My friends know how Harry Potter obsessed I am… not just a little bit but a LOT. My sister and I are 100% Harry Potter geeks – a pure-blood geek. At home when someone had to go and make the drinks, or pick a movie or any other trivial but annoying chore my sister and I would have a duel! This consisted of shouting Harry Potter spells at each other in quick succession. The first one to not have a spell to mind had to do the chore. A bit like stone, paper, scissors but WAY more fun!
Anyway… for my birthday my sister gave me Harry Potter World tickets… to say I was excited wouldn’t quite cut it. In preparation I stayed in on Friday night so I wasn’t tired or hungover and got up early to be there in time for my tour! This is a VERY picture heavy post… but I just CAN’T leave anything out!
From Watford Junction you jump on a bus (for £2) to Harry Potter world…
Upon arrival you are greeted by a few of the ACTUAL chess pieces used in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
We were a bit too over excited and arrived a little early so killed time in the gift shop!
Then on the way into the tour we passed the cupboard under the stairs. In the cupboard it shows one of the first pairs of Harry’s glasses ever used. Apparently Daniel Radcliffe asked to keep a pair as a memento when filming finished.
After a brief video which features Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe they explain a bit about the tour and what we expect. At this point I felt like a bit of a sponge saturated with Harry Potter knowledge and unable to absorb anything more! Then the great hall doors opened and we walked through to the Great Hall. Each Yorkshire Stone slab was moved from the set to Harry Potter World for us to see. All the costumes are the ACTUAL ones used in filming and everything there was 100% authentic!
The ceiling of the great hall was made a lot smaller then life size and then fiddled with by the editors.
All the tapestries in Harry Potter were actually made especially for the films. All the paintings were painted for the films too – none are bought. Some actually feature part of the cast – families, friends, self-portraits… too cool!
Seeing the animals used in filming was really interesting too. There were short videos on how they trained the animals. A lot of the animals used in the films were rescue animals.
Half way through there was a bit of a break where you could sit and chill for a bit. It also showed some of the outdoor sets.
Butter Beer Tash!
Then back into the tour the second part was about the technical aspects involved – all the facial prosthetics, the technology behind certain characters; Buckbeak, Aragog, the basilisk etc.
And onto Diagon Alley…
Then we were shown all the architectural aspects to the design of Harry Potter and his world. These went from the drawings and sketches onto the card models and then onto a large model of Hogwarts itself which was used in lots of the landscape shots.
This model was enormous and made in such great detail – nothing was missed off.
Then through to the wand room where there were floor to ceiling shelves of wands. Every single wand here had hand finished labels stuck to the boxes of every person involved in the Harry Potter films – ranging from the cast members to the editing team to make up. Everyone. The attention to detail was insane.
Harry Potter World was absolutely amazing. It was such a sensory overload and there was too much to take in! The only negative was the price of the gift shop. I feel very sorry for parents! Overhearing one child…
Child: “Daddy, I want a wand”
Father: “No darling, you can’t have a wand you already have 2 at home”
The jumpers were over £60 (yes they were real cashmere blend) but for a nivelyt jumper I thought it was quite expensive. Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans were £8 for a tiny box and scarves were around the £27. I would have happily bought the shop… had I been a millionaire!