#annacoritakelondon part 2: harry potter
When planning this trip, one place that was non-negotiable for us was The Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Initially, we were planning to go on our last day before our flight to Scotland. Due to fate and London's rainy weather, we ended up taking a full day to visit, and I'm so happy it worked out that way. If we went with our initial plans, we wouldn't have been able to see everything.
I loved the books and the Harry Potter world that you experience through them, but this exhibit was on a whole other level. I thought it was going to be similar to Universal's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Flordia, with rides and such. But, this exhibit housed the legit sets (on Lots J & K for J.K. Rowling) they filmed on, so you actually got to the see the real physical things they filmed. Surprisingly, the sets (like Harry's bedroom, Hagrid's house, etc.) were a lot smaller than they appeared on the screen, but I guess that's just movie magic ;)
There was a whole section devoted to just the CGI experience, like when Hagrid flew in on the motorbike, Quidditch, etc. It was really interesting to see what was CGI and what was real, as you could rarely distinguish between the two. They even had a section where you could pretend to ride on a broomstick, and you bet we did that! :)
After you're done with Lot J, you go to Lot K where they host all the animated characters that are basically the coolest robots. They take you through a lot of the technical aspects of the different characters, props, drawings of the buildings shown, etc. Before Lot K, you take a break outside where "Privey Drive" is located, along with Butterbeer. Surprisingly, Butterbeer was delicious. A little sweet, a little bubbly, but not alcoholic.
The best thing about the whole exhibit was the last room. They created a huge 24:1 (24 feet to 1 inch) model of the entire Hogwarts campus. You could walk all around it, starting from the top, and moving slowly to the bottom. Not only could you see how Hogwarts was laid out, but the lights and music drifted from day to night, including dusk and dawn, to really see Hogwarts at all times of the day. At night, the lights inside the buildings would come on.
It was truly such a spectacular visit. It's a go at your own pace tour, and I think we were there for almost 4 hours. I'm pretty sure we read every single sign. I highly, highly recommend going here if you ever visit London.
PS - If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.