Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fangirl Adventures: Harry Potter Studio Tour

It was cold and wet and raining, as it tends to be in England, but that didn't matter because nothing could reduce my excitement. The Harry Potter Studio Tour opened just after I moved back to Australia from the UK, which seemed particularly cruel but after years of waiting my time had finally come. I was going to see the magic that went into making the eight films that played such an important role in my life.

Before we get into the awesomeness of the whole thing, I have to say I was a little disappointed that the shuttle from the train station to the studio was no free. I feel like that should be included in your ticket, but maybe I'm just cheap. Well I'm definitely cheap, but let me tell you this blogging thing does not pay very well. Every pound counts.

On the bus there's a video about the Studios and such. Just a bit of background knowledge. Of course no one is actually watching or listening because we're all on our way to the Harry Potter Studio tour so there is way to much fricken excitement to sit quiet and listen to a story. I'm ready to experience the magic.

We - myself and my lovely friend - arrived a little early, but we didn't have to wait. There was just enough time to down a crappy cup of Starbucks before joining to queue. Warning! Do not enter the shop before going on the tour; you might never leave, because everything is awesome and far to expensive for someone on my income to afford. If you've got disposable income you should go nuts though, because I wanted it all.

When it was our turn to go in, our group was led into a room with a bunch of TV screens on the wall. This is where the tour begins. They play a short film about the Harry Potter phenomenon where they call HP fans Potter-phile - which is just so wrong. NGL we were giggling about it for the rest of the day. It's even funnier because the very last so called Potter-phile that they show on this video was me.

We screamed when we saw my smiling face and yellow raincoat staring at us. So, yup. I am a Potter-phile apparently. My mother must be so proud.

Moving on from my starring role. We entered a cinema where, the Golden Trio tell us a little bit about the making of Harry Potter and the tour we are about to experience. From there it's straight into the Great Hall, which is probably one of the coolest rooms I have ever been in. Seriously, I am going to model my dining room off it. Then the guide leaves us and we enter into the wonderful world of the Harry Potter films.

Basically, after that it's self guided (you can purchase an audio guide) tour through two studios that hold a bunch of sets, props and costumes from the Harry Potter films. There's a lot of information written down, and a bunch of short informational films scattered around the place. Lots of photo opportunities. The few activities are pretty cool - like the green screen stuff. The pictures and video from those cost A LOT but it's worth the fun of just giving it go. You really don't want a video of you acting like a nob, trust me.

Make sure you don't were yourself out in the first studio because there is some awesome stuff towards the end. Like Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts model. There is an outside area, with some exterior sets - so bring a jacket. That's where you can purchase butterbeer. It's certainly an experience.

Now I could go through the whole event bit by bit, but you guys should really see it for yourself and I'm getting kind of tired. Here's the highlights real:
  • Trying to climb the Hogwarts Gates
  • Allen Rickman's wigs
  • Watching people fly green screen broomsticks
  • Flying a green screen broomstick
  • Wand school
  • Butterbeer being the grossest thing ever
  • Riding the Night Bus
  • Hagrid's mechanical head
  • Creepy baby Voldemort
  • DIAGON ALLEY!!!!!!!!
  • And last but definitely not least, the Hogwarts model.
If that makes no sense to you, that's okay because it doesn't really make all that much sense to me - but seriously, butterbeer is SO GROSS and it is so disappointing. Also creepy baby Voldemort will give me nightmares for ever, it shouldn't exist.

All in all though, it was a good day out. We spent about 3 hours there - plus probably half an hour in the shop. If you're a fan of the movies at all, you will love it. If you're not then you might get a bit board. Definitely worth the fan pilgrimage though because it gave me all kinds of nostalgic feelings about Harry Potter and made me watch to re-watch all the movies (which I am going to do once I'm done travelling). Also I am now even more excited for the Fantastic Beasts movie! BRING IT ON!

HP for life!