Harry Potter World
When my parents came to visit me the other week I gave my dad his belated Father’s Day present – a tour of Harry Potter World! Aren’t I the best daughter ever?!
Me and dad outside the Warner Bros. Studios
As I only live half an hour away from the Warner Bros. Studios it made perfect sense to go there. Me and my dad are big fans of Harry Potter, we didn’t go as far as dressing up in costume for the tour but it was tempting!
The Yule Ball
Corridor in the Leaky Cauldron
When we were waiting for the tour to begin I could see faces from all over the world had come to see the studios where all the magic happened – literally. There were people from Japan, Australia, America. . . it suddenly hit me what a big global sensation Harry Potter is.
The Great Hall
We spent four hours looking round, it was great being able to look at everything in your own time, after the initial introduction from the very enthusiastic WB Studio staff of course. The first studio had all the different sets, like the Great Hall, Dumbledore’s Office, Snape’s classroom, Hagrid’s Hut, the Gryffindor boys’ dormitory, as well as costumes, props and more.
Triwizard Tournament Trophy
Chamber of Secrets door
Mad Eye Moody’s Trunk
Time for Quidditch!
I loved reading about all the little details which made the films so authentic – for example the books on the shelves in Dumbledore’s Office are just British phonebooks covered in leather. How cool is that!
Gryffindor Boy’s Dormitory and Common Room
Ministry of Magic Fireplace
Dolores Umbridge’s costumes and office
Newspaper snippets and Harry’s letters
The Marauder’s Map
There was also a green room where you could actually ride a broomstick as well as sit in the flying car from the second film – of course I had a go, dad restrained himself however! I wore a massive robe down to my ankles, when I picked up the photos afterwards I was pretty surprised at how good a witch I made!
The Knight Bus (and me!)
We then stepped outside into brilliant sunshine, it was a gorgeous summer’s evening. I loved wandering round the Studio’s Backlot, it had all the exterior sets like the Knight Bus, chess pieces, the Hogwarts Bridge and the flying car and side-car.
The Hogwarts Bridge
My favourite was Privet Drive, I nearly squeaked when I saw it. It felt like I had been transported into a scene from a Harry Potter film! It was so strange seeing it for real after seeing it so many times on the TV.
We had to buy a Butterbeer, how could we refuse?! It was a very peculiar taste, the only way I can describe it is like cold fizzy hot chocolate. It was quite nice for the first few mouthfuls then it became a tad sickly!
Goblins and Dobby
Other familiar faces!
We spent ages in the Creature Effects Studio, it was incredible seeing things like the goblin heads, Buckbeak the Hippogriff, Hagrid’s head, Dobby, Fawkes the Phoenix, etc, in front of my eyes. They were unbelievably lifelike, it was great learning about how they were made and which things were hand-controlled and which bits were actually worn by actors.
Hagrid, Hermione, Draco, Dumbledore, Harry
I nearly gave myself a heart attack at one point, I looked up and saw the massive spider Aragog glaring down at me! I don’t mind spiders but seeing that above my head was something else!
It was so cool walking through Diagon Alley and seeing Gringotts, Ollivanders and the Weasley twins shop. I half-expected to see Harry, Ron and Hermione come strolling round the corner!
Art and Graphics
Sketches and drawings
The Art and Graphics department at the very end was the most surprising and amazing for sure. The walls were covered in drawings and sketches of props like broomsticks and the Durmstrang Ship. My brother is a fantasy illustrator and I kept thinking to myself how much he would have loved looking in detail at the hand-drawn pictures. Even though I’m no artist I could still appreciate the enormous amount of hard work it must have taken to achieve all of it.
Small scale models
We were teased by being shown small scale models of things like the Womping Willow and the Prefect’s Bathroom, then we went through a set of doors and had our breath completely taken away. . . SPOILER ALERT!!
Hogwarts Castle – OMG!
There was a 1:24 scale model of the Hogwarts castle in full view, it was phenomenal! It was used for exterior shots in the films, I couldn’t believe how realistic it was. You could see it from all angles, the detail was magnificent – that is what I call a work of art.
To complete the tour we looked round the gift shop. It was very expensive, especially for my student budget, so I made do with a keyring and fridge magnet! It was an awesome, unforgettable experience, it is definitely worth going if you are even a little bit of a Harry Potter fan – you won’t regret it! 🙂