Saturday, October 13, 2012

You're A Wizard, Amy...

...said no Hogwarts professor, ever.

I finally got to go to the Harry Potter Studio Tour last week. I wouldn't say I came to England just because of Harry Potter, but...

All joking aside, I've been looking forward to this for a while (conceptually since I heard about it last year, and realistically since we booked our tickets a few weeks ago).

The Harry Potter Studio reaffirmed something that I already knew: Harry Potter is magical. Simple as that.

But it actually also gave me some mind-blowing insight into all of the time and energy that went into every single Harry Potter film: set design, costume design, creature design, prop gathering... The number of details considered for every single scene is incredible. In order to give you an idea of the gazillions of things we saw on the Harry Potter tour, I have created a Harry Potter Studio Tour A to Z. And let me tell you, for a number of these I had two or three options; there were just so many amazing things about this tour.

Harry Potter Studio Tour A to Z

A Albus Dumbledore's Office
B Butterbeer (Yum!)
C Cupboard Under the Stairs
D Diagon Alley
E Erised, Mirror of
F Flying on a Broomstick (with a Green Screen)
G Gryffindor Common Room & Boy's Dormitory
H Hogwarts Entrance Hall
I Invisibility Cloak
J J & K Sound Stages (Named After JK Rowling)
K Knight Bus
L Levitating Candles in the Great Hall
M Magic is Might Statue at the Ministry of  Magic 
N Neville's Badass Cardigan
O Ollivanders Wand Shop (and Lots of Wands)
P Privet Drive
Q Quidditch Equipment
R Robes of Every House
S Sirius Black's Motorbike
T "The stories we love best do live in us forever, so 
      whether you come back by page or by the 
      big screen, Hogwarts will always welcome 
      you home."- JK Rowling
U Umbridge's Office
V Voldemort's Grave
W Weasley's Wizard Wheezes 
X Xenophilias Lovegood's Quibbler Printing Press 
Y Yule Ball
Z Zonko's Joke Shop (and Other Wizard Stores)

As you can tell, I saw a lot of things. Every time we stepped into another section of the soundstage, my expectations were exceeded. I was literally blown away by all the sets and props I got to see.

Let me back up.

Leading up to the tour I kept referring to it as "the best day of my life." Everyone thought I was joking. I wasn't.

After watching the welcome video an employee said "who is unhealthily excited for this?" I raised my hand with some others. Everyone laughed good-naturedly. I was serious.

Harry Potter was such an important part of my childhood. So knowing that I was at the location that JK Rowling's magic was brought to life? A little overwhelming. (And by a little, I mean a lot).

As we walked from set to set I couldn't believe my eyes. Look one way and you can see the boy's dormitory where Matt Lewis, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliff filmed scenes for 10 years. Look another direction and there's the Christmas sweaters Mrs. Weasley made for Harry and Ron. Walk a few steps and you are in Dumbledore's Office, and a few more you're in line to fly a boomstick. We could try Butterbeer as if we were Hogwarts students and take pictures outside a giant model of the castle.

So yeah, I'd say it was a good day.

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