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We are HUGE fans of Harry Potter so when I was invited to the press launch of the new exhibit, the Hogwarts Express, I jumped at the chance!

If you’ve never heard of the Warner Bros Studio Tour – or if you’ve never been lucky enough to visit – you can read what I think about the regular tour here

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But our special day started with us getting up early, doing the school run, shopping then coming home to get ready. We were fortunate that my parents were able to come over and look after the boys (the VIP invite didn’t extend to small people, much to their obvious dismay!) so we prepped dinner and set off.

The drive took us roughly 4 hours and we arrived a little early which gave us time to grab something to eat and have a little drive around.

I was very excited and the obvious security only piqued my interest at who would be attending.

The foyer quickly filled up and we were able to do a little celeb-spotting whilst being offered champagne and canapés before being taken through to the intimate cinema to begin the tour with a filmed interview with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint talking about growing up on one of the most iconic sets in cinematic history.

Then we were taken through to the Great Hall and beyond… It is truly mind blowing, and even if you’ve never read a book or seen a film, you couldn’t help but be enveloped by the atmosphere and effects.

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We had been instructed to gather on platform 9 3/4 at 7pm and were served with a special cocktail that represented the Hogwarts Express – a wonderful deep red that produced a cloud similar to the steam from the train (I was so amused that I forgot to photograph it).

The platform was crowded and we saw so many familiar faces from film and TV. We were stood right by Alex Zane before he got up to introduce the CEO of Warner Bros.

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After looking at the animal actors (Cruickshanks, Hedwig and Scabbers), we hid from Dementors in Carriges that were still littered with Harry and Ron’s sweet wrappers, pushed a disappearing luggage trolley through the wall and even posed with the lovely James and Oliver Phelps.

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We continued our tour, marvelling at the costumes, being transported to Diagon Alley, knocking on the door at Privet Drive, jumping on the Knight Bus, drinking Butterbeer and almost photo bombing Kimberley Wyatt’s photos…

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Possibly though, the most breath taking exhibit is the incredible scale model of Hogwarts

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The drive home was long and tiring – but totally worth it for an amazing night of escapism and shameless posing!

PLEASE NOTE – I took about 500 photographs but none of them can convey *just* how amazing it really is!

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