I had many surreal moments while traveling through the UK, but nothing felt quite as magical as visiting the WB Harry Potter Studios in London. I’ve struggled to put down in words what it felt like to walk through the studios, but I end up as speechless as I was when I first experienced it.
When we arrived at the studios, all we saw were large beige buildings. However, as we soon walked off our bus, we then saw the enormous wizard chess pieces awaiting us. And so it began.
While we waited in line, we saw Harry’s room under the stairs. We all had chills seeing it, but we had no idea what was in store for us as we walked through a theater. We sat down to view a short movie about the making of the movies and the amount of detail that went into each one. When the movie ended, the screen lifted…and we saw the doors to Hogwarts. They were massive and beautiful, and when they opened to reveal The Great Hall, I think everyone gasped. The Hall was…real. It seemed to go on forever, with different house uniforms grouped together. And at the front of the Great Hall was the entire Hogwarts faculty. The amount of detail in every single costume and prop was astounding.
We were so worried that we wouldn’t see everything in our three hours, but we managed to see everything. If you remember a certain scene from the movies, you will find it at the studios: The Gryffindor Common Room, Snape’s Potions classroom, Dumbledore’s office, the Burrow, Privet Drive, Diagon Alley…they’re all there.
We stood near the Knight Bus, took pictures of Riddle family grave, marveled at Buckbeak, sampled Butterbeer, and were genuinely creeped out at Dolores Umbridge’s pink Ministry of Magic office.
As we neared the end of the tour, we saw the beautiful Hogwarts model they used in the first movie. We were not prepared for how large it was nor how beautiful it looked as the movie’s score was played. The final stop on the tour was a room filled from floor to ceiling with the wands of the actors and J.K. Rowling herself.
The studio may have been the highlight of my trip. We walked off our tour bus in London, but we were transported to a completely different world.
And every Harry Potter must go to King’s Cross Station to see the famous Platform 9 3/4. I was lucky enough to visit it on an awesome Harry Potter walking tour of London, where our guide told us little known facts about the movies, the books, and London itself. We ended our tour at King’s Cross, where two hilarious men dressed as train porters took pictures of people pushing the cart into the wall. One of the guys holds the scarf in the air while the other snaps the picture. I was solo, so I bought the ticket at Harry Potter shop, but a lot of people were taking the cutest pictures with their phones. I also managed to snag a Platform 9 3/4 ticket…just in case I ever need a break from the Muggle world.