England trip, part 3: Harry Potter!

Here we are, my final recap of my recent trip to England, the whole reason why I went there: to see The Cursed Child, The House of MinaLima, and the WB Studio Tour!!

This week has been pretty brutal, so I haven’t been feeling like posting much that doesn’t have to do with the election. But I figured hey, I need some joy this week, and you probably do too, so here, look at some cool Harry Potter things.

I had the most amazing time seeing all these things, and yes, The Cursed Child was MAGICAL, AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, etcetera. I’ll get to more of that below the jump!

Just an FYI for your browser: there are a lot of photos 😀

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Blurry ticket probably because I was vibrating with so much excitement! I bought these tickets a full year ago and I still couldn’t believe I was finally there. I chose to see it in one day rather than split between two days, which I’d recommend, but also that means we were basically there from 12-9 counting waiting times, intermissions, and the two and a half hour break. Fine by me! I wish it could have lasted longer!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Happy Potterheads :)

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

How GRAND is the Palace Theatre?!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

I’ll get to more about the play shortly, but during that break between Parts 1 and 2, I stopped into the House of MinaLima, aka a small museum of art by two of the artists who are responsible for a lot of the amazing graphics in the Harry Potter films. They also do other book and stationery designs. It’s open for a limited time, so I was excited to be able to see it! Now you can see a bit of it, too.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

The Howler Ron received from his mom, and Harry’s Hogwarts acceptance letter

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

The house was four floors, and this covered one of the stairways

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

This seems too real for me right now…

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Look! LOOK AT THE BOOKS!!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

!!!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

The floor. So cool.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Okay, now we’re back in the Palace Theatre. This was the bar on the top floor. I found all the clocks very fitting for the story. So neat!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

The view from our seats way up at the top balcony, second row, centre. Wasn’t too shabby, there were only a couple times when we couldn’t see something, but it was actually pretty nice to be able to see certain things from above!

Okay, so, the play. I don’t want to give too much away, no spoilers here, but I also want to squee about it still. Let’s just say I cried a lot. As soon as it started, as soon as I realized Imogen Heap did all the music, at certain parts in the play, when it was over… yeah. Not ashamed! When I read the script, I sort of read it at a distance. I liked it, but I couldn’t quite connect with it, and I knew that it wasn’t all the story had to offer. You really do have to see it on stage to see the full effect. There were a lot of things that came across so much better by seeing them, like the way characters talk to each other, the time turner effects, and obviously the magic. (I still don’t know how they did some of the magic!) It was cute hearing people gasp at certain parts, because I could tell they hadn’t read the script. Everything fit well and made more sense as a story seeing it this way, and it was so magical. (I know that’s a typical word to use but THAT’S WHAT IT IS.) It was beautiful. I was thrilled about Imogen Heap’s music because it’s so atmospheric. It’s used mostly in transitions between scenes, and people would be dancing across the stage so gracefully with their moving staircases, which were the static pieces on the set. It was gorgeous and moving. I loved the actors – I’m pretty sure we saw a stand in for Scorpius but I loved him and how much his voice squeaked, it made it so much better – and I had no trouble believing in Harry and company as grown ups. There was a point when someone broke and the entire theatre erupted, it was like we were in on this adorable joke together, and that not everything has to be to the tee perfect. Anyways, I’m 100% glad I went, and if I had the chance, I would definitely go again (though it wouldn’t be as special as the first time). As far as I know, they aren’t releasing the soundtrack, but I really really wish they would. If you have any other questions about it, ask! I’ll happily send you lots of exclamation marks and heart-eye face emojis. EPIC SWOON. Now read Jack’s review! <3

Now time to go along with me on the WB Studio Tour – seeing so many sets, costumes, and more from the films!!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

When you enter the WB Studio Tour, the first thing you’ll see from the line is Harry’s closet room.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

I love this quote even more right now.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

The first part of the tour besides watching a little film is when the doors to the Great Hall are revealed. EPIC.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

There were lots of costumes along the walls..

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

And I had to pout for Snape.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Then you’re unleashed into this giant room filled with EVERYTHING. I can’t show you all my pictures of everything in here because a) that’d take all day and b) I need to leave some things up to you if you go :p

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Lucius’ hair!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Harry and Ron’s beds <3

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Hello, Mirror of Erised, I guess tourists and me is all I wanted to see.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Look! LOOK AT THE STUFF.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Gryffindor common room

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

absolutely stunning. yes it was moving!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

One half of the potions classroom. You can make the mixers swirl!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Dumbledore’s office, my my I’d love to have an office like that.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

The Weasley’s kitchen. You could make the knives chop and the sponge wash the dishes!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

THIS haunting scene. They had a video showing how they did all the special effects and just seeing it again was chilling.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

The Black family wall, with burn marks and all.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Umbridge’s office. It was bigger than this but this was how much awesome I could fit into one picture. Yes the kittens were moving around, and I was DYING. I hate that Umbridge had to make pretty pink and kittens evil ;)

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Luna Lovegood’s cart <3

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

All aboard! You could go in and look around but I wasn’t feeling into being in such a tight space with lots of people right then.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

At the end of the train there are two sets of mannequins. On the one side, the adults as they’re seen right at the end…

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

And Harry and Ron, from right at the beginning. *cries*

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

MORE AWESOME BOOKS

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Then there’s a break where you can slurp butterbeer! SO GOOD. You can also take a peek into the Knight Bus (love iiit) and see Number Four, Privet Drive.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

pretty happy if I do say so myself

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

You can walk across the beautiful bridge, though it feels weird to do it on a lot.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Jack in the teeny flying car!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

After that break, the tour then focuses on all the special effects and how things were made. Look! Dobby! The Monster Book of Monsters!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Did you know that sometimes they used a mechanical Hagrid head? So lifelike!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Oh yeah, there was DIAGON ALLEY :D

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

l o l

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

if ONLY i could go inside!

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Such gorgeous detail.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes!! Yes the twin’s arm moves tipping his hat, and there are other cute moving things in there too.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Getting to see plans for sets and effects was really neat. There were lots of these, like the whomping willow, the castle, etc.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

And finally, you get to walk around this INCREDIBLE version of Hogwarts, which they actually used in filming some scenes, like when Hedwig flies down to perch on Harry’s shoulder as he walks toward meeting Cho Chang. Everyone walking around this was just stunned at how beautiful it is.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Lastly, lastly – thousands and thousands of wand boxes from Ollivander’s. Handwritten and everything. Beautiful.

harry potter in england via paper trail diary

Waiting for the bus back to the city (it’s about an hour out of London). So glad we went!

There you have it, now my vacation is really over 🙁 I will treasure this forever, and now I feel like I got to take you along with me! If you ever get the chance to go se The Cursed Child or the Studio Tour, DO IT.

  • Thank you for this – OMG that HP tour just looks so incredible. I need to go next time I’m in London. Thanks for sharing.