I have been meaning, for years now, to book and take the children to your Harry Potter Studio tour in Leavesden, but just never got round to it. Myself and my eldest son have read/watched all of the Harry Potter books/movies; including Fantastic Beast and where to find them. My 10-year-old started reading the books last November and after reading them all, back to back, he finished the last one only a couple of weeks ago.
With everyone in the family showing a keen interest in the mythical magical world of Harry Potter it seemed like it was the right time for us all to visit the tour. We booked back in January and have been looking forward to our visit ever since.
I must say, we were not disappointed!
After looking forward to something for so long, we had high expectations of the tour and were not let down, in fact it exceeded our expectations.
Our tour began at 11.30, we had arrived early with plenty of time to rest and explore the shop before entering the tour. From the moment we entered through the main doors, we were surrounded by quotes, pictures and memorabilia from the films – and this was all just on the walk down the corridor to the main lobby.
My 10-year-old had decided to go dressed as his idol, Newt Scamander. It was an outfit that I had made him for World Book Day. There were many others who had come in character but none were of Fantastic Beasts. Many of your employees had noted my son and how he was dressed. This made him very happy with a sense of importance. They took time to talk to him about the film and who his favourite characters are and even told him about the time that Eddie Redmayne had visited the tour and surprised a fellow Newt Scamander (a fan dressed as him). This experience added to the excitement of the day and made it all the more memorable.
There was so much to see and do, too much for us all to take in on one visit. The attention to detail in everything was awe-inspiring. We were so impressed by the amount of work that had gone into the props and setting for the films. Everywhere you looked was magnificent.
This was probably how my 10-year-old got lost. With so much going on around us; lots of breathtaking objects and scenes to look at, he wondered away from us in amazement. He must have forgotten in the moment, that he was with his family as we searched within the crowds for him. After 10 minutes we still hadn’t found him. I wasnt too worried as he had his phone with him and was wearing an I.D bracelet. Also, I knew that he would not leave the studios without us. Whilst trying to get through to him (again) on the phone I was approached by one of your employees asking if we had lost a member of our group. My son had done the right thing when he realised that he couldn’t find us and had told a member of your staff that he had lost his family. She left him in a safe place with another member of staff whilst she went to look for us, using the description that he had given her. I know that this is part of the job, but she really did make him feel safe and at ease. I would like to thank her for her professionalism and friendly approach to the matter.
Once all back together again,we went on with enjoying the tour: We rode broomsticks through London, appeared on a ‘Wanted’ poster, drank in the Hogshead, entered the forbidden forest where we met Aragog (the Acromantula) and Buckbeak (the Hippogriff), pushed our trolley through 9 3/4, jumped on the Hogwarts Express, tried the famous Butterbear, hopped on the Knight bus and visited the Dursleys at Privet Drive. Phew! and that was only half way through!
At the beginning of the tour the children were given a passport book that they could take around with them and fill out as and when they saw something of interest. They could find golden snitches that are hidden throughout the studio tour and also collect 6 stamps at certain parts, using the embossed stamper. As we had spent the first 10 minutes looking around for my son we did not manage to collect the first two. At the end of the tour, as we entered the gift shop, my youngest was talking about going back to get them. My feet could not take the trip all the way back through to the beginning, so a member of staff over heard us and told us to go to the reception desk as they may have a pre-stamped book
there for us. Unfortunately, they had given them all out. But, they did take us back through the staff entrance and in to the first studio where we could get the book stamped. This made my youngest sons day, he was so excited that he had collected all the stamps. The passport is a lovely little keepsake for the children, something that he will be putting into his treasure box at home.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, there is so much to see and do, that it is impossible to take it all in. We will definitely be back to see what we missed out on.
Thank you to your staff who were all very friendly and very informative.
The Three Musketeers and Mum