Magical Harry Potter Destinations All Fans Must Visit

Magical Harry Potter Destinations All Fans Must Visit

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Because I share a birthday with Harry Potter (and J. K. Rowling), and because I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd, I love visiting Harry Potter related destinations for my birthday. So in honor of Harry’s birthday, here are several Harry Potter destinations that all fans should put on their bucket lists.

Harry Potter Themed Birthday Cake

My Harry Potter Themed Birthday Cake from 2018- Raspberry flavored frosting on a chocolate cake with green icing.

1. Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal, Orlando, USA

Hogwarts Castle, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando

Hogwarts Castle, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando

Harry Potter is definitely one of those books you want to step right into. Who doesn’t want to step inside the specialty shops of Diagon Alley or a magical castle? The Universal Parks give us the opportunity to do just that. No matter what house you’ve self-identified with (or the internet has told you you belong to) you’ll enjoy shopping for a wand, or maybe robes, flying behind your favorite characters inside the castle, and visiting the pub for a Butter Beer. Also, don’t forget to visit Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom!

[Read more about the Wizarding World experience in this post: Literary Destination: The Wizarding World, Orlando, FL Note: I have not been back since the train and second part of the park were opened.]

Visit the Universal Orlando Website

2. Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London – The Making of Harry Potter

Hogwarts Castle Model, Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London

Hogwarts Castle Model, Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London

Are you the kind that likes to ruin the magic? Even if you’re not, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is definitely worth a visit. The Tour includes the props, costumes, sets, animatronics, and models used in the filming of all eight Harry Potter films. You’ll be able to board the Hogwarts Express train, take your photo on a broom and platform 9 3/4, and purchase Hogwarts house sweaters made at the same factory where all the sweaters for the films were made. Although there are bus tours that will take you to and from the Studio from London, the best option is to reserve a morning ticket and take the train so you have as much time as you want to move through the studio experience.

[Read more about the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London – The Making of Harry Potter in this post: The Ultimate Harry Potter Fan Destination: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London]

Visit the WB Harry Potter Studio Tour, London Website

3. House of MinaLima, London – Graphic Designers of the Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts Films

House of MinaLima

House of MinaLima: Exhibit studio & shop of the graphic designers of the Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts films.

The House of MinaLima is the shop and exhibit space of the graphic artists of all the Harry Potter and Magical Beasts films. I didn’t realize exactly how much graphic art was in the films until visiting this little studio. From the newspapers to the Twins’ joke boxes, the front of school books, to the crests, and of course the famous Hogwarts Letters.

Visit the MinaLima Website

4. The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4, Kings Cross Station, London

Platform 9 3/4 shop at Kings Cross Station, London

Platform 9 3/4 shop at Kings Cross Station, London.

Those photos all over the internet of people with a Hogwarts house scarf flying out behind them while holding onto a cart as it disappears through a brick wall are taken here. Unfortunately, this is such a tourist trap that you have to wait in TWO different lines for this experience, one to get your ticket, and the next to get your photo. When I visited I was told it was about a 45 minute wait in one line and another 20-40 minutes in the next. To enter the gift shop, however, was no wait at all, provided you could even fit inside. Having already taken a similar photo at the Harry Potter Experience, I skirted the lines and entered the shop. I was on a mission to purchase a Gryffindor cardigan as a birthday present for myself. As I entered the shop, the salesperson at the register just about climbed on the desk and shouted, “NO NEED TO PUSH AND SHOVE!” It was that crowded. I took the opportunity to dive under legs and snag the last Gryffindor sweater off the shelf, thankfully in my size.

Visit the Platform 9 3/4 Shop

5. Cloisters of New College, Oxford – Filming Location of Harry Potter #4

New College Cloisters, Oxford, England - filming location for Harry Potter

New College Cloisters, Oxford, England – filming location for Harry Potter Film #4

Stepping into this college cloister may make you immediately spin around looking for Mad-Eye-Moody. I did. This is the courtyard where the scene in Harry Potter #4 in which Moody turns Malfoy into a ferret was filmed. If you’ve seen the films a number of times, you’ll recognize this place the moment you enter.

[Read more about this experience in this post: Spend a Literary Day in Oxford]

Visit the Oxford Walking Tours website

6. The J. K. Rowling Room at the Sylvia Beach Hotel, Newport, Oregon

Sylvia Beach Hotel J. K. Rowling room

Sylvia Beach Hotel J. K. Rowling room looks like a Gryffindor dorm room.

Although one wouldn’t think to look for a Harry Potter destination on the coast of Oregon,  the Sylvia Beach Hotel has one room decorated in the style of a Gryffindor dorm room.

[Read more about this experience in this post: The Sylvia Beach Hotel: A Bed & Breakfast for Bibliophiles]

Visit the Sylvia Beach Hotel Website

*Bonus: Places on my bucket list

Have you been to any of these places? Is there somewhere I missed? Let’s discuss in the comments below and tell us which Hogwarts House you identify with!

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