I have been a die-hard Harry Potter fan for as long as I can remember. I was seven years old when the first film came to the cinemas, my mum and stepdad took me and I was instantly hooked.
I will never forget how enchanting the whole film was for me. I had no idea what it was about, just that it was about a wizard, but as a Disney princess loving, Polly Pocket playing little girl, I didn’t understand why my parents were taking me to see a boys film. However, within the first few minutes, I couldn’t help but fall under the magical spell of the movie. I was transported into Hogwarts, a school for witchcraft and wizardry, and forever into the life of a young boy named Harry Potter.
Since that day, I’ve been a HUGE fan.
Fast forward to 16 years later, I’ve read all 7 books multiple times, read and collected each HP related book and watched all 8 movies more times than I’ve had hot dinners. People often ask me why I have such an “obsession” with Harry Potter and they really don’t understand the fascination I have with it (muggles obviously). My best explanation is this: Harry Potter has been the longest and most consistent passion in my life. I basically grew up as the actors grew up and I followed their story as if they were close friends. Plus, everyone needs a bit of magic in their lives!
Since I was 7 years old, I counted down book and movie releases and fell in love with the stories over and over again.
I’m sure many of you can relate.
I was completely beside myself when I was given an opportunity to return to London last Christmas and visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Their “The Making of Harry Potter” tour features props, costumes and complete movie sets from the filming of the Harry Potter movies, any die-hard HP fan’s dream to visit!
I’d previously been a few years before, but it’s something else at Christmas! It was like stepping into a dream. Everywhere I turned, the wizarding world of Harry Potter surrounded me. Everything from the “Cupboard Under the Stairs” to the “Triwizard Cup” and even the “Great Hall” at Hogwarts was there – plus Hogwarts in the snow!
For about 2 hours, I revisited the childhood fantasies I had of this special place. I knocked on the door of 4 Privet Drive and gazed at my reflection in the Mirror of Erised. I even got to drink a sweet glass of butterbeer! I’m quite proud of my self-control for not hiding and attempting to camp out inside. This time around I went with my auntie and uncle, my two cousins Millie and Primrose and their other cousin Ellie.
Without further ado, here’s a look inside the studios!
Waiting in line at the entrance to The Making Of Harry Potter! Everywhere was so Christmassy and there was a buzz of excitement filling the room – obviously, I couldn’t stand still in the queue.
Once going through the Great Hall, you come to a large room full of props and costumes, here is the ice sculpture from the Yule Ball, The Mirror of Erised and the Entrance to Dumbledor’s office – Sherbet Lemon!
Here are a few props for Dolores Umbridge’s office, The Ministry of Magic and some fantastic beasts – the spiders and the basilisk.
Here’s Platform 9 3/4’s – off to Hogwarts on the Hogwarts Express, see ya! There’s a really cute railway shop here and a photo opportunity section to look as though you are on the moving train.
There are hundreds of amazing paper and cardboard sculptures of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, along with amazing artwork and models that are just fabulous to look at. I actually spent ages in the art department taking in every detailed sketch and tiny paper village of Hogsmeade.
The jewel in the crown of the art department is the intricately detailed model of Hogwarts castle. Built for the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the model’s every courtyard, tower and turret were filmed and enhanced with digital effects to create unforgettably realistic views of the magical school. From
Outside, you can explore Privet Drive, The Knight Bus, the Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia and much much more. There is absolutely hundreds of things to look at, I have only uploaded a minuscule amount of photos I took. You have to go and see for yourself!
Helpful Tips for Visiting The Harry Potter Studio Tour
Book your tickets in advance! – I cannot stress this enough! You need to purchase you tickets online in advance as you need to book a specific time and available date. They only allow a certain number of visitors during each time slot, so not all dates and times are actually available. I witnessed a family get turned away because they didn’t have tickets. Don’t let that happen to you!
- Adult (Ages 16 years and above) £39.00
- Child (Ages 5 to 15 years) £31.00
There are also group, family and saver tickets available, kids under four years old go free!
Getting your photo on a broomstick or in the flying car – If you’re really dying for this year’s Christmas card to be on the back of a broomstick, prepare to pay a pretty penny and wait in line. My recommendation is to head straight for the green screen area once you leave the Great Hall. You will pass through a huge area with all the movie sets and props, but you’ll beat everyone to the line. Once you’re finished, go back and start from the beginning. There are also interactive brooms to mess with and the photos in the train carriage available on Platform 9 3/4s.
Are you a Harry Potter fan too?!
Since last visiting the studios in December 2016, they have opened the Forbidden Forest attraction and added a lot more to the visit. I’m dying to go back and see the new additions! The Forbidden Forest seen in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was a combination of location and studio shooting. This moved entirely to the Studio for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in order to house Aragog’s lair and continued to grow throughout the film series. While shooting for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, scenic artists created backdrops that were up to six hundred feet in length. The Forbidden Forest seen at the Studio Tour is filled with 19 trees each with a diameter of over 12 feet – watch out for the creepy crawlies though!
That’s it for this post, what do you think? Have you been here before? Are you dying to visit? I know I am again!
Thanks for reading!