I FINALLY DID IT!
I packed my bags, went to London and visited the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Making of Harry Potter!!
This has been on my bucketlist for ages! But nobody ever wanted to go (some people didn’t even know that it existed) or nobody was like “hey, let’s just do it!” until my friend S was like “let’s go on a Harry Potter Holiday!”
Saying “no” wasn’t even an option.
Since the two of us are a little lazy at times… we simply booked a tour via Golden Tours, but looking back I would recommend people to just rent a car or take the bus/underground/train/whatever. It’s not really a money issue, but a time issue. With Golden Tours they give you 3 hours in the Studio and then they pick you up and bring you back to London. It sounds convenient when you’re a tourist, but 3 hours wasn’t enough. Not for us anyway. At the end, we did have to rush a bit.
Luckily, it didn’t ruin the experience or anything. The two of us were ecstatic when we arrived and left.
I love what they did to the entrance hall. It’s full of portraits of the various actors that you can admire while waiting in line. But before you know it you’re already inside.
At first, you get to see a short movie where Rupert, Emma and Daniel talk about growing up on set and then the magic begins.
The movie screen goes up and the door to the Great Hall awaits. (Tip: sit at the front of the cinema!)
Now, someone has to open the door. But who will it be?!
The staff asks whether it’s someone’s birthday. If you’re a Slytherin, I would say: go ahead and lie! Yell that it’s your Birthday. They won’t check. But obviously I’m a goodie toe shoes Hufflepuff and I can’t bring myself up to just raise my hand and tell them that it’s my birthday.
It turned out that it was nobodies birthday, but instead of just saying “well, everyone in the front can come up and open the door together” or “raise your hand if you want to do the honor” they immediately picked a little kid, who didn’t even understand what was happening, to open the door… It’s so unfair. That kid doesn’t know the hardship of having to wait every year for a new book to come out. He has probably only seen the movies anyway!! I should be the one to open that door!.. Wow, I’m hating on a little kid… I’m sure I’m like 30% Slytherin.
But, hey, no big deal. I am still one of the first people in our group to enter the Great Hall. And it’s magical. Although I didn’t cry. I was totally prepared to cry. No joke. I even brought tissues.
In the Great Hall, a member of staff tells everyone a little bit about this particular movie set and then you’re allowed to wander around the Studio on your own.
I must say that I did find it difficult to take good pictures in the Studio because everything is so dark. It adds to the atmosphere, but it’s a nightmare when you’re not accustomed to taking pictures in dark rooms. At some point I seriously gave up on taking pictures and started filming instead (you can watch the video at the end of this post).
S and I spent the majority of our time in the Big Room. That’s were you find most of the sets: Dumbledore’s office, Gryffindor Common Room, potions classroom, the Weasley’s kitchen, Hagrid’s hut, the Ministry of Magic, Malfoy Manor and what not.
I also loved learning the various wand combat moves in the Big Room. That was so much fun, and definitely not something “just for the kids.” You can also fly a broomstick, but Daniel did say that after the experience “you will never look at Quidditch in the same way again.” Soooo, boys, be careful.
Also, chat with the people that work at the Studio. They are so friendly and they will tell you lots of stories about the set.
We, for instance, asked about the various potion books in the potions classroom. We were wondering whether the entire potion book was filled up with different recipes and instructions or whether it was blank. Turns out that they simply printed 7 pages over and over again. The girl who was manning the potions classroom even put on some white gloves and showed us the book. That was really nice of her, and cool.
We now have to talk about butterbeer. Did I like it? Euuuhmmm…. sorta, maybe.. not really…
The foam part, which is sort of creamy, tastes like toffee. It’s sweet and yummy.
Mix those two textures together and I’m out.
I’m bummed that I didn’t really like it. I wanted to love it so much.
You know, one of the rooms that I barely hear people talk about is the Art Department, while I found that room to be one of the most interesting. It’s full of sketches, paintings, and paper sculptures.
A set is the finished product. All the stuff in the Art Department shows you how it all looked like in the set designer’s head. The thought process. The building process. It’s fascinating. That’s where you really have to use your imagination to bring things to life.
I made an attempt at filming everything, so if you’re curious you can watch it below. And let me know if you’ve ever visited or planning on visiting someday. What are you looking forward to the most or what is your favorite part of the Studio?