Here it is: The time when I lay it all bare!
The reasons that I went to London on were: 1. Destination: Star Trek London (A convention that sounded cool, but was a let down).
2. The Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio tour (Blew my mind!).
3. Sightseeing/Vacation/Recharge&Recovery from my relationship went bad.
Today, I’m talking about #2, of course! In fact, I took SO MANY pictures at the Harry Potter studio tour that I can’t cover it all in one post. Also, if we are talking about let downs, this was NOT one of them. In fact, the tour blew my mind away. This is what ALL big franchises should do after their series end.
I really loved the Harry Potter books and have reread them many times. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan, because I very rarely interacted with other fans and just kind of enjoyed things on their own merits. I can certainly be outstripped for enthusiasm by half of the internet, but I DID love them!
But this tour, anyway. I can’t even adequately describe how I felt watching it, but I will try. I will try. Click through to experience the wonder! (haha)
So, um, my thought was, as it often is when I go cool places, is that I wanted to try to document the experience of being there, so that all of you awesome people who weren’t there could feel like they were there with me. (Although it would be awesome if we could go together, too)
Best thing about this tour? They welcomed and encouraged photographs! Like I could not abuse that. :3 (I don’t use flash, either, so I don’t disturb people)
So, to get to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour, you have to take a train out really far from central London, and we had looked up the instructions beforehand on an app. It seemed straightforward, and we even asked the attendant at our local station (Hammersmith). When I said Harry Potter, he didn’t even have to look up where to go. It was a good thing that we left an hour early, though. It took way longer than anticipated, and we BARELY made it on time for our appointed entrance. ^^;
So, when you get to the designated train station, there is a special shuttle bus that picks you up. You need to already have a reserve ticked for the attraction printed out to even get on the bus, and said bus also charges you a fee. I don’t understand why it is not included. >.> But in any case, the bus is very easy to spot. 🙂 See?
It is also quite comfy! And when we exited the bus, this is what greeted us. It is all and only Harry Potter. I could feel my heart start racing just stepping out into the subzero temperatures! In fact, I sort of want to go back so badly that it’s making me cry. If you are a die-hard Potterhead, be careful because looking alone may cause instant orgasm!
DOKI DOKI DOKIIIII!!!
Outside, the giant chess pieces! They are much larger than I had anticipated!! I was also completely ready to get my nerd on. Red glasses check! :3
Inside, my pictures of the lobby did not come out because I didn’t set the camera low enough to handle the dimness well. However, I think that you get the idea in that it was very large and cavernous, and it was very easy to tell where to go. OH, and we had our ticket barcodes printed out already, and you can scan them outside at kiosks, which is what Miho and I did.
Trunks and photos! I should confess…. one thing I am EXTREMELY interested in is set decoration. Prop-making, too. I love the idea of bringing a world to life, and the Harry Potter world is full of so many interesting things in the background, that had I been able to do this job, I would have died happy. When I was little, I sometimes fantasized about joinin Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and making creatures like the ones from Labyrinth. <3 So, this kind of thing was quite the treat!
It’s the flying Ford Anglica! One of several that they used in the movie. These are all real props, not reproductions, and that’s what makes it so awesome!
On the left was a cafeteria that we got kicked out of for trying to eat without buying food (Although we were not the only ones and the lady who informed us was very rude. I got quite angry.) It took me a long time to get over it. I also registered a complaint, because I did not deserve to be verbally attacked. On the right was something that made me feel better, which was a gift shop! HOLY COW, THE WONDER. <3
I wish that I had had money to spend. I had a strict budget and London was more expensive than I had anticipated due to the yen being so weak against the pound. So I decided that I would have to buy a bunch next time. Whenever that is. Oh, there will definitely be a next time!
A closeup of the display in Honeydukes. 🙂
Here are some of the awesome things that I saw in the shop in the 20 minutes or so that we spent in it (the tour lets out directly in the rear entrance to the shop, so we spent about an hour in it before we left :3).
When you buy your ticket for the tour, you have to choose a time. It gives you a half hour window, and you can line up any time in that 30 minutes to enter. It doesn’t take that long, really, since the entrance number is limited to begin with. I was so afraid that they would sell out that I bought my tickets before I even booked my flight, and planned my trip dates around it! XD;; So, while you are waiting, you are waiting near the actual set for the Cupboard Under the Stairs! It was smaller than I had imagined!
God, the details! <3 Next time, I will come with a better camera and a really good zoom lens to get pictures of the jars and what is in them!
Harry’s glasses on the shelf!! <3
And his boots! Even for something like this, it feel lived-in, if you get what I mean? It’s so immersive, and I can really picture what it would have been like to sleep in there (not fun).
On the wall perpendicular to this, there is a quote from JK Rowling. I know EXACTLY what she means. It’s something that I strive for in my own writing, which is why although I write and draw all of the time, very little gets shown to the public. I need to feel that “kyuuuuuun” feeling that Rowling described. <3
People waiting all in a long, wrapped-up line.
When you are ready, they let you into a really, really dark room with screens on the walls. The MC stands in a corner and gives you a story about how popular Harry Potter is across the world, and the multiple screens show a presentation that matches the speech. There was something really moving about this, and I remember tearing up.
After that, you are shuffled into a theater with really, really squishy and awesome armchairs as seats. Seriously, why can’t all theaters be like this!!! Then you are shown more video with an introduction to what it was like living and filming on the set every day for ten years, narrated by the cast members. <3 When it is over, the screen rolls up, the MC appears again, and this is what you see…. The real entrance to the Great Hall!
Remember the knights that McGonnagall animated in the final book/movie??
When the doors open, it is the real Great Hall inside!!!!!!!!!!!!
The tables are so detailed!!!!! At this point, I was trying to get pictures without too many (preferably with none) people in it, which was a real challenge. Because there were a lot of people. I wasn’t paying too much attention to what he said, but I did like to learn that the ceiling was originally intact complete with real floating candles, but they replaced it quickly because it was easier to do it digitally.
Look at the attention to detail!!!
After this room, there was no more MC, and we were on our own. And ooooooh boy, did it get even cooler!!!!!
My next post, I will continue on the orgasm-inducing trip of awesome!! <3
Come back soon, and please comment! Pretty pretty please!!