The Harry Potter Experience
August 9, 2012
By: Carolina Are
Since the advert came out, I knew I couldn’t miss the Harry Potter Studio Tour experience. I’m a pottermaniac, Harry Potter geek, childish 19-year-old who knows the books and films off by heart. Call me what you will. But here’s my review of the Harry Potter Studio tour.
The Harry Potter Studio Tour begins just outside London, at Studios Leavesden, where all the magic came to life. You can get here by train from London Euston (it takes only 20 minutes) to Watford Junction, where a 10-minute ride on a bus provided by the studios will take you to the main attraction. An Oyster Card and two pounds are all you need for the trip, but beware: you can’t buy tickets at the studios. You need to book them in advance and, blimey Harry!, they are 28 pounds. Still, I will prove to you that the visit is definitely worth the money.
Don’t worry, I won’t spoil it all for you. I won’t publish all the 217 pictures I’ve taken. For that there’s my Facebook profile. However, I will now take you through the tour. First of all, remember that it is a self-guided tour and that you have to take your time and enjoy everything, because you can’t go back to anything. So, let’s begin: imagine queueing near the cupboard under the stairs, already full of excitement. You continue to the Great Hall, with its costumes and statues and reach the Hogwarts gates.
If you’re a nerd like me, be prepared: your eyes will fill with wonder when you see Gryffindor’s dormitories and the potions class. After you’ve seen the Ministry of Magic, Hagrid’s House and Dumbledore’s Office, the studios also offer you the chance to ride a broom and try the Weasleys’ flying car. One of the highlights of my experience was trying the one and only butterbeer in the café between the studios (yes, it’s two huge studios). I won’t tell you what it tastes like: discover it yourself. What’s certain is that you have to try it (and I did get terribly mad when the guy who brought us inside the tour pretended they had run out of it).
After a refreshing butterbeer, you enter the “creature shop”, where you will see how all the creatures were made. Then, make your very own trip to the wonderful Diagon Alley, one of the best parts of the tour. I won’t tell you anything about the very end, because I’ve already said too much. I’ll just say that it’s a feast for the eyes.
The whole tour is accompanied by the Harry Potter soundtrack we all know too well and it is simply an unmissable experience. You have loads of time to visit, because it’s permanent. However, I believe there’s no better timing than now. If you, like me, feel like an orphan after the best story of your childhood has just ceased to continue, this tour will bring you back the very best of Harry Potter’s magic. If there’s one thing I had to complain about, I’d say it’s the price of the merchandise. However great they might be, I just find it impossible to spend 60 pounds on a Harry Potter cardigan, or even more on some jewellery.
Still, this tour takes magic to a new level. I have heard some people fear it would ruin all the Harry Potter magic, but it doesn’t. It actually adds to it. And when we were in the cinema, watching the most famous scenes of all movies, for a moment I was so happy I was about to cry. Because it’s true, we are the generation that will earn less money than the previous one, but we are also the Harry Potter generation. Harry Potter saw us growing up as much as we have seen him growing. Therefore, if you’re part of the Harry Potter generation, you just have go to this tour. And hey, I might be a geek, but at least I haven’t grown up with Twilight.