London is recognized for red busses and black taxicabs. However, my visit differs from the traditional, because I got to witness magic. I have always wanted the chance to walk the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but I never will. It’s unfortunately fictional. However, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: Harry Potter provides a fantastic substitute.
Whether you stood in line at midnight for premiers or simply endured the series, a visit to this museum is a must. With sets, props and costumes all used in the making of this film, it is a surreal encounter.
I made it clear that I would not be leaving London without visiting the building where my favourite movie was made. My mother was dragged along in the process. Now keep in mind at this point, my mother hates Harry Potter.
Arriving at Watford Junction station, we were greeted by a double decker bus with Harry Potter covering the entirety of the vehicle. The tour began as soon as we boarded, with a short introduction for the 15-minute journey to the studio.
Lucky enough to experience the ‘Winter Wonderland’ exhibition my mother and I were greeted with a large Christmas tree upon our arrival. With a gift shop, Starbucks and restaurant available, you are free to shop until your allocated tour time. This building is something you must not enter with light change. I purchased a collector wand, a key ring and some lollies and found myself in shock at the cash register.
The tour it self is a walk of wonder. I got to to walk through sets I saw on screen, drink butter beer and ride on broomsticks. However, the best is truly saved for last. A 1:24 scale model of the Hogwarts Castle, which I was in awe of. Every centimetre of the remake had incredible attention to detail. It took 74 years worth of manpower to create due to constant alteration and was used throughout the entire series for aerial photography. The viewing of this structure is a moment that I will never forget.
The entire tour finished with a quote that I felt spoke to me personally and encompassed my joy towards the experience I had growing up with the series.
“The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” – J.K. Rowling.
This experience was one I hope to relive in the near future. The studios have added since my visit with the chance to experience the famous platform 9¾. At every turn of this tour I let out a gasp of shock or amazement. I walked the footsteps of my favourite characters. Despite the enjoyment, it is situated outside the centre of London so the journey is long, the merchandise and facilities prove to be pricy and involvement with activities such as flying on the brooms does come with a price. However, it is an experience I fully recommend. Even my mother found herself engulfed in the magical world, despite her dislike for the series. Even those who roll the eyes at the sound of this fantasy leave feeling amazed.