Since it was World Book Day it struck me as a perfect opportunity to tell you about the time I visited Harry Potter World! The one in London that is… If you’re from across the pond you might want to check out 9 ¾ Things To Do in Harry Potter World Orlando.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big, big giant Harry Potter fan! Throughout my travels I’ve been listening to the audiobooks read by Stephen Fry to amuse me on very long bus journeys. So, a trip to the Warner Brothers studio in north London to see all the magic up close was a fantastic birthday present. No trip to London should be without a visit to this paradise of whimsy.
A really good start to our trip was being given a passport to use through the day. We could collect special stamps as we went round the rooms to prove we’d taken a journey on the Hogwarts Express and visited Diagon Alley. You have to ask for this passport on your way in – think of it like knowing which bricks to tap to break through into the hidden wizarding world of Diagon Alley! So much fun!
The tour starts as you come into the Great Hall through the famous doors and if it’s your birthday you too can join the small children in whispering “Alohamora” and getting in before the crowds!
They recommend spending 3.5 hours going round all of the exhibits but there is so much to see you’ll probably want to spend at least 4.5hrs or so there. We spent about 20minutes just gazing into the Mirror of Erised and another 20 trying to open the Chamber of Secrets with our substandard Parseltongue.
Make sure to try butter beer (it has to be done but in all honesty the icecream was much tastier than the drink).
There are green screens all over the place and you can have professional videos and photos taken of you flying a broom, driving the Ford Anglia, breaking through the Kings Cross barrier and riding the Hogwarts express while your chocolate frog makes a bid for freedom out the window. For those doing this on the cheap, we found that the staff were very willing to take photos of us with our own cameras so we could document the experience for ourselves as best as possible. Obviously I’m lacking a video of myself playing quidditch but, since I know I can fly, I don’t feel I need to prove it to the rest of the world!
The fun doesn’t stop there when you can swish and flick wands, visit the Gryffindor dormitory, buy your very own chocolate frogs (delicious by the way), and hover outside Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes as the effects of puking pastilles are demonstrated over and over.