Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A New Most Magical Place on Earth

All of my life, I have been told that Disney is the most magical place on Earth. Now, I love Disney, but there is a new most magical place on Earth: Leavesden Studios.

For those of you muggles who are unaware, Leavesden Studios is where the Harry Potter films were made and now houses the Harry Potter Studio Tour with a good majority of sets and props in tact.

This was, without question, the best thing I have experienced since arriving in London; it truly was incredible. I was in such awe of the entire experience that I felt like a little kid again experiencing Harry Potter for the first time. For 5 pounds you could get a narrated walking tour which may sound like a little steep, but it was narrated by Tom Felton AND had some cool videos to go along with it, well worth spending the fiver. 

I cannot say enough how incredible the whole experience was. I gained a much stronger appreciation for the films after my tour, and I didn't even know that was possible. Seeing all of the detail put into even the smallest of things was a big eye-opener. The crew actually consulted an expert on feathers (seriously) for how to lay the feathers on Buckbeak so they could make as realistic of a hippogriff as possible. And boy, did it look real. I could ramble on and on about these things but it just wouldn't do them justice.

Oh, and it was also pretty cool to learn about some of the secrets of the films. The books on the shelves of Dumbledore's office? Actually phone books that are just decorated and covered in leather.

Without question, the best part of the whole tour was seeing the full Hogwarts model. I could have spent over an hour looking at that alone. It was used for exterior shots in the first 6 movies, exterior shots that always looked so real. Obviously they couldn't use it for the last one since Hogwarts is all but destroyed in that one. The detail in the model is phenomenal. There really are no words strong enough to portray the beauty of the model. It's a 1:24 scale and truly magnificent. It's the school I always wished I could attend, and still kind of do wish I could go there.

The only downside to the whole trip was leaving; I wish we could have had more time. The guide at the beginning mentioned that the longest tour ever took 12 hours, I think I could challenge that if given the opportunity. I would say a negative was the over-priced gift shop, but I kind of expected it. It's not like it stopped me from at least buying something. When my dad comes in April, I think we may have to make another trip to Leavesden though. It's one of those magical experiences I could do over and over again without ever getting sick of it.

Until next time.

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