Visited Harry Potter (and took a zillion pictures)
Harry Potter and I go way back. I read the first books back in either 1999 or 2000, introduced to my by my friend Emily (who always was and will continue to be the illuminator of all things awesome). I lined up for all the book launches. I went to all the movies. I read all the books multiple times (and the first one in French, too).
People have been telling me for a while to go and visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour, outside of London, and I finally went yesterday. I took the Small Boy for a grand day out (prefaced the night before by Wagamama and Doctor Who), and we had a blast!
This is the set from THE cupboard under the stairs. Note Harry's glasses on the bottom shelf. I think it's the only time I've ever knowingly photographed a fuse box.
Harry Potter Et L'Ecole Des Sorciers! Also, random French tidbit: the French word for hat is chapeau and the the word for choice is choix, so the Sorting Hat becomes Choixpeau. SHUT UP.
The doors leading into the great hall:
Edward Cullen's (I mean Cedric Diggory's) quidditch uniform and assorted other Hufflepuff uniforms:
The fireplace in the great hall:
The view towards the back of the hall down the Slytherin table:
My favourite Weasley thing: the Weasley family clock. Tells where each member of the family is at any given time, and has a section for "mortal peril."
The Black family tree, from the house on Grimmauld Place:
Props from the movies:
The boy and me, having just arrived at the Ministry Of Magic. Travelled there by Floo Powder, obviously.
Privet Drive! AKA Anytown, England. Complete with grey skies and a light drizzle.
Butterbeer (tastes like cream soda) made it all better.
It looks remarkably like the house I grew up in. And not dissimilar to the one we had in Stowmarket.
Tom Riddle's grave:
The Knight Bus! (All destinations, nothing underwater). Where would you go?
The Potters' Cottage, apparently based on houses in Lavenham, according to the sign.
There be dragons.
And Wanted posters:
The Other Diagon Alley (since the real one's in London, obv).
These drawings from the art department were spectacular - enlarge them for more detail:
And these renderings of scenes to be filmed:
The Quidditch pitch:
And a cardboard model of The Burrow (the Weasley House):
The Durmstrang ship:
And the The Burrow at night. Can we go and stay?
The enormous model of the castle and grounds:
And a room with a wand for every member of the cast and crew.
The Hogwarts Express (for my Dad):
Eveybody loves a Ford Anglia. I wonder if Kermit has a "fly" button...I'll have to look around on the dashboard.
And HRH Cambridges. With sticks. Could have given them wands, people:
Anyway, highly recommend. It was crowded and expensive but it was HARRY POTTER IN REAL LIFE.