Butterbeer and Hogwarts

There is no denying the magic of Harry Potter; “The Boy Who Lived”. J.K. Rowling created an entire world that has enraptured millions of people around the world. I am one of those millions. My brother introduced the books to me when I was in my late teens/early twenties, and I’ve not looked back since. I devoured the books that were already released and waited in anticipation as others followed. Then the movies came out and I was in heaven. Although the movies did leave out many details I still loved the them. Now we have an extension of that magical world in Fantastic Beasts.

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If you haven’t been sorted yet, I highly suggest you go to the official Harry Potter website and be sorted into your house. I am a proud Slytherin and I made my family take the quiz. I’m happy to say I’m not the only Slytherin in my family. Somehow my daughter made it into Hufflepuff and my mother into Gryffindor ( I still haven’t figured that one out yet); it is my aunt who is a Slytherin like myself. There is also another quiz where you can now be sorted into your house at the American school Ilvermorny…along with a few other quizzes to discover your wand and patronus.

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So now that you see how big of a nerd I really am, you can understand my excitement when I got to tour the Harry Potter London Studio Tour! Our tour time was in the afternoon and I had been anticipating it all day. Earlier in the day we went to Oxford and made our own walking tour of Harry Potter filming locations. That was a fun way to see the city and learn a bit of history as well. Once we had our tickets we headed inside. I was already snapping pictures before we were even in the doors. Once inside (and after taking more pictures), we jumped in line to wait for them to open the doors. The tours is pretty much self guided apart from the very beginning.

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The “tour guide” let some people, who were celebrating birthdays, help her open the doors to the Great Hall and of course some jokes were made about Slytherins. After opening the doors to the Great Hall, we were ushered into a movie theatre where we watched a short video recap on all of the movies. After that we were on our own to tour the Great Hall. I wandered around the Great Hall, looking at all of the tables laid with the house insignia’s. No detail was left out. There was a table for each house and I quickly found my house’s table while Julie found hers (Ravenclaw). I slowly made my way to the top of the hall where mannequins were lined up in front of the teacher’s table dressed in costumes the actors wore.

After the Great Hall, I found myself getting lost amongst the other people touring. I lost sight of my little group (Julie and James) and just wandered around taking in all of the props, costumes, mechanics….everything! I took so many photos and videos my phone was filling up quickly. I would love to list everything I saw but it would be just too much. So, instead, I’ll show you some of the photos I took.

About half way through the tour you can stop for refreshments and purchase Butterbeer and Butterbeer Ice cream. I opted for the Butterbeer but I think next time I’m going to get both. I’ve heard the Ice cream is even better. After refreshing ourselves and our feet we went outside and got to see the Night Bus, #4 Privet Drive, Mr. Weasley’s car, Sirius/Hagrid’s bike, Harry’s home as a baby, the school’s bridge, and some of the chess pieces from the very first movie! There is honestly so much to see and do it is a bit overwhelming.

After having our pictures taken with some of the props we headed back inside and on to more of the tour. We got to see how they make the magic happen, walk through the Hogwarts Express, pretend we were on the Hogwarts Express and act out a scene. Have our pictures taken at Platform 9 3/4, and purchase souvenirs. The art was amazing and the work that went into making the movies happen was shocking. At the end of the tour  you have the option of buying souvenirs. Of course no tour would be complete without that. I decided on Ginny Weasley’s wand and Hermione Granger’s wand for my daughter and I. Next time I will probably end up buying much more than just those.

Overall we spent I think about three hours going through the tour. I honestly think I could spend more time, and I probably will next time. I am planning on going back in December 2019 and this time I will be taking my daughter. I am super excited to get to share this experience with her finally. They are constantly updated the tour and adding other things to it. So you may not see the same thing twice. If you ever get the chance to do the Harry Potter London Studio Tour I highly recommend you do it! I promise you will NOT be disappointed.

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