The first book called “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” written by J.K.Rowling was published back in 1997 and immediately became incredibly successful. After 4 years the Warner Bros. company has released a movie of the same name. Since then, the entire series of 7 novels about the wizard boy has made it to the list of best-selling books. While all 8 movies about Harry and his friends are now among the highest grossing films in the history of cinema.
When the filming process of the last Harry Potter movie has been completed, the Warner Bros. Studio decided not to dismantle movie decorations. Instead, equipped filming pavilions were turned into a huge Harry Potter world. Visitors are offered to take an exclusive Warner Bros. Studio Tour to immerse into the world of magic and wizards. Guests are able to view hundreds of exhibits and dozens of locations that still keep the spirit of the filming process about “the boy who survived”.
In this article, we will explore the Harry Potter World in London. This truly magical place attracts not only children but also adults from all over the world. So get your invisibility cloak and let’s start the journey.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
Warner Bros. Studio Tour is dedicated to the magic world and the adventures of Harry Potter. The Studio was opened in 2012 on site of a former airport and has already gained fame among British people as well as guests from all around the world.
The Harry Potter World is located on the outskirts of the British capital, in a small town of Leavesden. It occupies several premises of the Warner Bros. film studio (Leavesden Studios). This is an exact place where all the series of the Harry Potter movies were filmed.
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour consists of several filming sets like Great Hall, Platform 9 3/4, Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley and more. All the filming decorations are made with stunning detail and kept in its original state. Visitors are immersed in this world with the help of characters’ costumes, tableware, paintings and scenes from the movies performed by mannequins.
Exploring the Tour
The tour itself begins with the cupboard under the stairs where Harry used to live before he found out that he is a wizard. Visitors are also offered to watch a short video about the shooting process of the Harry Potter series.
One of the most impressive items on the Studio Tour is a huge model of the Hogwarts castle created by 40 designers. Visitors will also see the famous House point hourglasses showing the house points. The Great Hall with two large tables set for dinner can boast an abundance of handmade props used during the filming.
Next the tour acquaintance guests with the models the Dursley house and the home of the Harry Potter family. Harry Potter fans can also explore the decorations of the Headmaster’s office, see the Owl Post and Shrieking Shack in the village of Hogsmeade.
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour can boast preserved layouts and drawings created for each of the series, “live” Hogwarts portraits and the photographs of the animals participated in the filming. Moreover, guests have a chance to see a variety of magic attributes such as the Sword of Gryffindor, Sorting Hat, Weasley’s flying car, magic wands and more.
A separate room of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is dedicated to the process of creating costumes, make-up and hairstyles. Visitors are able to see the magic of an incredible transformation of film actors into their favorite characters.
A part of the Harry Potter exhibition is located outside. For example, there is a Hogwarts Wooden Bridge and a triple-decker also known as the Knight Bus. Additionally, the animatronic area brings to life such creatures as Buckbeak and Aragog.
The Magic of Filmmaking
In addition to the spectacular expositions of the Harry Potter World, visitors are able to uncover the secrets of the filmmaking process. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour shows the enormous work behind every “magic” trick. For example, visitors will see the green screen which was used to later draw miracles and magic with the help of a computer.
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour presents a story of the making of Harry Potter movies which lasted 10 years. In order to truly appreciate this tour, visitors need to be aware of the Harry Potter story from the books or from the movies. If you come to this unique site “prepared”, every little thing will immediately throw you back to the plot of J.K.Rowling’s story.
As any modern museum, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour cannot ignore the needs of its audience. Therefore, several sets of the Harry Potter world look like an amusement park. For instance, children can try and use Mrs. Weasley’s self-knitting needles or fly on a broomstick. Moreover, while you’re flying on a magic broom in front of a green screen, people can watch you transform into a wizard flying over the mountains, castles, forests and rivers on a nearby widescreen.
Harry Potter Souvenirs and Delicacies
After many hours of touring the Warner Bros. Studio, it is hard to resist the temptation to purchase a magical souvenir. Closer to the exit, visitors have a chance to enter a special gift shop. The souvenir shop offers a variety of items associated with the Harry Potter world. Here you can find anything from magnets and t-shirts to Hogwarts Headmaster costume copy, magic wands and more. Children can choose something from a huge selection of stationery and toys, while adult fans can buy themselves a phone case with an image of the coat of arms of one of the Hogwarts houses. The Warner Bros. Studio gift shop even offers a copy of Hermione’s time-turner. Who knows, maybe it really can turn back the time?
Do you remember how in the first part of the Harry Potter movie series, Ron saw Harry picking up a bag infamous Bertie Bott’s flavored beans? Ron also warned Harry that the sweets in the package may have a very strange taste. Well, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is the place where you can get a pack of Bertie Bott’s yourself. It is worth buying these candy to at least try and see what kind of flavors you might get. In addition, here you eat a chocolate frog that contains one of House Founder cards inside.
We also suggest strolling through the village of Hogsmeade. Here you will find the Honeydukes candy shop and be able to treat yourself to sugar quills. Also, make sure to stop by the famous Hogsmeade pub Three Broomsticks to taste a glass of butterbeer.
Visit the Harry Potter World
In order to visit this fascinating world of Harry Potter, you need to purchase a ticket in advance on the studio website. After the purchase, you’ll get an email with time and date of your visit. Unfortunately, if you’ll be late there is a great chance that you won’t be able to enter the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. This system was specially created to avoid crowds and make your Harry Potter experience even more magical.
It is advised to arrive at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour at least 20 minutes before the start of the tour. However, if the weather is nice and warm, we suggest arriving even earlier. This way, you’ll have a great chance to take many memorable photos. The giant chess pieces next to the Warner Bros. Studio are one of many popular on-site photography objects.
The Harry Potter tour actually consists of two parts. First, make sure to take the tour and then you can explore the studio as long as you wish. The tour itself takes about three hours. Studio employees and filmmakers will share the secrets of creating the Harry Potter series that will definitely surprise you. An extremely entertaining tour will make you look at already familiar films in a totally different way. During the tour, children and adults find out a lot of interesting nuances about the films, that only creators know. Therefore the three-hour time period flies by very fast.
How to get to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour is located 20 miles north-west of London in the town of Leavesden. The best way to get to the Studio is by train from London Euston station to Watford Junction. The ride on a comfortable high-speed train will take approximately 20 minutes.
A special double-decker bus with Harry Potter theme decorations will take you from the Watford Junction to the Studio itself. The bus stop is conveniently located at the exit of the train station. You can buy the ticket from the driver before entering the bus. However, remember to also show your ticket to the Studio. If you decide to ride on the upper deck, you’ll be able to watch a short film about the history of the Studio during the 15-minute ride.
The bus leaves every half hour, therefore it is recommended to arrive at Watford Junction at least 45 minutes before the time indicated on your ticket to the Studio.
Furthermore, when planning your trip to the Harry Potter world, it is best to dedicate the whole day to this activity. Despite the fact that the journey from central London to the Studio takes less than an hour, it is much better to explore the world of wizards with no rush.