Harry Potter World a.k.a. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
A wonderful visit to the wizarding world!
Last Christmas, on Christmas Eve to be exact, I bought tickets for my sister and myself to visit Harry Potter World!
We are both long term fans, and would spend our summer holidays re-reading all of the books:
And a very embarrassing picture of me dressing up as Luna (check out the earrings!)
Hence, we were both very excited when we finally made it, almost a year later, to the studios. In fact, we were so excited, that we both almost started crying when we entered the great hall! It was enormous, and suitably bedecked with Christmas cheer; we got to witness Christmas puddings set themselves on fire!
The experience was an incredible insight to the making of Harry Potter, from the costumes, sets, animatronics, make-up and even flying!
The sets are a lot smaller than they seem on TV. Except the Great Hall, which was massive – and made me feel like Lucy on her first adventure into Narnia!
Of course, the detail is incredible. It is sobering to comprehend the true extent of work, hours, and people that contribute to the film making process; it is so much more than Harry, Ron and Hermione! This includes make up, sets, costume design, anachronistic, special effects – the crew is enormous. Videos throughout the studio demonstrate aspects of this toil: my favourite was the animal trainers.
I love the trivia!
I also learnt:
- Snow was made using plastic shavings
- Diagon Alley and Hogsmede are the SAME set
- The producers and directors made cameos in the paintings on the wall
- Most of the animals were from animal shelters and had to be trained for months in advance
- The cast liked to hang out in the Gryffindor Common Room
- The ‘smoke’ on some fires is actually water vapour
- In the first film, real candles were used in the Great Hall, but the danger of hot wax falling on the cast stopped this practice.
In particular, the Christmas make-over was delightful. Christmas decorations adorned everything, a giant Christmas tree was in the entrance and Great Hall, and Harry even had Christmas cards next to his bed!
The tour was split up into different sections: firstly an enormous studio containing many sets, then a café, then the ‘backlot’, followed by insight into the more technical areas and finally a model of Hogwarts.
My favourite part was my lesson in using a wand!
I also really enjoyed visiting all my favourite places in Hogwarts, including the Gryffindor Common Room, the Weasley’s kitchen, the Hogwarts Express, and, of course: Sirius’ motor bike and the Ford Anglia. Ohh, and the fact that Eddie Redmayne was probably lurking around somewhere filming Fantastic Beasts and where to find them.
And obviously it is a hugely commercial enterprise. Nonetheless, £14 to buy photographs does seem a little on the steep side. (My main criticism). Ooh, and, it being the Christmas holidays, it was very busy.
Yet, I can’t help myself: it was a magical day!
For info about how to visit: check it out!
p.s. RIP Alan, we will ALWAYS remember you.