I discovered the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when I was in the Seventh grade, while i was just perusing the shelves in my High School library with my too-big glasses and braces. I read the first 3 books before the end of the week and couldn’t wait until the release of the fourth book. I was a midnight contributor for every release afterwards until the final book release in 2007. Yep, I was a sophomore in college then.
My favorite midnight release of all time was for Halo 3, just sayin. My partner in crime and I made shirts for when we were at WVU and headed to the Walmart in Morgantown at midnight for our copy. One of our tech friends had already hacked the game and we’d been playing it all day but we made shirts dammit!
Anyway, I’ve done a very bad job of publicizing the fact that I took a week of leave to galavant London just before Christmas. Opps. If I could spend a week in London and do the most spectacular things I could dream up, guess what would be at the top of the list? The Wizarding World of Harry Potter WB studio tour, I think so.
I originally saw that someone had posted about eating dinner in the Great Hall for Christmas, say what?! & when a travel friend told me that not only was it just the great hall but an entire studio I determined I would have to go and see it .
It’s not an easy feat to get to the studio tour, but its not very hard either. It just takes a little bit of planning. You can take the Overground to Watford and once there, they have a Harry Potter bus stop that will drive you both ways for 2 pounds. A lot of the tour companies such as Viator offer personal drop off and pick up from your hotel, but you are looking at upwards of $100. Don’t be a nimby.
I bought my ticket ahead of time and it’s a good thing because the place was jammed packed and tickets were selling out just before Christmas. It will give you a tour time such as 5:30-6:00 pm. Originally I thought that meant the tour would be very quick, however, it actually meant I had from 5:30 to 6:00 pm to enter. The tour itself took about 3 hours to walk around and see everything leisurely. The place is chalked full of props, facts, and sets from the movies. It will get you so excited to be a part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Going around Christmas was a really great idea. Look at the Great Hall all decked out. One of my favorite parts about reading the books and watching the movies (don’t worry I binge watched all the movies a week before coming for the tour, I’m a giant nerd like that) was how homy and comfy the Great Hall always appeared and felt. It was the same when we were standing inside of it. I love this place!
In my opinion, one of the most impressive things they brought to life in the movies were the portraits, how they move between frames on screen and talk and interact with each other. That was so cool. When touring, take a look at the detail in which these portraits were actually painted. The professions that dreamed these up were genius and there are even some really cool facts with relation to behind the scenes set members and the paintings!
Ewww, a crazy cat lady as a wizard, how horrid.
Platform 9 & 3/4. This is precisely the exact spot I met Savannah, an American studying abroad in Krakow who is originally from Chicago. We were both touring alone and decided to link up for photos and to finish the tour together.
It was time for a butter beer and what better way to enjoy it then by walking outside to see the courtyard. They were even making snow for our Hogwarts in the Snow Experience.
These props were built with such intricate detail, I’m sure that the group of people who took so much time and effort making them can be very proud, especially now, having them on display for the world to see and they still look straight out of the films. It is a great reward t be able to bring your friends, family, and children, and show them all the things you worked on during the making of the movies.
Finally you get to a truly magnificent spectacle. A full scale replica of Hogwarts, used for all of the flyover moments in the movie. Since it was just about to be Christmas it was also #Hogwartsinthesnow!
Of course there’s a shop for gifts and Harry Potter paraphernalia. Savannah and I rode the train back into the city together at which point we went separate ways, she was on her way to Brighton and then America a day later, just in time for Christmas! I didn’t get back till after 23:00 so I stopped for some Indian food and rushed off to bed. Friends were coming the next morning and I had an early start to the day ahead of me.
This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.