Tuesday, November 8, 2016 / 2 Comments

My Magical Time in the Wizarding World aka the Harry Potter Studio Tour London! (Travel Tuesday)


(I apologize in advance for the onslaught of pictures. I just really, really, really wanted to memorialize this historical, magical moment. And this is only like, a quarter of all of the pictures that I actually took. Seriously.)

While I was in LONDON (as monumental as being in England was), I also got to visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour's The Making of Harry Potter (or, just the Harry Potter Studio Tour as I like to call. Much shorter, and everyone knows what I'm talking about) and see all of the MAGIC that went into making my favorite movie franchise ever. As an avid and lifelong Harry Potter fan, to say it was one of the best days ever (of my life, of the history of the world, etc.) is such an understatement. Everything about the tour, the facility, the gift shop, and the even the cafes (that seems like a stretch, but it really isn't. And the food was actually pretty good too!) were so well thought out, informative, and so much fun to explore. There was so much to see, do, and experience, and the staff was super nice, helpful, and informative. Everything about it was perfect, you could tell that they designed it for Potter fans of all ages and generations. It honored the series, books and movies, cast, crew, and everyone who made these movies possible. I saw so many amazing things in London and Paris but I'd have to say that the studio tour was probably one of the biggest highlights of my trip! (Sorry, Versailles! Gorgeous, but a tad bit gaudy for my taste)

So come along with me as I relive all of the magic that I experienced when I was at the Harry Potter holy land!



The outside of the most magical place on Earth (suck it, Disney Parks!).



WB Studios London: always with the promo with the next venture! (No, but seriously, they know how to hype up Potterheads for yet another adventure into the Wizarding World!)



All of the main characters pictures from throughout the years were up on all of the walls so you could see the baby faced trio on one wall, and then them all grown up on another wall. Oh, right in the feels...



A fun display to greet us in the main room. Plus it was Ravenclaw themed!



Newt Scamander's outfit! Can't wait to see Eddie Redmayne wearing it in Fantastic Beasts in a little over a week! Are you as happy as I am that Eddie Redmayne is finally in the Harry Potter universe after auditioning to be one of the Weasley's but not getting the part? Life has finally come full circle!



While our group waited in line (in a Disneyland-esque line), they had set up the set of Harry's cupboard under the stairs so you could admire it as you wait. It was the perfect way to start the tour: at the very beginning of Harry's journey into the Wizarding World.



After a couple of video presentations, one standing in a large group in a room where the visuals were projected on the sides of the wall, introducing us the cultural relevance and influence that Harry Potter has had over so many generations, old and new. Then we were ushered into a theater where on a giant screen Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint explained how much work went into making the Harry Potter movies and how they wanted to preserve the sets, costumes, and props to commemorate the films and share them with everyone who loved them.

Right after the short film ended, the screen magically rose up and the doors to the Great Hall were behind it! Everyone was then invited up and one lucky birthday kid (I seriously questioned whether or not I should lie and say it was my birthday. But I didn't. Because I'm a responsible Harry Potter fan) got to open the doors and usher us into the Great Hall. I have to say, it really was a magical moment. Well, along with a bunch of other people all trying to take pictures with their phones and selfie sticks. I tried to get a good picture, but honestly there were waaaay to many selfie sticks and hands holding phones in all of my shots. But trust me when I say that it was breath-taking and it was an incredible feeling stepping into the actual Great Hall set! (Enchanted sky ceiling not included)



The walls of the Great Hall!



The magnificent fireplace in the Great Hall, decorated with the house emblems (and a bunch of people's heads).



You don't know how much I wanted to pop the Sorting Hat on my head to see what house I would be sorted into (Ravenclaw, obviously!).



Some Gryffindor outfits with some table settings. I loved that they included Neville's sweater (or jumper) outfit!



Flitwick's, Trelawney's, and Moody's outfits. The detail was incredible!



McGonagall's, Dumbledore's, and Snape's outfits! I loved seeing the costumes up close and the owl podium/candleholder was incredibly detailed and gorgeous.



After we left the Great Hall, we were on our own to explore the sets, props and costumes. Here are the gates to Hogwarts flanked by two winged boars. They were huge and magnificent!



The giant swinging pendulum of the Hogwarts clock. 



So many costumes! I got so excited when I recognized Luna's dress from Slughorn's party! (Which is obviously the silver, tiered one!)



Harry's outfits vs. Voldemort's.



