Harry Potter Goes to Hollywood

A favourite summer activity among Angelenos are the outdoor concerts held at the Hollywood Bowl. World travellers who find themselves in Los Angeles should definitely make an effort to attend a concert there as this is one of the few venues that allows outside food and drinks! Huzzah!

Packed House at the Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood sign

During my visit home, as luck would have it, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was playing at the Bowl with musical accompaniment by the L.A. Philharmonic, who performed the ENTIRE score from the film while it played. So the magical music that played during the movie was actually coming from a live orchestra. I loved it!

Close-up of the LA Philharmonic

It was a packed night so the body heat made it a bit warm on an already hot day so be sure to pack some cold drinks if you’re there on a summer night. Next time I think I might treat myself to a boxed seat closer to the stage. Check out the Hollywood Bowl’s calendar of events here. Upcoming concerts include Mama Mia and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

For Potterheads Only – Hogwarts in the Snow

From 19 November 2016 to 29 January 2017, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter is currently decked out for the holidays. I had the pleasure of visiting the studio, located north of London in Leavesden, in November. While I was able to schedule a tour through my university, those based in London can take a tour bus directly to the studio or you can head to Watford Junction and book a shuttle bus. You can book from Trip AdvisorGolden Tours, or through Visit London. Please be aware of any pick-up and/or drop-off points.

The first question I am asked when people I found out I visited the studio is “Was it worth it?” I have to say, as a huge Harry Potter fan, yes! Yes, it was worth it. I literally spent HOURS walking around the lot and saw original sets, original costumes, molds from the creatures which made Harry Potter magical, and I even took a few interactive photos. Imagine sitting on a broom in front of a green screen, because that’s exactly what happened. The sets and props that are outdoors are the Knight Bus (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Lily and James Potter’s home in Godric’s Hollow, Hogwarts Bridge, Mr. Arthur Weasley’s Ford Anglia, and of course, Number 4 Privet Drive (prop). While there are two different food courts (at the beginning and the back lot), they only serve one version of Butterbeer, and unlike the Wizarding Worlds in Hollywood and Orlando, there is no Fire Whiskey.

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