I am currently on the way home from a truly magical day at the Harry Potter Studios, what a way to get in the Christmas Spirit! (I say currently as I was writing this in my journal on the car journey home.)
After queueing for all of five minutes, a hundred people were ushered into a tiny cinema where we watched an introductory film on the making of the Harry Potter films and what we were about to experience in the studios.
Following a quick message from Daniel Radcliffe at the end of the program warning us about Quidditch, the giant screen raised into the ceiling and we were presented with the doors to Hogwarts. Suddenly my heart pounded and I suspect that my grin resembled somewhat like the Cheshire Cat.
The doors swung open and we were presented with the magnificent Great Hall. We raced through the doors to be greeted by a festive hall. The long tables that we have seen so many Hogwarts students sat at were filled with Christmas treats, including an artificial Christmas Pudding which actually caught fire! Eight Christmas trees stood by the tables, beautifully decorated with a little witch flying around the star. At the end of the room we were confronted by Hogwarts favourite and most famous professors.
I may have (definitely have) squealed with excitement when I saw my all time favourite costume. Hermione Granger’s Yule Ball dress. I actually designed a dress identical to this for my year 8 ball and my mum had it made for me!
As we walked around the studios I couldn’t believe the amount of intricate detail the creators of the sets and props had gone through. It is truly astounding. Did you know that every single painting featured in the Harry Potter films were actually hand painted with oil paints? Incredible.
|This made my day!!!|
I could have stared at the sets all day had I not been so eager to see the rest of what the studios had to offer.
|I spy with my little eye something beginning with s… clue: the decider of which house each pupil will go into.|
After wandering around the sets for a good two hours, we were led outside and found we were stood directly in front of the Knight Bus. This time it wasn’t me squealing with excitement, it was my father. As right next to the Knight Bus, was Hagrid’s motorbike and sidecar. We walked around Privet Drive and Godric’s Hollow with a hot dog and cup of tea. As daylight faded, we headed inside for some more magic.
This room was full of wax figures and the mechanism behind all the magical creatures. Over our heads hung Aragog and a Basilisk, eyes wandered between the two, I don’t doubt that everyone was thinking which they would rather confront!
My absolute favourite part of the whole experience, Diagon Alley. (This was actually also my favourite part of Universal Studios in Florida, there really is something magical about this place.) The cobbled streets were cluttered with all the magical shops you could think of, Ollivanders, Flourish & Blotts, Gringotts and of course The Weasley’s Joke Shop. We had bought electronic tour guides and I thought they described it perfectly, “Victorian England with a magical twist”. If only our modern day high streets looked like this now. Maybe shopping would appeal to me more if they did.
Next was the designing of the sets. All of the buildings and rooms are all pre made out of paper, wood and card. The meticulousness of these sculptures is astonishing! I can’t even imagine how much effort went into making the actual scenes!
Finally, Hogwarts. One word. Breathtaking. I have never seen anything like it. The castle was built over the course of seven months, every brick was hand painted! Amazing. Myself and my dad couldn’t believe it! We were still talking about it on the car journey home!
A childhood dream fulfilled, I don’t doubt that I’d be back. It truly was a magical day, made more special by the fact that it’s so close to Christmas! Thanks to my father for an amazing early Christmas present!
I hope I’ll write another blog post before Christmas, but if not then I wish you all a truly magical and wonderful Christmas and New Year and I will have more adventures and excitement for you soon!