W is for Watford and Wizards – Harry Potter World, UK [A photoblog]

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Meh. An exciting build-up, but surprisingly low-tech and un-interactive overall tour — given the studio’s expertise in making magic I expected a bit more  – e.g. actors (not the real HP ones, obv), or opportunities to dress up, or displays of the technical side of film making, like makeup, costume or special effects.

It’s a slick operation though.  You can’t fault their ability to move the masses through, and we did all enjoy it. Just beware of the gift shop. It’ll take plenty of your Gringotts gold. 

Ten things we loved about Harry Potter world – a photoblog

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The tour starts with some very effective films. One in the holding pen and one in the cinema were genuinely exciting and dramatic. A great start to the tour and clearly made by expert film-makers.

1  The films and film clips

2  The Great Hall

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Then it’s into the Great Hall for the only actual human being with anything to say in the entire tour. It is exciting to be in the Hall itself, looking at the sorting hat and standing next to models of the teachers while learning fascinating filmic facts (did you know Hagrid’s body double was an ex rugby player?).

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3  The old-school museum stuff like the wands and horcrux displays

4 Diagon Alley

5  The series of areas and sets

 

6 The display of photos of all the dogs who played Fang

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7 Platform 9 3/4 complete with vanishing trolley photo op and life-size steam train

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8 Outside – Privet Drive, the bridge, the chess pieces, the car and the motorbike (more great photo ops)

9 The Butter Beer in the canteen – and its ice-cream version

10 (Spoiler alert!) The huge Hogwarts model at the end

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And some things we didn’t love

We weren’t prepared to pay £75 for our 3 broomstick videos (thought they could’ve done more of a deal for families) and the prices in the shop are really high, even by gift shop standards.  Our children’s budget (£10 each) didn’t go very far at all.

 

Some useful information …

We stayed at the Watford Hilton, which was great for a family of five. 

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