Ron's dress robes from the Yule Ball! As much as Ron hated them, I have to say, Rupert totally pulled it off in the fourth movie. ;D



Apparently this was in the fourth movie during the Yule Ball scenes, but I had no idea they had a freaking chocolate table set up on set! It was very detailed and even though it's obviously fake, it looked so delicious! Especially the swan. I would devour that thing. Forget chocolate bunnies, I want a chocolate swan!!



The potion's master in his domain (though he really wants to be the master of the Defense the Dark Arts classroom).



Professor Slughorn creeping in on Snape's space. I loved seeing all of the dusty and labelled potion bottles, miscellaneous jars, and self stirring cauldrons (yes, they were actually stirring by themselves!) throughout the potion's room!



A look at one of the bed's from the Gryffindor boy's dorm room! (I forgot who's bed it was, but the trunks under the beds had each other boy's initials on them)



A display of various character's wands. All of them are so different and so unique to each of the characters!



Me trying to take a selfie in the Mirror of Erised. If it had actually worked, the mirror just would have shown me in the mirror, not the countless other people jostling behind me to also get a good picture. But on the plus side, look how excited I am!!



Another shot of the mirror. I want one of my own now. It doesn't have to show my heart's true desire. It can just be a mirror.



The Fat Lady! (First version aka not Dawn French)



Dumbledore in his office. You actually got to walk into the office and take everything in. It was packed with portraits, books, and various magical tools, including the Pensieve. Not picture: the Sorting Hat sitting up high on a shelf behind Dumbledore.



The magical portraits of Hogwarts (modeled after different crew members!).



An inside look at Hagrid's hut!



My absolute favorite set ever: the Weasley's home aka the Burrow! In the perfect world, that's how I want my dream home to look. I want it to be just as cozy and eclectic as the Burrow is. House goals!



So cozy and comfy!



And the Weasley's clock, which shows where all of the Weasley family members are at any given time. If only it was real! I guess I could just settle for a grandfather clock in my Burrow-style dream home....



Another shot of the Burrow. They had moving pieces in it, like knitting needles knitting on their own on an armchair, a scrub brush scrubbing dishes, and an iron ironing by itself!



The trio's outfits from the final film. The feels, the feels...


A selfie with the (non)moving griffin staircase to Dumbledore's office. No, that is not a scarf on my shoulders. That is a sweater and I had no other place to put it when trying to take a selfie. Being single is hard, guys.



The griffin door (haha! Get it? I'll be here all night, folks...) again. I didn't try to get it to move by saying "sherbet lemon" to make it movie. *wink*



Ron, Hermione, and Harry's outfits (with invisibility cloak!).



The Gryffindor common room! The coziness is right up there with the Burrow. I just wanted everyone to disappear, a good book to appear in my hand, and the fireplace to start going, so I could cozy up on one of the chairs and start reading. No wonder Harry, Ron, and Hermione always pushed their way to the chairs near the fireplace.



The outfits from some of the best secondary characters ever: Lupin, Tonks, and Sirius. RIP to all :'(



Prisoner of Azkaban's Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and the potions master (or is this supposed to be a boggart?) wearing Neville's grandma's clothes (and looking absolutely fabulous while doing it!).



The door to the Chamber of Secrets. "Enemies of the heir beware!"



Snape and Voldemort conferring at Malfoy Manor. Doesn't dummy Voldemort look like he has some sass going on in his featureless face? Just me?



And here's, you know, a typical night at Malfoy Manor. No big deal. Giant snake eating a witch who's a Muggle sympathizer. Just another Wednesday night...



The Riddle family grave. There were so many different props on the tour, but I had to take a picture of this one, because it was way bigger than I imagined, and just so creepy and ominous looking. (And you know how I love all things creepy!)



I hate Dolores Umbridge (and the color pink) as much as the next person, but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't like her decorative plates with the kittens on them. Those plates are the only redeeming quality of Umbridge. And that is it.



A variety of Umbridge's proclamations during her reign at Hogwarts. Thank goodness for the Room of Requirement!



There were several photo ops on Platform 9 3/4 so you could pose as if you were going through the wall! As a non-photogenic person I avoided this area and just gazed at the photogenic people taking pictures and not grimacing when they check the pictures on their phones afterwards. At least in wizarding photos you actually move in them, so you never have to worry about taking a photo where you move or you blink. Another reason to want to be a witch or wizard!



