You know I went to Bath in England but did you know I also went to Diagon Alley, And The Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts??? Well I did and to be totally cliche it was Magical. Magical and expensive but worth every penny (all 9,800 of them). I went alone on this journey, but met some really nice folks from a Chicago (originally, now in a Carolina, I think) who I sat with on the bus and who bought me lunch AND a Starbucks, wow. I’m good at making friends. I feel like for once there isn’t a whole lot to say about it except as a Harry Potter fanatic it was wonderful. So let’s go to the pictures, shall we?
Firstly I opted to go with a tour group that provided the transportation as the studios are about 1.5 hours from central London. The studios are accessible by public transit (with a shuttle going to the studios) but with something this important I wanted to make sure there was as little room for Kristen error (like human error but with more getting lost) as possible. The entries are also timed so there was no way I was going to let my lack of direction keep me from my own land of Oz. So like I already said to the pictures…
Oh two tips after you enter the main building. One, get a snack or whole meal from the cafeteria (even if you don’t have cool new friends to buy you a sandwich). The tour is long and there is a place in the middle to get ice cream but you may want to load up on calories. Two, skip the audio tour (gasp!). I love audio tours but I felt like the information available without the tour was so plentiful I don’t think it’s necessary unless it isn’t your first visit.
I took a ton of pictures but the lighting (or perhaps the lousy photographer) was a bit off and many are blurry. Guess it’s better to just enjoy it.
If you aren’t impressed yet. Perhaps you need more explanation. Unlike the places you can visit in Orlando all the things on this tour are the actual sets, props, costumes, etc used in the movies and displayed on the sound stages where the movies were filmed. Cue nerdgasm.
If you haven’t already, watch the reality TV show The Creature Shop before you visit. It will give you a real appreciation of what goes into making all the creatures in these movies.
The second to last section featured all the concept art and set models. It was fascinating to learn all that goes into making a movie (or eight).
The grand finale was at giant 360 degree model of Hogwarts, complete with sentimental music and changing lighting.
I would 100% recommend this tour to anyone who likes the books/movies. Even if you only casually like them it’s still really cool to see all the “movie magic.” My only regret is not bullying Marcus into going with me because what the point of having a nerd freakout if you are doing it alone? So take a friend, hopefully a fellow nerd friend.