Sunday 12 August 2012

Harry potter/Leavsden studios part one

I have wanted to visit the Harry Potter studios since they opened, so what better excuse than my birthday (which handily was also on a Friday meaning day off work and Potter.
What follows is a very picture heavy post, I'm aiming to do sets & props today and characters, costumes and everything/anything else tomorrow. The sets were amazing, the detail in them must have taken many many hours.
Before you start off the tour properly you queue in a kind of holding area, but you do get to see the original cupboard under the stairs (we have a kind of similar arrangement under our stairs but without the Potter of course).
You start off the tour in the great hall (as regular readers may remember I visited Christchurch where this was also filmed earlier in the year)
Outside the main doors & through the other side
Lots of people everywhere but I managed a sneaky shot once they had all gone
 We didn't get long in here but I managed to get some detailed shots of the fireplace
the hanging flame holders
and the front of the hall
This is the device that holds the house points for all the different houses, beautifully constructed. There were some costumes there as well but I'll post those tomorrow in my costume round up. I also managed to grab a pic of Dumbledore's chair.
We were ushered out of the hall pretty quickly, but on the way out we spotted this
My trusty guidebook tells me these tapestries (of which there were quite a few made) were designed & manufactured especially for the films, this looked amazing & actually like it was a lot older than it was.
There were golden snitches all over the show as well, apparently the kids got a book to spot them in, why only the kids I say!
 We also saw the original floating candles (on winches, replaced by CGI in the final films as they were too much hard work!)
We then found ourselves in the corridors of Hogwarts (well we had to get through the gates first).
 Not before posing in front of them obviously...
Once inside we headed to the dorms, encountering none other than the fat lady on the way.
 A mere cabot draconis later
Yes that's Harry's bed with his trunk!
There were some pretty interesting props around here too like
(they had a beautiful copy of this in the shop but alas it was a little bit too expensive for me) and WANDS
All labelled up so you know whose is whoses.
We also saw some of the table decorations from the tri wizard ball
 and encountered the staircases (watch out they move)
Next we arrived at my favourite set Dumbledore's office (the many leather bound books you see are actually phone books covered in leather!) they made it look like a really cozy and inviting place though
and a sharp eyed Jam spotted the pencieve
 Love! But not as much as the pheonix staircase
I couldn't believe how big it was, to give you some idea...
They also had a very different door, the Chamber has indeed been opened!
There were also lots of props around this area, here are a few of my favourites
Tri-Wizard cup (prettier than it looks in the film) and singing egg

Goblet of fire
I maintain this looks like violin rosin
a few useful bits and bobs
 Ye olde trusty skele grow, I could really use some of this in my work first aid kit, along with a great big cauldron obviously
Next up was the burrow, alas I couldn't get a photo as there were just too many people (it seems that everyone loves it and indeed wants to move in, you could also do the ironing and other tasks for them, unsurprisingly, I opted for the knitting...) but I did get Hagrid's hut
The potions lab was next (yes it looked amazing)
Followed by the Ministry
The statue is as scary as it looks on the films, I also found the underground green tiles quite creepy
But as we all know, when you are in trouble and you need a rescue you simply hail The Knight Bus!
(Jam found the all destinations (nothing underwater) sign very amusing)
All aboard. At this point in the tour we paused for a butterbeer (which I am still cradeling below, as it rally wasn't very nice) we are going to try and make our own, I'll post the recipe as soon as we've cracked it.
Privet Drive, the actual one
Fortunately the Dursley's weren't in
Bridge to Hogsmead
Godricks Hollow, there was also a gravestone but it was really sunny and it didn't look that menacing so I didn't take a photo of that.
The chess pieces now those are scary!
Then we got to the bit I went a little bit crazy over diagon alley anyone?
first off there was Gringotts (tis the wizard bank you know) 'ain't no safer place, cept maybe Hogwarts'
then on to Olivanders for wands
before Jonko's joke shop
with this charming chap in the entrance

Eeylore owl emporium

Flourish & Blotts
and of course
And  Madam Mathins for robes (let me tell you she had some very fetching fashions in the widow)
We then saw some rather wonderful artists impressions of various aspects and some tiny tiny models
(hogwarts compete with little tiny paper people & the Durstrom carriage before the final model, a complete scale replica of Hogwarts
 the light in the room this was in changed from day into night
The night view was my favourite but the whole thing was so detailed
Jam took several photos of me and my dream home
and we even managed a group shot
That's all for part one of the Potter experience. Join me tomorrow for costumes galore as well as a creatures and find out exactly what I bought in the gift shop!


vivaciousmel said...

Wow this looks amazing! I think I will have to go too!

Vikki said...

You really should, you would LOVE it! Great work on the Hobbit Elevenses the other morning :-)

Vikki x


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