Harry Potter Studio Tour

The Harry Potter studio tour is something I've wanted to do since I knew we were going to London. It is also something I was really nervous about. It cost a lot of money, which most tourist traps do. But I generally don't shell out for those types of experiences. Because of the price, I was nervous that I was going to be disappointed. Literally from the moment we got there...well, after we went through security and actually got in, I was in awe with how well the whole thing was done. I kept telling Ian, "this is so much better than I imagined" and it truly was. They really have gone to great lengths to make the experience magical. From the video they show at the beginning to all the green screen activities you can participate in making you feel apart of the real thing, to the movie sets, it was all just amazing. 

There was so much attention to detail everywhere. Like how platform 9 3/4 was set up like it was currently in use. Or they had a section where you could have a broomstick come up into your hand and the worker said they used the exact same system when filming the movie. The forbidden forrest was extremely interactive...and extremely scary for one of my children, so we didn't spend much time in there. 

There was an outdoor section where you could see Privet Drive. One of the workers told me they built something like 30 houses for the movie set, so they could have the whole street done. They only had two on display - Harry's house, which you could walk through and see the living room, and another house next door. There was also Harry's parent's home, the bridge from Hogwarts and the knight bus all set up outside. 

For people that like technical details, there was a lot of detail of how they created things for the movie. We went through a lot of that quickly, as it didn't hold the kids interest, but I could see others really enjoying that. Like showing how they made creatures seem so realistic in the movie and such. 

We took a bus from London to the studio. When the bus driver told us we all had to meet back at the bus in four and a half hours, I was like "how are we going to entertain the kids all that time?!" It turns out, I didn't need to worry. In fact, we actually had to watch the time toward the end. And we were actually the last people back on the bus! 

Now sit back and relax...and be ready to see a bunch of photos!  Believe it or not, this is a drop in the bucket compared to how many pictures I took there.

^^ inside the great hall

^^ on most of the sets, they had the characters set up like this, faceless. 

^^ potions class

^^ I couldn't let the kids have all the fun!

^^ a wand class Isla participated in

^^ you got to walk through the actual train they used in the movies. Though you couldn't go into the cabins (is that what those rooms on trains are called?), they had them set up from the various movies and told you which was used in each movie. 

This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. One reason being that I have been a Harry Potter fan for a super long time (Did you know way back when I used to serve JK Rowling at Starbucks, as I worked at her local neighborhood store?), but also because the kids were thoroughly enjoying themselves as well, so there was no whining or fighting while we were there. Talk about a win for all of us!

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