Mummy and big bro and sisters have been huge Harry Potter fans from the very beginning, loving the books and the incredible films where all the magic is brought to life. We were very excited to have been invited to The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour at Warner Bros Studios in London a couple of months ago.
We didn’t really know what to expect, but from the minute we arrived it was just awesome. Mummy drove there – Sat Nav found it with no problems, and there is plenty of free parking. There is a shuttle bus that runs from the local train station (Watford Junction) for only £2.50 return.
The website suggests arriving twenty minutes before your tour time, but if you want a drink or food, we would say to arrive about an hour before. There is a great cafe in the entrance, with hot and cold drinks and hot and cold snacks. They aren’t cheap though! There is a Starbucks coffee stand too. The Backlot cafe serves drinks and food too – about two thirds of the way through the tour. There are toilets during the tour and in the entrance. To get into the reception and tour you have your bags checked so allow a little more time for this too.
There was quite a long queue, which we suspect is always the case, but we just soaked up the atmosphere and all the large photos of the stars from the early days up to date.
There is a cash machine with free withdrawals, and a free cloakroom to leave your coat and bags. You can hire a digital guide for £4.95 each or £12.95 for three or four guides.
You can take photos throughout the tour, with a few exceptions which are made very clear.
We were taken into a room to wait, with digital posters of the films in different languages which was interesting before going into the cinema room. We watched a short film with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. They actually filmed here for ten years. They virtually lived here for that time. This was very exciting! Behind the screen were the huge doors to Hogwarts and Mummy nearly burst!
We went into the The Great Hall and it was breathtaking. We don’t want to spoil any of the tour for you, so won’t reveal any of the inside reveals that are given through the tour, but if you are a Harry Potter fan on any level you MUST visit. In fact, if you are a film fan at all you must visit as going behind the scenes of a proper working set is just fascinating.
We saw hundreds of props and costumes from the films, sets including Hagrid’s House, Gryffindor Boys Dormitory, Dolores Umbridge’s office and many more.
Our Favourite Top Five Moments:
- The doors leading into Hogwarts.
- The Great Hall and models of Dumbledore and the other staff.
- Seeing the room under the stairs at Privet Drive where Harry slept.
- Going onto Platform 9 3/4 and seeing, and going on Hogwarts Express.
- Seeing Hogwarts itself.
As well as all the behind the scenes snippets and tricks of filming which were fascinating.
We paid to have a video experience of me riding a broomstick like Harry Potter does, it was so much fun, it was expensive (I think £20ish) but worth it for the memory:
If you are thinking of visiting The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour, a great time would be to see Hogwarts in the Snow which runs from Saturday 19 November to Sunday 29 January 2017.
‘This festive season, Harry Potter fans are invited to experience Christmas time at Hogwarts and discover how film-makers created fire, ice and snow that never melts as Warner Bros. Studio Tour London undergoes a magical makeover for Hogwarts in the Snow.
Visitors will have the opportunity to see the Harry Potter film series’ most iconic sets decorated for festive scenes. Christmas trees will line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room will be dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow will be meticulously applied to the majestic Hogwarts castle model.
After stepping onto the original stone floor of the iconic Great Hall, visitors will spot wreaths, garlands and trees decked with golden baubles that are topped with witches on miniature broomsticks. The long dining tables will be dressed as they were for seasonal feasts at Hogwarts with prop versions of roast turkeys, hams studded with cherries and even flaming Christmas puddings.
The Gryffindor Common Room and Boys’ Dormitory will be decorated with the original props including handmade Christmas cards, some of which were made by the cast members during production.
Fireplaces throughout the Studio Tour (including those in the Leaky Cauldron and Great Hall) will be ‘lit’ with special effects fire, created by John Richardson and the SFX team using a combination of water vapour and lighting effects. Visitors will also see the hand-knitted jumpers that Molly Weasley gave Ron and Harry for Christmas in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Other costumes on display will include one of the first Christmas presents Harry ever received at Hogwarts, his Invisibility Cloak and, for the first time, Madame Maxime’s costume from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
The Hogwarts castle model will be transformed for the occasion by a team led by Model Effects Supervisor José Granell, who worked on the Harry Potter film series. During filming, a member of the crew climbed aboard an elevated work platform and sprinkled the ‘snow’ mixture of granulated paper and grains of salt onto the model by hand with a sieve – like dusting sugar onto a cake. The same process will be used at the Studio Tour this November. Visitors will even be able to touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float like falling snow, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice.,
Tickets must be pre-booked and all extra features are included in the ticket price.
Are you a Harry Potter fan?