Firstly, a plug for two blogs that are not only about travel and exotic places but are also well written and full of lovely photos; www.followtheopenroad.wordpress.com and www.lucasthenomad.com. Over the next couple of months the three of us will be crossing paths and traveling together and it’s going to turn into whatever the blog equivalent of cross pollination is. Or something. While that doesn’t, on the surface, sound exciting, trust me. It’ll be awesome to get in now on the ground level and bond with some extremely likeable characters.
Anyhoo, on to our latest adventure…
In preparation for visiting the Warner Bros Studios in Watford, north of London, I’d watched all but the first of the Harry Potter movies within the last 2 months. I hadn’t seen them before – I’d been unimpressed with the first movie but as I’d been told the studio tour was well worth doing (thanks for the tip, Linda!) Luke and I spent some of our quiet days between playing tourist watching them on his laptop.
I’m glad we did.
The tour was terrific, well, except for the first part, where you spend half an hour in line with eleventy-billion other people. You can’t just turn up to the studio – in fact you can’t get into the carpark without a ticket. We had booked for the 1:30 session. My tip for people thinking of going is to set your date several months in advance and book the first session (10am) or book any time in the day and turn up first thing. They don’t seem to mind letting people in early but it’s probably be better to be organised.
After a long wait in the queue we were ushered into a plain room in a large group and had a guide speak to us and show us a short introductory film while we stood up, then it was into a theatre to sit down and watch a longer film (not much longer) before entering Hogwarts main hall. I imagine they do this to space out groups but it’s also a good introduction and builds some excitement for what you’re about to see.
After the dining hall where some costumes are displayed, there are two large studios full of well-signed displays of props, movie displays, many costumes, latex masks, all kinds of things – in fact just about everything. You can stand in front of the house on Privet Drive, walk through the wooden covered bridge that is part of Hogwarts… the collection includes pretty much everything you could want to see. My favourite part was the cardboard sculptures of all the buildings and the conceptual art paintings. And of course the giant model of Hogwarts that was used for many of the CG shots.
Mum and I took about 2 and a half hours to go through, Luke a bit less than 4 but he had paid extra for the audio visual guide and so had more to listen to.
There were lots of interesting bits of info – boards with photos describing the animals used in the films and the fact that each of the staff had their names inscribed on the end of a box in Olivander’s Wand Shop. There were 17,000 boxes altogether in the shop and each had its own unique, hand made label.
The first and last thing we did was look in the gift shop. There was quite a range of merchandise… in fact it was probably the most extensive merch store I’ve ever seen. It was funny to overhear people talking about buying wands for display in their lounge rooms. I’m not sure I’d ever achieve that level of fandom about anything.
I bought a packet of every flavoured beans for my nephews and some chocolate bees. Mum will take them back for me, although I wish I could be there to see their faces when they try the dirt and earwax flavours.
Speaking of Mum, she had only read one of the books and seen none of the movies and still said it was a great day out. She really enjoyed watching the interviews with the directors and what each had tried to bring out in their movie/s.
So our verdict was that although nearly 30 pounds seems a bit pricey, you get a lot for your money and it’s definitely worth seeing if you’re even mildly interested in the films… or even if you’re just interested in films in general. Luke paid extra for the guide – you got the hand held device plus a guide book to keep (which he forgot to pick up when we left) and it’s probably worth getting if you’re a big fan.
All in all a good day.
Also – I bought 5 postcards and have no idea who to send them to. If you’re a Harry Potter fan leave a note and I’ll send one to the first five replies (you might have to email me your address to a1lenon at yahoo dot com). It may also be worth noting that there’s a series of Dr Who stamps available here in the UK right now so if you want a particular doctor on your postcard I’ll see what I can do.
Now we’re off camping for a week so I’ll post said cards (should anyone be interested) when we get back to civilisation.
29 thoughts on “The Harry Potter Studio Tour plus our very first prize giveaway!”
Oh god please pick me, pick me! Harry Potter AND Doctor Who? Cue nerdgasm :p
Matt Smith is my favourite 🙂
Charmaine, Jordon and I LOVE both Harry Potter and Dr Who!!! It was meant to be!!! Now you only have to find two more people ;)… hehe we’d be happy also to share one 😉
I’ve already got Harry Potter tour on my list for 2016, woot! Can’t wait!
I love Harry. I went to the Studio Tour last April, when it had only been open for a month. I’m off again in August! 🙂 I’d love a postcard though (and David Tennant!!) Haha
You’re #5 to respond with a request for a postcard! Just send me your address to a1lenon at yahoo.com and David Tennant’s face will be yours;). BTW, how did you come across the blog?
Reblogged this on all around this world , funs,news….
Thanks! I’ve never had a reblog before.
Those architecture plans are awesome!
Indeed – I learned how to do very basic architectural drawings many years ago and seeing stuff like this blows my mind!
Naw, thanks! Although mine is .wordpress.com, too stingy to pay for the actual domain name thingamy 😉
ps. Woot I win a postcard! But probably best to not count me as there is no way to possibly send it to me 😛
Tricky… I could give it to you in person? Actually that would be kind of funny. Then I could post a picture on the blog;).
Hehe that would be cool but I’m sure there are people who want it far more than me…and truthfully of probably lose it in my travels 😉 thanks for changing the link!
This sounds like a place to take my son who loves Harry Potter books/movies – thx for the info!
No problem, hope it’s helpful!
Hello! What a lovely idea with a post card. It looks like I might be one of first 5 – please will you pick a child and send “my” card to one of the kids from http://www.postpals.co.uk/
Thank you 🙂
Number 4 in fact, and I’d love to send a card to a child on your behalf. What a great charity! THanks for the link, I’ll try to remember to send a few more when I go to Africa and Iceland:).
Thank you 🙂 I am sure kids will be very pleased.
I know Penny loves Tennant Dr Who, he is best doctor! (So far that she has seen, she hasn’t seen Smith yet)
Penny gets #3 then, with DT’s picture attached:).
That place looks great, I love the sets and look of the movies. Also I am quite good at receiving prizes.
I’ve heard you’re good at a whole bunch of things… yet another to add to the list! You’re #2.
Woo hoo! I made it! Even thought I commented on Facebook I heart Tennant as well.
You’re number one! And you’re first to get a card too;).
Yay! You’re awesome 😀
Will be doing the Harry Potter thing next year! 🙂
And the Doctor Who experience too!
I love Harry Potter!! 🙂 please pick me but I think I’m a bit late to post this…
Sorry, way too late as we’re in Africa now but we may well go somewhere else that’s exciting and offer to send some postcards.. probably not Harry Potter ones though. 🙂