It is now over 5 years since the last Harry Potter book was published but, if the queues at Kings Cross Station in London are anything to go by, his popularity is not waning.
During the day, the trolley laden with suitcases and owl cage wavers between Platform 9¾ and Hogwarts (the veritable shimmer below is not down to my shaky photography, honest!)
There is a constant queue of muggles of all ages and nationalities, waiting to have their image captured on film. The clever people from the Harry Potter shop nearby are now on hand to assist – armed with scarves and cameras, they will capture your photo as you fly through the air – so long as you can jump as and when instructed.
Queuing and moment of stardom complete, you can then saunter over to the shop to see your photo on screen (just like at Alton Towers) and buy a copy if you like it enough.
The shop itself is well worth a visit. It is styled on Ollivander’s Wand Shop with wooden panelling and vintage lighting. When I visited there was no shortage of apprentice wizards selecting replica wands at the rear of the store. Other paraphernalia on sale includes house-colour sweaters, horcruxes, robes, games, books and even rats. Prices are rather steep, mind you, with a stuffed rat being one of the more affordable items. If the oohs, aahs and yuucks of youngsters on the trains leaving Kings Cross are anything to go by, the magic jelly beans are a popular purchase.
The trolley and shop are located to the rear of the main departures concourse. If you stand facing the suburban platforms 9-11, they are to your right. The trolley will be hidden behind the queues of people and the shop is set back a little, just beyond the Watermark bookshop.
In the book, the trolley in fact goes through the wall between platforms 9 and 10, but there is no such wall as those particular platforms are separated by tracks. For the film, platforms 4 and 5 in the main part of the station were renumbered 9 and 10!
Moreover, the exterior shots of the station in the films are in fact of St Pancras with its atmospheric Victorian architecture, not Kings Cross.
If you are visiting the Trolley, please note that at night it is replaced by a plain trolley with no luggage!
As an aside, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is now open and proving very popular. It is at the Warner Brothers Studios, near Watford, and you must book tickets in advance. Ticket prices are adult £29, child £21.50, family £85, age 4 and under free.
If you are going by train, you need to go to yet another London Station, London Euston (a 5-10 minute walk from Kings Cross) and take a train to Watford Junction. I’ll warn you now, Euston does not have any of the physical beauty of Kings Cross or St Pancras.