I am a massive, massive fan of Harry Potter; books, films, merchandise, clothes… the list goes on and on, I love it all. Strangely enough, until recently I had never visited the Warner Bros Studio Tour. I kept putting it off, thinking I didn’t have time, or there was always something else the money could go on; a place the kids wanted to visit more etc, etc. Also as much as I desperately wanted to go, I wanted to wait to take the kids until they were a bit older. I never thought to possibly go on my own first and take the kids later. It just never occurred to me.
I have three best friends Annie, Charlotte and Becky, we’ve been friends for a long time, and even though we live quite far apart now, I don’t think I will ever be as close to any one or love anyone quite like I do those girls. But with age comes great responsibility, it takes time, patience and a great deal other amount of skills to keep a friendship blooming. 😀 Thankfully, we have managed it and we visit as often as we can, and we share an amazing friendship than spans the country and they are much more than friends, they are family. My children even call them Aunties. On this note, it has become apparent that my children love them very much and when they visit, they monopolise them and want to spend all the time playing with them and crawling over them and showing them every single toy they own. This is wonderful, but unfortunately it means we don’t get much time to chat, breath or just spend time with each other as friends. So we decided we would take a couple of weekends a year (extra to our usual visits) to spend the weekend just as us girls, the way it used to be. It’s a nice chance to catch up, those of us who are parents get to have a rest from the kids, and we all get to indulge in being young friends again.
We have visited Oxford and we plan on visiting York, but as a special treat two of my best friends treated us all to Harry Potter studio tour tickets for our Christmas presents. Myself and Annie are huge Harry Potter fans, Becky dabbles and Charlotte bless her, comes along for the ride! It was a super idea and an amazing present. As the tour gets booked up fast, we planned to go in January but tickets sell like hot cakes, so April it was. I have had a very exciting few months and it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. The excitement for studio tours built up for many reasons. I was so happy to be finally going to the tours, and I was ecstatic to be sharing this special moment with my besties. I love getting to do things with my girls, it reminds me I am still very young, I can still enjoy myself without the kids and without feeling guilty and it is perfectly acceptable to have hobbies, passions etc all for myself. I think I forget that sometimes when I am being mummy 24/7. It is perfectly ok to be me sometimes, to recognise that I have likes and dislikes and do something for myself. Having my best friends want to share these things with me and do these things, is amazing and I am so glad to have them.
***BE WARNED I HAVE INCLUDED SOME PHOTOS FROM OUR TRIP SO IF YOU WANT EVERYTHING TO BE A SURPRISE … STOP READING NOW. I HAVEN’T INCLUDED TOO MANY SPOILERS BUT I WOUDLN’T WANT TO RUIN ANYONE’S EXPERIENCE BUT I WANT TO SHARE MY JOY!!*****
So onto the tour. Annie and I set off from Somerset on the Saturday morning and would be meeting Becky and Charlotte in London as they would be travelling from our home county of Derbyshire. We had a late tour time so we had decided to stay over in a hotel overnight, so it was an exciting weekend as we all got a nice break too.
Poor photo but our view whenever we head to London! Stonehenge – wonderful sight!
I had made little HP goody bags for all of us including a little drink to start the weekend.
Annie and I started earlier than the others! 🙂 Pretty much always the case… 😂
After a few short but wonderful hours catching up in the hotel we headed over to the studio! We were very excited but we were also trying to remember we were adults. We were generally well behaved, there were a couple of incidents, we might have thought the security guards were offering hugs, not wanting to search us, and I may have said something about licking a poster of an attractive member of the Harry Potter cast… I know, but my excitement as we waited in line was building up, and I struggle to control what my mouth says at the best of times, in fact most of the time it surprises even me.
