Having Harry Potter withdrawal now that the books and movies are over? Can’t go to the studio tour in London any time soon? Fear not, Harry Potter fans! I am back and I come bringing gifts. :D I almost missed my bus to this tour. I am so glad all the wizards in the world conspired to not make that happen!
Prepare yourselves for some major eye candy. Some of these are the actual props, sets and costumes from the movies.
Me at 4 Privet Drive. OMG. Also, I totally planned wearing my Gryffindor-colored sweater that day.
Leavesden Studios, where all the eight films were shot. This was where all the magic was made! You can get a ticket at £28 but you have to do it in advance!
Gryffindor uniform. You can purchase all sorts of Harry Potter goodies at the store by the entrance. Don’t be surprised by the prices though! £500 for Dumbledore’s robes set – I can’t even.
Triwizard champions wand set. Yup, you can also purchase this for display purposes! Or I guess you can also use them for practicing magic.
The cupboard under the stairs.
Great Hall cutlery.
Words from the directors. David Yates directed the last four films. Mike Newell directed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Harry’s, Hermione’s, Krum’s and Cho Chang’s Yule Ball costumes!
Chocolate desserts at the Yule Ball. Check out all the pretty details. I bet most of us didn’t even notice all this in the movie!
Sirius Black character art. He’s my favorite character in the books, and I love Gary Oldman as an actor, so just imagine all the spazzing I did while watching the movies.
Templates for Harry’s scar. The scar was applied by make-up a total of around 6,000 times (on Daniel Radcliffe and all his stunt doubles).
Fleur’s costume details. I’ve always loved her hat and the color of her dress.
Got a peek of Dean, Seamus, Ron, Neville and Harry’s room.
One of my most favorite parts of the tour – getting to see everyone’s wands displayed next to each other.
I just noticed how Umbridge’s wand is shorter than everyone else’s.
Because I am Sirius-biased. I love how his and Hermione’s wands don’t have obvious handles.
The mirror of Erised, where we can see the “deepest and most desperate desire of one’s heart." I think it didn’t work because so many people were looking at it. The mirror didn’t know which desire to show first, lol.
Harry’s and Ron’s Christmas sweaters!
Tonks and Lupin, together forever.
Dumbledore’s office entrance.
Dumbledore’s office with portraits of all the previous headmasters.
Triwizard cup. Don’t touch! You might get transported to that graveyard where Voldemort was (unless you actually want to see him).
Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem. "Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”
Death Eater masks. They made sure that no two masks are the same. Everything is so personalized in this movie franchise!
AFRAID. And mini Voldy was moving too. :(
Dobby looks so real. RIP.
The iconic Hogwarts letter.
Ticket to Platform 9 ¾! Sadly I wasn’t able to go to King’s Cross station for the platform and the trolley disappearing into the wall. :(
What I believe is one of the best things in the whole Harry Potter movie franchise – The Marauder’s Map. It would pretty nifty if we really had something like this in real life.
Umbridge’s costume detail.
Umbridge’s office is super pink. And surprisingly adorable unlike the owner. On the walls are plates with cats on them.
There’s an outdoor section in the tour where you can buy refreshments and butterbeer! YUM. Official £5 butterbeer… that’s not even real beer. It tastes like soda with whipped cream. :)
The Knight Bus.
Diagon Alley! Obligatory Ollivander’s.
Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment.
Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.
And finally, the highlight of the whole studio tour. Here is the original 50-foot-wide model of Hogwarts. If you can’t spend 3 hours in this studio, you can just swiftly breeze through everything and only check this model out. It is a masterpiece. I wish I could bring it home and place it in my living room. Oh wait, it’s bigger than my living room…
Meticulously made with traditional building techniques.
You can view it in all different angles, and the light changes depending on where you are in the room where this model is found.
This is one of my favorite parts of Hogwarts… mostly because of the precious bridge scene with Harry and Lupin talking in the third movie. (Obviously, the third book is my all-time favorite.)
That’s all for my UK entries for now. It was *insert magic pun here*! I absolutely recommend this tour to anyone visiting London. Even if you’re not a Potterhead, the sheer craftsmanship for all the props, sets and costumes is enough to make your jaw drop in awe. (Just got back from Singapore and saw tons of posters of a Harry Potter exhibition in Marina Bay Sands. It’s only 3 hours away from us so I guess that’ll do for now, until you can travel to London in the future!)
If you’re like me, who grew up with the actors (I’m the same age as Rupert Grint!) and the books, there’s nothing quite like seeing everything with your own eyes instead of through a movie screen. You might even get teary-eyed during the tour, especially if you’ve been having some major withdrawal since the end of the books and movies. However, If you can’t visit this tour any time soon, the books and movies will forever be around to tickle that little wizard in you.
“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” – Jo Rowling couldn’t have said it better!