I know this post is super late, but I’ll be totally honest. I found it in my drafts and I have no idea why it was never posted!
For my birthday this year, I booked tickets for myself and my boyfriend to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour! Myles isn’t really a Harry Potter fan at all but I used the fact that we were going for my birthday to drag him along. This was my fourth trip to the tour and Myles’ first. With the exception of the second time I visited the tour in June 2013, every time I’ve visited there’s been something new. This time was no different. The last time I went to the studio tour was December 2016 which was just before the addition of the Forbidden Forest was announced. It looks like they’re extending it as there was a lot of construction on the site so I’m sure that I’ll be taking another trip to the studio tour once that’s been added (maybe Hogsmeade village?).
Now I don’t want to spoil the tour for anyone who hasn’t been, but I will be including my own pictures from the tour. There’s currently a Goblet of Fire feature running until September so we luckily got to see that too!
As I visited for my birthday, I was able to open the doors to the Great Hall, starting off the tour. I have been waiting to do that for 6 years since my very first trip so it was so lovely to be able to do that! After that, I took in all of the new props and sets that had been added since my last trip! We actually managed to get round the tour in record time (for me). I guess after four times, you’ve seen most things already but that doesn’t take the magic away at all. I really just love being at the Studio Tour and think it’s such a perfect day out. I could honestly just go back every week!
The Forbidden Forest was added to the tour in 2017 which was after my last trip so this part of the tour was completely new to me. I was unsure of where they would base it but they put it in a good place that flowed well. At the entrance to the Forbidden Forest, they had Hagrid with his lamp waiting to welcome you amongst the trees so that you can meet Buckbeak and the spiders.
Fun fact about the spiders: once I’d finished (embarrassingly) screaming at the shadow of a falling spider and my boyfriend had finished his little ‘I can’t look at it’ speech whilst trying to squeeze behind me past Aragog, one of the tour guides let us into a little secret! The spiders are quite hairy but the hair on their bodies is actually from shaved coconuts that have just been stuck on. It makes them much less scarier when you look at them knowing that!
After we made our way through another set, we came to the Backlot Cafe where we grabbed a Butterbeer and some Butterbeer ice cream. I feel like I’m one of the only people that doesn’t actually mind the Butterbeer. Myles didn’t really like it but never mind! Once we’d finished our Butterbeers, we then went outside to see some of the other sets. I thought I would never see the inside of Privet Drive since I thought they’d only had it open for an event put on previously (Philosopher’s Stone tour edition, I think) but it was open and ready to invite us inside! I was so happy to see that we could go for a wander into No. 4, Privet Drive and see all of the flying letters in the living room.
We then went through the usual sets after that and not a lot has really changed, except for the entrance to Diagon Alley which now has a hat wall leading into it, but things do change – every time I go there’s something different!
After we finished the Studio Tour, we spent a little bit of time in the shop. I already have quite a bit of Harry Potter merchandise and I am rapidly running out of space in my bedroom so it was probably best that I didn’t really buy anything. We did, however, buy some Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. I’m not the biggest fan of jelly beans anyway but thought it would be fun for Myles and I to try them. We sat and ate a few in the car park before trying a vomit flavoured one. I actually had to spit it out in the car park because otherwise I was literally going to vomit but Myles powered on like a trooper and ate all of his.
I really enjoyed going to the Studio Tour and I always just feel like I’m in one of my happy places whenever I visit. I love getting my fill of Butterbeer and seeing all the sets, especially when there have been new additions. Hopefully we’ll find out if they’re extending it or not and what they’re adding but whatever it is, I know I’ll be going again!
No matter what happens, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome me, whether it’s by page, screen or studio tour.