Yes, when we watched the Harry Potter movies we were all rooting for the Boy Who Lived. Everyone booed when Voldemort appeared and cheered when Harry beat him, as good triumphed over evil once again. But here’s the thing about the Dark Arts. Yes, they’re evil and wrong, sure, absolutely, nobody’s arguing with that… but they also look like a lot of fun.
And while we’re sure your kids are eagerly awaiting their letter from Hogwarts, let’s face it, they would make do with a membership certificate from the Death Eaters, wouldn’t they? Well, as Halloween is rapidly approaching, you and your children can look forward to the perfect opportunity to delve into Things You Were Not Meant to Know. This half-term, visitors to the Harry Potter Studio Tour will have the opportunity to learn everything there is to know about the things that lurk in the shadows of the Harry Potter universe.
Whether you’re fighting for the Death Eaters or the Order of the Phoenix you’ll need to know your way around wand-on-wand combat, and you’ll never find a better chance to do so than from Paul Harris, the world’s only wand combat choreographer. Paul was the mind behind the wand-waving in the magical battle scenes of the Harry Potter movies, and for two weeks only he will be on-hand to teach you and your children the ways of the wand in a unique interactive experience.
Artifacts of Great Power
As well as learning the ways of the wand, visitors to the Harry Potter Studio Tour will get the chance to see many dark magical items from the movies at Malfoy Manner, the headquarters of the Death Eaters themselves. Visit the Malfoys’ drawing room at find a 20-foot model of Voldemort’s snake, Nagini (at least, we’re pretty sure it’s a model. Don’t get too close!) as well as the floating mannequin of Charity Burbage, the Muggle Studies teacher who was captured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.
Alternatively, you can visit Knockturn Alley’s antique shop, Borgin and Burkes, where you will find the Vanishing Cabinet that allowed the Death Eaters secret access to Hogwarts, and the Hand of Glory, a sinister, gnarled hand that gives light only to the one who holds it.
There’s more than some dusty old (possibly magical) artefacts to see at the Studio however. As you walk down Diagon Alley you and children will have to keep an eye out for Death Eaters lurking in the shadows. While they tend to give away their presence by dimming the lights and causing the music to take a turn to the foreboding, it somehow doesn’t make them any less menacing…
Meanwhile, the Studio has just added Platform 9 ¾, where you can board a carriage from Hogwarts Express as seen in the Prisoner of Azkaban, so look out for dementors! Finally, round off the day with a visit to Hogwarts’s own Great Hall set, its long tables decorated in a suitably ghoulish manner with red apples, pumpkins, and cauldrons of lollipops.
So if you and your family slide slightly towards the Slytherin way of looking at things, why not have a look from Friday 16th of October to Sunday 1st of November?