Not really, I wish!
While visiting Norway, I was talking with my friend Katie, and she told me that she was visiting her cousin in London the same time. What were the odds we were in Europe during the same month after not seeing each other in two years! We did some research and went to Paris for a day which is another post in my blog, with some awesome pictures! On our way back from Paris we got tickets to go to the Harry Potter movies it back in London. It was so cool! It was definitely something I got to check off my bucket list that wasn’t even on it!
We take a bus to the studio, and we are so excited when we get there. With our tickets in hand, and after taking pictures of the entrance (obviously), we make our way inside. We have to wait in line with a medium sized crowd, and there is a video playing up on the wall that we get to watch before we go in. It showed how J. K. Rowling got inspired and used to doodle on a napkin, and how the world of Harry Potter blew up from there. While watching this video tour, We also get to see the Cupboard Under the Stairs movie prop! It's sitting to the left, blocked in behind velvet ropes, we obviously can’t touch it but everyone is snapping pictures, including us, as well as an elementary school class that are all first in line.
After the excitement of that wears down, we see a cute girl in braided pigtails and a dark green, collared shirt and a name tag on, step up on a tiny platform. She directed us into a room to the right. No one knows what to expect, but it's obvious we're all excited. We crowd in, and she goes over a few rules, like no touching, try not to crowd anything for too long, etc. then, the lights get dim, and a pinkish-purple light comes on. Everyone turns around to see the entrance to it all...The Door. It felt like that scene on the original Willy Wonka when they go through the teeny tiny door and when they walk through, the next room is enormous. Not that the door was small, because it was freaking huge, but because the inside was even bigger.
As we make our way through, it doesn't seem real. I've seen the movies countless times, and have read the books more than I'm proud to admit, but to actually be standing in The Dining Hall?! There's no way. This can't be real. Imagine a gut-wrenching moment, a positive one, like winning an award, for example. That's how it felt walking in. All the house tables are here, each dinner plate set just right. Of course, the benches to all the tables are roped off with the same dark red velvet. But it's still SO cool! As I make my way around, Katie is somewhere on the other side. Working my way to the back of the room, I literally almost run into The Sorting Hat. It's on a stand, and it look dirty and beat up, and bigger than I imagined, but awesome nonetheless. There's also a fe mannequins with costumes on, as if the professors were standing in their perspectives spot like in the movies. I snap a few pictures as we move along.
Our "tour guide" let's us know that the next room is where most of the props are, and that we are free to roam. She also let us know that when we;re done, there's a door in the back that leads to a cafe that serves butter beer. Hell. Yes. I'm so pumped.
We make our way through another set of doors, into what seems like a huge warehouse. All the props are right next to each other, either enclosed in glass (mainly the smaller props) or set up on ledges. There's a camera flashing like every 5 seconds as families and friends take a million pictures of each thing, including Katie and I, Katie with her selfie stick haha! It all seems so surreal. I mean, here I am, looking straight at the Deluminator, and the Sorcerer's Stone, and then I turn the corner and see Hagrid's Hut, right next to the Mauder's Map.
We also see The Invisibility Cloak, The Mirror of Erised, The Time Turner, even Tom Riddle's diary, with the Balisk tooth. There's also a glass box with everyone's wands in a big circle, each with their names.
There's a room off to the side, and as Katie and I wander over there, it keeps going. It ends up being more sets, bigger one, like Gringotts, The Gryffindor Common Room, the dorm beds, a wall of "talking" pictured, even Dumbledore's "secret" door.
There's still so much to see, but it was a little overwhelming. In a good way. But the hunger bandit strikes us both, and I'm dying to get some butter beer. So we head towards the cafe. There's nothing too great about it. Just sandwhichs and drinks....and of course, butter beer. We notice an outside area, and after we inhale our food, we decide to go take a look. Outside, in a small enclosed area, we see even more props. Ones that wouldn't really fit inside, even in a warehouse. We see James' and Lily's house, and 4 Privet Drive. to the right of that, was the car. I don't think it was roped off, letting kids sit in it for pictures.
As we leave, and think it's over, there's still one more section! It seems like it never ends! As we walk into the room, we see The Hogwarts Express! Just as advertised! It's roped off, but as you walk from the front to the back, you can see the candy cart, some mannequins, and even a trace on the window of a heart and initials from when Lavender expressing her love for Ron. It was great!
Then, next to the train, was Tom Riddle's parents grave, along with a wall of the school rules, and a small section of the potion's classroom.
The coolest part, for me, at least, was seeing a mini version of Hogwarts. It was a huge, mini castle. Talk about an oxymoron!
Imagine having this as a dollhouse as a kid! This was definitely my favorite thing, by far.
I'm glad you enjoyed your tour! If you ever go to London, I highly recommend this, even if you're not that into Harry Potter!
Stay excellent! <3