Today I visited the Warner Brothers Studio in London, and went on the Harry Potter tour. Mum bought the tickets for the whole family to go, but it was really a very special 21st birthday present for me. My birthday however was two weeks ago, and let me tell you something, 2 weeks is a very long time to wait.
The waiting was all worth it in the end, due to two main reasons. The first, you get to feel like youre actually in that world youve imagined on screen. Today I drank Butterbeer (still not sure about the taste on that one), rode a broomstick on a green screen, ate a chocolate frog, wore a Hogwarts robe, sat in the Great Hall, walked through the Hogwarts Express, stood in front of number 4 Privet Drive, and dueled with a wand against my sister. It was an amazing experience.
But I say two reasons because you get to appreciate the amount of hard work that has gone on throughout the years of the Harry Potter movies. Everything from the visual effects, to the artists and even the animal trainers. When you watch the films at home or in the cinema, youre focused on the story and actors. The tour made me appreciate talents I had never thought about, and I know so much more relating to facts and trivia now than I did before stepping through those entrance doors.
If I had to score the tour out of ten – I’d give it a nine. The reason its not perfect is because everything is seriously expensive. You have the prices of the tickets to start with, and then everything goes up from there. Today I bought;
- A small glass of Butterbeer (£2.95)
- A chocolate frog (£8.95)
- A Hufflepuff mug (£12.95)
- A professional picture of me on the broomstick experience (£12.50)
All added up? £37.35 in total.
Yes I didnt have to buy all of those things, I wasnt forced by any member of staff or my family. I bought the mug as a reminder of my Pottermore house, the frog because of the holographic card inside, the picture as a reminder of the day and the Butterbeer because drinking a glass gave a better sense of realism to the experience.
Places like this follow a certain rule – ” Lets see how far we can push visitors with prices”, and I cant knock it because it works. The most expensive products like the official robes, uniforms and character wands were basically flying off the shelves. If I had the cash to splash, I would kit myself out in a Hufflepuff Hogwarts uniform because I’d look cool to be honest. I just dont have that money to spare, and I’m sure other people would probably in the same position.
Going back to what I said earlier though, if youre a lifelong Harry Potter fan or even someone looking for a day out, its very worth it. I would go again, though I’d probably go with someone who hasnt yet experienced the tour, just because it would be pretty amazing to see the same wonder on their face as I reckon was on mine the whole day.
‘Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.’
Have you visited the studios or wish to go yourself? Share your thoughts and pictures in the comments, I’d love to know!