I hope you are doing well? It’s been way to long since my last blog post so it feels only right that I am typing once again and putting something out there for you all to read! On the 2nd February I was able to go and experience the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. The tour features sets, costume, art work and more from the making of Harry Potter. It’s a breathtaking experience that any HP fan will love and gives the opportunity for us muggles to be immersed in the wizarding world. Before we get into this I will warn you that this will give you some spoilers so don’t keep reading if you are wanting to keep it all a surprise.
This experience was kindly gifted to me at Christmas from Haydn and so i was very excited for us to experience the tour together. I have done the tour once before but more than 8 years ago in the early 2010s but a lot has changed since then so if you haven’t been for a few years you’ll probably find that there is a lot more there now for you to enjoy.
Haydn booked us in for a 4:30pm entrance which worked quite well as we got pictjres out the front whilst the sun was up and then when we were in the courtyard segment if the tour (more detials to come) we enjoyed the night time atmosphere which does give the place a more mysterious vibe.
To start the tour guests queue into a large hall where an operator explains the rules and how it works before leading you into a cinema where you see some recognisable faces and scenes from across the 8 films. The screen then lifts away to reveal the enterance to Hogwarts. Heading through thise dooes theres an opportunity to start exploring and take pictures as well as listen to the guide walk you through the different areas and ultimately move you along to make room for the guests following behind. Whilst in the great hall you can syart finding stamps for the little passport style book (we couldn’t find one of these books and when we did ask a member of staff they were quote blunt and not really helpful). This is also the final preformance area where tour operators give a speech meaning past this point you are free to explore at your own pace.
THE SETS WAREHOUSE
Adjacent to the great hall you enter a large warehouese that is home to some fabulous sets and props that are the originals from filming.
There are literally hundreds of props, costumes and memorable pieces of furniture to see while in this section and it is definitely the space we spent the longest. From Gryffindor common room, Dumbledore’s office, Hagrids Hut, The Forbidden Forest and so much more. Whilst there were so many things I loved about this section my favourites were definitely Gryffindors Common room and the wand wall (which as it suggests displays the wands from characters within the film).
A Familiar Platform
After you are done in the main sets warehouse (which you leave through The Forbidden Forest) you end up on a platform that is iconic for the film. Of course I am talking about Platform 9 3/4 and here is where you can board the Hogwarts Express! This is also the place to take that famous shot of you pushing your luggage through to wall ready to enter the magical world.
At this point you are just over halfway through the tour and have seen some of the most iconic pieces from the film – but things are not over yet. You walk through a cafe where you can get some iconic snacks, however, we didn’t taste test any treats as had already enjoyed some Butterbear in 2018 whilst in Florida so were happy to pass it due to high prices. You are then in this section that I am calling ‘The Courtyard’. There are 4 key things in this area; The Knight Bus, Privet Drive, The Bridge to Hogwarts and two different vehicles you can take photos in (Hagrids motorbike and the Weasley’s car).
My personal favourites were Privet Drive and The Bridge To Hogwarts – these are both things that are actually things I don’t remember doing when I visited in the past.
Whilst on the tour you are also able to take a walk through Gringotts Bank and marvel at the many goblins that work there.
You can also wonder round some of the vaults and see some of the treasures you’ll definitely recognise
Moving along to the artwork and creatives display this is a place were any person who has a passion for creativity will feel inspired. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of individual items and detail you can see in this section. There are a few different exhibits I was really impressed by whilst visiting, the special effects makeup was obviously a favourite due to my own self love for makeup. The way goblins were turned from men into these amazing mythical creatures is so clever and I can’t believe that this was all done with products rather than digital effects. There was also an area where you could see how Dobby was designed and by standing in front of a camera you could see how he is tracked and make him mirror your movements.
It wouldn’t be a trip to the wizarding world without wondering down Diagon Alley and of course the HP Tour doesn’t disappoint. You can peer into the little shops and even spy some of the products available from Fred and George Weasley’s joke shop. Sadly none of the shops function as spaces where guests can go in and make purchases however there is a large gift shop at the end that will definitely have more than enough to satisfy your Harry Potter fan needs from confections, apparel, books, stationary and a whole lot more.
The Final Surprise
This is possibly the biggest surprise of the entire tour and if you are a die hard Harry Potter fan you might even shed a little tear it’s so overwhelming. I almost don’t want to spoil this section since it is the best surprise ever so I think I’ll leave this little bit out since saying this has already been to much of a spoiler.
Thanks for reading and an even bigger thank you to anyway who has been reading my blog since the beginning – you really are the OG’s. Let me know in the comments below if you have visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour or are wanting to go!