Harry Potter World

“No story lives unless someone wants to listen.” -J.K. Rowling

TITLE PAGEWhen I was still in London, I went to Harry Potter World on the bank holiday Monday (which a public British bank holiday taking place every year on the last Monday of August) with my friend and ex-colleague Caroline (you shall see a picture of us two posing in front of a backstage mirror at the studios ^^). I truly had an amazing time and took an incredible amount of photos that reached a total of about 290 :/… and today I am finally able to share them with you in this – I hope – very magic post, as well as the video I made and in which I am answering the diverse questions you asked me – whether on my blog’s page or face to face.

This tour took me back to the time when it all started, when Harry Potter was born and my child-and-teenage-hood along with millions of other’s were about to be absolutely enchanting and wonderful and simply magic. It all took me back to a world I first entered when I was maybe not even 10 yet and that filled my eyes with stars for years. When I came back home (British one of course!) on Monday night, my eyes were still shining and full of these same stars that have nourished my brain with magic spells and my eyes with wonder for a long time.

Going to Harry Potter World is the chance to go behind the scenes and discover what has been the home of some of our favourite actors for about 10 years (I even remember writing a paper in English in middle school about who my favourite actors were and at the time – I was 13 – Emma, Daniel and Rupert were the only ones that came to my mind!) This top-London attraction let you see the beautiful sets of the Harry Potter movies, along with all the tiny details that took ages and a lot of hard work to complete. Did you know, for example, that all the writing on the wands’ boxes was handmade?! And do you know how many boxes there are?! Can you even imagine the hours spent on building Hogwarts castle model and all the sketches that served to design it?! And do you know what it took to make all the magic creatures such as the adorable Dobby?! And all this in harmony with the core material, i.e. J.K. Rowling’s books!? Visiting the studios will also give you the opportunity to see the outstanding real costumes and marvel at the amazing special effects. In short, all the secrets of the making of Harry Potter’s magic world are revealed (this is actually a spoiler alert so if you’d rather not know about anything at all regarding the studios until you go there by yourself, then you’d better stop reading now :p! but I guess that if you’re already reading this introduction that’s getting way too long for your sweet impatient little selves ^^, it means you actually sort of want to know a tad more about how it all was!)…

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Have a first sneak peek here with the official trailer… 

Harry Potter World opened to the public in 2000 & is located on the outskirts of London, in Watford more precisely. These Leavesden Studios have welcome the filmmakers, cast & crew, who all worked together to bring to life the story and magical world of Harry Potter that has been enchanting millions of people world-wide. Nowadays, everyone knows Harry Potter, the boy who’s survived and now wears this lighting bolt scar on his forehead. His story begins on his 11th birthday, when he learns he belongs to the big and wicked family of Wizards… So now, who else but our favourite Harry Potter to introduce the tour ?!

Have your wands and broomsticks ready, my sweet little wizards because the visit shall now begin…

the great hall

The Great Hall or the settling of Hogwarts’ abundant feasts is where your journey begins… There, you’ll be able to spot the majestic owl podium and see the magic behind the ceiling with the floating candles, and of course you will start discovering the costumes of the four different Hogwarts Houses’ members. This Great Hall truly is – to me – the second most unforgettable location of the castle (right after Diagon Valley ^^). When you leave the hall, you’re face to face with the outstanding set of the Yule Ball, featuring the main costumes and the very magical ‘champaign bar’. Not far, you also stumble on THE Chocolate Feast (just picture me drooling over it now… I’m terrible with chocolate; but after all, who isn’t?!) used for the start-of-term feast in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

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gryffindor boys' dormitory

Ah the Gryffindor boys’ dormitory, the place that’s been Harry’s new home for his six years of studies at Hogwarts! Situated up the spiral case from the Gryffindor Common Room, this is where Harry and Ron shared a room with Neville Longbottom, Seamus Finnigan & Dean Thomas… what a lovely bunch of wizards they made those four :).

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gryffindor common room

Speaking of THE Common Room of the series, you can spot several thingies there, such as the Lady & the Unicorn, the Golden Egg, the cloak of invisibility and many more costumes used in the movies. But wait a sec… do you at least remember the password?! I mean, it’s all great and everything and it might be a school of magic but if you don’t have the key (which in this case is a password), you won’t be able to enter the Room. So… any idea?!?!?! No?! No one?! Alright, I’ll give it to you then… but please keep it a secret; it’s an only-Gryffindor-member-and-lover blog… Now if I say ‘Caput Draconis’, does it ring any bell?!

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dumbledore's office

Located in one of the highest towers of Hogwarts, Dumbledore’s office is a quiet retreat and study that is filled with allusions to this great wizard’s fascination with the universe & the skies (a theme that actually became the room’s defining feature!). Once there, you can admire the wonders of the set, such as the Sword of Gryffindor, the grandiose bookshelves (Oh my god! How I would have loved this place to be my office… and you know why now!!!), the hundreds of portraits, the costumes of course and – last but not least – the amazing Memory Cabinet.

