Hogwarts In the Snow | Warner Brothers Studio Tour | Our Day
I have been meaning to post this for such a long time but have been in a bit of a funk with blogging, but I am now back and sharing my wonderful experience at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London, also known as the Harry Potter Studios.
Back in November I got the chance to go to the studios for a late birthday treat from my Mum and Dad, they said that they would pay for tickets to go so I decided to book for The Hogwarts in the Snow experience. I booked for the 2:30 tour which meant that we didn't have to leave to early to get there.
We left home at about 10am giving us plenty of time to get there including extra just in case, we arrived with an hour to spare but got into queue straight away, in which we went though security and entered the lobby.
When entering the lobby we were greeted by a magnificent Christmas tree, cast photos and some of the larger props used in the film series. All through the tour there is the familiar sound of the Harry Potter soundtrack playing, giving it such an amazing atmosphere around the tour.
You then join a second queue to get into the first part of the tour which is a cinema with the three main characters explaining about the tour and giving a little bit of information too. You then enter the great hall and I will tell you now, it is truly breath taking, I am a big Harry Potter fan and it really did feel magical walking through the haul with the huge doors and the tables laid for Christmas.
This is the full size set with costumes and props about for you too see, the set has actual stone on the floor so that it would not wear out during filming. The hall was also set for Christmas with 6 large Christmas trees, a huge wreath and Christmas food set on the tables. You do get a set amount of time in the hall but it is plenty of time to see everything that you need too.
You then enter a part of the tour which is more of a museum part, there are props, sets and costumes everywhere. Some of the sets wee also set for Christmas.
During the tour children are given a passport to collect stamps throughout the tour, we weren't given one at the start but a member of staff found one for Lilly and explained what we had to do.
In some of the sets there was special effects making things move and voices of the characters playing to make you feel more involved in the experience. Every way that you look there is something different to see. Also in the section they have an opportunity for you to use a broomstick using green screen which you could get a photo or video from but I had a limited amount of money so passed it up this time.
You can also take part in wand choreography and getting a broomstick to rise for you, both of these I had to give a go. The wand choreography is a video sequence taught by the man who taught the cast to use there wands right. I chose Hermione's wand and completed three spells.
This part is huge and with so much to take in, there are seating areas and toilets at the end of the area.
The next part, I will admit got me a little bit emotional, was Platform 9 3/4 with the Hogwarts Express, it was so surreal walking in to what looked so much like a station. There was a photo opportunity with a trolley going through the wall, the train and a little shop which was based more on souvenirs based around the train and station.
Me and Lil's walked through the train, each seating area on the train was set with a film in mind, including props to represent the film. After my Mother in law got me and Lil's to go onto another green screen section. This was the Hogwarts express, we sat in our own seating area with a camera rolling and we were given directions on what to react to, they were adding things to the green screen. Lilly jumped so much when a Dementor came up at the window, my MIL got a couple of pictures which also included a digital download of the pictures.
You then enter a part called the Backlot. This is a canteen/cafe area which you can purchase meals and also the infamous Butterbeer. We all just chose Butterbeer which you can get in a souvenir tankard, this cost £6.95 and tasted so good.
The next section is a small outside section containing Private Drive, The Knight bus, The Potter's cottage and the Hogwarts bridge. They also had a Ford Anglia and Hagrids bike and sidecar for photo chances.
The next section goes more into detail about special effects and make up which was so interesting. They had models of some of the characters, prosthetic's, and some of the animatronics from the film series. There is a huge Aragog which I believe may be getting moved to the Forbidden Forrest for it's opening in March.
After we walked into Diagon alley with all the shops lining a cobbled lane. All the shops are dressed with props and costumes, it is truely another magical set to be able to walk through. jut as you enter there is Gringotts bank and to the left there was a machine that showed us how they created Harry's footprints in the third film when he was meant to be covered by the invisibility cloak. There was also a hidden death eater (if you know where he is let me know).
After you get to see detailed drawing and cardboard creations of the set from the film series, all done to scale, they made one for pretty much every set from the film series including Dumbledore's office, the Ministry box from the Quidditch world cup and the whomping willow.
The most magical and emotional part was next, even my other half (you could take or leave Harry Potter) was in shock at how magical it was. This is a huge, and I mean huge model of Hogwarts which they used to pan in and out during some scenes. This was dressed with fake snow and even a little snowman. Pictures and words cannot described how big this model is and how magical it is to walk around the Hogwarts. They were playing the soundtrack a little louder in here which made it all the more special, I really did feel so overwhelmed by it.
When you get to the bottom there was a little kiosk showing us how they created different types of fake snow and even got Lil's involved, she loved being about to hold some small grains of something which when you add water it grows into a snow like product.
The last part of the tour is a large room full of wand boxes, each with a name on of either a cast member or crew member who helped create this magical world of Harry Potter, I actually didn't realise is was the end.
The gift shop is huge and you could spend way too much. There is so much merchandise, from clothing to wands to sweets and so many amazing items. If you want to know what I got here is my blog post Gift shop haul.