After waiting patiently, I finally got to visit The Making of Harry Potter studio tour in London.
Whilst I have always enjoyed Harry Potter, I have got to admit I am far from a die hard fan. I read the books during school, but stopped reading after the fifth one. I really enjoyed the entire film series, and a visit to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter World is something I’ve wanted to do since it opened.
Waiting a little bit may have worked to my advantage, as there were a few new things for 2017. As part of my two-day break to London, we took a coach to Watford where the studio tour was based.
Booking in advance is essential, as you are given a designated time slot. We were given four hours at the studio tour, which I thought was a bit excessive, but it turned out to be required as it took us three-and-a-half hours to get round everything. Trust me, the tour is MASSIVE.
You start the tour with a tour guide, who goes through the phenomena that is Harry Potter and then you experience a short film in a cinema room. After taking in the Great Hall at Hogwarts Castle, which has been dressed as it is seen on screen (with full cobbled floor included), the tour guide leaves you to your own devices.
There are plenty of props, costumes, sets, and behind-the-scenes titbits to cater to anyone, whether they’re super-fans, interested in the craft of making a movie, or just looking for a day out. There are plenty of interactive, hands-on things that will appeal to younger visitors, such as playing a green-screened fame of Quidditch, and a treasure hunt searching for Golden Snitches around the attraction.
As a film and television graduate, I was particularly interested in learning more about how things were shot, and created. Anyone will know just how many special effects and sets were needed to create the magical world of Harry Potter. It was incredible to see just how much effort and detail was put into creating everything – with so much of it looking real close-up.
Getting to experience the Great Hall, Forbidden Forest, and Diagon Alley made me actually start to consider if I had actually stepped into a real forest or street.
As I mentioned earlier about the hands-on experiences, there’s a lot of photo opportunities too. Whilst you’re allowed to go off on your own and are encouraged to snap away, there are plenty of “paid-for” experiences – which can make for a very expensive day out for families! However, it’s entirely up to you if you want a photo on a broom or in front of spiders.
My nephew is a huge fan of trains, so getting to see and step inside the Hogwarts Express was most definitely his particular highlight. I personally really enjoyed walking through Diagon Alley, seeing the props and costumes up-close, and seeing the HUGE replica of Hogwarts which was used for close-up and pan shots in the films.
Seeing the replica castle was actually breathtaking. I was taken by how impressive it was, and just how much work had clearly gone into it.
There’s plenty of gift shops around too, which will only make your wallet feel much lighter – with pretty much everything Potter-related you could ever want. There’s a cafe too which serves Butterbeer and Butterbeer ice cream. I’m happy to report that the Butterbeer is absolutely delicious, and very moreish!
I would definitely recommend visiting The Making Of Harry Potter tour. As it took over three hours to visit, it is definitely worth your money and a great way to spend the day.