I felt the same as I did when I first heard the music, the soft plinky-plunky sound reverberating through my head. The hairs on the back of my neck standing up; I could feel the excitement building up as I waited in the long queue approaching the doors to the Harry Potter Tour in Watford. I was surrounded by enlarged pictures of the characters, ranging from a baby Daniel Radcliff to a beautiful and grown up Emma Watson, to a stern-looking Alan Rickman.
As I approached the entrance, my ticket clutched firmly in my (admittedly sweaty) hand, my friend Jake, who accompanied me to this gold mine of an event, found me highly amusing; like a kid in a candy shop (not meaning to sound cliché.)
There was the cupboard under the stairs in which the little Harry slept in whilst growing up, I snapped happily with my phone camera at that. There were also quotes from the author along with a picture of her writing, placed proudly on the wall; she said “I’d never had an idea that gave me such a physical response…It was that incredibly elated feeling you get when you’ve just met someone with whom you might eventually fall in love.” (Rowling, JK. Found by author August 2012.) It was such an interesting quote as not only did it affect Rowling herself in such a way when she wrote it; it also had that same effect, maybe even more of an effect on her readers and fans.
The first room was filled with posters from all over the world of all 8 films; France, China, Spain, India, etc. Then after an introduction from one of the staff members, the many screens once containing said posters illuminated with videos and interviews about the Hollywood franchise. We then walked through some doors and into a theatre, with another member of staff waiting cheerfully (bordering on creepy and was getting annoying to be quite honest) to welcome everyone in. We then watched another video on the big screen and after the screen lifted to reveal the main entrance to the Great Hall (I actually gasped), a third and final smiley staff member welcomed us into the Great Hall, which was incredible. I couldn’t believe I was actually walking through the place where the candles lay enchanted from the ceiling, and where so many famous feet walked up and down. The two tables in middle were gone, naturally, so the members of the public could walk freely through the room, taking pictures as they please. There were uniforms from all of the four houses. Including some outfits worn by the stars themselves.
As me and Jake made moved on from the Great Hall, we moved through so many rooms and locations, for example (in no particular order) Dumbledore’s office, The Potions classroom, 4 Privet Drive, The Gryffindor Common room/dormitory, The Weasley’s Burrow, The Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley, Hagrid’s Hut, and even the miniature version of the castle that they use in establishing or extra-long shots. We also saw copious amounts of props and costumes; including all the wands in Olivanders shop, Tom Riddle’s Diary (which I got to hold, very exciting), The Tri-Wizard cup, Lupin’s suitcase, The entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, Various Broom sticks and vehicles like the flying car and the knight bus, all the costumes and outfits of Hermoine, Ron and Harry, Dumbledore, Hagrid, Voldermort, Bellatrix, some of the ghosts, Professor Flitwick, Draco Malfoy, etc.
All the things I saw I took pictures of, I even took a few videos of the things that moved, like Buckbeak the Hippogriff and the book of monsters from Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class.
The whole tour from start to finish was fascinating, interesting and extremely exciting; to think that all the things I saw were actually used in the films at one point or another. I totally felt the magic, and I even drank a butter beer, which was very sickly but nice all the same. I bought a chocolate frog and a box of Bertie Bott’s every flavour Beans, as well as an elder wand for my little sister (who had been previously, but my mum wanted me to get it for her for Christmas).
It was a miserable cold day, but being in the world of Harry Potter made my day.