Sunday, July 6, 2014

Day 3 - London

Today we went on the Warner Brothers Studio Harry Potter Tour.  I don't have the words to tell you how crazy amazing this was.  We have been to the Harry Potter Part of Universal, and this put that to shame.  No - it didn't have rides.  But it had the ACTUAL sets, props, was unreal.  I loved the idea of being on the actual sets that were used for the movie.  Seeing the props they used, and the detail that went into the background that we barely glance at when we see the movie on the big screne.

I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and so is Arlington.  Mat will deny it, but he is a fan too.  Even he really enjoyed this tour.  The two littles are too young for the movies, but they did really like this tour.  They had a passport book they give all the kids, so they got to hunt for snitches, and find different parts of the studio in return for getting stamps in their booklets.

It is a self-guided tour - an audio tour.  It was narrated well, and they had a lot of information that you would never have known without listening a long.

We had tickets ahead of time for this.  You are given a scheduled tour, and they feed about 50 people in at a time.  It never felt crowded, even though it was very busy.  And you were never rushed.  They told us it would take about 3 hours to do the tour, but we could take as long as we like.  And it did take 3 hours!  I could have stayed there all day.

If you are not a Harry Potter fan, you may want to skip the first (million) pictures and head down to the bottom.  After the studio tour, we went to Notting Hill to see the famous Portabello Road where the street vendors are out with their goods.  It was really cool.  Finley, Arlington and Mat found some treasures there.   We even saw the famous blue door from the movie "Notting Hill" with Hugh Grant.

We were not hungry enough for dinner there, since we had a late lunch at the studio, so we came back to the area around our apartment (we are staying in the Kensington/Chelsea area) and grabbed food here and ate in the apartment.  Everyone was tired, so we relaxed and now are getting ready for bed.

Enjoy the pictures.  There are.......MANY.

The actual chess pieces from the chess game - first movie
 The outside of the studio:
 The trolleys that they took when they got on the train:
 The cupboard under the stairs - actual one of course!
 The next pictures are from the great hall.  You cannot even imagine this place, and pictures will never do it justice.  It is what is called a "hot set" - set exactly like it would have been during filming.  They have not removed it - or taken anything out.   It is amazing.  Just HUGE.

 They had costumes form the characters and the houses lined up behind the tables:

 The professors that were most prominent in the movies.  These were their actual costumes from the films:

 Kids in the Great Hall:

 Dress robes and dresses from the Yule Ball in the Fourth Movie:
 Wigs that most - if not all - of the Characters wore at one time or another:

 Luna Lovegood's wardrobe:
 The Deathly Hallows Part 2 - Harry's outfit.  See the different in the outfits?  What he changed in to as the movie went along:
 Arlington and Finley in front of the Hogwarts Gates:
 The "Rules" that were on the wall in Hogwarts:
 We learned that all of these were hand drawn by artist.  Something that you might have just glanced took someone HOURS to make for the film.
 The Boys ACUTAL Dormatory - the one they used in the film.  They told us that they built the beds for the first movie, but couldn't really expand the set as the boys grew, so they really had to squeeze into those beds in the later films.

 The actual wands used in the film by the stars.
 Mirror of Erised:
 The Fat Lady:
 This was the "Room of Requirement" where Harry and Ginny hid a book in one of the films.
 The huge clock tower that was in the films.  This thing is massive.
 more costumes:
 The Cloak of Invisibility:
 Actual Gryffindor Common Room.  So cool:

 The Tri-Wizards cup - one they put their names IN:
 Different props for the film - Sorcer's Stone, The Snitch....
 Tri-Wizards cup:

 The actual entrance to Dumbledore's office.
 Dumbledore's Office - SQUEAL!!.  We learned that all the paintings were painted by artist.  There were hundreds of them in the films.

 The memories cabinet in Dumbledore's office.
The Sorting Hat

The sword of Griffyndor:
 More hand painted portraits from the film.
 Snapes Potion Classroom.  They said that this was just a portion of the whole thing.

 The Seven Horcruxes:
 Hagrid's ACUTAL Hut

 The entrance to the Chamber of Secrets:
 The car they rode in the final film through Gringotts:

 Hagrid's motorcycle and side care:
 How they flew the brooms in the films:

 Mad Eye Moody's Trunk:
 Quidditch Robes:
 Brooms used in the movie:
 The Weseley's ACTUAL house!

 Death Eaters Masks:
 Death Eaters Costumes:
 Mr. Malfoy:
 The "Magic Is Might" Statue that stood in the Ministry of Magic in the last films.  This is just a piece of it:
 Two of the Flu Network fire places:

 The actual Marauder's map:

Harry's Train Ticket from the first film:
Harry's letter inviting him to Hogwarts:
 A few offices at the Ministry of Magic:
 Delore's Umbridges office:

 The Black family tree Tapestry:
 The ACTUAL night bus!  SQUEAL!  And we could touch it and get on!

 The Riddle family grave stone:
 ACTUAL Number 4 Privet Drive:

 The ACTUAL bridge from the back of the castle.  We could walk across it.  It was even really crooked to walk on.  So cool.  So many scenes were filmed on this thing.

 Harry's house from the Deathly Hallows movie:
 The ACTUAL flying car!  WE got to sit in it!

 We drank some butterbeer:  (which tastes like a frothy butterscotch candy)
 The masks they used in the films:

 The Monster book of Monsters:
 The creepy Voldemort baby from the last movie:
 A Thestral:
 Dobby!  They used this and then CGI'd his eyes and mouth in.
 Actual Aragog.  He was HUGe:
 Another highlight of the tour was Diagon Alley.  It was another "hot set" - set up exactly like it would have been during filming.  It was HUGE.  And so fun to walk right down the middle:

 The best room in the house.  It was the last place you go - this is an actual scaled model of Hogwarts - it is what you see in all of the distant shots, all the outside shots, all the wide angle shots of the whole castle.  This thing is MASSIVE.  And the detail - can't even explain it.  It has a room all to itself.

 This was Olivanders actual wand room set.  Well - only part of it.  Each want box was HAND printed with wand names.  And there were 1000's for the film:

 Waiting for lunch:
 Moving on to Notting Hill!!

This picture is for my dad - who loves Fish and Chips:
 Some of the houses on Portobello Road:

 Public toilets:
 One of the shops on Portobello road.  IT was full of old sewing machines:
 The famous blue door from "Notting Hill" the movie:
 In the movie, this was where the bookshop was.  The "g" fell off!
 Finley and Cainan both got wands at the Harry Potter tour today.  (Arlington got one when we went to Universal the last time).  Finley picked Luna Lovegood's wand.  Mat said that one was perfect for her because Luna had blonde hair, wore glasses, and was a little crazy.

 Cainan picked Harry Potter's wand.  Because......well, who wouldn't want the hero's wand?


Anonymous said...

How awesome I am a HUGE Harry potter fan!! This is awesome !!!!!

Happy you got to go there! Cute pictures two!

Take care!
Friend, Shayla

Casual Travelers said...

Lot's of very nice photos! I hope you won't mind if I link to this post from my blog.