I did not discover magic until I was introduced to the wonderful world of Harry Potter at the timid age of 15…some 4 years after Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released.
As I joined Harry, Hermione and Ron on their adventures in Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley and everywhere else, I never thought I would find magic like that elsewhere.
I was proven wrong.
I found real life magic in London. I was constantly mesmerized.
BUT…that is not all.
I found even more magic at the Warner Bros’ The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Magic…freakin’ magic all around us in Levensden!
I was not going to go to London WITHOUT going to see where the films were made and get myself lost into the magical world that is Harry Potter. I’d be shaming myself as a hardcore Potterhead 😉
I asked Kylie if she wanted to come with me, and she said she wouldn’t miss it for the world. I bought our tickets online (The Making of Harry Potter) – they were £29 each (approximately AUD$48). If you’re thinking of going – who the hell cares about the cost, it’s definitely worth spending a few extra dollars! Trust me on this one.
We were set to visit Harry Potter on Saturday 20th July 2013. We were originally booked for the 12PM tour, until I discovered that they were able to provide a BSL (British Sign Language) interpreter. HELLS TO THE YEAH! This I had to see – accessibility to everything Harry Potter! So I shot off an email to the kids at Warner Bros to see what could be done regarding a BSL interpreter on my tour. They replied promptly, and a BSL interpreter was available for the 9.30AM slot. They suggested for me to change the timeslots, and after some consulting with Kylie – we both agreed that it would be worth the early start, so we told them that we’d be happy to be moved to the 9.30AM slot. They did that – no extra charge. BSL interpreter booked. We were all ready to go!
You can send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – they need sufficient notice to be able to book a BSL interpreter on your chosen tour date. I booked mine in April – that was approximately 4 months notice, so I’d suggest for you to book it at least 2 months in advance. 14 days notice is possible too. Just don’t leave it until to the last minute. A friend did this, and she wasn’t able to get a BSL interpreter for her tour, however she was given a digital guide which is fully captioned…so if no interpreter, no worries!
The day finally arrived…and upon waking up, I was like this:
Kylie and I caught the Underground to Kings Cross to change for the Overground to Watford Junction, where we were to catch the Harry Potter bus to the studios. It was early, and we both were bleary eyed, yet excited!
We finally arrived at 9.30am on the dot, and we walked up to the ticket booth to pick up our tickets…but before doing this, we did the compulsory tourist photo:
After picking up our tickets, we wondered where we were to meet our tour, so we went to the information booth once when we were inside the main building. The lovely lady said that our tour was waiting for us, then she beckoned over our tour guide – I forgot her name, but she was a lovely mature aged lady who knew EVERYTHING – I mean everything – about Harry Potter! She’d have made the perfect Grandma. Or even Aunty. She knew a fair bit of BSL, and introduced us to the BSL interpreters. There was TWO. And our tour group consisted of another 10 Deaf people. JACKPOT!
In we went…
We found ourselves in a dark room with all those vertical TV screen showing various cuts from all Harry Potter films. Housekeeping rules, introductions, and all that jazz were done…then we were ushered into another room, where there was a large cinema screen…and yeah, it looked like a cinema room. We were shown a film of the 3 main actors welcoming us to the studios. Emma Watson looked rather good…
The only disappointment about the film was that it wasn’t captioned, but there was a spotlight where the interpreter could stand and interpret the film – luckily it wasn’t too long – maybe 20 minutes tops. Why it wasn’t it captioned you ask…the guide said something about copyright laws or some shit like that, I can’t remember – but yeah fair enough, seeing that it was only shown at the studios, not elsewhere.
I couldn’t find words to perfectly describe my experience, and I still cannot! So, you know this saying: a picture tells a thousand words. I’ve uploaded some photos for your enjoyment 🙂
Too many photos? #sorrybutnotsorry. That’s only a small amount – I swear I took so many that day.
They even have Butterbeer!!!! Delicious. Speaking of which, I’m craving for some…and there’s none available in Australia. I could make my own, but I can’t be arsed walking to Coles to get some stuff for it at this hour.
As you can see from those photos, it was the best 4 hours of my life, and I would definitely go back at the drop of a hat! Sucks that it’s all the way over in London – hey Warner Bros, ever think about building something similar here in Australia? We’ve got plenty of room for that 😉
I would like to commend the folks at Warner Bros London for providing us with two BSL interpreters, and ensuring that we had the time of our lives. This definitely is a Deaf friendly attraction – if you are a Potterhead and Deaf, then you have to go there! No questions asked.
Magic is found in London. All over London, especially in Levensden. You want magic? Harry Potter is your friend 😉 London is where you find magic.