Harry Potter Studio Tour

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Adventure / Travel

KnightBus

If I’m being completely honest, one of the main reasons we chose to go to England for our trip was because of Harry Potter. It’s taking everything I have to not write this entire post in all caps with exclamation marks every other word. We LOVE Harry Potter, and Hogwarts at Christmas is potentially the most magical thing ever created. Just walking around the streets of London, eating in decked out pubs, and buying Christmas Crackers felt so magical because in my mind it’s all connected to Harry Potter and the Wizarding World.

When the Harry Potter movies first started production, not all of the books had been written yet which meant the film crew didn’t know what props and sets would be needed in the future. As a result they kept many of the things they made for each film and now it’s all on display in a studio tour just outside of London so the Muggles can have a taste of the magic. I was really impressed with how much detail everything had, even if it was just a minor prop in the background and this tour ended up being one of my favorite things we did on our entire trip.

After a short train ride from London to Watford, we rode a double decker bus out to the studio, and after arriving a bit early for our scheduled time, decided to have afternoon tea in their cafe. Once it was time for us to go in we walked into a small theater room where they had an introductory video that talked a bit about the making of Harry Potter, then a screen raised up revealing the entrance to the Great Hall, which was decorated for Christmas!

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Afternoon tea

A very terrible shot of a very delicious afternoon tea!

There was a guy in the Great Hall giving some brief information about the hall and filming there, and then they moved us into the “museum” section with all the props and sets where we could wander freely as long as we liked. There were so many awesome things! I’m sorry you only get crappy phone photos of them, because though we did take the nicer camera, we forgot to charge the battery, so it died pretty quickly.

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Dumbledore, Snape, and McGonagall in the great hall.

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The Gryffindor common room was so cozy!

The Leaky Cauldron

The Leaky Cauldron

All the main characters' wands. Some of them were really cool.

All the main characters’ wands. Some of them were really cool.

Taking a selfie in the Mirror of Erisid

Taking a selfie in the Mirror of Erisid

House Elf Armor

House Elf Armor

The clue for the second task of the Triwizard tournament

The clue for the second task of the Triwizard tournament

The walls in Dumbledor's office.

The walls in Dumbledor’s office.

 

Selfie in the dungeon

Selfie in the dungeon

The Goblet of Fire

The Goblet of Fire

Hagrid's Cabin

Hagrid’s Cabin

Aaron looking through the window to Hagrid's cabin

Aaron looking through the window to Hagrid’s cabin

Door to the Chamber of Secrets

Door to the Chamber of Secrets

The collection of Horcruxes

The collection of Horcruxes

Some interesting objects from Bourgin and Burkes

Some interesting objects from Bourgin and Burkes

Nagini with the Death Eaters

Nagini with the Death Eaters

Umbridge's collection of cat things in her office.

Umbridge’s collection of cat things in her office.

Magic is Might from the Ministery of Magic

Magic is Might from the Ministery of Magic

Official Decrees at Hogwarts

Official Decrees at Hogwarts

Aaron on the Hogwarts Express

Aaron on the Hogwarts Express

The lunch Trolley

The lunch Trolley

Wizarding Books

Wizarding Books

More wizarding books

More wizarding books

After the first museum part with props and sets you hit a little lunch area where we bought some butterbeer and butterbeer flavored ice cream. Neither of them were very good. Then you walk briefly through the outdoor area of Privit Drive where you can also see the Night Bus, and then go back indoors into the special effects section. Here you got a good look at the latex masks they made for creatures, animatronics, and a bunch of green screen special effects. They had a section where you could ride a broomstick in front of a green screen and they’d make it look like you were flying, but if you wanted a picture of that it was like $40.

We stopped at the butterbeer stand for some butterbeer and butterbeer icecream. Neither were very good.

We stopped at the butterbeer stand for some butterbeer and butterbeer icecream. Neither were very good.

Someone had laid a sock across Dobby's plaque.

Someone had laid a sock across Dobby’s plaque.

Some of the special effects for Lupin's werewolf

Some of the special effects for Lupin’s werewolf

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Aaron in Diagon Alley

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The “small scale” Hogwarts castle they used to film aerial scenes. It’s dusted in snow only at Christmas! This was my favorite thing of the entire tour.

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Some very cool concept art on the way out. It’s incredible how many people are involved in designing the movie!

It was nerd heaven and my soul loved every second.

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