Harry Potter filming studio!

Trip Start Jun 10, 2012
Trip End Aug 17, 2013

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What I did
Harry Potter film studio

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, March 22, 2013

I was super excited to go to the set for Harry Potter. I read the whole series when I was eight, and I love all of the movies. When we were in line in the beginning, we saw his little "cupboard under the stairs" room. That was from the first Harry Potter movie in 2002. It still had all of the props, even a little pair of glasses that he wore in the movie. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) was only 11, Emma Watson (Hermione) was 10 and Rupert Grint (Ron) was 12 in that first movie. Me and Soph were given little booklets, and everyone got pins. Then we finally got onto the set. We first got to go into the Great Hall, where they ate all of their meals. The walls were plastic or some other material, but the floor was real stone. It looked exactly how it did in the movies, except for the fact that most of the tables were taken out. There were some outfits worn by Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin members. There was even a dress worn by a ghost in the movie, and outfits from Dumbledore, Hagrid and other people. Every single thing on the entire set was used in the actual movies. All of the outfits, wigs, props, scenes etc. were worn by the actors and acted in. I think almost all of the props used in the movies were in that place. There were so many things! It made me remember details from each and every movie. Their wands were there, the all of the paintings, the golden snitch, the sorcerer's stone from the first movie, the remembrall, the snake doorway from the Chamber of Secrets, their broomsticks, a chest used in the Goblet of Fire (to hide Mad-Eyed Moody), the actual goblet from the Goblet of Fire, the green, shiny fireplaces that transported them, the record player from their dance in the Goblet of Fire, the death eater masks, etc etc. Basically everything. There were also most of their outfits dating back to the first movie. We went to a place where we saw how they did the broomstick shots. Of course, it was with a greenscreen. We got to go into the greenscreen and make broomstick and flying car videos of our own, which we bought pictures from.
There were also many sets, including: The Weasleys' house (A.K.A. The Burrow. It even had the moving washing pan, knitting needles and chopping carrots.), Hagrid's hut, the Gryffindor boys' dormitory, the Gryffindor Common Room, the potions classroom (taught by Professor Snape), Dumbeldore's office, and Professor Umbridge's office (filled with lots of pink and lots of kitty pictures). There was also Picket Drive, where Harry's muggle parents live. There were two "houses" built for the movie, one of them being the one where Harry was dropped off as a baby. And there was Potter's cottage, the old house that is shown in the last movie, where Harry's parents lived. We got to try butterbeer, which ended up being amazingly delicious. It is like creme soda, but not quite. It has tons of yummy foam on the top, and it's actually kind of buttery in a good way. It is now by far my favorite soft drink. Too bad, because I've never been to another place that sells it.

There were lots of props that I was excited to see. There was the big, triple-decker bus. It had three floors but was not that skinny. Of course, there was the flying car. There was actually another in the entrance. I'm sure there had to be more than one because it gets destroyed in the movie. There was Hagrid's motorcycle. There were the big, moving chess pieces from the Chamber of Secrets, and also tons and tons of creatures from the movies. There was the phoenix, the griffin, Dobby (who looked exactly like he does in the movie), the giant's head, the flying blue and annoying fairy things, the basilisk's head, the big, strange horse-like skeleton creature (seen only by those who have witnessed death), huge amounts of elf masks, and a moving head for Hagrid (He is a big man already, but not a giant. He needed a head to put on top of his own to make him taller). There were also tons of things from the Goblet of Fire movie, like: Cedrick's half-shark body, Harry's dragons' head, their unconscious bodies in the underwater part, and Voldemort's little inhuman body before he is transformed into himself. All of these things I'm listing are really only a small part of what there was.

Of course, we also got to see Diagon Alley. It was pretty small and short, but it had shops I recongnized from the movie. There was Ollivander's Wand Shop where Harry got his wand, the quidditch place (and it had the moving broomstick in the window), Fred and George Weasley's shop (yep, it had the wacky things inside), the place with the owls, and Gringott's Bank. There was also the room (from Ollivander's Wand Shop) that was filled with thousands of wand boxes. Each and every one of the labels was hand-written. There was also Hogwart's castle. Obviously, they couldn't actually build a huge castle. They built a model that was still pretty big though; probably about 17 feet tall. The model was amazing. Even though it wasn't a huge castle, it looked completely like it does in the movies. It was really detailed, with all of the little bricks, windows, and spikes on the castle.

I'm glad we got to go see the studio for Harry Potter. It won't be there forever - more movies will be filmed there, so everything will probably be taken down. Maybe not though. I think lots of people would want to see it. We were actually there during the week of the 1-year anniversary for showing the set. In the gift shop afterwards, they sold lots of things like broomsticks, golden snitches, wands, chocolate frogs, every-flavor beans (they had the gross flavors like dirt, earwax, vomit, bogey, earthworm, etc.), all of the books and movies, and copies of things that were worn in the movies like their scarves, Harry's sport jacket from the Goblet of Fire, Hermione's pink dance dress from the Goblet of Fire, and cloaks. I got a t-shirt that has Gryffindor 07 (his quidditch number) on the front and Potter on the back, and being the huge Harry Potter fan I am, I love it. I'll most likely keep it even if I outgrow it (I probably won't though - I purposely got it slightly big).
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