Have you ever felt like you don´t fit in? Like, somehow, you are just different? Have you ever had that sensation inside your chest that tells you that something is missing? If you have, then you know that it means the world to people like us to find things, a place, a person, a book, etc…that changes us and it is like suddenly being at home, safe and we can show who we truly are.
That happened to me for the first time when I read Harry Potter.
I used to not read anything at all and then there I was, devouring a book about a young boy and finding a home among wizards and witches. From that day onwards, Harry Potter and his friends became a part of who I am; characters became people I grew up with, who I cried for and laughed with and for who I still raise my wand in commemoration of the battle of Hogwarts. These books mean the world to me and I owe them so, so much. So imagine how ecstatic I was when I found out that I was going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, with my new fiancé, to have an entire day of magic!
Wanna know if we encountered some Death Eaters or if we entered the Forbidden Forest? Then grab your wand and keep reading!
The Harry Potter Studio Tour actually opened five years ago, on March 31st, 2012 in Watford, London. It instantly became a huge sensation among fans of the saga and tourists who wanted to know more about the behind the scenes of the 8 movies. The tour holds permanent exhibitions as well as some that change throughout the year so rest assured that no matter how many times you visit, there will always be something new to charm you.
I must confess that the visit I did with my fiancé was not the first time I had the privilege to step into this glorious place. In fact, I was beyond lucky to be able to go with a very nice person just a month after the tour was opened. I know, INSANE! However, after 4 years, the tour I had visited before was now completely different. Better.
The Tour now showcases more props of the films, the famous (and beloved) Hogwarts Express – yes, you CAN go inside and see the cabin where Emma, Rupert, and Daniel made us all giggle in the first film- parts of the Ministry of Magic and, of course, their latest addition: The Forbidden Forest. Sadly, Indi and I were not able to see this as it opened some months after we visited…but we are planning on making it our thing to go to the Tour at least once a year. They also added more shops and places where you can get photos of yourself riding a broom, inside the train, talking to Dobby and doing so many magical things! However, beware of two things (no, relax, none of them are You-Know-Who): the photos are not cheap; they cost around 15 to 25 pounds (approximately 300 to 500 pesos) each and, also, if you want anything from the shops inside the tour, buy them there! Most people go to the Gift Shop that you enter after you finish the tour but this one does not carry all the products that you can see during your visit. So make sure you grab your Hogwarts Express merchandising right there and then when you see it!
One of the best aspects about this place, apart from all the amazing props and scenery, is that you can interact with things! For example, you can touch a screen and see how stuff at the Burrow come to life. Also, you can walk around Diagon Alley and check out the weird inventions of the Weasley twins and even, maybe, get a wand? I´ll let you know a little secret: my fiancé found a very special gift at Diagon Alley, right outside of Ollivander´s… but more on that in another post! ❤
Of course, any witch or wizard gets hungry so around the middle of the tour you can take a sit, leave your broom aside and relax with a nice Butterbeer or Butterbeer ice-cream! Now, I feel like I have to apologize for what I am about to say but…I hated Butterbeer (or in this case, ice-cream soda). I tried it on my first visit and I tried it once again with my fiancé but, honestly, it is the most horrible thing ever! If you have tried it, please let me know your opinions on it because I feel so bad about not liking it! Bad Potterhead, bad! 😛
Anyway, I am really sorry as I feel like I can´t properly convey how much I absolutely love this place! Honestly, it is one of my favorite places on earth. Besides, being able to take my fiancé and enjoy Harry Potter together as a couple was one of the best experiences ever.
If you are going to London soon, I strongly recommend you to go to the Tour. For all the information you need, you can go to their website (yes, it has one for us Spanish speaking people! The magic of the Internet ;3 ) and please, remember to buy your tickets in advance as they cannot be purchased in location and they sell out quite fast! Another tip: this tour is 100% friendly for mentally and physically disabled people. Carers are allowed for free and if you have any issues (be it queueing, being scared of spiders etc), members of staff are there to help you and make your tour easier. Please don´t hesitate to tell them if you need anything!
I can´t wait to go back! Right now, I am a bit sad that I am missing the Wizarding Wardrobes exhibition. But, to be honest, enjoying the Christmas dinner in the Great Hall is one of my ultimate dreams.
I hope I could bring some of the magic to you through this post, and remember: “The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”