Some trunks about to be loaded onto the Hogwarts Express! I'm assuming "GW" stands for "Ginny Weasley" and "CC" stands for.... "Cho Chang," maybe? Or "Colin Creevey!"



There were too many people in front of the Hogwarts Express to take a decent, actual picture of the train, but at least I got a picture of the emblem on the side?



One of the train compartments on the train. What I would have given to have been eating candy at age 11 on the way to my new school. You know, if I were actually a witch and lived in England. Since I'm American I would have obviously gone to Ilvermorny (proud Horned Serpent!).



Won-Won and Lavender forever!



Baby Harry and Baby Ron becoming best friends on the train after sharing a meal of candy (they bought everything off of the trolley!). Isn't that how all friendships are made?



One of the many pairs of iconic glasses that Daniel Radcliffe wore throughout the film series ♥



The epilogue scene costumes in the very last movie. Ron definitely has a stomach pouch, right? And Hermione is totally rocking some comfy mom shoes.



A Hogwarts student's worst nightmare: a Howler!



The Knight Bus! Goes anywhere, except for any place underwater.



The place where the journey all began aka Harry's hell of a childhood home.



The Dursley's very normal, very non-magical house, thank you very much.



Mr. Weasley's (parked, not currently flying) Ford Anglia. You could pose inside! But watch out for the Whomping Willow...



I didn't bring my earmuffs, but thankfully the Mandrakes were sleeping, not crying. I've always thought Mandrakes were cute, in a very hideous plant baby sort of way.



An inflated Aunt Marge prop. I have to say, Aunt Marge blowing up in the third movie has to be one of the highlights of the entire series. It never fails to make me smile whenever I watch AzkabPrisoner of Azkaban!



A floating Dementor head. Still just as scary as a full Dementor, because it can still kiss you with it's mouth. *shudders*



RIP, Dobby the free elf. I forgot to bring a spare sock to leave him in his honor :(



Buckbeak! He moved, too!



Hagrid waiting for Harry in Diagon Alley in front of Gringotts. You know, before Harry knew that he was freaking LOADED.



Confession time: I have a soft spot in my heart for Gilderoy Lockhart. I have no idea why, I just find him amusingly annoying and I cherished the time we had with him during Chamber of Secrets. So seeing all of his books in Diagon Alley warrented me taking a picture of them!



Hogwarts in blue (lights).



Selfie with Hogwarts in the background. Sorry not sorry. I took another one but the ever-changing colored lights overhead were in their blue phase so I looked like a happy, modern Picasso painting. I went with this one to share.



My favorite picture that I took when I was there ♥ This was the grand finale of the tour and I have to say it really was the perfect way to end (waaaah) the tour there.



Right after the magnficent Hogwarts model, you exited the tour through a small Ollivander's shop, all filled with wands with names of all the crew members (and cast members too) that worked on the films written on them. It was such a nice and elegant way to honor all of the people who worked so hard on the films from behind the scenes, that we never got to know like we did with the main cast members. Without all of these people, we wouldn't have the wonderful and memorable films that we cherish and watch over and over again for many years to come. It was a great send off for the tour and a respectful way to remember everyone who helped make the film series was it was.

And then of course, you exit from the wand room into the gift shop and that's a whole other story! I may have spent half the amount of time in the giftshop as I did on the tour. Yeah, I had fun :)



And last, but certainly not least, I found DR. PEPPER IN ENGLAND!! Throughout England all I had seen were Coke products and therefore, no Dr. Pepper. I was losing hope that I would indulge in a crisp, yummy Dr. Pepper soft drink when I was overseas (how can I live in another country if THEY DON'T HAVE DR. PEPPER??) even though I saw a half empty one on the London streets so I knew there had to be some somewhere. And lo and behold, the Harry Potter Studio tour had one in their cafe! And it was just as delicious as it is in the States, albeit in a different shaped bottle. It felt like fate on such a perfect day visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour to commemorate the wonderful experience with a delicious drink. So I could live in England since they have Dr. Pepper! It is fate!


I hope you had fun reliving the fun I had at the Harry Potter Studio Tour! (I know I did, haha) I want to go back already!!

-Emily
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2 comments:

  1. Lovely pictures, I really want to go myself 😊💗 - teenagehomedder

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!! :) I hope you can visit one day. It was such a wonderful experience, I can't wait to go back (who knows when that'll be, haha)!

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