Lifestyle: Harry Potter Studio Tour

You might have caught a glimpse of my excitement on Good Friday, and for good reason – I was off to the Harry Potter Studio Tours with my sister. I’d booked the trip months ago for her fifteenth, timing it well to see the Hogwart’s Express, and as avid HP fans we were unbelievably thrilled to go. I even bounced on the spot a few times that morning.

 photo 2015-04-03 17.32.34_zpsgpf0aazd.jpgThis post will be pretty photo-heavy, I took a ridiculous amount of pictures!

 photo 2015-04-03 17.28.29_zpskprk6rqz.jpgThe first thing I will say is that this isn’t a family attraction. It’s really not suitable for children at-all, despite the attempts (“flying” a broomstick). If your child isn’t old enough to appreciate the films or books, they are unlikely to enjoy this day out. And it’s also pretty damn expensive, so don’t waste a ticket.

 photo 2015-04-03 15.02.56_zpsvhj8jpnj.jpgOn that note, ouch. Our day, including dinner out in Watford and train tickets, probably cost nearly £200. Admittedly I didn’t need the chocolate frog or every-flavour beans (but we got them to share), and I probably didn’t need the professional photos. But it is eyewateringly expensive, definitely on a par with theme parks. Having said that – I definitely think it’s worth splurging the cash if you are a fan of the Harry Potter world. It was utterly amazing, no attention to detail was missed, and we could have spent far longer than the three hours we did there. We only hurried through because (ta London Midland) we’d be getting rail replacement buses home and I didn’t want to be too late. A bonus for the price is that this attraction really isn’t overcrowded. Any queues are managed well, but there’s not many at all.

 photo 2015-04-03 15.05.41_zpsgx24xzh5.jpg photo 2015-04-03 15.04.05_zps4q2qshqe.jpgThe tour starts with a short cinema experience, before you head into the Great Hall. Whilst it’s kind of gutting to have the realization that the ceiling in the films isn’t real, it’s pretty cool to see all of the detail in the room (the floor is real stone) and there’s original costumes around the edge.

 photo 2015-04-03 15.09.39_zpshvbxbnrj.jpg photo 2015-04-03 15.15.47_zpskyb27i8u.jpg photo 2015-04-03 15.19.56_zpskrcrh6id.jpg photo 2015-04-03 15.23.50_zpsmllaftno.jpg photo 2015-04-03 15.29.31_zpswx9nmet5.jpg photo 2015-04-03 15.21.52_zpsbmx9rpnu.jpgThe next massive room has so much in it. The Hogwart’s gates, Hagrid’s huts, classrooms, offices, dormitories, costumes (including that dress of Hermione’s), props. I couldn’t choose my favourite bit if I tried, though I’d probably lean towards Dumbledore’s office. Even if it’s just because it proved my geekiness – I walked in and exclaimed there wasn’t a window in the film. A member of staff confirmed I was right, and said most people don’t realise that. Woop!

 photo 2015-04-03 15.44.15_zpsktg3zppg.jpg photo 2015-04-03 17.12.46_zpszmvcs8sb.jpgWe held wands, and then tried our hand at both flying the car and broomsticks. Just for the experience I said. Twenty-one pounds lighter I was in the possession of three lovely photographs. Expensive, yes. Overpriced, indeed (even more so the DVDs!). But worth it for the memories and the looks on our faces.

 photo 2015-04-03 16.12.05_zps8qpmfnnd.jpg photo 2015-04-03 16.13.44_zpsdmjnbjz7.jpgThen for my favourite bit of the whole day. Platform 9 & 3/4! I’m so glad that we didn’t miss the arrival of the train as it is stunning. Full-size engine, which actually smells real. There’s a bit too much empty space in the area though, I imagine it will be filled gradually with other exhibits. It was also good to get the classic photo on the platform!

 photo 2015-04-03 17.19.27_zpsozpoinff.jpgOnto animal-y props. My sister really enjoyed this section, and I definitely found it interesting learning about what was ‘real’ and what was computer animated. It was interesting to know that the model of the Basilisk was only created because 11/12 year-old Daniel was struggling to imagine where it was when acting – he didn’t look scared enough! I was terrified of the spider (it weight 1 tonne whilst filming, requiring 15 crewmen for operation!), and fascinated by all the drawing that went into the creating of a non-animated film.

 photo 2015-04-03 17.23.16_zpsizwgea7i.jpgAnother highlight was Diagon Alley – I wasn’t expecting it to be lifesize! It was utterly amazing and totally surreal to walk down that street – I wouldn’t mind if they opened an actual ice-cream parlour down there, or maybe a miniature bookstore! Or opened up Ollivander’s into the wand exhibit at the end?

