The gift shop is amazing, but I was remarkably restrained since I know that, with the exchange rate, I can get everything much cheaper in Florida!
As has become tradition, every summer I visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour at Levesden Studio. Anyone who has read my blog for all of 3 seconds will know I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and, as I'm getting married at Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 11 days, my best friend/officiant Laura and I headed on over to the Studio Tour for some last minute inspiration.
Since I've already written two posts about my trips to the studio, once in 2012 and the other in 2013, I won't go into too much written detail now. As always, this post may contains spoilers so beware of that if you're yet to visit.
After spending some time in the Great Hall, which you can actually hire out for functions (how amazing!), we headed into the first sound stage, which is my favourite. This is where all the small sets are, such as offices and classrooms, as well as the tiniest, most intricate props.
This summer, the special event is Bludgers and Broomsticks. As part of the event, there were two broom-makers, who had actually worked on the films, making broomsticks and answering questions about the process. This is the real Nimbus 2000- made over a week by 2 people- which was used for close up, detailed shots on film. It's made from special Indian wood but it's naturally very smooth, so every grain and gnarl is carved by hand. This particular broom was extremely heavy (I actually got to hold the real Nimbus 2000!), so they made lightweight plastic ones for the actors to carry and foam stunt ones for scenes where brooms came in contact with people. It was a really nice extra touch to have such a friendly, informative expert at the tour.
The outside lot is where the bigger props are- The Knight Bus, the Weasley's car and so on, as well as the buildings and architecture used in the filming.
Just chilling at Godric's Hollow in my Black Milk marauders' dress.
For me, the second sound stage is largely unremarkable. It showcases all the technical elements such as animatronics and prosthetics which, while undeniably incredible, just don't excite me as much as the more intricate props do.
However, this is the home of Diagon Alley, which makes up for it!
Finally, there is the scale model of Hogwarts which, while beautiful, always makes me sad. Why can't it just be real?
Too many times, I have regretted not buying the souvenir photo so I had to get it this time. Rich makes this photo for me- Look at him peering over my shoulder, giving it everything he's got! This is pretty much the most expression I have ever seen on his face!
Of course I'm going to recommend the tour to every Harry Potter fan and I guess I'll be back again next summer!