Monday, December 3, 2012

Wingardium leviosa! Harry Potter Studio Tour- 28 November 2012

Well, the Harry Potter studio tour is pretty damn amazing!  (Pardon my French)   It's expensive to get it- £28.   But it is so worth it!  Its about a 15-20min train ride out of London to Watford Junction- easy, about 6-8 pounds.  Then you board a special purple Harry Potter double Decker bus that will take you to the studio- £2 round trip.  

You pull up to the studios, which look like normal ones you might see on the news or in a magazine or something, although these used to be aircraft hangars, so that's what they look like I guess...   You walk in and see the gift shop and so you start salivating at everything you can see as you walk past it to get in line to go into the studios.    

The tour is almost all self-guided except for the beginning 20-ish minutes or so.  You first go into a big room with about 50-60 or so other people and listen to one of the employees and watch a short film on the walls- the producers, etc... are talking about making Harry Potter.  You then go into a big auditorium and sit down and watch Harry, Ron, and Hermione talk about the sets, the experience, etc...  and then the screen goes up and you see a huge door that leads into the Great Hall! Yes, the Great Hall from the movie- the real one that they magical ceiling though :(    That's the last bit of guided tour- an employee talking about the different props/clothing/etc... that are in the Great Hall-including details you don't see in the movie, like the seal inside the big fireplace that you don't see because there's always a fire going!  

After that you walk around the corner and it's like a Harry Potter dream!  So many props, parts of sets, buildings, wands, clothing, and on and on and on!  You even get to fly on a broomstick and in the Weasley's car!  In between Studio J and studio K, you can buy some butterbeer!  And see some outside sets, like #4 Privet Drive, the bridge, and the Potter's house, along with the Knight Bus and Hagrid's motorcycle.

Me trying butterbeer- surprisingly good!

The main model for outside shots of the castle!

The second half of the studio tour involved the creating of the various creatures, animals, or shows the pictures of the real animals used- like for Fang.  I think there were 8 or 9 different dogs used for Fang if not more?   It showed how the animatronic stuff worked,  Hedwig, the weird Voldemort thing in Book 7, etc... also how they did the dementors when it wasn't shot with CGI, how they did Gwap, Hagrid, and the ghosts!  

This was so much fun!!!  I highly recommend this to anyone who visits London, and if you visit before July 1- I will totally go again!

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