Warner Bros Studio Tour – Harry Potter

J and I were talking about going to see the Harry Potter tour again recently and so I thought I’d re-blog our first experience of the studio tour.  If you’ve not been – go!  It’s amazing.

We first went back in January 2013.  The Warner Bros Studio Tour is at Leavesden Studios and we were very excited to think we were going to be immersed into the world of the Making of Harry Potter.  Did I mention we were very, very excited?

Here we are!

We have both watched all the Harry Potter films and have really enjoyed how the story has evolved and the characters matured.  It was therefore the icing on the cake to go and see the sets, props and making of.

Lots of car parking when we arrived and you are directed to spaces, Disney style.  Our entrance was at 5.30pm so the place wasn’t too busy.

We couldn’t believe it when we were standing just by the large chess pieces outside as a shout went up and running into J’s arms was her cousin!  Who’d have thought it.  She had just come out and said it was brilliant.

Chess anyone?

As we were early, we had a hot chocolate to warm ourselves up first in Costa, then decided to look around the gift shop.  As expected, unless you had a second mortgage to spend, everything was very expensive.

It’s a nice scarf

I would have loved a house scarf but at £25 that just wasn’t going to happen.

The Every Flavour Beans were also a bit of a shock at just shy of £10 a box.  We didn’t fancy finding they had lots of earwax, vomit or earthworm flavour either.  Call us picky.

We also loved the house cloaks. Excellent for a fancy dress party but at almost £80 each, again it was a luxury we were never going to use.  In fact, you could buy pretty much every house colour full uniform there. Amazing.

Some of the masks, charms and wands were lovely to see.  Here is a selection of them.  They were £25 each but I would only buy one if they did real magic – sadly they didn’t.

L-R: Harry, Hermione, Ron

Once we had finished looking around the shop (we bought a chocolate wand and a blood lolly), we went and joined the queue to go in.  At the entrance to the tour is the Cupboard Under the Stairs where Harry had his room.  A good insight of things to come.

Harry’s bedroom

The doors opened and in we went.  A little film show about how the films came about and then into the theatre next door for another introduction by the main characters.  The screen lifted and we were at the entrance to Hogwarts!

Hogwarts entrance

Doors opened and in we went.  Wow!  It was amazing.  Here are a selection of photographs for you. I’m sure you will recognise lots of the areas and props.

We had to take the opportunity of getting photos of us flying on broomsticks (I’m sure my ex-husband won’t be surprised by a picture of me on one).  You could also get a photo of yourselves in the flying car.  The photos were reasonably priced – £12 for one or £16 for two and as you could mix and match, it was a good offer.  J and I were delighted with our pictures and what a lovely memory.

This Quidditch game is easy

After we finished this stage area (there are two called J and K oddly enough – I wonder why? 😉 ), we went to the outside lot where there was the Knight Bus, car, motorbike and sidecar, Privet Drive and the bridge at Hogwarts – all great photo opportunities.

At the entrance to the next stage were some more chess pieces. They really are magnificent as you can see.

Heads without bodies

Next was the creature feature, where all the masks were made and the creatures designed.  Again, amazing to see.

We then all the technical drawings for different parts of the set.  Some of these pieces were then made out of paper.

Original artwork was on the walls next.  I wonder what it is worth?

Round the corner to some more paper pieces. I never made anything like this out of paper at school!

Paper Hogwarts

Whomping Willow – made of paper

Through another area to literally be met with a Wow! experience.  The scale model of Hogwarts. You really can’t get the best impression of the fine detail from the photographs but I’m sure you will get an idea of just how impressive it is.

Lastly, the wands. All the boxes are individually made and there is one for every person who was involved with Harry Potters – writer, cast and crew – from J.K. Rowling through to the driver of the Hogwarts Express and every cameraman, electrician and make-up artist.  Amazing to see.

The Harry Potter tour is a must for any fans.  The tickets may well seem expensive but it is worth it.  We went for the basic entry ticket.  We didn’t need a guide book and we didn’t hire the digital guide and we really didn’t miss out.  For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, get yourself along (or possibly twice in our case!).

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