I’ve just started back at uni, with my last ever week of lectures (gasp). Six years gents. Holiday was really brilliant: I had a fantastic time at home, relaxing on my behind and testing the limits of my stomach. Met up with Geektown a fair few times and got a good amount of family time in too- including a Murder Mystery night which I organised. The latter was a heck of a lot of fun, although ended up in some confusion, meaning no-one actually worked out who the murderer was!
The holiday started off with my sisters flying over to visit me, and the three of us heading off to HARRY POTTER LAND. And oh man was it good. Never let it be said that I wasn’t prepared: I showed up with my 13 3/4in cherry wand that Wigglytuff and The Wife got me a few years ago, my HP t-shirt from Threadless and the medical society hoodies I designed a few years ago which conveniently ended up in the Gryffindor colours. At only the Warner Bros Studios would it be socially acceptable for a bloke in his 20s to be walking around with a wand getting more excited than the 7 and 8 year olds around him. Rest assured I had a fricking amazing time.
Feel free to continue reading on, but be warned:
After queuing past The Cupboard Under The Stairs, a tour guide welcomed us and got us onto the excitement train before leading us into a room where the three main actors talked about all the people who helped make the entire universe of the book and films come alive so vividly, and how much effort went into doing it. Then the screen parted to make way for THE DOORS INTO THE GREAT HALL. Cue palpitations #1 of 278. The hall was the exact one used in the films, decorated with Christmas trees, cakes topped with snowmen and crackers with the individual crests of the four houses on them.
The level of detail in the hall just blew me away, a theme which continued throughout the tour. There were props from the Yule Ball, wands of all the major characters, a fully-stocked potions room, heck there was a bottle of skele-gro! The individual sets were there too: the crooked kitchen of the Weasleys, Umbridge’s shocking pink office, the Gryffindor common room (with portraits of past witches and wizards on the walls) and Dumbledore’s office- complete with the casket of memories, in which each bottle of the hundreds of memories had a handwritten label on it. The whole thing was just so brilliant, and my sisters and I spent the entire time with the biggest grins on our faces.
In the shop after the tour, you could buy all the different sweets mentioned in the books. But one of the things I was most looking forward to was butterbeer. Apparently to get the recipe they say J.K. Rowling down and just fed her glass after glass until it was just how she imagined it would be. And it was fricking great. On top of it sat a layer of foam which seemed to made entirely of sugar, in other words it was My Main Thing.
Personal favourites of mine included Luna Lovegood’s lion hat (obviously), jars of “U-No-Poo” (the constipation sensation that’s gripping the nation), a moving Buckbeak that looked like it was alive, and the shopfronts on Diagon Alley.
Towards the end of our walkabout, we turned a corner and came across a huge model of the castle of Hogwarts, all dusted in snow. Once again I was taken aback by the sheer amount of time and dedication that clearly went into its creation, with the staircases, bridges, windows and turrets. The lighting periodically changed in the room to show the castle at night, with windows being lit from the inside, really bringing the whole thing to life. It was just incredible.
If you’re at all a fan of the books or films: go.