So, a month after I received a “letter from Hogwarts” we were there – in Warner Bros studio London. It is located on the outskirts of the city and the easiest way to get there is to take the subway – Victoria Lane or any other that stops at Euston station. There you change to train which takes you to the Watford Junction. Once there, it is impossible to miss signs appointing you to the bus station where you get picked by Harry Potter bus (have prepared 2,5£ for return ticket).
The place is enormous and we spent there around 6 hours (including time for a Butterbeer 🙂 ) and I don’t think we moved around slowly. Already at the beginning you can get a first glimpse into the Harry Potter world – his first “room under the stairs” with his items, including famous glasses, but when after a short movie the doors of Hogwarts open and you step in the Great Hall, it feels like being in a movie and you are half expecting that bunch of young wizards will come chatting from around the corner. Needless to say, there were many children there but I ignored the fact that I may not be the target population and enjoyed myself probably even more since I grew up with those books and movies. 🙂
The tour leads you through different places which were seen in the movies (i.e. Gryffindor “living room”, potion’s classroom, Dumbledore’s office,…). Costumes, wigs, make up, magical objects (like prof. Lupin’s suitcase), the big clock, countless portraits that hang on the walls of Hogwarts…it is all there. Fun fact: many wizard’s portraits are actually faces of people who were crucial for the movies and this was some kind of tribute to them 🙂 Take a walk through The Forbidden Forest, catch the real Hogwarts Express on the platform 9 ¾ where it is possible to buy Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, peek into the Dursley’s living room and stroll around the Diagon Alley. On the top of it, there are explanations of special effects, architecture models for the castle, magical objects…wow and wow! It is an interactive experience so wave your hand and a sweater in Weasley’s kitchen will start to knit itself or even better – go and try to fly on a broomstick by yourself! It is really great for children but as you can imagine, we had to try it all 😛
By the way, did you know that Hagrid’s head is actually only a model with moving eyes and mouth? Or that the same person who made wizard hats for the movie is actually quite famous and sells his hats also to the Royal Family? Can you imagine that you sit still for 6 hours so that you can look like a goblin at the end?
At the end of the tour there is (of course) and enormous gift shop selling just about everything you can think of. The wands are still the “hot stuff” and I was under impression that they barely manage to fill the shelves with new ones. Not so cheap souvenir (around 30€) but it is still cheaper to buy them there instead of in a shop 9 ¾ at King’s Cross station where prices are already around 40€ (and where I later got one for my brother because I didn’t know better 🙂 )
I should mention that Bojan haven’t read any of the books and only saw a couple of movies and he went there with me…well, only because it would be weird if he’d get me only one ticket and left me alone there 🙂 However, he was quite amazed with the whole thing and now we have Harry Potter evenings watching the movies all over again 😀
All in all, if you are a fan, I solemnly swear you will not regret the visit 😉