After seven books and eight films, the Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter Studio Tour is a must for any Potter fan. As soon as the door of the studio opens, you will immediately feel the great halls of Hogwarts. You will see the long tables, stone reliefs of Hogwarts crest and Albus Dumbeldore in front of the golden podium, standing at the helm of it all.
If you love reading Harry Potter books or watched its blockbuster movies, you will most likely remember the disappointments and challenges faced by its main characters in all its movie series. By taking a trip to Warner Bros. Studio in London, you will reminisce about all the exciting moments faced by Harry Potter and his folks. What makes the studio tour special is its actual sets and props which made its movies come to life that will make you experience what it’s like to live in the world of magic.
Here are some tips and the things to expect in your studio experience:
Out of the way
Make plenty of room on your schedule on your way to the Harry Potter Studio tour. It is located 20 miles north of London in the town of Leavesden. But it is accessible through public transportation, you may take the Tube to Euston Station and switch to another train to arrive at Watford Junction and hop on a shuttle bus that will take you directly to the studio.
It is more like a museum
The studio is more like a museum than a tour which requires you to book your ticket ahead of time for a particular timeslot. Upon reaching the studio, you will watch an introductory film among the other guests in your ticketed timeslot, when you enter the doors of the Great Hall, you are already free to explore the place at your own phase and time.
Take time to observe the details
This studio tour should not be done when in a rush. You will have to look at every impressive detail of the featured items, from its smallest prop up to the big ones. Everything was made with close attention to detail which others have underappreciated on the big screen. You will also have a closer look at the Goblet of fire and every stitch on the meticulously embroidered costumes.
You will see unrecognizable things
For Harry Potter fans, you will be happy to see the props from some of the film’s famous moments like the Sorcerer’s Stone or the seven cursed Horcruxes. But there were several props that you might find unrecognizable from the movies because they never made it into the movie’s final cut. Those are custom-built troll statues that were used as stand-ins for digital versions and many more surprises that will make a Potterhead ecstatic.
The movie magic is dispelled
Although it is not real magic, the technology used in producing the world of Harry Potter is remarkable. You will see the intricate masks that gave the Gringotts goblins their signature scowls, and the techniques that brought Dobby and other beasts come to life throughout the studio.
You will encounter the movie magic
An opportunity to experience an immersive and incredibly interactive movie as some of the guests has a chance to ride a broomstick in front of a green screen or take part in some of the free activities, like learning the choreography for a magic duel or using special sensors to trigger a magical reaction onset.
You can have plenty of photo ops
Every guest is aiming to take a lot of photos on this tour and you will surprise how good your photos will turn out. Compared to a traditional museum, the studio tour is a working movie studio that has lighting conditions that are perfect for taking photos.
Special Exhibitions are there to surprise you
The studio switches things up with special features on props or characters every year. Some features repeat like the Dark Arts exhibit that takes place between October and November followed by Hogwarts in the Snow which is featured during the holiday season.
From the Great Hall to the Gryffindor Common room and Privet Drive up to the Potions classroom, there are so many top things to see and do on this tour.
Here are the top things to do at the Harry Potter Studio Tour:
1. Unleash the Harry Potter in you
You will be experiencing this tour with Harry Potter geeks like you, from its enthusiastic staff up to a group of children and adults who are dressed as their favorite characters.
2. Relive Great Hall’s feasts, duels, and howlers
After a short welcome movie from the star casts of the movie, visitors are introduced in a spectacular style at the enchanting Great Hall of Hogwarts. Beyond the fascinatingly intricate details of the tables, uniforms, and scones adorning the walls, Professor Dumbledore takes center stage flanked by other professors and staff.
3. Be a seeker on foot
If you have dreamed of being a champion Quidditch seeker, this will be your chance to experience it as there are fifteen golden snitches hidden throughout the studio. You will be guided to find the first golden snitch and the other fourteen will be left in your hands.
4. Float in the air
By riding a magic broomstick will make you a true seeker. A visitor can experience riding a Nimbus 2000 or Firebolt. With the use of green screen technology, budding seekers will see themselves soaring above the Hogwart’s Express, the River Thames and on the streets of London. There will be available photos of your flight to purchase afterward.
5. See the wands of your favorite characters
A wand is even more essential than a broomstick in the day to day life of a witch or wizard. This studio tour features displays of all the main characters’ wands, you can even check out the crooked, bone-like handle of Voldemort’s wand. The wands of the film’s every character are just one of the hundreds of tiny details that will excite you while you are on your way around the tour.
6. You can make some magic of your own
Ollivanders’ wand shop is the only place to go to get a wand of your own. You will probably see one that you particularly like but you don’t choose your wand, the wand chooses you!
7. Take a sip of Butterbeer
Take a pit stop next to the enormous triple-decker Knight Bus and enjoy some Hogsmeade-style refreshment with a delicious mug of Butterbeer. Served in decorative tankards which you can keep as a souvenir.
8. Have a unique taste of Bertie Bott’s Flavor Beans
Every Flavor Beans has its distinct tastes. There is a wide range of flavors that you will like and others might probably be something new on your taste buds. Eat at your own risk, as some of the flavors are black pepper, earwax, cherry, soap, rotten egg, and even vomit. These sweets are available at the gift shop among the hundreds of items available in this paradise for Harry Potter lovers.
9. Take a walk at Diagon Alley
London is home to some of the most prestigious, unique and quirky stores across the globe but it is incomparable to Diagon Alley, the shopping paradise of witches and wizards.
10. Before the end of your experience…
Before you head out of your tour, you will have a glimpse of a fantastic model of Hogwarts. Understandably called “the jewel in the crown of the art department”, the 1:24 scale model was constructed by a team of 86 artists and crewmembers. The gradually descending walkway surrounding the model allows the guests to appreciate its intricate details and see how the model was brought to life.
Not enough . ? How about to consider Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles, California to be your next destination with your family, they also have the amazing Wizarding World of Harry Potter and much more!