Travel

UK Travel Diary: Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour

August 16, 2014
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“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” ~ Albus Dumbledore, “The Mirror of Erised,” Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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To curious Harry Potter fans, I’d like to share some photos from my visit to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour. The Studio Tour area is found beside the actual working film studios where all eight Harry Potter films were filmed. This entire studio complex is located in Hertfordshire, a city in southeastern England. We traveled about an hour from London to get here via a prebooked tour shuttle bus service. This tour was definitely one of the highlights of our trip to the United Kingdom last March.

These shots clearly do not do justice to the real-life cinema props and set-ups, and these make up just about 10-15% of the entire studio. I couldn’t take photos of every single room, prop, and costume; it would take me the entire day! It is my aim that sharing these photos will simply suffice to pique your curiosity, but not become spoilers to those who might go in the future.

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Along with millions of other Muggles, J.K. Rowling’s remarkable, magical tale about The Boy Who Lived was a huge part of my childhood. I was that kind of fan who rushed to the bookstore every time a new sequel came out, and reread the books about three to four times. I am also a proud owner of all the books from the series itself: Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Tales of Beedle the Bard.

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The Marauder’s Map is almost exactly what I imagined it to be.

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At the Great Hall, the dining and congregation area of Hogwarts students. This is also where they displayed the uniforms of each of the four Hogwarts schools.

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Professor Flitwick! No genuine Harry Potter fan would fail to recognize him.

HP-9078Yule Ball costumes! For a few moments I just stood there, transfixed and staring at these clothes.

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The actual costumes worn by the Yule Ball attendees.

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Salazar Slytherin’s locket and Helga Hufflepuff’s cup.

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Displayed in this glass case are the wands of all the main characters in the series.

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Dolores Umbridge’s striking pink office.

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The Gryffindor Common Room!

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I was about Harry’s age in the first book when I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and after reading it, I seriously wished an owl would drop by my house and give me a letter from Hogwarts.

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Diagon Alley! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Rowling’s description of this quirky street of shops and magical trinkets, and it was just breathtaking to see it all in real life in front of me.

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 The cottage where James and Lily Potter lived.

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 Vintage quidditch posters!

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This is one of my favorite parts of the tour. I was absolutely fascinated seeing all these wand boxes with names of witches and wizards printed on each one.

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But perhaps the most breathtaking part of the tour is seeing this large-scale model of the Hogwarts Castle. It is used to film panoramic shots in all of the eight films, and some areas were reconstructed based on the events of the story.

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All studio tours have to come to an end, but I happily brought Hermione’s wand and Time-Turner with me! I like how holding them in my hands makes me feel like I’m capable of doing magic, even just for a moment. I wish I could take away mugs of frothy, bubbly butterbeer though; it was unforgettably delicious.

“No story lives unless someone wants to listen.” ~ J.K. Rowling

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© 2014 Desiree Grace Tan. All Rights Reserved.

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