 photo 2015-04-03 15.08.42_zps65ijqsts.jpg photo 2015-04-03 17.26.27_zpsjiud0zq9.jpg photo 2015-04-03 17.29.00_zpspknn4m2m.jpgThen the models. And wow, these were good. For someone who’s not interested in that kind of thing, even I could totally appreciate the detail in these – to the point of getting annoyed at the crowds speeding by without a second glance. They must have taken hours!

 photo 2015-04-03 17.32.34_zpsgpf0aazd.jpg photo 2015-04-03 17.38.45_zps3yf6a8rx.jpgBut then there was this. The big model. It was incredible, a full Hogwarts, to scale, with stunning attention-to-detail. It completely took our breath away, shame the lighting in the room made photography difficult!

 photo 2015-04-03 17.41.00_zpsxmh0db6d.jpgThe final bit was the wands room – all actors had their own individual wand, and they were in boxes in this room. We spent a good while hunting out our favourite actors, though failed at finding Rupert Grint’s – so we will have to go back! The tour ended in the shop (clever move), but it was SO overpriced. Like £27 for a scarf?! Hell no. I was tempted by a keyring, but we just went for the chocolate/sweets and the extra book set.

 photo 2015-04-03 15.13.58_zps9ridi3ft.jpgAnd because I loved what I was wearing so much, I have to tell you about it. I found it perfect for the day and the travelling! I wore my new jeans from New Look (black, skinny, high-waisted – and my only pair of jeans currently!), and a navy shirt*, topped with bright orange cardigan* and my new favourite – a biker jacket*. Scarf was a lovely present from W’s parents, I believe from Zara, and of course I accessorized with a Leather Satchel – this one is an 11″ in Autumn Tan, and stunning! I’m virtually never without a satchel…I was asked to pick a few items from the George @ ASDA site a few weeks ago, and I adore everything. The jacket in particular is such good quality, I’ve refreshed my work wardrobe and found my perfect LBD. Would highly recommend having a browse!
 photo 2015-04-03 16.50.54_zpsybvyhy4z.jpg

Have you been to the Harry Potter Studio Tours? Were you a fan of the books/films? The only thing I don’t recommend is the Butter Beer – it’s not great!

 

  • These pictures look great, I loved the studios when I went! Although I’d love to ride the train, it wasn’t there when we went!

    Josie
    josievictoriaa.blogspot.co.uk

    • ninegrandstudent

      The train was absolutely spectacular, it’s stunning! x

  • I LOVE the studio tour, I’ve actually been twice…! Planning a third trip as well though, as a) my boyfriend’s never been and b) I NEED TO SEE THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS!!

    Milly // http://www.mini-adventures.com

    • ninegrandstudent

      I’m definitely going to go for at least a second visit! x

  • Joanne

    That is amazing, I’ve always wanted to go to this studio tour! The models are so magnificent. I can’t believe those are the actual wands they used, that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing! <3

    THOUGHTS IN TIFFANY BLUE

    • ninegrandstudent

      The attention to detail on everything is just astounding, photographs don’t do it justice! x

  • Olivia Emily

    It looks like you had an amazing time! I’m so jealous – I’ve yet to go 🙁 everything just looks so perfect! <3

    xx
    http://www.oliviaemily.com

    • ninegrandstudent

      You have to try and go – it’s amazing! x

  • I’ve been and it was absolutely amazing! I love your photos of the Hogwarts Castle model 🙂 I agree that the Butterbeer was a bit of a disappointment, and I couldn’t believe how pricey everything in the shop was either! They must make a fortune xx

    Toasty

    • ninegrandstudent

      I do agree that gifts were too expensive, but the day itself was worth every penny! x

  • I’m so jealous of your trip, it looks so much fun ***she says as she searches for train tickets to London***. Ive wanted to go for a while now and I think you may have sealed the deal with this post.

    Dominique x
    http://www.herfashionblog.com

    • ninegrandstudent

      It really is worth it – photographs don’t show just how amazing it is! I put it off for ages due to the price but so glad I went! x

  • ohh I really want to visit next time I’m over!

    Nosebag NI | Food & Lifestyle – http://www.nosebagni.com

    • ninegrandstudent

      I highly recommend it! x

  • I really wish I’d been able to see the Hogwarts Express! We missed it by a couple of months 🙁 I thought the entrance fee was reasonably priced though! I never did any of the extras though and got a cheap megabus down so it wasn’t too expensive for us xD

    • ninegrandstudent

      It is amazing – I think you need a second visit! 😉 x

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  • Everything looks amazing. I have never been to the studio tour, but a friend of mine is dying to go so maybe we’ll make it happen next year. We better start saving now. I’d be tempted to buy that scarf haha.

    xx Izzy | Qthee

    • ninegrandstudent

      I’m actually going again just after Christmas, super excited! x

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