Hi lovelies, today I’m going to share with you all part two of my experience at the Warner Brother’s Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter.
Welcome back to ‘Harry Potter’ week her on Into The Bookcase. If you missed the first half of the this two part tour post, you can find that here. I’m going to pick up where I left off which is just after the green screen room, which is the newest attraction at the studio tour. The Hogwarts Express on platform 9¾!
After we’d bought our green screen pictures, we exited the room and made a left and followed the short corridor down. There was a tour representative stood next to the arch for the new room. I turned right and entered the room, and my stomach leaped. There she stood in her full glory, the gorgeous bright red steam train, The Hogwarts Express. It’s absolutely incredible. I loved that it hooted every so often, and that it was puffing smoke. I felt like I was waiting to board and go to Hogwarts.
There’s a short queue to join to have a look inside the train, it’s really the only queuing we did the entire tour, and it wasn’t for very long. The only reason for this is that the train corridor is only one person wide so you have to filter through in that way. Inside the train were different carriages that looked like different scenes from the films throughout the years. For example, in year 3 the Dementors entered the train, and froze up the window which can be seen, including Ron’s hand print. My favourite carriage was right at the end of the train, in a separate one, which held the cart filled with all of the different Honeyduke’s chocolates and sweets, and of course, chocolate frogs.
Across the room there is a free photo opportunity, which is when the trolley cart is going through the entrance on to the platform, so it looks like you’re running in. I thought it was great that they had four or five of them lined up so that you didn’t really wait for very long. We all had a go with this, was a good laugh watching us all pose. There was also a chance to sit in the carriages and watch through the window, which starts out as a green screen and then merges some of the popular train moments together. For example, the chocolate frog hops by and the Ford Anglia flies by.
On the platform you can also find the Railway shop, where you can by some Hogwarts Express pieces, such as t-shirts and keyrings etc, and also regular items like the chocolate frogs. The gentleman assisting customers mentioned that you can’t pick up any of the Hogwarts Express items in the main shop at the beginning and end of the tour, so this was the only opportunity to purchase those. We did make some purchases but you’ll have to wait for Friday’s post to see what we got.
After we left Platform 9¾, we headed to the ‘back lot’ and cafeteria area. At this point you can eat any food you’ve brought with you, or purchase some from there. This is also the place where you can purchase and try Butterbeer, which I believe is 1 of only 2 places you can get it. We stopped and ate the lunch we’d brought, and also tried the Butterbeer. I thought it was delicious, a sort of mix between cream soda and a hint of Irn Bru with a frothy vanilla top. Lovely!
Next up was the backlot, which held the following: The huge Knight Bus, 4 Privet Drive, the Potter’s cottage at Godric’s Hollow, the rickety bridge, and the giant wizard’s chess pieces. Thankfully it was a beautiful day, and we spent quite a lot of time looking through this section and taking pictures. It’s fantastic to see these things up close and in real life. My favourite was definitely seeing Privet drive and getting pictures there.
Following the backlot, we went into the model room which showed all of the different models and how they were made. I was personally fascinated looking at items such as The Monster Book of Monsters, which was Harry’s third year book – with teeth! Also, I loved watching Buckbeak move and bow for his adoring fans. They’re all beautifully made and really impressive. Here we also saw to scale dummies of Harry Potter, Hermione and Dobby, to name a few. These were really cool, yet insanely creepy. They look like they’re sleeping, and I was half expecting one the wake up and scare the life out of me.
The next part of the tour was also one of my favourite areas to see in person, Diagon Alley. I remember when I first read the books, I always wanted to see what this place looked like, that wish came true in the films and even more so when I could walk the street for myself. My favourite shop in Diagon Alley is Flourish & Blotts, imagine all of the cool spell books you could get! I thought the Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes was gorgeous to look at, and I thought the puking pastilles display was funny.
After we visited Diagon Alley, we strolled into a section that took my breath away, the section that holds all of the blueprints, artwork and models. I mean I was flabbergasted! I stood in awe of all of the technical, precise work that must have taken the team an incredible amount of time to complete. I loved looking at the paintings and cardboard models, particularly the models of Hogwarts.
Well, at the end of the corridor I turned and faced a huge model of Hogwarts, well I almost burst into tears. This huge 1:23 sized model of the grounds of Hogwarts awed me, I was really emotional in this section. It’s a beautiful piece of construction and I spent a very long time wandering round looking at it all. I think this was actually my favourite part of the whole tour. After the huge model of the school, we went into the last part of the tour which is the wand shop, which holds over 4,000 wand boxes with the names of cast and crew. I spotted Daniel Radcliffe’s and Rupert Grint’s but I couldn’t find Emma Watson.
It’s safe to say I loved every second of the studio tour and I’m already planning when to go again. I would really love to go around Christmas, but I don’t think it’ll be this year. I’ll need chance to save up properly, because we all know I’ll go mental (again) in the shop. On that note, on Friday I’ll be posting what I bought in the shop so you can see what I picked up and also some of the things that are available at the moment. They also recommend about 3 hours to go around the tour, but we were at the studios for 6 hours breathing it all in. Was an amazing day for me and my family.
Hope you enjoyed reading about my experience on the tour. I’ve really enjoyed reliving it and sharing it with you all. If you have any questions about anything on the tour that I have or haven’t mentioned, please let me know!