Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter


"The stories we love best do live in us forever. So, whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home." - JK Rowling

A few days ago Amateur Reviews were lucky enough to go to the Harry Potter Tour at Leavesden studios! I suppose in some respects this post could be seen as a review but it’s mainly to share the magic with all you readers in case you decide you want to go! There are some things I will endeavour to not give away as there are moments which should not to ruined, however if you want to attend the studios completely unawares, it’s probably best if you do not read any further. Consider that the spoiler alert disclaimer!
 
The outside of the studios on arrival

The Chosen One's handprints which were surprisingly small
There will be a link to the Warner Bros. website where tickets can be purchased at the end of this post. There are two types of individual tickets on offer: a single admission or the Complete Studio Tour Package! Amateur Reviews would strongly recommend the package because not only do you get an audio/visual guide (narrated by none other than Tom Felton), you also get a Souvenir Guide which is well worth it!
The official merchandise store feels like part of the tour in itself! Seeing Chocolate Frogs and Every Flavoured Beans to buy for real is extremely surreal. The range of House merch is extensive and of extremely good quality. Whether you want to buy a replica staff belonging to Mad Eye Moody, or a simple postcard, there’s something for everyone.
 
The confectionary goods area of the store

Honey Duke's sweets

Wouldn't much fancy getting an ear wax flavoured one...
For the most part the tour is self guided and photo opportunities are permitted pretty much everywhere! Throughout the tour there is no hurry at any of the stops and it’s lovely to be able to take your time looking at everything, because believe me, there is a lot to see! Here’s just a taste of what sets are on display in the first soundstage…
 
The infamous cupboard under the stairs!

The Great Hall

Two of Hogwarts' great headmasters

Dumbledore's office - but can anyone remember the password?

The Gryffindor Common Room

Potions!

The statue in the Minstry of Magic

Ministry of Magic atrium
From this point the tour proceeded outside to what’s known as ‘the backlot’. Here you could purchase a glass of butter beer from one of only two places in the world (the other being Orlando, FL)! Also here you can see some of the famous vehicles from the film including The Knight Bus. Ever wanted to knock on the door of Number 4 Privet Drive? Well now you can! And to make matters even more surreal, it’s right next door to Lily and James’ house at Godric’s Hollow!
You will never forget your first sip!

Hogwarts bridge

Privet Drive!

Harry's old house

All Destinations (nothing underwater)
 
Next up on the tour was a prop department which included loads of prosthetics and some of the Wizarding World’s most famous animals! Buckbeak and Aragog are notable highlights. From here visitors can have the magical experience of walking up and down Diagon Alley past Fred and George’s joke shop and Gringott’s to name but a few of the attractions. The attention to detail is utterly spectacular and you feel like Harry did on his first trip there: in awe. One of the final stops on the tour is a walk around a colossal scale model of the school complete with working lights and door hinges. To say this moment is breathtaking would be an understatement.
 
Diagon Alley

Need some Galleons?


 

So this concludes what has been a very heavy text and image blog post! Always better to have too much info than not enough, right!? Well anyway, the Warner Brother’s studio tour is utterly magical for adults and children alike. If you’ve been already or are planning to, we’d love to know in a comment below!
 
Here's the link to start planning your trip!

http://amateurreviews25.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/harry-potter-studio-tour.html
Earlier in the year Amateur Reviews did a post on the opening of the tour which is also link here for all those interested.

"No story lives unless someone wants to listen." - JK Rowling
 

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