Note: I wrote this post out once, and then Posterous decided to log me out as it has often been doing lately, so the emotions that now come out may not be as enthusiastic as when I wrote it the first time. Or they may be. I might be THAT enthusiastic.
Around 10 days before I was due to fly out to the UK, I saw a tweet from @DaddyBird about a Hogwarts castle being built as part of a Harry Potter studio tour in the UK. Quickly looking it up, I was excited to find the attraction was opening up on March 31, 2012. And I’d be in the UK till April 6. Perfect.
Hey, not so fast missy. Things are rarely perfect.
To my utter dismay, when I looked at the official website, tickets were sold out till the end of April. What? I fired off an email to the customer service contact asking how I could overcome this obstacle, and they replied rather promptly (I think all their CS reps have been trained in the art of dealing with rabid Harry Potter fans). I was told I could either keep trying on the official website because sometimes slots do open up, or he pointed me to third-party operators that have a certain number of tickets for each day allocated to them already.
I decided to wait for the official website for a variety of reasons, and for 5-6 days I kept clicking, refreshing and shaking my fist at my laptop until…tickets were available on April 2!
I bought myself tickets faster than a motorist in Dubai can honk after a traffic light turns green (analogy inspired by this hilarious satirical piece in the Pan-Arabia Enquirer).
On that day, I was so excited you’d think I was going to study at Hogwarts myself. Watford Junction is only 20 minutes away from Euston (and I think it’s £6 return with a 16-25 railcard), and there’s a bus that stops outside Watford Junction that takes people to the tour site (it’s a £2 return for that).
I won’t say much though, other than I’d advise you to buy the tickets for the earlier time slot during the day. I had the 3:30pm ones, and because I was listening to the audio guide narrated by Tom Felton (highly recommended btw) and taking so many photographs, I had to rush through the end bits, which I was very disappointed about.
But it was an absolutely amazing experience, and I ended up spending nearly £100 in the souvenir shop at the end of the tour. Absolutely amazeballs.