Sunday, July 3, 2016

June 16 & 17

  1. Randomly deciding to go see the Palace Theatre on a whim, and actually getting tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!
  2. WB Studio Tour Passports (that are actually meant for kids)
  3. Platform 9 3/4 and the Hogwarts Express
  4. The Hogwarts Castle
  5. Seeing the Cursed Child play #KeeptheSecrets
  6. Ravens at the Tower of London
All the Details:
The Palace Theatre

Thursday was the start of mini-break, so I had four days without any academic trips. Thursday was also the most amazingly magical day! Megan and I had woken up early in an attempt to locate her luggage. It had not been properly delivered after being lost at the airport and we had been dissuaded from trying to pick it up ourselves by my mom. We took advantage of the morning by arranging to have it dropped off at my dorm since they had had difficulty finding where Megan was staying. After that we made our way to Covent Garden to have breakfast and find Megan some new clothes to wear until her suitcase arrived. 

The Palace Theatre, London
After shopping we were wandering around when we decided to go see the Palace Theatre where the new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is opening this summer. We planned to take some pictures and then continue exploring the area. However, when we were taking pictures we noticed that there was a group of people going in the side door to the box office. Tickets for preview performances have been sold out for months, so we figured we would see if there were any tickets for the weekend’s performances, but we weren’t expecting anything. We asked at the box office and were originally told that there was one ticket available for the performances that would be Thursday and Friday night. Since the play is in two parts, there were consecutive shows on Thursday and Friday or both parts on Saturday. We knew that we needed two tickets, so we didn’t think we would get to go, but then a woman walked up behind the man at the ticket counter and said something to him. We anxiously watched him click around on his screen before looking up to tell us the he actually had two tickets for that Thursday and Friday night! At this point, I’m not completely sure what exactly happened. There was some jumping and squealing and gasping, and lots of giddy laughter. We checked the price of the tickets, which were not as expensive as we thought, along with the location of the seat, which were supposed to be good, and headed outside. Outside we had an intensely emotional fan moment. For two girls that had grown up reading and watching everything Harry Potter, this was a huge opportunity to be a part of the newest instalment of the story and characters that were extremely close to our hearts. There was hugging, tears, and so much giggling that people on the street were giving us confused looks. We had just successfully gotten tickets to one of the most highly demanded shows in years, and we were spending the afternoon at the WB Studio Tour of the Harry Potter film sets, props, and costumes!

WB Studio Tour London

Butterbeer, Butterbeer Ice Cream, and my HP Passport
After calming down enough to get ourselves organized, we took a train and then a bus to get to the WB Studios. I will not go in to great detail about everything included in the tour, but know that it included sets, costumes, props, and anything else related to the making of the Harry Potter films. The tiny set of Harry’s Cupboard Under the Stairs was amazing to see. It was placed next to the line for tour entrance, so it created the mood for the whole experience by starting us at the beginning of Harry’s story. As the tour began, I found an embossing station for children to emboss a symbol on a “passport” to mark different parts of the tour. I convinced the tour worker that we were huge Harry Potter fans, and she gave us each one of the kid passports. We were able to create a great souvenir very easily! The minuscule detail used in each and every piece from the movies was mind blowing. It was also amazing to see some of the bigger set pieces like Privet Drive, Platform 9 ¾, and the Hogwarts Bridge because they made you feel like you were truly part of the magical world. My all-time favorite part was the model that was used to film outdoor shots of Hogwarts. Although it is obviously smaller than an actual castle, if you stand in the right places you can visualize the iconic views from the movies. We also treated ourselves to Butterbeer and Butterbeer ice cream (I liked the ice cream better than the drink)! The tour was amazing and showed us tons of items and details from the movies. I absolutely loved feeling like I was part of the magical world for the day!

Hogwarts Castle

Cursed Child

Since I have vowed to #KeeptheSecrets, I cannot reveal anything about the play. I will say that it was beautiful, emotional, hilarious, scary, and a true continuation of the story and characters that are treasured by so many people world-wide. I was pretty much teary-eyed throughout the entire Part I performance, and sobbed uncontrollably at the end of Part II the next night. Most of the time this had much more to do with nostalgia that actual sadness. I am always immensely impressed with J.K. Rowling and her ability to create something that continues to connect with so many people on such a deep level. I am now looking forward to reading the script that comes out at the end of July so that I can attempt to relive the experience.

Megan and I before the show

Tower of London

On Friday, we used the day to enjoy a traditional English breakfast and tour the Tower of London. We listened to a "beefeater" tour guide, saw the ravens, stood in awe of the crown jewels, walked across the tops of the walls, and investigated the inside the various towers. It was especially fun for me to be able to tell Megan some of the English history that I have been reading about for my class. That night we also went back to see Part II of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

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