Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.
I have loved the Harry Potter series for years, I grew up with the films and then discovered the books and ever since then I have just had a thirst to find out every little detail about Harry Potter and I have and still do spend hours researching and re-watching and re-reading the entire works.
I always try to insert some knowledge into everything I do, whether it’s telling somebody to watch it or just blurting out facts to my family and friends which I have been known to do.
When I first heard that we were actually GOING to Harry Potter Studios – my first reaction was to cry and protest that they were just kidding me around but after I discovered they weren’t I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy in my entire life!
I couldn’t wait to go, I had to wait for around 3 weeks before I actually went. I went with my two sisters Toni (first left) and Kelly( last right) and my brother Garin (only boy). My brother and I love Harry Potter so my two sisters decided to surprise us by taking us there!
We left our little valleys on the 29th April and we drove all the four hours to London and I just remember counting down the miles until we got there and revising for my Geography exam so I taught them about clouds to which I was asked to stop. Numerous times.
When we got to London, our hotel called ‘The Ramada’ and the room was absolutely wonderful, we did a little exploring in London as it was my first time ever being there! So it was like two surprises in one! I was so excited I couldn’t sleep so my siblings and myself spent the majority of the night playing games and talking about Harry Potter and how they hope I’d learn something new.
THEN! The day finally came, I was the first awake, dressed and down for my breakfast. After breakfast it was either you go on the ‘Knight Bus’ replica or use your own mode of transportation. My sister, Kelly drove us to the studios when we got there I felt a bit nauseous probably because of the excitement so before we could actually go in I was lying outside for 10-15 minutes to calm myself down.
We got inside our tour was at 11 AM and we got there a little early so we had a snack of a chocolate cupcake and we had a look around the gift shop before we went in, then 11 o’clock rolled around we were let in, we were lead to a room which had screens which showed people from publishing industries and the actors talking about Harry Potter and J.K Rowling. There were people from as far as the Philippines there, I couldn’t believe it attracted people that far! The tour guide asked us to turn to our left and introduce yourself to that person and shake their hand mine was a little boy and his mother – they were so cute.
We were then taken into a cinema setting to which they asked all electronic devices be turned off and no photography was allowed at this part, then the screen started to play a picture of the Great Hall Doors then Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint came and spoke about their adventures during Harry Potter then they walked through the hall doors and the screen lifted to present to us the actual Great Hall. I was beyond amazed at this point.
after we left the great hall, we were allowed to explore on our own and we went EVERYWHERE! My personal favorite was ‘The Black Family Tree’ we also went to the Burrow, Snape’s classroom, the Chamber of Secrets door and the entire Yule Ball set up. We also walked through the Hogwarts Express, I actually walked through the train! It shows all the carriages used for each movie and we also saw the sweet carriage. After we done our exploring of the “inside unit” we were taken to the backlot where you could have some snacks and try some Butterbeer which we all absolutely detested, personally I thought it tasted like butterscotch cream soda? Which is vile.
Also I, of course, had to have the iconic picture of me entering Platform 9 3/4 which made the experience even more real. I mean I actually felt like a freakin’ witch.
Then after our little break at the backlot, we were led outside where there was the Knight Bus and Privet Drive. There was also the Ford Angelia. The old ruins of the Potter house and the figurines from the first movie. There was also a shelter situated in the corner for all the smokers.
Then we were able to go in to see all the doubles of the actors and the goblins faces and all the prosthetics that were used and then you go through a door and there were all the first drafts and the sketches of what could have been Hogwarts and there was a picture of the Architect behind Hogwarts and then the room got very dark and there was….
HOGWARTS CASTLE! I got told I just completely froze at this point and just stared in complete awe at the model and I did have a few tears and then you walk in down spiral steps and it shows you each amazing angle of the castle then you come out by the wands and there was a green screen with the beautiful quote “Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
I would absolutely recommend going to anyone and everyone who even remotely likes Harry Potter – it was the most magical experience of my life and I often felt like I could have actually been at Hogwarts and that it will actually always be there to welcome every fan and everybody back because the staff is so welcoming and all the sites to see are absolutely gorgeous and beautifully detailed. You actually feel like you’re there.
^ Ramada Hotel Website ^
^ WB Studios Website ^