Apparently, I do.
This afternoon, Husband was showing me some photos that he took while shooting hoops with Girl Child and Boy Child (before Boy Child socked him in the stomach with the ball). As he was flipping through the pictures, he paused and said, “Awww…Harry Potter!” It was then I realized I had totally forgotten to write about the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter. Oops. My bad, y’all.
So, let’s rewind like four months and head back to London, shall we?
On our second day in London over Thanksgiving (yeah…seriously, that far back), we made reservations to hit up The Making of Harry Potter. Let me preface by saying that much to Girl Child’s chagrin, we have yet to make to either of the Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. So honestly, I have nothing to compare it to. From pictures I’ve seen, they look pretty freakin’ fantastic. But here’s the thing…the studio in London is where the magic was created and where it all happened (except for those few bits in Scotland).
Tip #1: Take the tour. If you’ve waited last-minute like we did and the official website is booked up, try your hand at third-party reseller like Viator. I’m sure we paid a few extra pounds for our procrastination, but we were able to get the date and time we wanted. The tour includes transportation to and from the studio (it’s not in London proper), as well as your entrance. The only semi-sucky thing is that you’re on the tour’s time schedule. If you miss the bus back to London, then you’ve got to figure out your own way back.
Tip #2: When booking aforementioned tour, I highly recommend NOT booking it on Black Friday in the afternoon. What should have been a one-hour ride back to the city ended up being close to 2.5 hours. Dude. No.
It’s hard to write about the awesomeness of this place without spoiling it. You see so many amazing sets and props, and the best part is that they are the originals from the movies. There are crowds, but you can move at your own pace (or your tour company’s time line). You begin in a theater, where the cast from the movies explains what you’re about to see and how it was home to them for almost 10 years. And then it begins.
Tip #3: It’s not a ride. Nope. Sorry, kiddos, no crazy rides here (except maybe the line ride). But you can sit at the tables in Snape’s potions class, peer into the pensive in Dumbledore’s office, walk across the crooked bridge, bang on the Dursley’s door at 4 Privet Drive and more.
Tip #4: It’s not all CGI. The sheer amount of details in the set designs, props, prosthetics and costumes is breathtaking. The panels on the doors to the Great Hall are meticulously carved. Imperfections and flaws are sewn into fabrics and prosthetics are painstakingly perfect.
Tip #5: Butterbeer is delicious in any form. ‘Nuff said.
Tip #6: Platform 9 3/4 is waaaaaay more awesome at the studio than it is at the actual King’s Cross station (we went to both). The one at the station is rather disappointing and usually has a really long line accompanying it.
If you have a day to spare when traipsing through London and you happen to be a Potterhead, I would highly, highly recommend this tour. It can be a little spendy, but it’s a fantastic way to see the true magic of Harry Potter.