The Harry Potter Studio Tour in Leavesdon, England is like Universal Studio's Harry Potter world on crack.  Ok, I haven't actually been to Universal Studios in Orlando, and I've never taken crack, but I'm pretty sure I'm right!  This tour takes you through the sets where the movies were filmed.  You just can't beat that.  Seeing the original sets, costumes, props...  

But first, if you're travelling to Leavesdon from London by train, you must go to King's Cross Station, where the series' famous Platform 9 3/4 can be found.  In the books, this is where the students catch the magical train to Hogwarts.  Lucky for me, some ingenious marketer created a real-live platform 9 3/4 in King's Cross Station complete with photo op!

platform 9 3/4

 

And of course, the genius marketer also added a Harry Potter shop for all of us who forgot to go to Diagon Alley before arriving at the station.  I'm joking.  There is no real Diagon Alley.  At least, I don't think so.  I am a muggle, after all.

platform 9 3/4

 

Once we arrived in Leavesdon, we took a double-decker bus to the studio which lies outside of town.

 warner brothers studio tour

 

Even the lobby gave me goose bumps!

warner brothers studio tour harry potter

 

From the lobby, you are ushered into an intimate theater where you watch a brief film about the making of the Harry Potter movies.  And after that, the screen rises and you are face to face with the doors of the castle!

doors to hogwarts

 

I know it sounds silly, but I got a little misty when the doors opened.  I mean, how can you possibly beat walking in the actual Great Hall!  But yes, it's smaller than it appears in the movies!

great hall hogwarts

 

The tour is a whopping 3 hours long, so from here out, I'll hit the highlights.  Below is the Gryffindor common room.

gryffindor common room

 

Harry's and Ron's beds, which they mentioned fit them in the first movie, but were never replaced as the movie progressed, even though the actors' feet were hanging off the ends.

harry and ron's beds

 

Professor Snape in his classroom.  I'll just throw in here that I LOVE Alan Rickman.  LOVE!

snape

 

The Burrow, the Weasley home.  

the burrow weasley

 

We were fortunate enough to be at the studio for animal actor weekend!  Look who we saw!  

Hedwig and Crookshanks!

hedwig   crookshanks

 

Finally, we got to walk down Diagon Alley.  So cool!

diagon alley

 

There's sooooo much more, but I simply don't have the time to upload all the pics.  I couldn't recommend this tour any more highly to any who happen to be in the London area.  A truly unforgettable experience!

Oh, yeah.  And you can get butterbeer.  'Nuff said.

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