We love Harry Potter in this house, so the opportunity for us all to go together was so exciting for us. We decided we would keep it a secret for as long as possible!
On Tuesday morning we got our bags packed all ready to go, the children were all very excited and wondering what was going on. We got the buses and trains and arrived at our hotel just before dinner time. The children still had no idea what was going on even though we’d passed numerous signs about the Studios
We grabbed a Mcdonald’s for tea from next door to the hotel and then enjoyed a relaxing night, well as relaxing as it can be with nine children.
The next morning we all got ready and the children still had no idea where we were going. We grabbed a taxi to the studios and the older ones started to figure it out from the signs we passed. Amazingly E, the biggest Harry Potter Fan, didn’t figure it out. In the car park, getting sorted to get our tickets she finally got it and her face was fantastic! The queues were long but the children were so excited to get in that it didn’t bother them.
When we got through the doors into the Great Hall it was amazing. We all had a great time looking at all the details of everything. In the passports the kids were given there’s a challenge to find some hidden snitches as well as collecting the stamps on each page. They were all taken in by the magic around them and it was great to see the film come to life.
The props we saw and the scenes were fantastic. It was quite crowded so photos weren’t always possible but we did manage to have a really good look at everything. It was great to spot things from the films such as the mirror of Erised and Dumbledore’s office. There was a whole section related to the dark arts side of the film which was really good and the potions classroom was awesome!
They had a whole section for the forbidden forest. It was really spooky and the kids loved it! They had the giant spiders there and Aragog hidden in a cave. Aragog moves and jumped out at us. The children all jumped a mile before laughing about it but unfortunately J was left trembling and crying as it really scared him. A bit later in the tour there was another model of the spider and he was so scared we had to literally carry him past it. When asking what his least favourite part was he says that.
When we reached the 9 and 3/4 platform the crowds had really thinned out and we were able to have a bit of a rest. Most of the kids had a photo taken with the luggage trolleys and they went up onto the train to have a look at the carriages.
We decided now was a good time to grab lunch.
After lunch we went outside and they loved seeing the Knight Bus, 4 Privet Drive and the chess pieces amongst others. E loves Harry Potter and chess so now wants her own Harry Potter chess set
The other side of the tour really showed the details of how things were done. The masks and models shown were spectacular. Hagrid’s costume was great to see and my favourite was the mermaids head. Fawkes the phoenix was A’s favourite and the werewolf was the husbands. The Book of Monsters and the mandrake models were really good and it showed you how they moved.
After running past the spider model we entered Diagon alley . This really made the film come to life and the details were fantastic. The kids especially liked Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and seeing all the props on display.
The art department was probably a favourite of mine and B’s. The drawings were amazing as were the patterns for the clothes and cloaks. But this was nothing compared to the card models in the next part. The Hogwarts card model was really good as was the Whomping Willow and the Owlery. Well all of them were really good but there were quite a few to see. The Durmstrang ship was amazing.
The last part of the tour was breathtaking. The kids walked into the model room and were amazed as were my husband and I. This Hogwarts model was truly magical. We all enjoyed pointing out the different parts of the model and seeing where different parts of the film took place.
We walked through a room set up as Olivanders wand shop before entering the gift shop at the end.
The whole place was amazing! We all loved it and the day after the husband and kids enjoyed a harry potter film fest. Thankfully J doesn’t find the spiders in the film as terrifying as the models!!!