te Where I Walk Tall: Inside Hogwarts: Harry Potter Studio Tour Leavesden, London

Inside Hogwarts: Harry Potter Studio Tour Leavesden, London

When I presented my ticket confirmation to the window cashier, I was ready for my short spiel-slash-explanation why I was late for the 11:30 studio tour schedule that I booked. 

I would tell the lady that I got lost in Platform 9 3/4. 

But for her it seemed like an ordinary day, doing her job and tending to the hundreds of muggles visiting the studio. Maybe she found it weird that I took a picture of my ticket.

I wanted to cry when I finally stepped foot in the studio. This is Hogwarts! The real Hogwarts (because I know the one in Japan and US were just built for attraction). I made it in Hogwarts after getting lost in Google Maps!

There was a long queue to the Entrance. I presented my ticket to the guy who was attending the line. I told him I was late for the 11:30 tour and he said, it was okay, things like this happen (oh my, you are the sweetest person I met in United Kingdom!). 

I asked if I could make a quick trip to the restroom before lining up (because, bladder hell!!!).

When I finally got into the line, I felt like I was floating! Seriously! 
I saw families, friends, couples and groups. It seemed like I was the only one traveling solo! 

Woot to solo travels! Haha

There was a dad and a kid behind me and I asked them nicely if they could take a picture of me beside the Cupboard. I told them that I might ask them if it was okay if I ask them to take pictures of me during the tour (because.. I am traveling solo) - and I forgot my selfie stick and all the quirky gadgets.

While waiting in line, I was feeling both happy and sad. I wish I was traveling with my friends who were also potterheads, I wish my mom could also see this, I wish I was traveling with someone special (emotional song on the background please). But I thought, heck, this is my day! I'll going to make it awesome!

When the team finally let us in. The host pooled us inside the waiting area. She said the usual welcome note but she warned us that we couldn't take pictures of the area (in the studio - we can take as many as we want!).

Before she let us in, she asked who among the guests traveled too far just to be in the Warner Bro's Studio in London?

I saw groups raised their hands - they said they came from Texas, the others are from different parts of Europe. 

I raised my hand and the woman asked, how about you ma'am?

"I traveled all the way from Philippines to get here!" 

Ha! Beat that! Philippines represent!

(Haha. I didn't know if the beautiful people around me even know Philippines but hey, look at me, solo traveler - having a great time!)

They let us inside a mini-theater and another welcome remarks. The host said that they are delighted to have us and for us to relieve the magical world of Harry Potter, they prepared a video for us -

Enjoy Harry Potter movies from part 1 to 7 - Back to Back!

Hahahaa. I was laughing so loudly. Of course it was a joke. On the screen was Harry, Ron and Hermione telling us about the studio and how they call it their second home. It built the excitement then suddenly the screen rolled up and revealed ...


As the host said "Welcome to Hogwarts!"

They asked, who were celebrating their birthday that day? 
Okay, it was October 10 and I know my birthday was sometime in February. I wanted to volunteer so I could stay in front. But geez, I am such an honest girl.

Anyway, the birthday celebrants got to open the door!

As the host put it, "you guys would experience what exactly Harry felt on his first day in Hogwarts!

And they opened the Great Hall!

Whoa!!! I wanted to cry. 

Everyone was walking so slowly and feeling the moment.

I was the first one to walked directly straight to the front and gave respect to Dumbledore.

Squad Goals!

I seriously wanted to cry!
It was the same Great Hall where Harry Potter movies were filmed. Unlike in the movies though, there weren't festive meals and floating candles. On display were costumes used in the actual film. The details are so intricate. Everything is so magical!

I couldn't find the Sorting Hat though. 

When we got inside, we were free to roam around the museum. I seriously didn't know where to focus. So many magical stuff from the Harry Potter studio. At the back of my mind, I was wishing I have a friend who can take pictures of me in different parts of the museum. But that didn't spoil the tour for me. The solution: I asked random people to take my picture!

I also lined up for a fun shoot riding the broom! Cool! There was a long line for this but you just have to wait. They ask for your house (I am Gryffindor!) so you can wear the right robe.

When I was about to claim my pictures, they said my first video was not recorded so we had to do it again. #actressduty

Enjoy these pictures!!!

When I got to the  Outdoor Set - whoa! It was amazing! There's the famous Hogwarts Bridge, Privet Drive, Godric's Hollow, The Knight Bus, Hagrid’s Motorbike, The Weasley’s car, The Riddle Grave, the huge Chess pieces and Butterbeer station! I didn't know where to go first! It started drizzling and I took a quick break.

I had to ask a random guy who was drinking a beer to take a picture of me.

Funny enough, it was him again who I found in the bridge and he graciously offered to take my picture. I asked him if he wanted me to take his picture. He said it was okay. He's making memories in his mind and totally feeling the moment. He is from Australia and he was also traveling alone.

For my picture in the #4 Privet Drive, I asked two lovely friends to take a picture of me. Sweet! Thanks ladies!

The next door leads to an indoor museum of Special Effects.

My favorite part is the Diagon Alley! It was amazing!

When I reached this part of the studio, I just had to take a quick break and appreciate all the magic inside. The people who worked for Harry Potter are amazing, they did magic indeed!

The last door to the museum leads to the Shop.

There was so much Harry Potter shop! There's sorting hat, shirts, key chains, chocolates and real stuff from Ted and Fred's shop. They are a little expensive and I thought they are just normal chocolates and they would probably taste the same. I didn't want to spend too much on these things. I just bought some gifts for friends.

Thinking about it now, I am thinking I should have bought a lot of stuff!

When it was time to get my video copy, the guy who attended asked what house I was in.

I said "Gryffindor" yes, I was sorted. It really felt like being in Hogwarts.

It was an amazing trip. And even if this story happened a year ago, I still feel like it was one of the stories I would never get tired of sharing.

Thank you Harry for the tour! Your story will forever live.

Travel Date: October 2014
Destination: London, United Kingdom

You might also want to read: How I Got My UK Visa in 3 Days

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This blog entry is written by Ruth and published in www.whereiwalktall.com.


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