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potions' classroom

This class, taught by Professor Snape, is a dark classroom lined with dusty shelves full of peculiar jars and bottles, which contains all sorts of things I bet juggles would rather not hear about!

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hagrid's hut

The home of our dear Rubeus Hagrid, keeper of Keys & Grounds at Hogwarts and later Care & Magical Creatures teacher, is the place where our favourite trio could take refuge and meet a friend…

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the animals of the wizarding world

During your visit in the World of Harry Potter, you obviously meet the adorable and so very cute animals of this wizarding world: indeed, you find the very loyal Hedwig (Harry’s owl), Hermione’s cat Crookshanks, Hagrid’s HUGE dog Fang and ron’s terrible rat Scabbers.

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the burrow

Oh I loved the burrow, the Weasleys’ house! With all its marvellous, wonderful and magical curiosities, it just completely makes you believe you’re in a parallel world, in a world of magic you would leave for nothing at all…

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Prop-making magic

The accessories aspect of the movies is another thing that required patience, creativity and lots, lots of hard work! All along your visit, you’ll discover the objects that made Harry Potter’s world all the more magical! The Goblet of Fire, the Triwizard cup, the time-turner (which is the gadget I would most love to have!), the Golden Snitch, the Philosopher’s Stone, the Deluminator, the Remembrall, the Crystal Goblet, the Marauder’s map (which I have a derived product from… you’ll see it in the video), the Quibbler & Daily Prophet, the diverse and various Horcruxes, the Wands…

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the ministry of magic

By the end of the first part of your visit, you go through the Ministry of Magic, which is concealed deep beneath the streets of London. As part of it, you won’t be able to miss the awful Umbridge’s all-pink office, featuring kitten plates, pink stuff, pink costumes, and more pink stuff! And before going outside, let me just bring to your attention that the Wizarding World’s centre of Government in Britain is accessible by telephone booth, toilet & the Floo network :D!

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the backlot

So now that you’re in the bit of the studios that is outside, you can finally see – with your own eyes – the one and only Ford Anglia, the Riddle Family Gravestone, the Chess pieces, the Knight Bus (shame the creepy driver was not in though ;( !), the somewhat wonky Hogwarts Bridge and N° 4 Privet Drive or the suburban home of the Dursleys.

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creature room

Now entering the third and last part of your visit, you first go to the creature room featuring the lovely Dobby, Griphook the Goblin, the absolutely disgusting Aragog (I’m sorry but this is still a spider and I HATE spiders!!!), the great Buckbeck, Fawkes, Voldemort and so many others…

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diagon alley

Ah my number one most unforgettable place of the Harry Potter World! This part of the studios appear to you as you turn around the corner after the creature room and it really makes you feel like you’re in one of the films, like you are in this wizarding magical world for real and for the first time! It’s just absolutely AMAZING! It gives you an incredible feeling! Almost like you’re about to actually do your shopping for your new term at Hogwarts ^^!This area notably features Weasleys’s Wizard Wheezes, Gringotts Bank, Olivanders Wand shop and so many others…

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hogwarts castle model

Hogwarts castle model is a jewel in the crown of Art Department! It has so many tiny and scrupulous details it’s hard to believe it actually exists and is there in front of you now! This model was filmed and enhanced with digital effects to create unforgettable realistic views of the magical school…

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Our visit is now coming to an end and what a better way to leave than with a wonderful quote…

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video

BONUS

Tour with PeekMe Studios 

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7 Comments

  1. Amélie
    14th September 2014 / 1:42 AM

    Ahhh! That’s just Paradise! I LOVE it!

    • Marie
      14th September 2014 / 8:44 AM

      glad you liked it, my lovely!
      Have a great time in America!!! xxxx <3

  2. Aurélie MERABTI
    14th September 2014 / 3:31 PM

    Hi Marie!
    This article is by far my favorite of your amazing blog! I LOVED it ! Thank you so much for all the pictures you took, the video you made. I travelled for a few minutes in the Making Of Harry Potter, so thank you!
    This article prouves one more time that you’re really talented with words and pictures.
    I don’t what to say more… Except WELL DONE!
    The pictures are wonderful, we can see every tiny details, your text is magical. And I loved your video with the extract of the movies!
    So, in a few words : Magical amazing article!

    I can’t wait to read your next one!

    Aurélie

    • Marie
      14th September 2014 / 8:14 PM

      Thanks a lot Aurélie! Means so much that you guys liked it :D
      It really does so THANK YOU <3 xxxxx

  3. 14th September 2014 / 3:45 PM

    An article that just makes me want to be there so badly !! So jealous of what you’ve seen, it looks amazing !!

    A great article and very well done video with my little answer, so just perfect !! LOVED IT

    • Marie
      14th September 2014 / 8:12 PM

      Ah thanks Marion! Hope I can go again with my brother and some of my friends who’re absolutely keen on the series – just like you for example ^^
      And thanks for this comment so much – it means a lot to me that you guys like my work and this one today because it really took me ages to prepare and I hoped it was going to be worth the wait, which is apparently the case so I’m very very glad! THANK YOU xxx <3

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