Hello everyone, I’m back with part 2 of the Harry Potter Studio Tour! If you haven’t yet ready the first one, you can find that here. Again, this post contains spoilers so if you are hoping to go anytime soon I highly suggest that you do not read this post!! Let’s continue from where we left off!A bunch of random props and costumes here! The clock was massive and the pendulum was working, one of those pieces that you thought was CGI. The Stone Gargoyle which represents a griffin was very exciting to see, very detailed but not sure if it actually works! I spotted the bottle of Skele-Gro and thought it was necessary to get a photo of it, I don’t quite know why but I felt like it played a rather big part in the second film haha, I wonder what it tastes like?? A smell comes to mind every time I watch that scene in the film but I couldn’t tell you what it is!
Found these in a glass case and was surprised to see how detailed they were up close! Of course you can’t appreciate the detail and effort that went into making film props because a lot of the time you see them for a small fraction of the film and often not up close; the egg in particular is much more detailed then it appears in the film!
These are the kind of props that I enjoy looking at! The handheld props, minuscule details that really help bring the films to life! Clearly there is no stimulating conversation happening as Slughorn’s Hourglass has stopped, and I really like the Philosopher’s Stone, the Golden Snitch and the Remembrall because they are so detailed!
Not much to say about this prop other than it is the real Goblet of Fire; I always thought that it should look more impressive than plain wood but you can’t deny the skill that went into carving it!
I won’t lie, I thought that the Headmaster’s office should also be a bit more exciting, at least stick some special effects or something in there…The book makes it sound like the office was full of all sorts of different magical items – “A number of curious silver instruments stood on spindle-legged tables, whirring and emitting little puffs of smoke.” There was a number of different cabinets, all of which were filled with different items but there was only 5 or so types of item that the cabinets were filled with but in different colours and sizes so that was a little disappointing; though I was quite impressed with the detail that went into the memory cabinet (not sure what it is called but it is the cabinet holding all of the memories that Dumbledore had collected throughout his life – most memorable in The Half-Blood Prince).
Now this is what I am talking about! I really liked the idea of potions class, I think that I would be quite good at it as I am very particular with details though my cooking skills are questionable…There were self-stirring cauldrons and shelves crammed full of different jars holding different ingredients as mentioned in the book! Apparently a lot of the jars contained dried herbs and plants, plastic toy animals and animal bones. The level of detail in this set is much more interesting to me, and of course I had to get a selfie with my Head of House!
Came across this really interesting stall which was all about how they created the snow and fire in the films! We were allowed to touch and feel the different types of snow; one was made of shredded plastic (like carrier bag plastic) which was perfect for creating falling snow because it floated down, another was the fake snow that you can buy in shops and add water to which is always fun to touch, and the last one was a type of salt which was used to cover the floors and gave the ‘crunchy snow’ effect. They also had a burning log fire that was completely fake! It felt warm I guess from the lights but you could stick your hand in it without getting burnt!
Next to the stall was a number of different prop doors but I had to get a photo with this one! It’s the door that opens to the Chamber of Secrets! How cool is it that this door ACTUALLY WORKS, it is not CGI like I thought it was!
More interesting sets! I really enjoyed checking out the Weasley’s kitchen because in the book and films there are a lot of magical items at work! There were interactive screens as well that required you to ‘wave’ your hand and watch as certain parts of the kitchen started magically working by themselves; I enjoyed washing the pans!
This section showed you the animatronics used in front of the green screens such as the broomsticks! It was interesting to see Hagrid’s motorbike and the vault cart up close!
Lupin was one of my favourite teachers (as was he one of everybody’s elses) and I thought his trunk was really interesting, again it is not CGI but all animatronics; I pressed the button and Lupin’s trunk started to ‘unpack’ itself! Moody’s trunk doesn’t seem much on the outside but it was rather cool that there was a mirror above it that allowed you to see into the trunk and see someone curled up at the bottom!
You’re not allowed to take photos in this section but you can line up and have a video and photo taken not only on a broomstick but in the flying Ford Anglia! There are staff members telling you what actions to make at certain points of the recording but our picture came out pretty terrible so we didn’t purchase one. When you ride a broomstick, you get to choose what Hogwarts robe you’d like to wear, ofc I chose Slytherin! When you go to purchase your photos, you get a choice of 3 backgrounds for the side view photo but the picture taken from above only has the Hogwarts background available; it’s a shame that they don’t have a snowy Hogwarts version considering it was ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’.
This scene was rather grim, I remember feeling particularly saddened by it; it was decorated with the costumes that were worn and the mannequins were posed to look like the characters in action.
Here we get a sneak peak into the Ministry of Magic sets, they are so beautifully detailed and official-feeling; did you know that the tiles are made out of wood and because this was one of the biggest sets, they had to create the majority of furniture out of cardboard and other lightweight materials so that the set could hold them? Also the Prophecy Orbs look really cool!
