Hi lovelies, today I’m going to tell you all about my experience at the Warner Brother Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter.
Welcome to Harry Potter week on Into The Bookcase! This week I wanted to do three blog posts about the tour, which will be split up into two about the actual tour and then the last being a haul post about the things I bought in the shop.
Back in November, I was sat with my family discussing what we should do for my little brother’s birthday. We decided as it was Ricky’s 21st birthday we needed to do something pretty special to mark the occasion. We surprised him on his birthday in December with a trip to the Warner Bro’s studio tour in Leavesden. The best date for us all to go was in April, so we booked the date and eagerly anticipated its arrival. We’re quite thankful and lucky that we’d booked our trip for then because it was announced that there would be a new feature attraction opening up in late March.
On the 18th of April 2015, my family and I set off from my home in St Helens at 6.45am. We stopped once for breakfast, and then arrived at the studio around 11.45am. We had time to pop into the shop before we queued for our tour, and at this point I made some of my main purchases. I had a list of things I intended to get, and so I bought those first to ensure I could still get them. There are a lot of visitors passing through every day, so stocks could have changed by the time we got back to it. Thankfully, I didn’t have to carry them around the tour because there’s a free cloakroom service. They lady was really lovely on the desk. She took a look at the big bangs and laughed, asking me if I was a big fan. She handed me some of the Harry Potter passports that are usually only available to children, in which I had to collect stamps and look for hidden snitches.
We had our tickets scanned and joined the queue for the tour. Whilst we waited we had the opportunity to look at the famous cupboard under the stairs. I was immediately struck by the detail in this set. I particularly liked seeing Harry’s specs on the side. We were taken into a room which had posters of the movies, and we were show a short video about how the books were chosen to be adapted into film and how the fandom has expanded around the world.
Next we were taken into a little cinema room and we all watched a short clip of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint discussing their experience, why they loved being involved and the success of the franchise. They turn and walk into the great hall, and the screen was lifted to reveal the huge Great Hall doors. As it was Ricky’s birthday present, he was asked to open the doors. The Great Hall is nothing short of sensational. The tour guide spoke a little bit about the hall, and then left us all to our own devices. I loved looking at the robes for the different houses, the house point hourglasses and of course, the High Table.
We moved on from there into the area including sets, props and costumes. This is where we spent the longest time, as there is so much to see here. This area contained bigger sets such as Dumbledore’s office, the boys dorm, Gryffindor common room, the Weasley’s Kitchen, Potions classroom and the huge table at Malfoy Manor. Some smaller displays included props from things like the Yule Ball, the giant clock pendulum, the Leaky Cauldron and the mirror of Erised.
My favourite sets were the Gryffindor Common Room, Dumbledore’s office and the kitchen at the Burrow. I was extremely shocked by the detail in each set, examples being, in Dumbledore’s office there is a cabinet containing his memories. There must have been hundreds of little bottles which had hand written cards, similarly, the potions room included insane amount of detail.
Next to this area was a small room used for green screen photos, either flying a broom or riding in the Ford Anglia car. My family and I decided to hop into the car for a ride, and left the broomstick ride for another time. I will end this post here and begin again in the next section of the tour, which is the new platform 9¾ and Hogwarts Express.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it. The second half will be up next on Wednesday, so keep an eye out for that. If you have any questions about anything I’ve mentioned in this half, please let me know! Let me know your experiences too.