Saturday, July 20, 2013

england: day 5 (aka harry potter day)

(warning: picture overload. sorry-not-sorry)

my friend natalie went to england last year, and when she posted pictures of her trip to the harry potter studio i was like, "whaaaaaat?!" and when i suggested going to the studio to craig and neal, well . . . 

craig more than makes up for his complete failure in the museum enthusiast department with his unbridled and unabashed love for harry potter. (a boy after my own witch heart) neal dropped the bombshell that he hadn't read any of the books (shocking!), but he'd seen and enjoyed all the movies. (if you know me or craig at all, you know the looks he got for that confession. i'm happy to report that neal bought the first book at the studio tour gift shop and is now three or four books into the series.)

we had tickets for the early afternoon, so we spent the morning in picadilly tracking down hatchard's bookshop and stocking up on books. (confession: most of the souvenirs i brought back for myself were books.) hatchard's is the oldest bookshop in london. it's been in business since 1797. can you imagine?

picadilly circus

 after hatchard's we had a little time to kill, so we wandered around until we found trafalgar square.

just seconds after taking this picture, i almost got hit by a motorcycle.
it was my fault. i walked into the street without paying attention.

and then . . . . it was harry potter time!!

i took over 200 pictures at the studio. it was incredible. i think the best part is the very beginning. you're in this giant theatre with ridiculously comfortable chairs for an introductory video. the video ends with harry, ron, and hermione walking into hogwarts through the front door, and then  . . . the screen raises to reveal the front door of hogwarts!!! . . . very theatrical and magical and the entire room erupts with gasps and shrieks of excitement.

cupboard under the stairs.

in the banquet hall

gryffindor cast costumes

house cup score keeper.

they have golden snitches hidden all over the tour for people to find.

front gate

potions class. sadly, alan rickman was not in . . . 

harry and ron's room

"it does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

gryffindor common room

sword of gryffindor

they have a case that has all 6 horcrux (horcruxes?). this was my favorite. i always love a crown/tiara.

i know the deatheaters were the bad guys, but these masks were so intricate and beautiful in person! i wanted one!

be very, very quiet. we're hunting a basilisk. 

i solemnly swear i am up to no good!

trying out the local beer . . . butterbeer. really good!

diagon alley

they had a bunch of the concept art on display. several of them were really beautiful.

this is the model they when they needs shots of hogwarts. it's huge. there's a huge walkway around it so you can see it from every angle.

i just want to say i was really impressed with the whole studio tour experience. they have a free coat check so we didn't have to lug our bags and books with us the whole time. they allow photography. there is so much to see and experience. the gift shop was great. the workers were kind and enthusiastic. it was very much like a disneyland experience. clean and welcoming and you feel like the people who work there are as excited and as big of fans as the people who come. i would go back again in a second, and the wizarding world of harry potter in florida just got bumped up on my list of things to experience.

they've set up a photo op at kings cross station. 

our immersion into the harry potter world and neal's subsequent reading of harry potter and the philosopher's stone resulted in many lengthy debates on our individual house assignments. here's what we've concluded. neal is a hufflepuff. craig is a toss up between slytherin or gryffindor. and i am a toss up between ravenclaw or gryffindor. 

that night we saw "the woman in black." it's a play based on a novel of the same name by susan hill. it's my favorite ghost story. i've been dying to see this for over ten years, and it was brilliant. so spooky.


Natalie said...

hatchards -- so cool right?

love the flags down the avenue!

HARRY POTTER EXPERIENCE!!! easily one of the biggest highlights of our trip. so glad you felt that way, too. that theater, right?! i could have sat myself there all day watching the movies back to back -- i get chills when i think about it. it makes me so sad that it won't forever be there (!!!) because i want my kids to see and experience your mirror shot. the bridge!!! i also wish some of the art prints had been on sale in the gift shop. seriously people! love your platform 9 3/4 shot -- your braids (or should i say plaits) and your scarf! SO AWESOME!

AND WOMAN IN BLACK! wasn't it soo good?! like pee your panties good?!