Dun-dun-dun, dun, dun, DUN, dun-dun-dun, dun-dun… In case you didn't figure it out, that was the Harry Potter theme song! I have to apologize in advance: This post is absolutely crammed with Harry Potter photos, so if you aren't totally into all things Hogwarts/magical, you may want to just skip this and head to the Freebie Friday tab up top ^ and enter some giveaways! On the flip side, if you ARE a complete and total HP freak like me, please proceed….
Before I get too much into the studio tour, I have to give you some background on my life with Harry. My aunt picked up "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" at Heffer's in Cambridge shortly after it came out. She mailed it to me in Chicago and 11-year old me (yep, same age as HP!) fell in love! She sent me the second one after it came out and I devoured that one as well. About a year later, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" showed up in my Christmas stocking. I was a bit perplexed at the title, as "Philosopher's Stone" was a personal favourite. We realized that the title had changed when the book was released in America, and shortly thereafter, the HP craze swept the nation!
It is because I was so ahead of the trend, that I've always been highly possessive of Harry.
I grew up with Harry! We are, after all, roughly the same age! I got to meet J.K. Rowling after "Prisoner of Azkaban" came out. My mum and aunt and I woke up around 3 AM to stand in the freezing March sleet at a local school. I only had the UK books, and somewhere along the line, someone told us that she'd only sign the American versions so my mum had to go on a bookstore run to pick them up. I got to see Ms. Rowling for about 30 whole seconds, but hey… I've got the first three books signed. I remember reading the 6th book in my bunk bed my freshman year in college. I had to turn over any time anything important happened so my facial expressions wouldn't give anything away to my roommate. When the last book came out, I had to wait for my aunt to ship it from Cambridge, so to kill time, I started with book one and read straight through the entire series.
Once the WB studio opened up in Leavesden, my aunt made an obligatory scouting mission, as I was still living in the states and she had some time to kill. She loved every moment of the tour and knew Id absolutely flip for it. Once I moved overseas and planned my first London weekend, we attempted to get tickets. They were sold out. We couldn't scalp them anywhere.
No matter. I would be making another trip over for winter break. We'd surely get tickets then.
… but they were sold out again.
The third time must have been the charm, because when I started planning my August trip (in April) I had my pick of days. Naturally, we were in the first group to be let through the studio. It was amazing. We ended up spending about 5 hours (though the recommended tour time is only 3 hours) and I definitely would have walked through again if I could have. There was stuff to look at everywhere! These sound stages are absolutely crammed with props and sets and costumes. There are videos up, plus we had the audio guide, which gave us more information than we could really process! I don't want to give too much away, but will highly encourage you to see this site! Bring a ton of cash for the gift shop (yep, I finally got a wand… though the Ravenclaw merchandise left quite a bit to be desired), try the butterbeer, and make sure your camera is fully charged!
I swear, the only thing that would have made this excursion any better is if the Starbucks that is right at the entrance (!!!) was serving #PSL!
… back to fashion tomorrow!
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