“The stories we love best do live with us forever, so whether you come back by page or by big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” –JK Rowling
Surprisingly, going to Harry Potter Studios was my favorite thing I have done in London so far! I did not have a huge desire to go, but I knew my mom and brother would be disappointed if I was in London and didn’t go! We arrived too early for our tour time, so we spent some time in the gift shop while we waited. I swear my childhood memories of Harry Potter hit me like a ton of bricks and I became my 10 year old self again! Sorting hats, wands, chocolate frogs, owls galore!!
While at the studio, I thought of fond memories growing up with Harry Potter. I started reading the books in second grade. My mom and I would switch off reading; I would read the left page, she would read the right. It was a nice pre-bedtime ritual we had for a few years as I read thru the American Girl series and a few Harry Potter books. By the 5th book, I got too busy and could not finish the series, but still went to the movies and kept an interest. In the gift shop I found a postcard with Harry, Ron and Hermione from the first movie, which debuted in 2001. They were so young! I realized how young I was when Harry Potter took an influence in my life.
As we walked around the sets and props from the films, including the Great Hall, potion room, Gryffindor common room and Privet Drive, I was amazed by the amount of people who traveled to the studio. Grandparents, parents, teens and children alike all gawked at the props from the movies. People from all over the world, speaking all different languages, loved the Harry Potter series enough to make an effort to pay and see the studio. How amazing is it that one book series can impact so many people’s lives!
I bought the first book of the series while in the gift shop (Did you know that in the UK it is called the Philosopher’s Stone, not the Sorcerer’s Stone?!) after feeling inspired by the experience. Perhaps I will finish the series this time around! In the first chapter, when Dumbledore speaks of Harry’s scar he said something along the lines of, “you never know when a scar may come in handy…I have a scar of the London Underground map above my left knee and I get a lot of use from it.” Boy do I wish I had one of those too sometimes!