From the looks of it, I've got quite a few Potter-heads for readers! I'm so glad you all enjoyed yesterdays post…and as promised, here's the last of the photos from the HP Studio Tour! Halfway through our tour route, there was an outdoor covered cafe where you could order snacks and…you guessed it…BUTTERBEER! That stuff is beyond delicious. Of course, no actual beer is involved (aw shucks), but it does taste like a butterscotch cream soda with marshmallow on top. Sounds like heaven, right? It was. ;) Just beside the cafe was a whole outdoor set area where you could get a more hands-on approach to all things Potter. After you moved back inside, you could roam through the makeup and mask department…very, very interesting. They even had life-size replicas of many of the major characters so you could see how you stack up to the likes of Harry, Hermione, and Hagrid.
Next came one of my favorite parts of the tour…a stroll through Diagon Alley! You could peek into each of the storefronts and see wands and owls and all the fun toys at the Weasley's store. The only thing I really didn't love was that the whole place was uplit with red, blue, and purple lighting. I think the idea was to show the alleyway as it changed from day to night, but it made for some really odd photo taking.
The next to the last room of the tour was quite amazing. You could take a 360° view of a 1:24 hand-sculpted model of Hogwarts Castle. It was built for the first film and has been used in all films for aerial photography shots and digitally scanned for CGI scenes. This room also had quite a bit of lighting (to show Hogwarts day to night), but it definitely added to the experience as you could see flickering lights that simulated lanterns and torches and the illusion of students walking the halls. You can get a better idea of the scale of the whole model from the photo where I'm standing below the castle. It was HUGE, and insanely cool. :)
And lastly…you pass through the "Tribute Room" which is what was used as Ollivander's Wand Shop. This room was filled to the brim with wand boxes all labeled with the names of the people who helped to create the films over the last 10 years. There are over 3,000 boxes and if you look close enough, you can find the boxes paying tribute Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, as well as J.K Rowling. We were only able to find J.K. Rowling's box…but we were assured every actor was there!
And with that, we've reached the end of the tour! Of course, like with any good studio tour, you are released into the gift shop where you can purchase all the Potter memorabilia you could stand. We bought wands for family (who are also big HP fans), t-shrits, and my Gryffindor scarf here before making our way back into London. Seriously, guys…this place is every Harry Potter fanatic's dream! Make sure to plan a visit if you're ever in or around the London area. D and I are really looking forward to seeing how the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida stacks up to this studio tour. I'm sure it won't quite be the same since everything at the studio tour was actually in the movie and the theme park consists of mostly replicas, but it should be a fun visit nevertheless! After this tour, I think it's safe to say I've officially gone down in history as the greatest wife in the world. Thanks, Harry! ;)