“The stories we love best do live in use forever, so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” -JK Rowling
If there a story that has brought worldwide generations together, it would hands-down have to be Harry Potter. I have been a die-hard fan since approximately 2001, for both the books and films alike. I’m shamelessly guilty for attending films 5-7 in costume at midnight, seeing film 8 on opening day while in Japan, waiting in line at the local Barns & Noble for books 5-7 at midnight, attending the exclusive Harry Potter exhibition in Chicago, planning my entire trip to London in 2010 around Harry Potter-related sites, traveling to New York City in 2009 solely to see Daniel Radcliffe in Equus on Broadway, and filling my bedroom walls and wardrobes with various Harry Potter memorabilia over the years. Long story short, Harry Potter and I grew up together, and the 7-part story definitely contributed so some of my happiest bonding moments with my friends and family members during my adolescence.
My good friend Jo (and her parents) gave me the opportunity to take a tour of Warner Brother’s Studios Leavesden: The Making of Harry Potter, while visiting her in England this past month! Needless to say, I was over the moon, and the entire experience was nothing short of magical (no pun intended.) Having the chance to visit the actual studios and see actual sets was literally one of my bucket list travel goals.
We spent approximately three hours inside, wandering through the Great Hall, admiring all of the sets and props, riding broomsticks, learning to duel, driving the flying car, and sipping butter beer. I especially loved strolling through Diagon Alley, and I definitely cried upon seeing #HogwartsintheSnow, completely decked out for Christmas.
The Great Hall Decked out for Christmas- Welcome to Hogwarts!
Daniel Radcliffe’s various costumes!
The Great Hall
Great Hall Selfie
Mirror of Erised Selfie
Gryffindor Common Room
The entrance to Dumbledore’s Office
Movie 7-8 outfits
The entrance to the Chamber of Secrets
A scene from the Malfoy Manor
The Ministry of Magic!
Green Screen Action
The only existing part of the bridge!
The Knight Bus
Harry’s House in Godric’s Hallow
Jo and I on the bridge
Aragog the Spider
Me in front of Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes
Jo in front of Ollivander’s!
Diagon Alley- You can see Gringotts!
Ollivander’s Wand Shop
#HogwartsintheSnow- the castle decked out for Christmas
If you are interested in taking the Harry Potter Studios Tour, check out the official website here.