I don’t really hide the fact that I’m a huge nerd. Anyone that knows me knows this and anyone that really knows me, knows how much I have wanted to go to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Watford.
This year after waiting about four years, my friend Kayleigh was the absolute best and bought me tickets to go as my Christmas present. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to reciprocate and I am that much of a nerd that when I opened my card and saw the ticket receipt print out my eyes actually watered.
The day was finally here for Kayleigh, Nicole, Carl and I to visit the tour. I was so exited and of course to honor the occasion I wore my Gryffindor top.
Walking into what looked like a little cinema was not something I had expected but the little film was cute and having the actors introduce us to the place was a nice touch. Then the magic really happened as the screen pulled up and the Great Hall’s entrance was in front of us.
This was the start of the tour, you literally walk into the hall and see the dining tables with props, and costumes are all around, and the teacher’s table at the front is full of mannequin’s in with their full outfits and wigs. There are little placards next to the outfits with info on them and honestly I can understand how someone was here for 10 hours, as they must have read everything as they went by.
Next was a huge room full of the different costumes, props and sets. Getting to see all the wands and horcruxes in a display case was amazing. It looked like the room of requirement in the middle, as there was so much stuff; you really could see everything and up close too. The wands in the case is something I aspire to have a collection of when I’m a real adult and have a wage and house to put them in.
There was a little interactive section so of course I took advantage of those opportunities, its not everyday you get to summon a broom. The four of us took a group wanted wizard photo, which turned out hilarious. Kayleigh, Carl and I also went on the green screen brooms, Carl managed to dab in his video. We kept walking and there was the new Forbidden Forest area, Buckbeak was there bowing every now and then. Walking through a giant tree we were plunged into darkness and suddenly Aragog is there and smaller spiders drop down from the trees. It was pretty scary and so life like. Turning a corner we were greeted by a doe patronus that lit up and looked beautiful compared to the giant spider.
Once out of the Forbidden Forest we walked into Hogsmead station where the Hogwarts Express was. You could go in and sit in it and there was a little shop here. We took turns posing with the cart that was half in and half out of a wall. They really had made this place more than just a tour of props with all of these little interactive spots.
We had reached the half waypoint by now and sat and had butterbeer and butterbeer ice cream that tasted so good, I also got a little souvenir cup. Exiting the little rest stop we were in an outside area that housed the Night Bus, The Privet Drive house and street sign, part of the bridge, Hagrid’s bike and the Weasley’s flying car. Naturally we took photos with all of them. Nicole and I took a nonchalant photo on the bridge trying to look all distance-y. We took some nice photos with the car and bike and then posed as if we were releasing a rap album, this is my favourite photo of the day. People around us certainly enjoyed our posing.
Walking past some of the wizard’s chest pieces was impressive as they were taller than me, not that that’s hard. I am pretty short.
I saw a case that housed Bathilda Bagshot and had to pose next to it, thanks Kayleigh for taking that photo for my collection. Now it seemed we had moved on from the sets and props to more of the special effects pieces such as the dead bodies, robot heads and mechanics. This was pretty cool as there is so much work that goes into these little things you forget when watching the films. I suppose that just shows how good those people working on these things are. The Giants head above the door was a nice touch.
Finally and the best way to end the tour is walking into the room that houses the exterior model of the Hogwarts grounds, seeing this all lit up and the theme music really makes the experience. It’s a great way to end the tour and it’s so impressive as it seems large in person but on film it seems so much grander. Whoever put this together has a tremendous amount of attention and I really admire them for it.
Walking through this tour you really do get a sense of how much work goes into a film and about all the little things you forget or overlook when watching something. I’ll forever be grateful to Kayleigh for this experience as its not something I’m likely to forget.
Photos that don’t really do the place justice: