The magic world of Harry Potter (Artistic life: imposed article)
I was introduced first to the magic of London by the movie Harry Potter. The beauty of the scenes, this magical atmosphere, the magnificent building and the cute English accent as a whole, I just couldn’t resist the temptation to visit the place where it was shot. Of course London itself was a great teaser but I knew I wanted to see more. And then one day while waiting the DLR (outdoor metro) I saw my salvation just in front of me: A poster announcing the studio Warner Bros where Harry Potter was shot is in London and is opened to visits! I couldn’t wait to see it and a few days later there I was waiting for the bus to pick us up, destination: the Harry Potter Dream at Leavesden!
First, when you arrive, next to the parking you can admire the giants play chess from the first Harry Potter movie: and let the show begin! You then arrive in a great hall where you can see the portraits of the main actors or have fun discovering the hundreds of goodies from the movie while waiting the visit.
To start, you enter a waiting room that turns out to be Harry’s first room under the stairs at Privet Drive! You then access to what looks like a cinema room and watch a short teaser showing what you are about to see. And then when you expect it the less, a door opens to let you in Hogwarts’s feast room. The feeling you get when you first come in is indescribable: a mix between amazement and excitement probably: I believe it’s the movie’s magic invading you… The room is filled with costumes and you can even admire the teacher’s reproduction standing there.
After this wonderful start, you continue de visit in a large hall where you can hear the movie’s original soundtrack and come across various mythic places such as Harry’s and Ron’s Gryffindor room, Dumbledore’s office, Gryffindor’s common room or even the Ministry of Magic’s great hall. There are multitudes of settings elements, costumes you recognize from famous scenes of the movie. There also is a make-up section, a place dedicated to the movie’s animals such as Crookshanks or magic elements such as the living paintings.
The mystery of Quidditch finally reveals its secrets in this room thanks to a “green space” dedicated to special effects.
You are then brought to discover outdoor settings such as the Dursley’s house, Hagrid’s motorbike, Arthur Weasley’s fling car, the knight bus. Yet, you don’t expect what is coming: you can even taste the Butter Beer from the movie. Only two words to say: wonderfully surprising!
The visit continues then in another building where visitors are invited to discover all kinds of accessories responsible of the movies magic such as robots, masks or make-ups. The details are unbelievable; you can admire the mandragory (living, screaming plant) or Aragog (giant spider) or even the head of the basilisk from the second Harry Potter movie. And when you think you can’t be more amazed, you enter in Diagon Alley! This room is breathtaking; all the shops are there: Gringotts bank, Olivander’s wand shop and even the Weasley’s shop! Every single detail is astonishing…
When you think you are close to the end a last great surprise is actually waiting: an incredible giant model of Howart at a 1:24 scale! The level of detail and the imposing size of the model sensational…
After this high dose of emotions you can admire the panel of wands you come across in the movie and finally, you reach the exit.
The Harry Potter studio visit was breathtaking, amazing, thrilling, full of emotions and surprises and finally very complete. Being able to see behind the scenes of the movies that made the whole world dream for years is a real present. Of course, the visit is expensive but it deserves to be seen and takes a whole afternoon. To conclude, I would qualify this visit as a must see of London! Or should I say is simply was... Magic!
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