Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Warner Bros Studio London- The Making of Harry Potter

Today I took my #1 Harry Potter fan on the Warner Bros studio tour.  She's been waiting months to get a behind the scenes look at the making of Harry Potter.  It was such a magical day for both of us!

Us, in the make up mirror
The studio is located 20 miles north-west of London in Leavesden.   Here they have preserved the amazing sets, costumes, and props that were actually used in the films.  Visitors must pre-book tickets (£28/per adult) which provides access at a specific time.  We were on the first tour of the day at 10 am and I highly recommend going as early as possible.  The crowds definitely increased as the day went on!
Upon entrance, fans are shown a short film about the making of the Harry Potter movies and then are led into the impressive Great Hall.  It is huge! You can imagine it full of Hogwarts students gathered around the tables for their respective houses.

The Ice Sculpture from the Yule Ball

After the Great Hall, the tour is self-guided.  We took our time and gazed carefully at each set and marveled at the elaborate props. 

These colourful displays were some of my favourites!
More goodies from Weasley's Wizard Wheezes

In the special effects area guests can hop aboard a broomstick and take a ride in front of a green screen.  This was loads of fun and we only had to queue for a few minutes.  Later in the day, the queue for this can be up to an hour long!  Of course, the photos are available for purchase- but they were so unique I didn't mind paying for them.

The tour continues outside on what is known as the "backlot".  Here, we got an up close look at the knight bus, #4  Privet Drive, the Weasley's car,  Potter's cottage, and the Hogwarts bridge.

#4 Privet Drive
Hop on the Knight Bus

We also stopped here to enjoy a bite to eat and a cool frothy cup of Butter Beer.

Yummy Butter Beer
Back inside we toured another sound stage full of special effects, "monsters" and more props.  Dotted throughout the displays are short videos explaining different aspects of the filming.  I especially enjoyed learning more about the animal actors featured in the movies.  Did you know that, despite their reputation for being wise, owls are actually quite difficult to train?  It takes a snow owl months to learn what a raven can accomplish in just a few weeks!

Along Diagon Alley

A trip down Diagon Alley led to the finale of the tour:  the model of Hogwarts.  It was huge and as we walked around it the lighting slowly changed offering us a feel for what it would look like at different times of day and night.

The Hogwarts Model and one happy girl
Of course, the final stop on the tour is the gift shop which sells all variety of things for the Harry Potter fan.  Stuffed animals, wands, scarves, t-shirts and jewelry are all on offer.  You can even pick up your very own Pygmy Puff to take home.

I really enjoyed every aspect of this tour.  And if I can say that (as someone who is embarrassed to admit she has never read the Harry Potter books or seen the movies), you can imagine how much my daughter loved it.  She was beaming ear to ear all day.  For me, that was the absolute highlight of the tour.

Are you a Harry Potter fan?  
Will you be visiting the Studio Tour in London?
If you've already been, what was your favourite part?



  1. What a blast! Love the photo of your girl with her butter beer. She looks like she's about to bust with happiness! And thanks for sharing that adorable first photo of you two in my self portrait photo club for this week. It's already a favorite of mine! xo

  2. Ahhh...mazing! The pictures are great, all of them. Lucky, lucky girls!!

  3. This is Ryan... Does Butter Beer taste like butter? What did you get at the gift shop?

  4. I just became a Harry Potter fan!

  5. Ryan- Butter Beer does taste buttery! And very very sweet. The cream on top is very thick. You'll have to try some this summer in Orlando. At the gift shop we got 2 chocolate wands and 2 t-shirts for the big kids.

  6. What a special day! So happy you had such a great day. The pics make me wish my kids were Harry Potter fans!

  7. We are going in June - we can't wait! Great photos - now I know what to expect :) XOL

  8. omg, this is so beyond fun. fabulous post, love. if you get a sec, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my latest. xo

  9. I'd love to visit the Harry Potter studio so bad! Hopefully I can manage a visit this year!

  10. Definitely something I will do on my next trip to London! Had no idea this was there...thanks :)


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