There is still the magical hold over me when I think of Harry Potter, although it’s been many years since I read the books I can still remember the first time.
I’ve re-read them all many many times over but nothing beats your first time does it? There will always be the memories of staying up through the night because I just couldn’t put the books down, they were the first books which provoked that reaction for me….page after page devoured, and when a chapter finally ended I just couldn’t leave it there, I had to read ‘just one more chapter ‘ – it wouldn’t take long, just one more……then it’s 4am before I knew it and it’s almost finished so best to continue.
Did anyone else do that? I know many of you are nodding here.
Then came the films, for me not as gripping as the books as sometimes your own imagination can portray parts of a story differently but thrilling all the same.
I’ve visited the Harry Potter Studios before with Paul, Emmy and Harry, the kids hadn’t seen Harry Potter and had no idea who he was but became captivated by it all so much so we had to beginning watching as soon as we got home (stopping at the third movie as it became too scary for Emmy). This was a few years ago and a lot has changed.
Last week I was invited to a special preview evening of #Hogwartsinthesnow
and I took my best friends eldest and a friend of theirs. Hogwarts had had a festive makeover and we got to see it first.
I’d not told the teens where we were going and the screams of excitement when we pulled up were overbearing, you’d have though I’d taken them to a 1 Direction concert.
Now the magic happened all over again for us all, the whole place had been made over to embrace a festive feel. Beginning with a giant Christmas tree in the entrance and then seeing the Great Hall decorated with Christmas trees and the table laid with a HUGE Christmas feast.
The dorm rooms and Common rooms had taken on the Christmas theme and even the broomstick flying experience had a snowy theme – well you can’t go to Hogwarts without flying can you?
Snow was falling outside on Privet Drive too and also when riding on the Hogwarts Express you were taking your journey in the snow. This is a new feature added since my last visit – you can walk through the train and see the carriages as they would have been in the films but then you can sit in the interactive train where the scenery moves around you and you watch the action through the window.
In Diagon Alley you will be told secrets of how they made the footprints when Harry wore his invisibility cloak and throughout the tour you can find out various show secrets such as how they make the snow for the sets and how to create the fire effects.
Somehow Hogwarts becomes even more magical at Christmas time.
If you’d like to see for yourself then it will maintain the Christmas decor until 31st January so you still have plenty of time to book in your studio tour. Visit the website for details – www.wbstudiotour.co.uk
I’d suggest allowing lots of time for your tour, this is a self guided tour (once you’ve had the initial welcome briefing and watched a short movie clip in the cinema) however on both occasions I’ve visited I have been there around 4 hours.
If you would like to see the official photos taken by Warner Bros Studios on this opening evening including all the celebrities present you will find them on the Facebook page here and in the meantime I will just leave this picture here because it’s not everyday your able to get a photo with Rod Stuart is it?