Thursday, 17 May 2012

Day 12 – All things Harry Potter

As we didn’t have to leave till lunch time to go to the Harry Potter Studio Tour we decided to go back to the V&A Museum to look at more things we missed out on (there is several days of things to see in this place).  We went upstairs this time and looked at more of the architectural items and also the wrought iron ware.  We had morning tea in the fabulous tea rooms, today we were in the blue room.  

We caught the tube to Euston and met Kylie and Tom there.  Lunch was at a really cool English pub called the Doric Arch (Head of Steam), which was decorated with lots of metal signs and railway mementos.  Kylie and I had the fish and chips, I have never had such crispy, crunchy batter before!
Next we all went to the railway station and caught the train to Watford Junction, where the Harry Potter bus was waiting to take us to Warner Brothers Leavesdon Studios. There the magic began!!!

This is the best exhibition I have ever seen.  All the original costumes, sets, props etc. were there to be seen.  First off we had a talk about what to expect, then we were ushered to view a movie that the three stars (Harry, Ron and Hermione) made to explain some of their time making the movies.  Next we were at these massive doors that when opened we entered the Great Hall.  This was so big, the floor was made of Yorkshire stone. We were given a talk on the costumes that were to be seen and some information on the making of the scenes in the Great Hall.  Nearly all the furniture in the movie was made of oak.  A lot of the gold items were actually gold leaf or gold plated.  Then we were let loose to explore.

There were two studios and the back lot to venture around.  The first studio (Studio J) had lots of the sets like Hagrid’s Hut, Dumbledore’s Office, The Ministry of Magic, The boys dormitory and common room etc.

In the back lot there was the Knight Bus, Privet Drive, the crooked bridge, the chess pieces, Harry Potters family home and the Weasley’s flying car.  Tom and Kylie tried the butter beer which tasted a lot like creaming soda.

The last studio (Studio K) was all the Death Eater models , then were all the models of the rubber masks, monsters and creatures.  Dobby was my favourite.  Also you could watch the how they made all the moving, flying critters.  Diagon Alley was next .. WOW .. the whole street is life size, I managed to get photos of all the shops.  In the wand shop there are 1,000’s of wand boxes, all with individually made labels and no two names the same!  But, the most amazing scene was next .. the massive model of Hogwarts.  They made all the bricks one by one, used real rocks and trees.  It is so big and amazing, goodness know how long it took to make and how many had to make it.  The shop was the last stop, Emily bought a wand and tie.  It was one of the best places I have visited.  We were lucky to get the tickets last year as they sold out for this month pretty quick.  If I ever have the chance to go again, I would try to get morning tickets, then take the time to go around and read everything, watch all the videos that were showing everywhere.  It took us 3 hours as it was, as our tickets were for 5pm we couldn’t hang around as we had to catch the bus and trains back (the trains finish at 10pm).

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