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Our Magical Trip To The Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour

Hello fellow geeks!

We hope you are doing well. First of all, we'd like to apologise for the lack of posts - it is nearly June already and this is our first blog post of the year! But just to let you know that we have been busy behind the scenes ordering new merchandise and organising our annual Harry Potter birthday party - make sure to RSVP here - the cake are ordered and the fancy dress outfits are sorted!

This year we are celebrating our 7th birthday at Craven Court, Skipton and we are so excited for you all to come and join us in what is always fabulous day. This year our party will be held on Saturday 29th July 2023, from 10am until 4pm. No tickets are necessary and witches, wizards and houses elves of all ages are welcome to join us for fun, games, shopping and cake!

But moving swiftly on... with the Harry Potter movies recently being added to Netflix and sitting watching The Goblet of Fire, I thought it was a good time to finally share with you our trip to The Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour.

It's always been a dream to go, but always being at work has made it difficult and (yes, we even got complaints for being closed for just 2 days), and this all became a reality because one of our lovely customers, Emily, who works at the Studio Tour offered us two tickets - which was so sweet and absolutely amazing - so we snapped up the chance to go! A huge thank you to Emily - who crept up behind us a few times and scared us half to death every time - you are our star and we will love you forever.

My good friend (who is a massive Potterhead too), Louise and I set off (stupidly early!) on the train. There was lots of dramas; broken down trains, delays and walking in the wrong direct for half a mile (thanks to Louise's phone!) - but we got there in the end and in one piece. The highlight of the journey was meeting a train conductor (Marc, with a C) who gave us a personal shout out on his train declaring "I hope everyone has a wonderful day, especially Zoe and Louise who are off to the Harry Potter Studio Tour today, all aboard the Hogwarts Express!" - he was awesome and gave us a much needed laugh after a bit of a stressful journey.

Now onto the tour itself. If you haven't made the trip yet, there are spoilers, so turn back now!


Number 4 Privet Drive

Let's start where it all began - Number 4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey. The first home that Harry knew with his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon and his spoilt rotten cousin, Dudley Dursley. His childhood 'home' is a recent addition to the Warner Brothers tour - but it looked absolutely amazing. There were Hogwarts letters flying everywhere in the living room and just beyond was the scene from The Prisoner of Azkaban when Harry 'blows up' his uncles sister, Marge who is about to fly out of the conservatory doors.

I have to admit, it did make me a little bit sad seeing where Harry lived under the stairs. The space was so much smaller in real life. But Louise immediate made me laugh by taking photos of the family portraits with ridiculous SnapChat filters on them!

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As you work your way through the pokey little house, you get to see where Harry's bedroom moved to - AKA Dudley's second bedroom. Here we got to see Dobby the house elf when he visits Harry in The Chamber of Secrets, warning him not to return to Hogwarts.

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The Burrow

Harry's home away from home (apart from Hogwarts, of course!) was the home of the Weasley family, The Burrow. The Burrow has to be one of my favourite places in the Wizarding World, such a magical place full of quirky bits and pieces. The view inside of The Burrow was amazing with a few interactive parts that was really fun to watch in action - I think my favourite element was the knitting needles working away on some garment!

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The Costumes

It was fascinating to see all of the real life costumes used in the Harry Potter films. My absolute favourite is Ron's ruffly number that he wore to the Yule Ball in The Goblet of Fire. However seeing the rest in real life and spotting little details like the Gaunt family heirloom ring that included the resurrection stone and the colour differences versus what we see on screen was nice to see.

On one of Emily's excursions to scare us, she told us one of the funniest things I've ever heard. Apparently, Ralph Fiennes', who played Lord Voldemort, robes were made of silk and kept clinging to his legs as he walked. So under his robes we wore stockings and a suspender to stop it!

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Gringotts Bank

I have to admit, this place was beautiful. The huge sparkling chandeliers and marble interior was perfect. There was definitely a feeling of 'it's gonna jump at me!' as the placement of the goblins at work looked so real. I said to Louise at one point, "I swear if that thing jumps at me..."

