See the wizarding world of Harry Potter in person over the holidays

A magical day for kids and adults alike. At the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, guests experience the magic that has gone into making the Harry Potter film series, the most successful film series of all time. From stepping foot outside the studio you are transported into the wizarding world of Harry Potter immediately, confronted with the huge Wizards’ chess pieces used in the films and the theme music in the entrance hall.
The first part of the tour included a short film on the big screen presented by HP actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Then, avoiding a spoiler for any readers that are going to visit the tour, guests enter the Great Hall. Tables laid with food, uniforms of the four houses and Hogwarts teachers are just some of the things to see here. We later found out that it was in fact the real set, where the Great Hall clips were actually filmed, it made the experience all the more magical.
Following on from the Great Hall, guests get to walk through sound stage J and view other sets used in the Harry Potter film series, as well as see how various special effects are created; fake snow, floating candles and Quidditch to name but a few. The craftsmanship and quality of these sets was truly incredible. Walk into Dumbledore’s office and see the detail of props used in the films, or head to the boys dormitory and take a look at the original beds made for Harry, Ron, Seamus, Neville and Dean for the first film.
Following on from the indoor sets, guests then make their way outside to the Backlot. The first thing we tried out was the Butterbeer. With it being one of only two places in the world to try it, the other being Florida, it just had to be done. We certainly weren’t disappointed and highly recommend it to anyone visiting! In the Backlot we stepped aboard the Knight Bus, walked up the footpath to number four Privet Drive, and got up close and personal with Hagrid’s motorbike.
Following on from the backlot, guests head back inside, this time to sound stage K to see how the makeup and prosthetics come together to create the creatures of Harry Potter. See how Ralph Fiennes was transformed into Voldemort, how life-like an animatronic Hagrid head is, and of course a to-scale model of Dobby used to assist the actors when filming. As with everything involved in the film series, the detailing of the prosthetics and creatures here was unbelievable.
Past the creatures of the film series you enter Diagon Alley. Walk up the cobbled street and pass the stores seen in the films; Ollivanders wand shop, and the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes shops to name but a few. Pass the 20-foot mannequin above the main entrance and peer through the windows at some of the 120 individually designed products that reflected Fred and George’s sense of humour and mischief. Due to the self-guided nature of this tour, by this time guests had spread out and this catered for an excellent photo opportunity of a quiet Diagon Alley, and with continuously changing light levels you’re sure to get that perfect souvenir shot of one of the iconic locations in the Harry Potter film series.
Next up, and the final part of the tour, is dedicated to the art department. Here guests can view models of sets, drawings and designs. Some of the work was truly breathtaking, and we’d personally love to have it covering the walls of our homes anyday! The final room was both surprising and a joy, and again in keeping with not spoiling the tour for those yet to visit, we’ll keep it hush hush! You can thank us later!
Finally guests exit the tour through the giftshop, and what a giftshop it was! This place has souvenirs for die-hard fans and casual viewers alike; from keyrings and magnets, to robes, Hogwarts uniforms and replicas of film props. As expected even the giftshop was HP-themed, with floating candles gracing the ceiling and a Daily Prophet print press gracing the back of the store.
We spent a good four hours at the tour and thoroughly enjoyed every moment. Surprises were to be found round every corner, and we left realising we’d never watch one of the movies quite the same again (and would no doubt shout ‘WE STOOD THERE’ at the television whenever The Great Hall was shown!).

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