So after a few glorious months away in Europe, I’m back in Melbourne. Upon hugging my mother hello, I had completed everything I wanted to do in Melbourne and am now ready to leave again. This is not a reflection of my life here, but rather a reflection of just how good the past few months have been.
My initial intentions of posting about my travels whilst away died within approximately 30 minutes of me arriving on European soil (coincidentally, the same amount of time it took for me to have a cider in my hand). So now my head is bursting with destinations and stories I want to share with anyone I’ve pestered enough to click on my page.
It seems logical (to me at least) to tell you about the last place I went to, first. And that just happens to be Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! I don’t know about you but whenever I read ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry‘ in my head I hear it said in a deep, booming, dramatic Dumbledore sounding voice. No, just me?
Now just to clarify, I didn’t go to the actual school (my acceptance letter got lost in the mail a few years back) but I did go to the Warner Brothers London Studio where all the magic was made. And it was only the greatest day ever!
The tour starts with the Great Hall and proceeds to go through all the authentic sets, costumes and props showcasing the British artistry, technology and talent that went into making all 8 movies. Surprisingly, more adults than children visit the studios and as a general rule, the children that do come are considerably better behaved than the adults.
At the studios you’re give the chance to fly a broomstick, drive the Weasley’s blue car and walk down Diagon Alley. There are also snitches to be found, emblems to be collected and the unwritten competition between friends where the first to state what movie and when any prop, picture or costume was used gets a point. It gets very competitive and mildly violent very fast.
Seeing Gringotts, Ollivanders and drinking Butter Beer outside Privet Drive is a truly magical experience and the energy and excitement of all the other visitors and staff is incredibly contagious and uplifting. Basically, if you’re not a delusional crying mess during and after the tour; you’re doing it wrong.
If you manage to get through the whole tour without fainting from excitement (it’s actually harder than it sounds) you get to the mystical and spell-binding (albeit expensive) gift-shop. A place where small children and grown men alike were crying over £30 marauder’s maps. Thanks to the gift-shop and after being sorted by the trusty sorting hat (twice for good measure) I can now rock my new authentic Ravenclaw scarf when I go out (I know I’m really showing off my geek cards/cred here).
Overall it was just an incredible day and place to visit. It was obvious that a lot of care was taken to ensure that the studios felt authentic and still held surprises for the tragic’s among us who have read and seen the movies more times then they care to count. The studios had so much positive energy and happiness that they felt like a tangible anti-depressant, and thus the true magic of Harry Potter was shown.
The last time I re-read all 7 books was the summer of 2010/11. Visiting the studios has inspired me to do it all again…so let my re-re-re-re-re-read (I’m just estimating here) begin.
The following are a few happy snaps from the day: