This weekend, as a belated birthday present, I visited the Warner Brother’s Studio Tour.
Perhaps more appropriately known (by me) as Harry Potter Land, it was one of the most anticipated trips I’ve ever been on. ever.
And I’ve been to loads of places.
As a self confessed Harry Potter geek, I was overwhelmed (and sleepless) over the prospect of trying butterbeer, sitting on Hagrid’s motorcycle and visiting Godric’s Hollow.
Little did I know that the weekend we were due to visit would be the “Animal Actors” feature at the studio – enabling visitors to meet their best loved creatures from the movies – Crookshanks, Fang, Scabbers… and of course Hedwig.
As an ex-Film Student this trip was doubly exciting – visiting a real movie set (okay, that’s not new) PLUS getting to meet some of the stars of the show?
Alright, if you insist!
I don’t intend to write a review on the studio tour because you can all do without a tome of squee from someone who won’t get over the experience for many years to come.
I do intend to share a few pictures from my favourite bits, though!
I was so excited for seeing the interior of Hogwarts that I hadn’t anticipated seeing any of the exterior.
I was absolutely blown away by the replica Hogwarts in the K Studio, which even had lights in the dormitories.
Stepping into Diagon Alley was like a grown-up version of walking through Disney’s Magic Kingdom and believing you’re really at Cinderella’s palace.
Seeing Pygmy Puffs in the window of Magical Menagerie and Owls for sale in Eeylops Owl Emporium actually hurt my eyes.
Gilderoy Lockhart’s window display at Flourish and Blotts and Mr Mulpepper’s Apothecary were pretty much exactly as I’d hoped – with the exception of them not being open to muggles.
Even Gringotts stood at the bottom of the Alley, crooked and grumpy.
The creatures were also a sight to behold!
As I said, the animals from the movies were there, and we saw many of them – including the Albino Brazilian Boa from HP1 and those horriffic spiders used to practise the Unforgivable curses.
(They’re called Amblypygi – google them at your peril).
Despite being female, Hedwig was played by this handsome gentleman in HP 2-8.
When we met him, he was VERY vocal, and absolutely lovely.
We also got to see the models of some of the not-so-sweet creatures, including the Mandrakes and the half-form of Voldemort.
These were in the K Studio with the special effects displays, along with a very impressive animatronic of Buckbeak.
We also saw the entrance to Dumbledore’s office – and Dumbledore’s office itself!
This included the Pensive, among other wonders.
We visited The Burrow!
We had Butterbeer (which is exquisite!)
In short, it was quite a weekend.
Now… to do more moving prep!