I am a kid at heart. I do not try to disguise it when I am out because it is who I am. But it can attract odd stares sometimes and I can’t help but feel self-conscious. Then again, nobody knows me in Leavesden. Ha!
We got into the queue to enter the studios along with a lot of young people ranging from toddlers to young adults in their late teens/early 20s. Their parents and I should be from approximately the same generation.
In the darkened room they ushered us into, we were told that Hogwarts (and the studio) was dressed for Christmas. I thought instantly of the Great Hall and the feasts the characters had there – and reality reciprocated. The scene that greeted us when the doors were thrown open was one I found similar to walking into a banquet hall in Windsor Castle or the Versailles. Except this one was occupied by wizards, giants and all the deliciously magical paraphenalia. I wished the floating lights were there though. But if I didn’t look up at the ceiling and added more lighting, I’d be able to imagine Fred and George throwing turkey legs at Ron.
It is really easy to get to the studios – once you are out of the city of London that is. Parking was a breeze. You probably want to get tickets in advance to avoid the queuing out front. I also rented the audio guide that gave commentaries of the different areas in the studios; It had some audition rolls and interviews with the actors too, and other rather interesting bits. But I think the displays give sufficient information. Unless you are a fan, then nothing is enough.
In the middle of the tour, before you head to the second studio, you reach a cafe. This is where you create your Butterbeer moustache. Expect to pay a bit, but the good thing is that you can have your own food too if you brought along your lunch. Have a picnic, they say. And we did!
Then at the end of the tour, there is the SHOP. A big one. Bring your gold coins.
And now, the pictures.