I’m going to assume my readers at least have seen one of the Harry Potter movies. Of course, being a hardcore Potterhead, I’ve read all the books dozens of times and own all the movies. (I also have an account on Pottermore, I’m a Ravenclaw.)
Anyways, when my Dad and I were planning our trip to London, England in June. I knew there was one thing I just had to go to before leaving England: the famous Harry Potter studio tour. My Dad was hesitant because he’s not a Potterhead like me, but all the same, he ordered the tickets and we took the many trains and subways to visit the studio location. Holy shit, it was amazing. I never thought I would be able to walk down Diagon Alley, see the Great Hall and peek into the cupboard under the stairs. There were so many things to read, look at and take pictures of. Costumes, props, rooms, buildings, statues, paintings, fun facts, everything you could ever imagine.
You could easily spend more than one day at the studio, it is basically impossible to read and explore everything on this spectacular tour.
Now, for the the downsides. If your hotel is in London, getting there alone will eat away a lot of your travel time. My Dad and I had to take a few subways and a couple of trains to get there. You also need to catch the “Night Bus,” the bus that drives you directly to the location. Due to all this, you will have to set aside one day just for the studio tour. Some may not like it that just getting there takes up quite a bit of time, but honestly, sometimes you need a break from walking all over the place, I know I do.
The second downside I found was you have to preorder your tickets. You cannot walk up to the studio and buy tickets at the doors, they will not sell them to you. They can only have a certain amount of people in the rooms at the same time, which I can understand.
Okay, now that we are done with downsides, can I just freak out for a second that I probably have stood in the exact same spot Emma Watson was standing not that long ago? It is such a surreal feeling. I felt (and probably looked,) like a giddy kid waking up on Christmas day as we moved from room to room.
They serve butterbeer, and really, you have to try it; they only sell the original stuff in two specific places in the entire world. (It was almost too sweet for my liking, but just being able to say that I drank butterbeer made it oh so worth it.)
After spending several hours looking and reading everything I could, the gift shop was at the very end of the tour. I’m not sure whether to recommend bring in a ton of money to the gift shop or not. Honestly, every single item in the gift shop a Potterhead would love. Clothes, magnets, key chains, wand replicas, Hogwarts outfits, scarves, magical broomstick replicas, Marauders Maps, Hogwarts house flags, stickers, temporary tattoos, Hogwarts themed jumpers, posters, candy, (The chocolate frogs they sell are solid chocolate,) the list goes on.
I spent a great deal of time deciding on which souvenirs to purchase. The hardest decision was which wand to buy. Should I go with the standard but awesome Harry Potter replica or Neville Longbottom’s wand? (Neville is my favourite character, obviously.) I decided to stick with Potter’s wand. My wallet probably cried while I paid for my purchases, but was it worth it? Hell yeah.
My rating? 5/5. Despite the long travelling, it was worth it, every penny of it. The only people I would not recommend this to would be anybody who is starting to read the Harry Potter books for the first time, spoilers will be nearly impossible to avoid on this tour.