Ugh yes we all hate her don’t we? This woman actually makes me want to throw up over the colour pink, and I love pink!! I won’t deny that her desk was pretty but everything else, yuk…
This statue is also very grim; if you read my 25 HP facts post which you can read here, you’ll know that the First Wizarding War was based on World War II. An evil dictator taking over wanting only pure-bloods alive despite not being pure-blood themselves, arrests and killings for no reason, guards running about…Yeah you can see where this is going, very much like Hitler and his organisation. Very clever actually, J.K. Rowling wanted Harry to experience the same issues in the Wizarding World that the Muggle world was facing; I wonder if Voldemort and Hitler ever met up? This statue shows muggle-born wizards and witches, as Hermione says, in their (according to ‘purists’) ‘rightful place’ which is beneath the Ministry and Pure-Blood wizards. If you know a lot about WWII and the Holocaust as I do, then this statue will make you feel more uncomfortable than just what Harry Potter is suggesting.
I always found the proclamations to be really funny since they were ridiculously OTT; my favourite is as pictured above, ‘Educational Decree No. 31 Boys and Girls are not permitted to be within 8 inches of each other.’
The next section was doubly exciting because it has only recently been introduced to the tour; the Hogwarts Express!!! I had really been looking forward to this section, and I took a great deal of interest in seeing some of the Hogwarts luggage! I spy Luna’s!
It is so big and awesome!! It had steam billowing out and would sound its whistle every now and then, I can imagine how exciting it would be to travel to Hogwarts on such a form of transport! I’m no train enthusiast but I do get incredibly excited when I spot train spotters at the station because that means that even though my train is delayed, I know an exciting train (usually steam) will come rushing through!
We then got to push luggage through the barrier! I’m a lot smaller than everyone else so I had to give mine some extra force!
We were also lucky enough to go onto the carriage where all of the compartments were decorated, and you can clearly see which carriage belonged to The Prisoner of Azkaban!
The Railway Shop was a nice little gift shop, I love themed shops! Unfortunately the merchandise for HP is incredibly expensive, I would’ve really liked to have purchased myself a chocolate frog!
A section at the end showed mannequin Harry and Ron enjoying their sweet feast, an iconic scene of their first official meeting on the train! Look at all of the sweets, the jelly snakes look really yummy and Scabbers is clearly enjoying himself, oh I mean Wormtail…Grrrr… On the other side were the last costumes that were seen in the film Deathly Hallows Part 2, adult Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione!
We hadn’t realised how long we had been walking but it was well past lunch time and I hadn’t eaten since 5am (I did buy snacks for the car but I fell asleep T_T); thankfully the Hogwarts Express section led into a café, and they had lots of smaller props on display beforehand! The letters and the love potions are my favourite bits because they are so intricate, all of the letters were handwritten for that authentic effect!!
Stood in the queue starving hungry, getting mega excited to approach this sign and try Butterbeer for the first time ever! Unfortunately N took quite a tumble once we had got our food, thought it was a good idea to try and step over the rope barriers to get out faster after watching 3 others do it; with the disadvantage of wearing heels, she got her foot caught in the rope barrier and went over, landing flat on her bum whilst her food tray complete with burger and Butterbeer went straight over her head. The entire barrier came down and there was quite a mess but the staff were really kind, helped her up and to clean up as well as replacing her meal for free! Was hilarious though, thankfully she found it funny and was perfectly fine!
I decided to get myself mac n cheese because I didn’t want to be so full up that walking was an effort, especially since it makes me feel sick too but unfortunately this macaroni and cheese meal was really poor! It was quite dry, the cheese was hard and dry as if sat for ages and it actually tasted like cardboard. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t expecting some amazing meal, places like this never have fantastic food because they get their money from entrance fees and merchandise sales but I was definitely expecting it to be better! Should’ve just got myself a burger in the end because N, Y and dad’s girlfriend Q said that it was quite nice!!
So I am going to end this blog post with some pictures of one of the most highly anticipated moments of this entire day, Butterbeer!!! I paid extra to keep the tankard and you get to choose out of 3 different types, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to like the drink or not because it was caramel-flavoured (or close to) and usually they are too sickly for me. However, IT WAS SUPER YUMMY! The drink basically tastes like a less-sweetened version of cream soda that is slightly fizzy and refreshing with a caramel/butterscotch-flavoured cream froth on top! The drink was nice but I much preferred the cream, I ate it with a spoon it was so yummy! I didn’t get to try it but I think the Butterbeer ice cream might taste super nice too, and if you try a Butterbeer you mustn’t forget to take a photo with your Butterbeer moustache!
That’s it for this post but stay tuned as there is one more post to come with just as much, if not more, spectacular magical content! Thanks for reading, until next time!~♥