We may also have a bit of a fascination with cones, but you can’t blame us when they look like this… we have a better story about the cone later…
Finally, once we were inside. The magic truly became alive and it was everything I expected and more. We had some food and had a walk around the gift shop whilst waiting for our time slot. I made a long list of everything I wanted to buy and then stepped away and thought we would do the tour first and then I could make a final decision about what I wanted to buy. I got to waltz around in a Slytherin cloak and play my inner Snape, much to the staffs delight. The shop in itself is immense and I could definitely have wandered around there for much longer than we did. But finally the moment arrived and it was out turn to enter…. I hope you enjoy some of our photos from out trip. And if you get chance to visit, even if you don’t think you are a big Harry Potter fan, even if you’re a fan of films or even if your aren’t a fan of any of these things, it is still worth a visit, for the magic, wonder and enjoyment of it. Plus the attention to detail in everything is immense.
‘Can I lie down in the entrance and get a photo underneath?” I asked my friends, “Of course, you can those people are rolling all over the floor.” My friends responded in delight. I look over, “they’re very small children…”. “Your point?” my friends laughed.
But in the end I decided I have done many more stupider things in my life than lie down in the middle of the Harry Potter studio tours to get a photo and I will probably do many more stupider things in my future.
Our initial shock and awe of being there wore off, and I had gotten over Tom Felton talking into my ear… (our wonderful friends had got me and Annie the digital tour guide) unfortunately Tom Felton wasn’t really whispering sweet nothings into my ear… 😍😂. We moved slowly through the Great Hall and onto the amazing tour. Honestly, I don’t think I can find words to express how amazing it was. We mainly walked around in silent wonder, listening to our guide when we needed, snapping shots and generally messing around. It was amazing to be with my friends experiencing this for the first time for so many reasons. I didn’t have any responsibilities at that moment in time, I could be myself without worrying about the example I was setting, or having to keep one eye on a kid at all times. Don’t get me wrong I cannot wait to go back and take the kids but for my first visit, where I got to experience and enjoy it all to myself with my best friends. Honestly, it was one of the best days of my life and I am so thankful I got to share it with the people I did.
I think you can see we all had lots of fun and even though, some of us are bigger fans than others, we all had an amazing time and I think we all thoroughly enjoyed it. We stopped half way around to try our very first butter beer. I really liked it!
After our little rest we headed onto the rest of the tour. Gringotts was opened for the first time the day we came, which was unbelievably lucky and completely unplanned but amazing.
I don’t want to post too many spoilers so I haven’t included this whole video but I needed to share this with you all, me and Annie will definitely be in a cinema near you soon with these acting skills, well voice over work at least. Apologies there is a little bit of swearing ☺️ I actually think the swearing is the best part!!! 😂 🤣(And yes, that is me not able to control my laughing!)
As we drew near the end of the tour, I just couldn’t believe how much attention to detail is put in everything, and I was a little worried the magic might be lost, but honestly I think it just made it better. Every little prop, every big scene reproduced, just walking through the whole studio itself was amazing. I won’t ever get to experience it for the first time ever again, but like my whole experience with Harry Potter, as with the books, I believe every time I go back there I will experience something new. It was truly an amazing and remarkable experience.
After all of that, admit it you still just want the rest of the cone story. So we had a very late tour time, so by the time we had walked around, visiting the store, spent a fortune and was heading for the car parking, it was late and dark. We had talked earlier on about how we love a cone to take home. Trust me this is not the first time, we have talked about wanting a cone. We have had many discussions and ideas about getting one. It never ends well… And I promise we don’t have any cones stashed anywhere. But anyway, there we are walking back to the car and a security guard is heading in our direction, I imagine returning to the studios and one of my friends out right asked him if we could take a cone home. I think he thought she was joking, she was not. Her parting words for all of you our there, “Well, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.”
I hope you enjoyed my recap of our tour and liked our photos, there are many, many more and probably many more stories, but they can wait for another day. We are heading away for our weekend to York soon, keep an eye out on social media for us. I will be sharing our funnier moments and beautiful photos in real time!!!! 😀