After almost growing up with Harry Potter, reading the books a dozen times and watching the movies what feels like a thousand times, it is hard to describe what kind of a feeling it is finally to be on the Harry Potter Studio Tour. And even though this word might be used a little too often these days there is no other one that can describe it in a better way. It is “magical”!
The tour starts and ends with such goose bumps moments, that you almost forget the emotional rollercoaster you have been on the whole tour and there is just one thing to think: “I want to do it again!”
Before the actual tour starts you are entering the entrance hall, where you can see big character pictures, a flying Ford Angelina and two trolleys, one’s packed with an owl cage and one’s packed with a rat cage. We all know who owns them. You can see Harry’s tiny room under the stairs, Rupert’s, Dan’s and Emma’s handprints and J.K. Rowling’s famous quote: “No story lives unless someone wants to listen” which seems accurate to be a title for the whole tour.
Now it’s starting. You get into a cinema and watch a little film which shows Dan, Emma and Rupert who introduce us into the tour. They tell us some interesting facts about ten years of shooting the Harry Potter movies and we see some moving clips off and on set through all the years. After watching the film the magic begins. The screen disappears in the air and behind it the enormous doors of the Great Hall open to welcome you. It is such a breathtaking moment, that is really hard to describe. You can totally understand what Rupert said at the press conference: “I remember the moment the screen goes up and the Great Hall opens. Very emotional […] I remember very clearly how I entered the great hall the first time. It was one of our first scenes. Overwhelming… Stepping in, everywhere food, flying candles… yesterday it felt a little bit like this.” Nothing to add. This must be exactly the feeling Harry had, when he entered the Great Hall for the first time. And it is totally understandable that it brings lots of Harry Potter fans to tears.
Inside the Great Hall you see several costumes, most of them are from the teachers, and one of Harry’s earliest ones. You get a first idea of the immense work the art directors put into it and you are amazed by all the details you see for the first time. Like little carvings into the wood of the tables or the scratches at the walls.
After the Great Hall you get into the next area which shows a lot of the original sets, costumes, sceneries and many, many things you recognize immediately. You’ll see Ron’s “beautiful” dress cloak of the Goblet of Fire, the Weasley kitchen, the boy’s dormitory and all the clothes Ron, Harry and Hermione are wearing during the films.
Leaving the Ministry of Magic behind it’s getting outside, where you’ll find well known vehicles like the Knight Bus or Hagrid’s/Sirius motorcycle and Harry’s “home” at Privet drive No 4.
(Yes, they have redesigned the No 4, which was necessary, because we all know who took the original one )
You’ll also see some of the not destroyed chess pieces, which reminds you immediately of one of Ron’s most heroic moments. Who doesn’t have still the line: “And I am the knight!” in his mind!
It’s getting inside again and you can take a closer look on the masks that were used for the goblins, see some really scary creatures like an impressive Aragog or the “dead bodies” of people like Draco Malfoy, Dumbledore or Harry himself.
Right around the corner is one of the highlights of the tour. Diagon Alley! It is amazing to finally be able to walk along the street, passing shops like Olivanders, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes or Gringotts. A dream coming true.
And if you think that is stunning, wait until you get into the next hall. It’s Hogwarts itself. The original model with its castle, the grounds and the beautiful landscape, everything is there. You are able to walk around the whole model and even though you’ve seen it all on screen it is really impressive to see it in all its bigness.
The tour ends inside Ollivander’s, stuffed with what seems like a million wandboxes. Every single box has the name of a cast or crew member on it, that worked on the Harry Potter movies. The immense number of boxes gives you a little idea of how many people have been involved over the years.
We asked Rupert on the red carpet if he already found his wandbox at Ollivander’s and he told us, that he has. We also asked for a little hint for his fans, where to find it, but he was just laughing saying, that there are too many boxes and he couldn’t quite remember its place. So guys, the challenge is open!
Even though you might get the feeling to know now anything and everything about the tour, believe us, you don’t until you’ve seen it with your own eyes. We can’t wait for you all to see it.
Let the magic begin!
If you want to see more pics of the tour check our gallery here.