Tuesday, 9 April 2013

A visit to Hogwarts!

I promised to tell you about my couple of days away last week. It was great and much enjoyed by all of us. We went to visit the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour!

It was a surprise treat for one of our daughters who is a massive Harry Potter fan - well who isn't?! From the moment we walked through the doors we were thrown into the whole experience. We had arrived early for our tour so headed to the huge gift shop, where you can buy anything from chocolate frogs to whole Hogwarts school uniforms. Daughter really wanted a quidditch sweater but it was a little out of her budget but she still came away with a tee shirt, a book packed full of interesting Hogwarts stuff and her own pair of Harry's glasses!

Then it was onto the tour via the iconic Hogwarts doors and into the Great Hall. We saw costumes and props, visited Dumbledore's office, the Gryffindor Common Room, the Potions Classroom complete with self stirring cauldrons and Hagrids Hut to name but a few. It was freezing cold and snowing but we partook of a glass of butter beer and stopped for a photo outside 4 Privet Drive before crossing the Hogwarts bridge to see how all the various creatures and effects were produced. A stroll down Diagon Alley took us passed the famous Gringotts Wizarding Bank, Ollivanders wand shop, Flourish and Blotts and Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes.   

The Hogwarts castle model finishes the tour. It was built for the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It is nearly 50 feet in diameter and has over 2,5000 fibre optic lights that simulate lanterns and can even give the illusion of people passing through the hallways! It took 86 artists and members of the crew to construct the first version which was rebuilt and altered many times for subsequent films. They say the hours involved in this construction if added together would be around 74 years!

The model was used for aerial photography, and was digitally scanned for CGI scenes.


                                   Gryffindor Common Room

Dumbledore's Office
 
Hogwarts
 
 
 
A great day out that we will remember for a long time to come!
 
 
 
 




55 comments:

  1. And... how does Butterbeer taste? Sounds like you guys had a great time! (I'm trying not to be jealous ;))

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    1. It is sweet with a caramel taste. I could only drink a small glass! It is non alcoholic btw!

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  2. Oooooooh!!!! I'm so jealous!!!!! I'm such a HUGE Harry Potter fan that I'm dying to visit this place. Hopefully, when we finally move to England, my dream can come true :D

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    1. I hope you get to visit when you move, Suzy.

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  3. Aaargh! It's starting to feel as if everyone we know has been to this - EXCEPT US! We tried to get tickets for our son's birthday at christmas, but they were already fully-booked for the entire holiday. My nephew went there and came back with Voldemort's wand in a satin-lined box. He said it was his most awesome day EVER! Did you ride on a Firebolt? If so, your blog-followers need to see the photo! xx

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    1. We wanted to visit last November but couldn't get tickets at the right time. I advise anyone wanting to go if they have particular dates in mind to book early. We booked back in January. The gift shop is amazing and worth a visit itself! Saw the wands, gave them all a wave, but didn't buy one. Sorry to disappoint but I didn't have a ride on a Firebolt although I saw many kids having a go!

      Hope the holidays going well for you.

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  4. I would LOVE to go. Ho-hum, someday. My kids would love this and I love these pictures.

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    1. I hope you all get to go someday, Dani :)

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  5. I know a few kids who would have loved this trip! Great images.

    Jenn @Scribbles From Jenn

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  6. What a great time! I have friends n' family who have said it is amazing! Fun to read about your trip :D

    I love the magic n' mysterious spell your post casts ;D

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    1. Thanks, Ella it was a great day out :)

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  7. I'm not the biggerst harry potter fan, but even I'd like to visit there, sounds like a great time was had indeed.

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    1. It was like stepping into another world. It must have been terrific fun to work on!

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  8. Oh my, that must have been an incredible day touring the studio. It's on my bucket list. I have a Hogwarts castle up on my blog today, but it's more of the gingerbread variety:D

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    1. Oooh are you going to have a nibble! Not sure what Dumbledore would say though!

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  9. Wow, very cool. We have the Universal version down here in Florida. Haven't been yet, but we plan on visiting very soon.

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    1. Yeah ours quite fancy heading out to Universal now! It was a few years since we were out there and it obviously wasn't there then! I could do with a little Florida sunshine now :)

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  10. How cool is that? What a day to remember for sure. My kids would have flipped, for sure.

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    1. It was great to see all the stuff from the movies and learn a little about the magic that goes on behind the scences.