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As we walked through the bank vaults and beyond, I remember saying to Louise, "Can you hear that distant banging noise?", knowing full well what we were about to walk into - but Louise didn't! When we walked into the next room I heard her say, "Oh eck, what's happened here?", then the dragon appeared. This was one of my favourite parts of the tour, but definitely not for some - there were kids screaming (which was drowned out by the noise of the dragon) and asking to leave!

Teachers Offices

Two of my favourite offices within Hogwarts were Umbridge's and, of course, Dumbledore's. The pair of them couldn't be any different; Dumbledore's being full of magical objects and instruments and Umbridge's being very pink and chintzy.

My favoruite element from Dumbledore's office had to be phoenix statue at the entrance to his office and the pensieve. The swirling memories were mesmerising and the cabinet containing the rest of his memories in glass vials was so pretty.

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Umbridge's office on the other hand, contained next to no magical artefacts at all - just a few wall mounted plates with very cute kittens playfully watching over the scene. The colour scheme was absolutely perfect, reflecting her sickly sweet exterior, until you scratch the surface and the evil 'pink toad' is revealed. Her pink costumes were such a nice touch to the set, blending in with the over powering pink background.

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Diagon Alley

As you venture into Diagon Alley, you can't help but notice Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, the joke shop run by Fred and George Weasley. The brightly coloured shop proudly sits at the end of the popular street in Hogsmeade, with its moving 'disappearing rabbit in a hat' structure at the front.

The twins beautiful costume suits are placed at the entrance to the store with the Puking Pastilles and Bubble Boy statues inside in the background. Maybe one day we will be able to set foot inside and see lots of the magical inventions on sale - hint, hint!

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The Hogwarts Express

This part of the tour was so magical, you turn a corner and BAM! There's a full sized gleaming red steam train right in front of you. You even got to board it and check out the carriages that the Golden Trio sat in in each film. My favourite had to be the very last carriage where Harry and Ron were sat alongside the trolley with all of their favourite sweet treats from Honeydukes - even Scabbers was helping himself to some Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans!

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Herbology Greenhouses

Another recent addition to the tour is the greenhouse where the second years repot mandrakes - luckily, as a ton of kids were petrified that year, right?! Miriam Margolyes who plays Professor Sprout is one of my favourite people, so to see her greenhouse now included at the tour was nice to see!

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Hogwarts Castle

I think my favourite part of the tour was Louise's reaction to literally everything! Over the years people have shown me photos and videos from their visits, so a lot of it wasn't a surprise to me. So it was really nice to see her reaction to every aspect of the experience. My favourite had to be the model of Hogwarts - I don't think I've ever actually heard Louise swear until that moment!

It was truly breathtaking to see the Hogwarts castle up close in real life. As you walk around the structure, the lighting changes and the little lights up the towers are lit - it really was beautiful, I could've watched it for hours checking out each individual detail.

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After walking around the castle in absolute awe, we completed and handed in our 'Passports' which gained us points for our house teams! Yeeees, both Louise and I are almost 40 and yeeees we're both Ravenclaws.

We were both standing among a sea of young kids waiting for our blue coloured jewels to drop into the Ravenclaw hourglass. It was so upsetting to see that someone had put Gryffindor jewels in the Hufflepuff hourglass - oh my OCD...

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Then it was time to go shopping! It was a bit of a weird experience seeing lots of the merchandise I sell myself on the shelves in the gift shop, but I did find a few things that I treated myself to. I bought a proper full sized chocolate frog in a box, a lovely Fawkes notebook (I'm a stationery addict!), a full sized Puffskein (which I named Jeff) and a choir toad puppet plush (who is now called Dave).

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I took so many photographs of literally everything which I would love to share, but I think the website would crash under the pressure of the hundreds I took, so this will have to do for now! I'll also keep some of it a surprise for those who haven't visited yet themselves.

A massive thank you once again to Emily for making this wonderful trip possible for us, it was simply amazing and magical. And also a huge thank you to you lovely lot for reading.

Until next time...

Much love,

Team Geek

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