Fairytale Fantasy

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Harry Potter Studio Tour Trip


If there is one thing you need to know about me (other than my severe allergy to bananas, because you know, that's quite important) its that I am a huge Harry Potter fan. Not, oh yeah that films really amazing  and I've read all the books sort of fan, but a live and breathe kind of fan who queues up for hours/days for new releases and has emotional breakdowns at certain points in the series. I first read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone when I was five years old (I was an avid little reader back then) and fell in love. I read the second book straight away, despite my mother suggesting that she should read it first as she thought it might be too scary for me. In hindsight, after an evil wizard is revealed to be secreted to the back of a teachers head I probably shouldn't have blamed her for being concerned (sorry mum!).
My memories a bit foggy here, but I believe the films were announced not soon after and even though my soul hurt for not being cast as Hermione, I was beside myself with glee. I can't remember seeing the first film in the cinema (give me a break, I was still pretty young at this point) but I do remember sitting in the back of the car with my little brother as my mum announced she had a surprise for us. My dad was driving and my mum was giving painfully difficult clues for us (my brother is five and a half years younger than me). I remember one clue being 'it has a cat in it': which is super helpful as cats are very few and far between...
Anyway, over the next decade I lived and breathed the books, I actually lost count of how many times I read each one when the figure surpassed the 20s. I had harry potter parties & fundays, complete with my dad operating a sorting hat behind a curtain with a list of facts about each child, making them squeal in delight that the hat could read their minds. Our local bookshop would open early in the morning and my mum walked me down to get each book as they came out, knowing full well that she was saying goodbye to her daughter for the next 9-15 hours as I barely came up for air from the texts.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out when I was 13 years old. This was a difficult summer for me, as my parents had just announced their divorce and I had to have an operation on my stomach which took me out of school for two weeks. I heard that the large book shop in town would be opening at midnight to give out the book and I begged my father for weeks to let me go. That day was the longest in existence, as I was sat on mugglenet in ICT not doing the work, just staring at the countdown as it got closer and closer. My dad didn't get home from work until 5:30 and insisted he had dinner first (how rude of him) so we didn't make it to the bookshop until just before 7pm. Already there were about a hundred people ahead of us but I didn't care. This is one of my most treasured memories and I can't remember being so excited since.
The last film came out four summers later and I went to the Trafalgar square premiere which was madness, and unfortunately we didn't get any autographs or photos, but I am still glad I went.
I've just remembered that this post is meant to be about the trip my mum, brother and I went on over Easter and so I will cut off the HP background information there. I could literally talk for hours about how Harry Potter influenced my childhood, so if you would like to know more leave me a comment below.
So: the studio tour. This was our third trip to the tour and it might be my favourite so far. If you are unfamiliar with the attraction, then basically it is at Leavesden studios (where they filmed large portions of the franchise) and they have presented the sets so you can go and have a look at them. Okay, I've made this sound as boring as possible, it really isn't! For more information click here.
We had a great time looking round the different sets and as it was the Easter holidays they had a few special guests in the form of owls and ravens (see above for my exciting photograph with Hedwig (OMG!!!)). I'm pretty sure you can spend just as much time in the gift shop as you can the tour itself. My brother is beginning to collect the wands, he now has four, with the latest addition from this trip being Slughorn's, complete with slug trails and all other kinds of yuckiness that only boys would find appealing. I myself opted for a lovely mug amongst other goodies which you can see in the vlog of the trip featured below. It really is the most fascinating and exciting experience if you're a fan of the series; and it is well worth a visit.
P.S. I am well aware that the last photo is of shocking quality, but I simply had to include it.  It is a quote from the speech JK. Rowling made at the final Harry Potter premiere and three years on it still means so much to me.

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