The new Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, just came out yesterday. Hardcore Harry Potter fans have probably already seen it, maybe even more than once. The next film, the first installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is not going to be out until next November. What’s a Harry Potter fan (young or old) to do until then?
Well, you could get a passport and take a plane to Great Britain, where the books were set and the movies were filmed. Naturally, Harry Potter-themed tours have sprung up in London, as well as in other locations used in the films. For example, you can see Platform 9 3/4 in King’s Cross station, (or, rather, a baggage cart that appears to be disappearing into the wall where Platform 9 3/4 would be if Muggles like us could see it).
Other London locations that were featured in Harry Potter films include the London Zoo (Little Whinging Zoo), the Australian High Commission (Gringotts Wizarding Bank) and Charing Cross Road (Diagon Alley). You can get a free PDF of a self-directed Harry Potter London walking tour here.
You can also visit Oxford, where many of the scenes from inside Hogwarts’ library and dining room were filmed. Other scenes from inside Hogwarts were filmed inside Gloucester Cathedral. Don’t forget to visit Glenfinnan Viaduct (Hogwart’s Express) and Alnwick Castle, too!
Of course, if you’re traveling to Great Britain, you’ll need to get a passport. Remember to allow enough time to get your passport application processed before you are scheduled to leave the country. Currently, it takes at least 6 weeks if you use normal government processing, and three weeks or longer for the government’s expedited processing. Prices on international flights have never been better, and you may be able to find some last-minute deals that are very reasonably priced.
Fortunately, you don’t need magic to get a passport in under 3 weeks. A private passport expediting company can make it happen much more quickly. In fact, expediting companies deliver your application to the State Department by hand, and can often get it processed for you in as little as 24 hours. An expediting company is definitely the easiest way to get your next passport!