I am sorry it took me a little longer to write this one. But I have good excuses you know! I had so many, so many things to write, it was too much for only one post. So I thought about it over and over and finally decided that I had to make choices. Not everything had to be said. I could leave some of those details out, not because there aren’t interesting but because it’s too much. So, I hope you will enjoy reading that post!
Very early, to be honest. For me it was fine, because since the beginning of the trip I had found a rythm (8AM every morning), but for my friend who was coming with me it was a bit harder. Or so I thought. In fact, we were both too excited to sleep, and we were ready even earlier than expected. Yes, that much excited.
Finding our way
None of us wanted to take the Tube. It seemed like it would affect our mood, somehow. Like, you know, it’s dark, underground, a bit gloomy. So we took the bus. Going from Swiss Cottage to Euston was easy, and we were amazed to see so many people in suits! I know, I know, it’s normal. At 9, everyone is on their way to work.
We needed to buy a ticket for Watford Junction so we went to the machines. Bad move. We were completely lost! Like, prices ranged from 9,8£ to 210£ (yes! I swear!) and we did not understand AT ALL what we were supposed to buy, if it was a return ticket or not, etc. So we abandoned the idea. Way better talking to a real human being! Funny enough, the guy guessed right away where we wanted to go. My friend just had time to say “We want tickets for…” and he finished “Watford Junction?”. Was it written on our faces? I suppose it was, as we were all smily.
So, of course machines are practical, but if you are not too sure of what you want, definitely go ask someone. The guy was really nice to us, there was no line at all, and he even gave us tips on which train to take. The first one going to Watford was stopping by a lot of stations and we would have taken this one if he had not told us to take the next one (direct to Watford). The ride was really fast! Around 20 minutes I think.
We did not know where to go to find it. There was no sign or anything so we were a bit lost. Two spanish guys asked us where to go, but of course we had no idea so the four of us went back to the station and we asked someone of the staff. After that, we only had to wait for the bus to come. And then, it started hail. Yes, to HAIL. Like, why? The weather was cold but, but, hailing? Seriously? And no bus! Just us waiting, with the two spanish guys and a group of german girls!
Finally, I saw it. The shuffle bus. Impossible to miss, yep! A huge “the making of HARRY POTTER” was written on it, it was… well, better post a picture, right? Honestly at this point we were so, so impatient!
The Shuffle bus ride was around 15/20min. When we arrived, girls started to scream and to run around EVERYWHERE! We were calmer. I mean, we were excited indeed, but we did not run screaming. Not quite. I was impressed by our composure, honestly!
We still had to exchange our tickets (I was a bit disappointed because they only gave us a white paper… I wanted a true ticket! You know, with pictures… anyway.) so we lined up. It was fast, probably because it was a thursday morning (around 10h25~)
There were huge chess pieces outside so of course we took pictures with it (and that was only the beginning, I think I took around 600 photos on that day). Then we were supposed to wait our entrance time (at 11) but since there weren’t too many people, we entered earlier.
Then we entered a room where a guide introduced us the tour and we watched a short movie about Harry Potter’s history. It was really interesting and quite moving too. As we entered there we truly realized that it had come to an end, you know? Like, we read the seven books. We watched the eight movies. And we were going to see where the magic had been created. It’s difficult to explain it.
After that we entered in a theater with a big white screen and watched a message from Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. If only they could have been there for real! No but, it was really well done.
I won’t reveal everything, but at the end of that message something happened and we were all surprised, in a good way! They really put plenty of efforts in this tour.
I started writing this part and it was so long and detailed I felt like it was too much. So, I re-wrote it and it is now a lot shorter, you will see!
We saw plenty of amazing things during this tour. I feel like if I tell you everything you are going to know too much and it will spoil the surprise when you get there.
We indeed visited the Great Hall. One of the best experience of my life, you bet. It was just as impressive as I expected it to be! I loved the tour. All the details everywhere, we really saw how much efforts, time and money they put in the creation of the movies. All those details we are not even aware of are there to make it all look real. They managed to create an entire world, it is a bit like Muggle Magic, right?
If you go there, definitely watch the little video about the portraits, it was very funny! There were screens everywhere with messages giving information about this or that, really entertaining and interesting. TAKE YOUR TIME! That’s the most important. Read everything. Watch everything. Take pictures. Don’t think you have to hurry up because the tour is supposed to last 2 hours. Me and my friend stayed there for FOUR hours straight. We did not want to leave anymore.
Gryffindor’s Common Room seemed so real! And Diagon Alley was amazing. There were tons of props and papers and costumes too.
My favorite part was the “Creature Department”. I loved seeing how they created all of those characters and weird creatures! Of course, I learnt things that I’d prefer to ignore (like, Hagrid is not always human, did you know? There is a mechanical head acting on its own!), but overall it was really instructive (and somewhat scary, too!).
The end of the tour comes with two surprises I enjoyed very much. So, to resume it all: If you liked Harry Potter, DEFINITELY GO VISIT THE STUDIOS! It is worth it. Really, really, really!
Of course, at the end of the tour, we came to the shop. It was very, very, very expensive. Way too much for us. The smallest stuffs cost around 5-6£. Therefore, we could not buy as much as we wished to. It is very difficult to resist though! I had a 30£ budget, and didn’t surpass it, so I was quite happy with myself. I bought a book (yeah, I know, I love books too much) and a gift for my best friend. There were plenty of funny stuffs, like Bertie Bott’s beans (real ones, yep, with disgusting tastes, of course), wands or clothes…
Platform 9 3/4
We were in a “Harry Potter Mood”, so as soon as we went back to London, me and my friend ran to King’s Cross to take pictures on Platform 9 3/4. They created a fake one in the station (the real plateform 9 isn’t really the place where they filmed it anyway), and we were able to take pictures there, with scarfs (I chose the Ravenclaws’ one!). It was really fun~
What a dreamy day~ I felt like if I was 12 again!
Thank you for reading! I hope you’ll go there someday!
If you wish, ask me questions! I was rather general, but I can answer anything you want :)
As ever, pictures are mine :)