I’m a big fan of Harry Potter, as probably everybody else in the world has claimed themselves to be. I started reading it when I was ten, sometimes wanted to smack my sister if she read one chapter for far too long (we decided to read it one chapter each, as no one was patient enough to wait until the other finish first). By the third book, my admiration was already a bit too much as I misused my school’s printer to print all the list of spells (and later remembered it by heart), Hogwarts map, list of potions, and so on and so forth. I admit, there was a time when I really hated some parts of the book and refused to read the last book since all my favorite characters (Sirius Black and Albus Dumbledore) died in the previous books. But it wasn’t long until my curiosity won and I braced myself to read the last book, afraid there would be more deaths of my favorite characters. And yes, Fred Weasley and Remus Lupin did die, but I didn’t have anything against it anymore (although, if I could have a chat with Rowling, I would have begged her to let them live).
Imagine how I felt when I heard about this Warner Bros studio tour.
I booked the ticket (and matched the time with Didi’s schedule so we could go there together), and after waiting for one solid month, I went there.
The tour began with the place where it all began, the cupboard under the stairs.
A couple of videos later, we faced a blank screen after the last video ended, and gasped in disbelief as the screen was lifted, leaving us with the entrance to The Great Hall of Hogwarts.
It was magical and majestic at the same time. It kept us mesmerized, and I had a panic attack as I couldn’t choose on what to shoot first. I wanted to take pictures of everything.
We also saw another parts of Hogwarts. Like Dumbledore’s room,
Snape’s potion class,
the giant clock pendulum,
the entrance to the chamber of secret,
and even Umbridge’s office (and I swear I could smell something perfumey in this room).
The Yule Ball Castle was not bad either.
We also visited another place as well, like The Burrow,
down to Diagon Alley.
I even went into Mr. Ollivander’s shop,
and was as stunned as everybody else when we looked at the boxes that piled up to the ceiling.
We also visited Riddle’s grave.
And then there was an encounter with some creatures.
And here it is, I save the best for the last, Hogwarts castle.
It was amazing. And to hear the explanation about how much effort people put to create such a great set with all the props, it was enthralling. I saw walls with hundreds of sketches of floor plans and castle designs, complete with the mock-ups. There were over a thousand paintings that were made for the set. The costumes were made in such details, they were bewitching. Each sets looked real, these photos didn’t do it any justice at all (and I only uploaded some of them). Let’s just leave the rest to the imagination.
I can’t thank Rowling enough for creating such a great story that made my childhood so colorful, and kept me attached even years after it ended. And I don’t think I’m speaking only for myself here.
This tour definitely made my day. No, scratch that. My year. And the cherry on top was having this with an old friend, with whom I usually tell my stories to. Meeting Didi yesterday made me feel at home, somehow. I guess I just missed her (and everybody else) too much.
We left the studio hungry and happy (and broke too, for some people, thanks to the souvenir shop), took a train back to the city and had dinner at Soho.
All in all, it was a great few hours to step into the magical world and forget the reality for a while (like, assignments). I could talk about it for a whole day, but I’m gonna stop here. My last words would be: it’s definitely a must see for Harry Potter’s fans. Get your imagination out of the head and see it with your eyes.
P.S. The butterbeer is to die for.