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  11. My kids would LOVE this. I have yet to see the movie or read the books, believe it or not.

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  12. Hi, Suzanne,

    How awesome! I am a HUGE HP fan! I have been dying to get to London to do the tour.... I also wanted to do the Howard's express tour that was featured years ago. Do they still have these tours?

    I'm currently in Florida and have visited WW at Universal several times... It is very cool! But I think for theist authentic experience one must travel to Great Britain!

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    1. Hope you manage to visit, Michael. I'm sure you won't be disappointed Not sure about the express tours.

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  13. Suzanne,
    That definitely would have been a great trip for the children.

    J.L. Campbell writes Jamaican Kid Lit

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    1. Hi, thank you for dropping by today :)

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  14. It sounds like a magical place. I would love to visit. Thanks for sharing your experience, Suzanne. It may be the closest I ever get to the place.

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  15. Oh, Suzanne! How much I wish I could send Mother Dragon in one of those tours. I know she would be thrilled out of her mind. What a wonderful experience. :D

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  16. Seventy-four years? Whoa! The quality of the details show, though.

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    1. Joylene - It was magical!

      Al - I wish Mother Dragon could visit too.

      Alex - I know it amazed me too!

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  17. That castle is impressive! I'm not so much an HP fan, but it's always fun to see behind the scenes.

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  18. Oh how magical!! I'm sure your daughter was totally delighted.

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  19. Wow. So amazing! One day I'd love to go. I hope my son becomes as much of a fan as I am.

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    1. Nick - It is so amazing to see how everything is put together.

      L. Diane - She was!

      Christine - I hope you make it one day :)

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  20. Sounds like an amazing experience. And that "model" is most impressive.

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  21. You went everywhere! I am so jealous, maybe I should just pop one of the movies in, I will have "visited" as well then :) Love it, I will have to get there some day :)

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    1. Jeff - The pictures really don't do it justice. My daughter said it was the best thing!

      Elisa - We've watched 2 of the movies since we went!

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  22. Awesome. I know several people who've been, and no one has come away disappointed.

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  23. Wow that must have been a wonderful experience. :-)

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    1. Annalisa - I'm not surprised!

      Misha - It was utterly Potterly!

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  24. So jealous! I want to go there SO MUCH. Huge fan, and huge fan of movies in general and fascinated with how movies are made. Thanks for sharing your pictures!
    Thanks for popping over from Alex's. Much appreciated.

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

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  25. Sounds like a day your daughter will never forget. So magical! Glad you survived the cold to have such a wonderful trip. Writer’s Mark

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    1. Tina - Great to meet you too :)

      Nancy - It was SO cold but worth it! Thanks for the recent giveaway and my win!

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  26. My 10 year would love this. She's obsessed with Harry Potter.

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  27. Wow! My whole family would love this! Thank you for the info. ^_^

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    1. Mama J & Jackie - I can certainly recommend it!

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  28. It's a good thing my daughter doesn't really know about that place (she's heard of it, but she doesn't really -know-), because there's not much of a chance we'll ever be going there.

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  29. What fantastic sets and models! Your daughter must have been so thrilled with the whole adventure. Great post! :-)

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  30. Hi Suzanne .. so interesting - I mentioned butter beer in my F for Feasts post - hopefully you'll be able to get over and tell us what it tasted like?!

    I saw the signs as I drove round the M25 yesterday .. to friends in Newport Pagnell ... fascinating to read now all about the Hogwarts tour ..

    Loved reading and your daughter must have been so happy - sounds like a great day ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Andrew - I won't tell her!

      Lexa - The photos kinda don't do it all justice.

      Hilary - Must have missed your 'F' post, Hilary, I'll hop on over and spill the beans!

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  31. Hi Suzanne .. so great to see your comment - just adds to the mix doesn't it ... I've no idea how I came across butter beer - but glad I posted about it!

    Interesting to read about the flavour though - I'm sure it would have been alcoholic though .. killing the bugs off!

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. Yes I think it probably would have been too! Guess they couldn't really do that on the tour though!

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  32. Oh man !
    This will be my dream tour
    Your pics r Tempting . M a massive fan too . Sharing this post with my friends :)
    Have fun

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  33. Wow, that must have been amazing. Am putting this on my 50 things to do before I die list! :)

    Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge
    AZ blogs on Social Media

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    1. Afshan - Thanks for dropping by and glad you enjoyed the pics and write up.

      Damyanti - It is well worth a visit for any HP fans!

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