Most people who meet me find out before long that I am a big Harry Potter fan – I have read the books several times, love the films and could talk about the Wizarding World for hours (if you let me!). Thankfully, I have friends and family who love it as much as me, so, my eldest sister and I booked up to go to Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour.
I have been before, only a few months after it had opened, so I was looking forward to going back to see the things they had added, like the Hogwarts Express and the Forbidden Forest. It did not disappoint!
Even if you have been before, waiting for the doors to the Great Hall to open is very exciting; seeing the costumes, props and sets as they were in the films makes you marvel at the detail the crew put into the film. Seeing it all in person also doesn’t mean the films lose their magic, even when you find out how they made the trees look so real in the Forbidden Forest (sawdust for the moss!).
When my sister and I went, it was the Goblet of Fire exhibition, so there was a focus on the fourth film, and we could see how the names came out of the Goblet. Some pretty smart and simple technical effects went into the film! The Goblet of Fire is one of my favourite in the series (book and film) as it is when the story starts to get a lot more serious and grown up. It was also the first of the films I saw at the cinema, back in Year 8 when I was 12. I remember seeing it with two of my sisters in Nottingham, eating fish and chips in the screen and being VERY upset about Cedric dying.
I am more of a fan of the books than the film, and usually can’t watch any of the films without thinking, “that’s wrong!” or “why did they miss that out?!” so as much as I loved the tour, I was thinking at some points, “I didn’t imagine that prop or set looking like that.” The main one was Harry’s Firebolt, described in The Prisoner of Azkaban as being the fastest broom in the world at the time (1993), with a polished ebony handle and birch or hazel twigs that are perfectly shaped to help with the fast flying. The broom design in the film is a little different and doesn’t look as sleek and fast as the Nimbus 2001. It’s probably my biggest complaint about the whole tour!
The Studio Tour is also one of only four places in the world which serves Butterbeer, a favourite drink in the books and films. It is hard to describe, having an odd taste but it is delicious!
It’s not just about the tour too, as the shop is a fantastic place to spend your time before and after. There are loads of keyrings, clothes, cushions, sweets and more to purchase. You can even get replica wands too (I didn’t get one, but I love Sirius Black’s the best!).
I am planning another trip next year for when they have things looking all Christmassy; it will definitely add another level of magic to the tour! If you have never been, and even if you are not a huge fan of Harry Potter, it is well worth a visit, even for the ticket price, and the minor inconvenience of its location (direct Overground from Euston to Watford Junction FYI). And for people who are Harry Potter fans, it’s DEFINITELY worth a visit. Scroll down to see more (slightly blurry cos I am a technophobe) pictures from my trip! If you have been, feel free to leave a comment to let me know what your favourite part of the tour was!