Sunday, 18 January 2015

Hogwarts in the snow

I can finally say I did it. This muggle visited the wizarding world and loved every second of it! I'd been waiting to go for so long, so when I bought it as a Christmas present for Jay (along with making, yes making, Harry Potter Monopoly) I've had a countdown ever since. My inner witch jumped for joy when my alarm went off at 5:45 on Saturday morning, and probably the only time I will be happy to hear my alarm at that time in the morning unless Disney is involved.
Now before I go on to tell you about the wonders of my day, if you don't want anything spoiled stop reading now. This will be the only time I tell you not to read one of my blog posts, but if you've already been or just want to keep reading then you may continue. 
My day began with a very early wake up call, curly hair that dropped after about 10 minutes and a 2 and a half hour train journey divided by a change at Clapham Junction. Not the nicest of stations, and I could have sworn my toes nearly dropped off, but I was on my way to the Harry Potter Studios. The best part of that morning journey was being greeted with snow. Real life precipitated ice falling from the sky. Being a Southampton student, I never see snow even when it's the tiniest bit and Jay has never experienced it since being away in Malaysia, so this just made us even more excited.
Now where to begin...
The journey starts walking through the doors to the Great Hall, yes I walked down the same floor as Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint; fan-girl moment! After listening to one of the guides you're free to begin your adventure into what can only be described as 'Aladdin's Cave' of props, sets, costumes. They recommend 3 hours to complete the tour, but me and Jay took 5 as we like to read everything. But why not. There's so much information to take in, and so many secrets to learn.
Halfway round you're taken to the back-lot, ultimate tourist experience. You'll need to make sure your camera is charged for this part as this where you get to board the night bus, ride Hagrid's motorbike, visit 4 Privet Drive and ultimately have a photo with your Butterbeer mustache! It tastes like a butterscotch cream soda with a dollop of ice cream if any of you are wondering! 
After this you get taken through the creature shop, and learn about all the interesting going ons behind the scenes, and one thing I will say, you will never watch Harry Potter in the same way again. Upon leaving the creature shop, you turn a corner and find yourself down Diagon Alley. From Olivanders Wand Shop to Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, you'll want it to never end, and next comes one of the most amazing parts of the whole tour, Hogwarts itself. Don't rush this part, and make sure you look through the screens of information as you'll find out things you never would have dreamed of. Finally after absorbing yourself in Olivander's Wand Shop your tour comes to an end with the gift shop. This will add another half an hour to your journey, and you better have a pocket full of galleons if you're wanting to buy anything! I will admit, we did buy a Marauder's Map, but we couldn't come away empty handed now could we!
We then had a 2 and a half hour journey back, and bed never felt so good, but it was a day and a half, an experience I would recommend to everyone and anyone. And it excites me to say I'm going back again in a month (a raffle prize won by my dad for the family, I couldn't say no to Harry Potter now could I!)

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