I’m going to interrupt the Stockholm schedule to fangirl about my recent trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London.
It was my birthday over the weekend, and a family friend’s son’s birthday, so we decided to combine our birthday outings and visit Harry Potter Studios. I first went a couple of years ago, but the addition of the Hogwarts Express was too much to resist.
You start off in the Great Hall, which is fabulous, though I do always expect it to be bigger. There are things you spot that you never notice in the films, such as murals on the wall.
The Sweet Treats feature was on when I went, and they’d lined one of the tables with tasty looking food. The feature was fantastic; it was really interesting to learn about how they make the food.
For the most part, they take real food and freeze it so that they can make a mould. Once they’ve got the mould, they can make as many things as they need to. Of course, that doesn’t extend to the ice cream which is made using polyfiller.
It looked so realistic that it was really hard to tell the difference between what’s real and fake.
As well as selling Butterbeer, they were selling Butterbeer ice cream which was extortionately priced at £5, but it was delicious and I’d pay it again.
I guess this blog post is also a good time to explain why there were so few blog posts on Eat Read Glam last week. Some of us decided to go in cloaks, so I spent every spare minute of last week making cloaks for me and my best friend. I had a red hood lining, she went for yellow. Totally worth it, but do know I did miss blogging and I’m looking forward to catching up with you all.
The train was even better than I thought it would be.
It’s set up in an area on it’s own, and you walk into it and it’s like you’re stepping out into platform 9 and three quarters. The train looks glorious, and my best friend and I did get seriously excited and fangirl like we were 12 years old. It’s ok though; if there’s anywhere you can fangirl like that, it’s Harry Potter Studios.
The cabins on the train are set up as they were for each film in chronological order, which was really cool. The Hogwarts Express was the highlight of the trip for me.
In the Backlot is where you find the ridiculously priced Butterbeer ice cream, and the Knight Bus, Privet Drive, the remains of the Potter’s house in Godric’s Hollow, and you can pretend to ride a Ford Anglia and a motorbike.
After the Backlot, you go through an area which shows you how they created the masks and creatures, which is fascinating.
It’s quite scary how realistic they look because that just looks like a shelf with a load of heads on it, which, lets be honest, is pretty sinister.
You then go through to Diagon Alley, which you can walk down and peer at the shop fronts. Unfortunately they are just that, shop fronts, and you don’t get to go in, which is a shame.
I just really wish I could go into Flourish & Blotts and Fred & George’s joke shop. I loved the way they did the joke shop for the film, it was almost the way I imagined it in my head.
The jewel in the crown, is the Hogwarts model; it’s the perfect way to end the tour. You could spend hours looking at it. It’s so beautiful, detailed, and vast. I really don’t know why someone hasn’t built it. We’ve got plenty of castles in England, but I think it’s about time we had Hogwarts too.
We had a bit of fun when a member of staff pointed out where the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff towers were and plotted how we would signal each other from so far away.
If you’ve been a couple of years ago, I do recommend going back because it has improved since I first went. That’s not to say it was bad before, but there are more staff about to tell you more and answer questions, which I thought was really good, and it seems there’s always a seasonal event on. At the moment it’s Sweet Treats, but then there’ll be Back To School, Dark Arts, and Hogwarts In The Snow.
I’m planning on going back at Christmas because I really want to see it. I saw people’s photos last year, and they look stunning. I need to see it for myself.
- Leave your camera at home – DSLRs struggle in the low light and you can’t take a tripod, but the cameras on our phones handled it perfectly.
- Book well in advance – time slots go quickly, especially if you want to go on a weekend or during the winter when they have everything dressed up like Christmas.
- You can take lunch – there’s a picnic area and you can eat your own food in the Backlot.
- Make a cloak! I used Simplicity’s 1582 pattern. It’s much cheaper than buying one, I think they’re around £70, and you can make it out whatever material you like, and whatever colour you like. The material for my cloak / robe cost £25, which is massively cheaper.
- Visit Primark for cheaper Harry Potter t-shirts before you go – they’re licensed and around £8 instead of £20+.
- Tell them if it’s your birthday – you get a badge. I like badges.
Have you been / do you want to go on the Harry Potter Studio Tour?