I was 11 years old when the first Harry Potter film came out in theaters. I was hooked. This magical universe consisting of such a diverse assembly – or community – filled with real human beings with complex and paradox feelings just captured my heart from the beginning – just like is captured the hearts of so many others around the world.
When I watch the Harry Potter films, I’m immediately transported into this enchanting universe in which magic in all its variations is the overall theme. However, it’s so much more than just that. As such, when I lived in London three years ago, the Warner Brothers Studios opened their ”the Making of Harry Potter” exhibition. There was no doubt: I was going to visit the studios as soon as possible. Within the first week of their opening, some friends and I were on the HP bus on our way to explore the Harry Potter universe. Needless to say that we were nothing but ridiculously excited.
When you travel around the world, you always go somewhere magical because you travel to explore something new and learn from it – for me, that’s magic. This experience at the Warner Brothers Studios wasn’t any different. Having grown up with the Harry Potter stories, this magical world was indeed a travel destination for us – we weren’t going to a studio. No, we were going to an ’actual’ place. However, going to the Harry Potter Studios, I truly was going somewhere magical. Especially because, as a fan, there’s nothing more liberating – yes, liberating – than to dive into the world of fandom …in the real surroundings.
Getting off the bus and into the studios, we were amazed by the authenticity of it all. Although a tourist attraction, it was true to the universe and not in a touristee way, which is highly important! The exhibition itself features film sets, props, costumes etc. – whatever film, scene or character is your favourite, you’ll find it there. Even Dobby. And Dementors.
The visit itself was nothing but spectacular! We were diving into the film and their various scenes. It was exactly as being part of the Harry Potter universe for a couple of hours, which we took full advantage of. We spent a lot of time on the different film sets exploring among others Private Drive, The Weasley’s house, Hogwarts, Dumbledore’s chambers, Hagrid’s house, Diagon Alley along with hundreds of props and costumes. Not to forget the gift shop. I think we spent an hour there alone. At the gift shop, you can buy almost everything down to the very replica of clothings and wands! It’s quite the adventure for HP fans! Unfortunately, it’s pretty expensive and I had to do with some candy (the chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, of course). Had I known that there was so much stuff there, I would have brought a bucket full of money.
Anyway. As it turned out: Behind the magic, there’s more magic – it’s all just magical! Especially as a fan. So if you’re a fan and in or near London, I guarantee, it’s worth your money to explore the studios!