Harry Potter Studios | Leavesden 2015
I have absolutely no shame in saying that the Harry Potter parts of our UK trip last year made my 2015. We made several stops in different areas of significance in the Harry Potter series – some were planned, some were not. The first stop was indeed planned. And planned carefully. (Details and tips at the end of this post. Stay tuned for part 2!)
Two months or so before the trip, we had already purchased tickets to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Leavesden. I knew I wanted to spend the entire day there, so instead of taking a tour package (with transportation, but with a limited number of hours in the studios), I decided we could just go there ourselves, that way we could spend as much time as we wanted inside. It took us about 30 minutes from our hotel in London to Watford Junction, where a shuttle picked us up to bring us to the studios:
Now you can imagine my excitement at being on that bus. I was quite emotional pulling up to the lot in Leavesden because I was in complete awe at seeing the place where the cast and crew of Harry Potter filmed for 10 years. The sight of the unassuming, yet massive building alone made me feel like I was riding on the back of a Hippogriff, and I hadn’t even seen anything yet.
People always ask me which I liked better – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Orlando or The Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. While I will say that being in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter made me feel like a real witch living in a real Wizarding town, there was something truly magical about getting to walk where the cast and crew worked for a decade. The wonderful thing about the theme park, is that you get to go in and out of the shops, you get to visit Hogwarts as if you really are a student there, and you get to experience what being a witch or wizard is like. But the Studio Tour is different. You don’t get to do those things, but stepping into that lot will make you feel truly special – because you will get a glimpse into the love and care and hard work that went into making the films. I personally could not stop touching whatever wall I was allowed to, hoping to get some sort of spiritual souvenir from the cast and crew. And seeing the original sets and props? Wow. I could hardly stop myself from crying.