Thursday, 25 October 2012

When Sugar Paper went to Hogwarts....

This lesser heard from half of Sugar Paper (Kandy) is a MASSIVE fan of the Harry Potter books and films are a few of our friends. As soon as I heard that the studio tour was opening I knew we would have to go, and of course, the more of our friends we could get to come along the better! We booked 6 tickets and I started counting down the days.

I was excited before we went but had been super-busy so the fact we were going didn't really sink in until the drive down there. Not wanting to spoil the surprise I didn't look into the details of the studio tour before we went, so when Nickie mentioned that they serve butterbeer my excitement reached whole new levels.

After a tricky drive round Watford centre, we met up with Holly, Nick and Leesey and headed for the transfer bus to take us over to the studio tour. It wasn't the knight bus, but it was exciting!

Before we knew it the bus was outside the studio tour and there was screeching, we poured off the bus and proceeded to take photos of us outside the bus...there was a lot of this happening throughout the day! We hung outside for a bit, waiting for our time to go in, then it came and in we the entrance bit, and our minds were blown. HUGE photos of all the cast around the walls as well as movie prop bits, and the window of the gift shop done up like honeydukes, so good!

We saw a lady handing out small booklets to children and we thought they looked fun, so we bagged us one each (they were only supposed to be for children but she liked us), turned out they were 'passports' that you could get stamped as you went round the studio tour, amaaazing. Time to queue up, then the tour started...
An introductory talk that got us even MORE excited and then we go in, met by the breathtaking sight of the great hall. This was one of my favourite bits, the full great hall, the actual floor that they flmed every great hall scene on, MIND BLOWN. Especially when I got to sit at one of the tables with my best grrrlz!
 From here we went on into a huge room filled with props, costumes, sets, artwork and more! The studio tour was really well laid out and you could spend as long as you liked staring at the contents of your favourite classroom or taking in the awesome detail on the accessories and costumes.

I could have stayed here all day, all week in fact, they had all the best rooms set up from dumbledore's office to the burrow. On top of this there was a room of requirement display and some parts of the ministry of magic where we went exploring.
At the end of the first room was a display cabinet with lots of paper based props, letters, books and magical packaging! We really liked seeing all these bits up close, the attention to detail was amazing and they had SO many good pieces on display.
That was just the first room, from here we moved things you could get in and on...and a refreshing drink of butterbeer which was WELL tasty!!!
It's a good job they had this area with seats and butterbeer, I think we all needed a sit down after seeing so much amazing movie stuff, even the muggles among us were enjoying the studio tour.
After the cold and tasty butterbeer (tasted exactly how I'd imagined) we got up close and personal with the famous vehicles from the films...
In this outdoor area there were a couple of buildings from the film too, we spent a while out here taking it all in before moving onto the 3rd and final section of the tour. Something I didn't mention, is once you've finished in one section you can't go back to it, so we had to make sure we'd all peeked in the knight bus and knocked on at Privet Drive for Harry before we made our way to the special effects room. This bit was freaky but fascinating, the craftsmanship that had gone into all the pieces in here was amazing but the models of the actors used for death scenes were scarily realistic! This was great to see in real life.  
This room of wonders was followed by the bit I was most excited about...diagon alley. Like stepping through the wall behind the leaky cauldron, this bit was fantastic, pure magic. The weasley's wizard wheezes shop was my favourite.
This was followed by a big surprise...the castle! I hadn't even thought about how they get exterior shots of the castle in the films then there it was, Hogwarts, perfect and grand just scaled down.
Happy faces at the end of a super ace studio tour. I was really impressed with the whole thing. So much thought had gone into this and the staff were all lovely, it worked really well and had all the best bits from the films, everything a Harry Potter fan could wish for..and more!  

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