My Trip to Warner Bros Studio London 2020
Yes, I have returned once more! If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know that I've visited the Warner Bros Studio Tour twice before, including last year, and that it's one of my favourite places in the entire world! I wasn't expecting to be back so soon, but with Covid messing up travel plans, we made the decision to visit somewhere a bit closer to home, and I certainly wouldn't say no to a trip down to Leavesden.
If you don't know, the Warner Bros Studio Tour London is in the movie studios where the Harry Potter films were made. They have expertly displayed many of the props, costumes, sets, etc. that were used in the movies for you to look around. It's incredibly detailed and interactive, and if you're a Harry Potter fan I highly recommend a trip. Even if you're not a fan of the franchise, it's a great way to see how movies are made!
Not much had changed since the last time I visited, however they were doing a Slytherin Takeover, which is especially fun as I'm a Slytherin myself! There weren't too many changes, but there were some more costumes about the place, and they had the Slytherin Common Room on display which was super cool; I hope they keep that exhibit in the future. The biggest change, however, was the Slytherin banners in the Great Hall; this was a super cool sight and made for some fantastic pictures!
In regards to social distancing, I have to say that I did not think the Studios handled this particularly well. The staff were great at reminding people to keep their masks on, and there were definitely less people in there than normal, however as it's all in open warehouses, everyone ended up crowding together without a one way system in place so there was certainly no distancing around. It didn't ruin my experience at all, but I would maybe recommend waiting for the situation in the UK to get a bit better before booking your tickets.
One of my favourite sights to see occurs before you even start the tour, and it's the giant dragon in the main lobby. Photos do not do it justice; this thing is HUGE! It's pretty terrifying and a great way to start the day. As a Wizarding World Gold member, I also managed to pick up a free pin from the information desk as well before I entered; score! You can also find a large canteen-style restaurant, a cafe, and a Starbucks in this area. While this does take place before the tour starts, please bear in mind that you do need a ticket to get to this point.
Some of my other favourite things to see are the practical effects; I always like to see these over the special effects. There are loads of places to get photo opps, including a quidditch one and a Hogwarts Express one. I skipped them this time, but if you're looking for a professional picture, there's certainly opportunity to do so.
In regards to sets, I love seeing the details of the Burrow and Hagrid's Hut, but the potions classroom is a personal favourite of mine. It's so large in scale, and there's so much detail in it. It's a real work of art!
There are three areas of the tour that I think are particularly special. One is the Forbidden Forest, where you walk through a completely man-made forest with some spooky and scary creatures in it. The outdoor area with Godric's Hollow, the Knight Bus, and Privet Drive is also incredibly cool, and was a nice break from the indoor space. Lastly, the new Gringotts area is beyond amazing; the dragon scene still scares me!
And of course, the piece de resistance has to be the scale model of Hogwarts Castle at the end, with the emotional score playing in the background. I think if I had to chose one place to live, I would choose this room! I could honestly stay in it forever looking at all the details, but also looking at other people's reactions as they walk in!
From there, we exited through the gift shop. As I mentioned in my last blog post, this may be my favourite shop of all time; I really have to constrain myself here! In the end, I bought some Bertie Botts beans to take back to work with me for everyone to try. I also finally bought a wand (it's taken me three visits to finally get one...I want for Sirius Blacks'), and a Ron Weasley jumper that I'm very excited to wear at Christmas, so they have all been added to my growing collection!
And that was my trip down to Leavesden; I hope you enjoyed reading about it. If you've been before I'd love to hear about your experience. If not, I want to know which Hogwarts house you are!
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Until next time,