the giant dragon from Gringots Bank, hanging from the ceiling surrounded by moving pictures of Hogwarts in different seasons of the year accompanied by music from the movies, our tour was due to start at 11:30 so we joined the small queue and started to make our way into the tour, the first part was more of entertainment for the people waiting to head into the proper part of the tour, the walls were lined with quotes and snippets from the scripts, scale cardboard cutout of Hagrid and a cupboard under the stairs.
We was swiftly moved into an area with a tour guide who got us to watch a little movie to explain what we was about to see, she her self said that she used to visit the tour herself and now loved working there, I did wonder how much of that was true but it was lovely to be welcomed by a video version of Fred and George Weasley, Once that part was over we was ushered into a cinema, the man who explained to us what was going on and then walked off saying that its time to watch all the movies, which I would personally gladly have done hah, but we got to watch a little film which gave us a more in depth behind the scenes of what we could see with a very young looking Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint who clearly have never read a teleprompter before, but they welcomed us into the great hall, the curtain of the cinema went up and there was the actual set of the front door of the great hall.
Walking into the great hall itself, I was surprised how small it appeared to be, movie magic at its finest the only thing ‘real’ in the great hall set was the floor but everything else was plasterboard, it was halloween so there was floating pumpkins everywhere and the tablets set up with sweets, from there we moved onto the other parts of the tour, which was self guided so you had free reign to wander around and look at everything at great detail, all of it was of course the real sets from the film, the real costumes and props, personal favourites was probably the potions classroom and the triwizard cup which wasn’t as blue as it was in the films.
Moving on from there walking around we found parts from the ministry of magic, the Malfoy manor and the burrow, shortly after that we started the part of the Behind the Seams tour which as I explained was all about the costumes and how things got made, there was some really interesting parts including the fact that Voldermort’s outfit had various shades of green and when he lost part of his soul from the destruction of the horcruxes the costume department would remove a green shade and it was made from parachute silk to create the extra floaty look! Steve and I also got to try on some actual robes the actors wore in the film for a little photo which was so much fun.
After all that we got to rejoin the main part of the tour but decided to try out some butterbeer, which wasn’t how I imagined in the books, it tasted a little like lemonade with a sweet cream on top, but in the books its described as butterscotch so I was a little disappointed but I got a little tankard to take home so it wasn’t all that bad.
Joining back to the tour we walked into the forbidden forest set which was amazing, the trees did look very real and it was funny how when you walked around the back of them they just was plasterboard, from there we entered platform 9 and 3/4 which was honestly an amazing set, it was huge, there was an opportunity to get onto the train but at this point there was so many people around I was getting a little over stimulated and wasn’t coping, from there we joined another part of the set along with outside parts including Privot drive, the knight bus and the bridge where Harry and Lupin had their chat in the third film.
The next part was probably my favourite, all the prosthetics, models and larger sets including a huge Gringots which was frankly stunning to walk through and a stunning model of Hogwarts which was magical to see, into Diagon Alley and finally the gift shop.
There was honestly so much to see and do, I could possibly go again just so I could take it all in properly, as I said I did get a little sensory overload just because there was so much to see and it was from a world in which I adored so much, I am so thankful to Steve for treating me to this amazing day out and if you are into Harry Potter and if I am honest, film making then I highly recommend you go visit it!
Next stop.. The Magical World of Harry Potter 😛