I was in London when the WB Studio Tour just opened its doors to the visitors, and that was in January 2012, however it took me four years to actually make it to Leavesden Studios, and I couldn’t be more happy.
I purchased my ticket online about a month in advance, because the tickets usually get sold out pretty quickly, I came here by train, got on a bus provided by the Studios and I was finally here! It was a bit cold, but I went and printed my ticket at one of the machines standing by the entrance.
I was then in a queue for about 25 minutes, but it wasn’t boring at all, as I was enjoying listening to others being excited to see the exhibition. I was overly excited myself, but I tried to contain my happiness but playing it cool. The playing it cool face disappeared once I saw Harry’s cupboard under the stairs at Privet Drive.
I mean…what could be cooler than the place where Harry spent eleven years? Maybe only the place where he spent his teenage years and that was of course Gryffindor Common Room and Gryffindor Tower.
The whole exhibition progresses conveniently taking you to all stages in Harry’s life, and lives of his friends. After you see the cupboard under the stairs, you are taken to the Great Hall and as it was January (which comes after December, aka Christmas time), it was fully decorated with Christmas foods and knick-knacks and was sparkling, twirling and brewing, or so I thought.
You see that little witch at the top of the Christmas tree? She was actually flying round it! No kidding, absolutely no kidding. The little one was flying happily, probably anticipating the turkey feast with mushy peas and Yorkshire puddings, Christmas crackers and roast potatoes, some staffing and of course, Christmas pudding that you sprinkle with some brandy and set on fire (under adult supervision of course). It all looked so yummy, that I got hungry, however, I was to spend a few more hours there before I got to a pit stop with some hot dogs and butter beer!
Then I saw the place where Harry and Co were sleeping, and of course eating the candy that make animal sounds, the Gryffindor Tower which you enter after whispering “Fortuna Major” to the Fat Lady.
You know I could just imagine myself sitting there by the window, in the rain, enjoying a warm cup of tea, with some chocolate frogs, reading a book.
Can everyone spot a West Ham blanket and a banner in the last photo? I am also a West Ham United fan, but we will discuss it later 😉
I guess I have also really enjoyed seeing Dumbledore’s office in reality, as well as the Mirror of Erised, and on top of that, Snape’s Potion Class!
I was taking a selfie, when this young man offered to take my photo, I was caught by surprise but agreed happily.
I also saw this huge clock that they used in the time travel episode, in the Prisoner of Azkaban (I think?). See how happy I was ? 😉 And then of course if was Snape’s office or a potion room, I wasn’t sure but it was absolutely wicked.
See how cool that is?!
I also mustn’t forget the Kings Cross station and the Hogwarts Express which you can walk through! And take your photo with the Platform 9 3/4, although I still prefer the “original” one, at the actual Kings X station, right next to the HP gift shop, which isn’t really its original space either, because it was first installed on Platform 11 I believe, not many knew about this, (I did) and not many people came to take photos (I went), and then when the whole thing snowballed, they decided to move the trolley to its current location and put a gift shop there too. Convenient, no doubt. Here, at the studios the location is grand, you can run and play and nobody will stop you. Fun atmosphere all year round.
Right at the end of the platform (after you’ve finished walking through the Hogwarts Express car), you can take a photo of yourself inside the cabin – if you don’t want to pay for the professionally made photograph and video, you can take a picture by yourself! Which is what I did. Just beware of the dementors coming at you and chocolate frogs hopping away.
I’ve rummaged through the gift shop too, but ended up buying another ticket to Hogwarts, which I now use as a bookmark. And I just love this Christmas decoration!
Then I saw Umbridge’s room and The Weasley’s house. I honestly loved the Weasley’s. That scarf was knitting itself!
Then it was finally time for my pit stop! As I was rushing with the exhibition, and as there was literally no place to sit down, that’s how busy it was, I just went for a butter beer, which I ordered in a simple cup, but you can buy an original mug which you can take away with yourself (it’s also more photogenic). I simply don’t buy any souvenirs lately, as I move around a lot, and it’s really difficult to pack and carry all the cute little things that I buy in every single city that I go to. I do buy magnets though, mostly for my mom, but I admit that I like them too.
I took my butter beer and went onto an open studio lot which houses, you guessed it – Harry’s first house! On Privet Drive. Or more like the second. On the right from the Privet Drive house, you will see Lily and James’ house.
Knight Bus standing still.
Sometimes it snows in Privet Drive
And then everyone comes out to play.
After you’re done with snow fights, come along the bit of a Hogwarts bridge and into the Ford Anglia!
After you’re done flying it, come inside for some shopping in the Diagon Alley!
And before you are ready to go, see Hogwarts in the snow! (If you’re there during the winter months, like I was)
You can also find out about how Harry Potter film were done, which is the main focus of the Studio Tour, you can have a ride on a broom – with the green screen behind you, see the cutest animal Buckbeak, buy some merchandise or just look at it!
All in all, I had lots of fun and now I really want to go to the Harry Potter World in the US of A! Who’s with me? 🙂
Thank you for reading x