We are only one week into 2017 and I am full of new year memories. I was lucky enough to receive tickets to the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour for Christmas (thanks Mum!) and yesterday I embarked on a magical three hours that threw me back into childhood and had me amazed and grinning the whole time. This post is going to be more of a gallery piece as over the course of three hours I took 239 photographs so there is a lot to get through!
For anybody who is a Harry Potter fan and hasn’t yet been on the tour then I highly recommend it. It will fill you with awe and have you mesmerised from the very first moment you step out of the car and into the studios.
We were lucky enough to experience ‘Harry Potter in the Snow’ which meant that all of the stage sets and props were still decorated with a festive feel, including The Great Hall which was adorned with regal Christmas trees and a luscious Christmas feast on the tables.
The Great Hall was also home to some of the iconic costumes used by some of my favourite characters throughout the Harry Potter series. These costumes included Dumbledore, Snape, Hagrid , Madame Maxime, Professor McGonagall and so on. The attention to detail in each costume amazed me, with every part of the costume being nurtured to create one of a kind garments.
As we stepped out of The Great Hall we were greeted with a monumental amount of wonders. This was where they kept some of the iconic settings, costumes, props and green screen mechanics that truly amazed me. It was like we had literally stepped into every Harry Potter film and I did not know what to look at first.
As mentioned above, one of the things that really amazed me throughout the tour was the attention to detail every single piece of costume, setting and props had. I have a real passion for the theatre so it thrilled me so much seeing iconic characters from your childhood come alive in front of you through the use of costume. I remember wishing when I was younger that I could attend Hogwarts (like which 10 year old child at that time didn’t?) and walking onto these sets filled me with so much excitement and left me speechless throughout.
One of the most special parts of our tour was being able to witness the Hogwarts Express. It was one of the most marvellous and regal trains I have ever seen and reminded me of the feeling I used to get when watching the movies and realised everybody was on their way back to Hogwarts. It was extra magical that you were able to walk on board of the Hogwarts Express; however, the queue was sooo long that we decided to take a sneak peak through the windows instead!
After the first part of the tour, we were all feeling a bit giddy with adrenaline and were dying for a refreshment so after witnessing the Hogwarts Express we moved on to try some of the famous Butterbeer! After spending years of fantasising what Butterbeer tasted like, it was actually refreshing to find out it was exactly how I expected! It was a sweet, butterscotch topping followed by a fizzy soda which kind of reminded me of cream soda.
After our fill of Buttebeer, it was then time to move onto the second part of the tour which included the Knight Bus, Privet Drive, The Hogwarts Bridge and an insight into how the scenery and characters were produced. As it is still January and everything still had a festive theme, the studio had a snow machine outside that gave a wintery, one of a kind feel.
One of the most impressive parts of the tour (if you had to pinpoint only one!) was seeing all of the intricate drawings that the crew produced to visualise what each concept of the film would look like as well as creating complex, miniature scale models of every key location throughout the films. It was so inspiring to see the talent that went into each of these mock-ups as well as all of the props such as Buckbeak, a life-sized Dobby and Aragog, the humongous spider.
There were two parts to the studio tour that really made me gasp out loud. Now, I know this post is bit of a spoiler in itself but if you are really considering going on the tour then I would stop reading now as I don’t want to ruin the two final exhibits that are the definitions of real life magic.
Okay, so the first one that made me feel like I had truly walked into the world of Harry Potter was the 100% scale of Diagon Alley. Being able to walk down Diagon Alley and see all of the shops that you read about so many times when you were younger makes you feel like you’re a kid all over again. It is so fantastic.
And finally, to end off the tour perfectly, you are shown a spectacular site that I have to admit made me feel a bit emotional inside. For anybody that doesn’t know, in the Harry Potter films, the crew used a scaled down version of Hogwarts that they used against a green screen to film when they are doing tracking/panning shots of the wizarding school. Well, this scaled down model has been moved permanently to the studio and you are able to walk a whole loop around it, witnessing every finite detail that you will instantly recognise from the films.
To end the tour, you walk through one of the most mesmerising gift shops you will ever witness. Full of replica wands, Harry Potter clothing, Honeydukes sweets and joke shop games, there is definitely something for everybody.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and once again, I would urge anybody and everybody to invest in this tour as it really is one of the most amazing tours I have ever experienced.