Universal Studio London: The Making of Harry Potter

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Rachel with the ponytail at the center the picture.  Ella in pink is to Rachel’s right.  Sarah is in the white shirt on Rachel’s left.

While the girls have resisted early morning excursions, they made an exception for the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Everyone was up and ready before 8:00 am, a first in four months.

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The grand entrance to the Great Hall.  It was also our entrance to the studio.
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The great hall where the students of Hogwarts dined.
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The sorting hat that determined which of the four houses a student was assigned.
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The Gryffindor common room.  Harry was a Gryffindor.
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The Gryffindor bunk room where Harry slept.
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The headmaster, Dumbledore’s office.
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4 Privet Drive where Harry spent his childhood. His small room was under the staircase.

 

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After Harry’s uncle destroyed multiple acceptance letters, the owls brought a flood of letters that they sent down the chimney.
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Sarah driving with Rachel in the sidecar.  The bike did not have an insignia on the gas tank.  There were two motorcycles used in the films, a Triumph 650 T-120 Bonneville and a Royal Enfield. This one is probably the Royal Enfield.
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Marcia on the Hogwart’s bridge that connects two mountains.
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The model used for shooting various scenes of Hogwarts.  It looks small in the picture, but the towers are about 30 ft high. In the background on the right and left are people .  They can provide an indication of the scale of the model.
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The Knight Bus.

The video includes samples of animatronics included in Harry Potter films

London

On our first morning in London, we visited the light cruiser, HMS Belfast that is moored on the Thames.  It is part of the Imperial War Museum and includes wax figures to depict life on the ship.

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HMS Belfast that entered service as WWII began.  It was still in service for the Korean War.

Marcia is smiling at one of the cooks.

After the HMS Belfast, we headed to the Muggles Tour.  We arrived two hours early for the tour.  Plan B turned out to be a great option.  We headed across the street and to the Borough Market.  From the first step into market we were bombarded by the most delightful aromas.  Initially it was paella, and then chicken and beef cooked over a wood fire.  Eventually we were

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During the last four months we visited many markets.  The kids raved about Borough Market as their favorite.

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Initially Ella ordered one chicken skewer on a tortilla.  Even though Rachel and Sarah had shared a large portion of Teriyaki noodles, they sent me back for a second skewer of chicken.  The barbecue chef asked about our travels and told me he was from Kosovo, Albania.  He mentioned that almost every household in Albania has a picture of Bill Clinton hanging in their living room.  He was not a fan of Trump.
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An ATM in the market.

Then it was on to the Muggles Tour.  The guide was well steeped in Harry Potter trivia.  He clearly had theater training and had much practice guiding groups to see locations where the Harry Potter films had been shot. There were approximately 20 people in our group. I believe we were all from the US, as I did not detect any British accents. The group ranged from one 11-yr old boy who had read the entire Harry Potter series six times to a grandmother who had not read or seen a Harry Potter movie.  When the guide asked a question, the young boy had the answer.  There was a college age couple who were also Harry Potter fanatics.  He had an entertaining trivia throwdown with the guide. The guide prevailed.

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On the Muggles Tour, this was the first site we visited.  It was similar to other sites in that you had to use your imagination.  In the movie, the set crew built a wooden arched door where the metal roll up door is.  At another point in the tour we went to the spot where the red British telephone box was located for one of the films.  It wasn’t there, but we stood on the spot.
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We passed by a replica of Sir Francis Drake’s boat.  The guy with the bushy hair and white jacket is doing Muggles Tour for a competitor.  We saw two other Muggles groups while on our tour.
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As we walked by this building, the guides mentioned that at one time it was home to MI6, Britain’s secret service.  The next photo shows who occupies the building now.
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Apparently the UK recognizes the reality of climate change.
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Urban art we passed on the tour.
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It was on this street that the triple decker knight bus appeared in the movie.

The 10-second video shows another bus on the same street.

We ended the day with a visit to Platform 9 3/4 of Kings Cross station.  The site where Harry went through the wall to catch the Hogwart’s Express.

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Rachel as she passes through the wall on Platform 9 3/4. Since Rachel turned 11 in May and received her acceptance letter to the prestigious Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, this was the last we saw of her.