Wizards, witches, broomsticks and Hogwarts

On Friday 30th October 2015, Katie and I did the now-very-popular Warner Bros. Studio Tour, allowing us a glimpse into the making of the Harry Potter movies.

The trip had been a birthday present for me back in April, but unfortunately our schedules were just too busy at that time to confirm the trip date, so we had to hold off until a wet and windy day in October. Worth the wait though, all in all!

The one thing that struck me, almost immediately, was how many tourists were there for the tour. I couldn’t place a few of the languages I was hearing, but then I’m not exactly the best at foreign languages so doubt I’d have been able to tell many languages apart anyway! Regardless, this is clearly a tourist destination for people visiting England, and I guess it makes sense given the huge popularity of the Harry Potter brand across the globe.

Whilst stood in the queue, waiting for our tour to start, I kept being poked by a child. I think it’s safe to say that he was excited. It’s also safe to say that I made an important parenting decision at that moment too, which was to never let my child continuously poke a stranger and do nothing about it. Grumble aside, I suddenly realised that there were a lot of children there.

Why was this a surprise? Well, it wasn’t. I just hadn’t properly considered that this book series started almost 20 years ago now, and that in some ways these books are actually classic literature now, or in the process of becoming so at least. These children weren’t alive when these books were first released, nor were their parents probably even romantically involved with each other! Odd seeing something from my own childhood become almost timeless now, with even more future generations likely to come across this book series at some point too. I guess my little boy will be one of them, in fact.

The tour itself was good fun. Apart from the introduction segment, guests are allowed to explore the exhibition at their own pace, which meant we could quickly move away from some of the more irritating people (there’s always some, it would seem!).

We got to see some of the original sets, and costumes worn by the cast. There was also an extensive amount of film props available to look at too. I was surprised at just how detailed some of the props were, given their lack of importance on the big screen. It was nice to see so many things up close, and read the information notes that accompanied them.

There was an opportunity to go on a broomstick to have a photo taken in front of a green green, or a DVD movie of the same. Katie obviously couldn’t do it due to the large bump she’s now got proudly on display, and I decided against doing it too. My reason being that it was just too cheesy, even at a Harry Potter exhibition tour.

We did get plenty of our own photos though, much like everyone else there. Mostly, we just thought it would be awesome to show them to our baby boy when he’s not such a baby anymore, and is in love with the Harry Potter books and movies. If he’s young enough, I might even be able to convince him that I was friends with Harry and Ron!

All in all, it was a lovely day out with Katie, and probably one of our last big destination days out together before the baby is due. On the flip side, we’ve got countless more such days in our future, except we’ll get to take our little boy with us and live them through his enjoyment and excitement. I can’t wait for that.

Harry Potter studio tour


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