Book Thought – Immersed in Potter (London Edition)

The other day I wrote a Book Thought about my experiences with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.

This past May, my husband had to go to London for work for a week, so I joined him.  Everyday, I took the train into London and either wandered around with a relative, a friend, or alone.  On one amazing (but rainy) London day, I was able to visit the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studios.

It took forever to figure out how to get there, since it was only recently opened up to the public a few months before my visit, and it’s located in an out-of-the-way location.  But the trip was entirely worth it!  I even had a guided tour by none other than Malfoy himself!  Okay, okay, it was an iPod guided tour, but still!!!!!

I’m outside of the WB HP studios! Cold, dreary day, but you can’t stop my smile!

I was a little wary of going alone, but it turns out that there were other 20-somethings there alone, too!

Standing amongst the great in the Great Hall

Fun fact: They tried everything to make these brand new tables look old, spent thousands on trying to destroy them. Then they gave hundreds of bored children some silverware and waiting time in between filming, and the kids scratched away at the tables and made them look old!

The Burrow was teeny tiny! I pretty much got the whole thing in this photo! It’s amazing how large they make things look on the big screen!

Privet Drive – Originally filmed in a neighborhood, they used the site so much that they built a few homes on their outdoor lot!

One of the many flying motorcycles Hagrid drove (or flew)! I need him to drive me, too!

There are so many secrets and fun facts hidden amongst the many props!  I will only tell you a few!

If you’re smart, you can figure out the secret of the Invisibility Cloak . . .

This is a TINY piece of the model of Hogwarts. I have to admit, I got teary-eyed when I walked into the room, it was just so magnificent!

They dim the lights in the room so that you can see how the castle can be lit up for night scenes.  See those tiny lights in the windows?  They can control each and every one of them!

Some other great things about the studio tour:

  • You can drink butterbeer (same as in Orlando)
  • Many costumes are on display
  • The staff is super friendly!  I talked to many of them and one girl was even an extra in one of the movies AND is shown on the HP castle ride in Orlando!
  • The robotics section was really cool, filled with items for Hagrid’s face (yeah, that’s what I said), as well as the many mythical creatures seen in the movies
  • The sets (potions classroom, Dumbledore’s office, Hagrid’s hut)!!!!  I could not believe how small they were!  That made them so cool because you know how much effort it took to make them look huge in the movie
  • The chess pieces were there, too!  Those were so heavy, they are almost impossible to move (and actually impossible for a person to do it without a machine)

And there are so many more things to see and learn about. . . I could have filled up this post with hundreds of pictures I took, and so many secrets and fun facts, but I had to stop somewhere!

Thinking of taking a trip?  Plan and reserve in advance, and make sure you have at least 3 hours to get through the tour.  It’s well worth it!

Thanks for reading,

Rebecca

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23 thoughts on “Book Thought – Immersed in Potter (London Edition)

  1. It sounds like a fun tour. As a huge Harry Potter fan I think it would be wonderful to see. This review was a nice addition to the blog. Thanks for being our tour guide.

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  2. I am thoroughly jealous! I haven’t been to the one in Orlando or London 😦 But I apparently have been outside of where JK Rowling lives now, but I she wasn’t there at the time. I’ve also been up to Alnwick Castle in the North of England where they shot some of the first movie.

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  3. This is awesome. I’m just a wee bit quite jealous (in a good way, of course).

    My mom went to England years ago to participate in an Oxford Round Table discussion, and she called me just to tell me that she had been in the library where parts of Harry Potter were filmed. She was like a little kid at Christmas. Haha!

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  4. I love all of those little filming tidbits! Doesn’t it feel like you have some sort of insider knowledge or something? Love that!

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    • Yes!!!!! And I only shared a few with you guys, but there were sooooo many cool facts! I purchased the guidebook, which has pictures of the studio and some of the many tips, too.

      Honestly, the best tidbit I think is that the sets are so tiny compared to what you think they would be! For instance, Hagrid’s hut was the size of a TEENY room or a large bathroom!

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  5. Pingback: Book Thought – Immersed in Potter (Orlando Edition) « Love at First Book

  6. I’m so jealous! I studied abroad in London two years ago, so this wasn’t open yet, but one of the highlights of my stay was having my photo taken at Platform 9 and 3/4. It’s actually between platforms 10 and 11, I think, and our group discovered it quite by accident while waiting for our train!

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  7. I’m so jealous that you’ve been here! The first (and only) time I’ve been to England was in early 2010, so the tour wasn’t open just yet. I’ve been to the traveling Harry Potter tour (once in Chicago, once in Seattle) and they had a lot of stuff on display like the costumes and Hagrid’s chair, etc., but nothing nearly as awesome as what they have at the Studio Tour in London. I’ll have to get back there some day to go through the tour. It looks like you had a great time!

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    • A traveling Harry Potter tour? Oh my gosh, I had no idea! That’s still really a cool experience!!! I was just so lucky with the timing of the trip. I’m pretty sure it opened in March 2012, and I went in May 2012.

      Now I am going to have to google this HP tour. . . 🙂

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  8. Pingback: Book Bites: British Invasion « Love at First Book

  9. It’s lovely to read your take on the attraction, Rebecca. I completely agree with you that, by the time you reach that scale model at the end of the tour, you’re so absorbed in Rowling’s world that it’s a really powerful moment (helped by that lovely music too). I might have had a tear or two in my eye… 🙂 It was such an incredible model! The final room was a great idea too – the wand shop, with every wand box labelled with the name of someone who’d been involved in the film. I thought that was a lovely tribute. So glad you enjoyed your visit – and if you come to London again, please do let me know. We can get a drink together! 😉

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    • Oh my gosh, you MUST do it! Seriously, I went alone without my husband who was working. It is a trek from London but it’s pretty easy to get there and well worth it! It’s also worth it to do the audio tour. While you’re there, make sure to ask each employee questions. They pointed out things I had no idea about and might have missed.

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