Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour
Leavesden near Watford, London
Timed entry for The tour is normally booked for 1.30pm with departure at 5.30pm (entry time can vary by date with timings adjusted acordingly).
After your initial guided introduction, you will take yourself on a 3.5 hour self-guided walking tour of The Studios which offers visitors a unique experience to explore two soundstages and a backlot filled with original sets, costumes and props, animatronic creatures and breathtaking special effects. Along the way, you'll enjoy interactive activities such as the opportunity to 'fly' a broomstick like a member of the cast and there's also the chance to purchase a frothy cup of Butterbeer! Some parts of the tour are interactive and give you a fully hands-on experience, whilst some items on display can't be touched because of their unique and precious nature.
The team behind Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter, wanted to preserve and showcase the treasure trove of thousands of intricate and beautifully-made artefacts, iconic props, costumes and sets used in a typical production so that Harry Potter fans could experience the magic of filmmaking first-hand. Many of the original cast and crew returned to reassemble the sets and record their memories from filming, and on 31st March 2012, the Studio Tour opened its doors.
Serving as the backdrop to some of the film series' most iconic scenes such as the Yule Ball and the Battle of Hogwarts, the Great Hall was first built for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 2000 and was used as a key set for six more films. The spectacular Great Hall includes the costumes of students from each Hogwarts house plus two large tables which are set for dinner; at the top of the room is the teachers' table where the Hogwarts Professors sat.
The Forbidden Forest seen in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was a combination of location and studio shooting. This moved entirely to the Studio for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in order to house Aragog's lair and continued to grow throughout the film series. While shooting for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, scenic artists created backdrops that were up to six hundred feet in length. The Forbidden Forest seen at the Studio Tour is filled with 19 trees each with a diameter of over 12 feet.
The Hogwarts Express locomotive transported hundreds of students from Platform 9¾ to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Most of the scenes that take place on Platform 9¾ were actually shot on location at King's Cross Station in London and part of the station platform was recreated on a soundstage here at Leavesden, complete with the track and the train. The real locomotive and passenger carriages were used on locations throughout the United Kingdom to create the exterior views of the train while a special interior carriage set (built on the soundstages at Leavesden) was used for all of the scenes that take place inside the train. Visual effects artists replaced the green screen background in the windows with moving backdrops and special effects like hopping Chocolate Frogs and flying Dementors.
The Diagon Alley set constantly changed throughout the film series. Since its construction, walls have shifted, shop fronts have moved and entire buildings have been carefully tweaked, leaning just slightly, to create the street that is seen in the films. Many of the set pieces were also re-dressed for use in the village of Hogsmeade for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Diagon Alley is home to not only Gringotts Bank, Flourish and Blotts and Mr Mulpepper's Apothecary but also the dusty Ollivanders wand shop, where Harry's wand famously chose him. The shop was home to more than 17,000 individually labelled wand boxes during filming.
The final scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 called for an older Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione to bring their children to King's Cross station to send them off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, nineteen years later. When tasked with creating outfits for the scene Costume Designer, Jany Temime wanted to keep to a similar palette of pinks, oranges, blues and browns seen throughout the film series. Draco Malfoy and his family also feature in the scene and fans will notice that he is wearing his father's ring and tie pin to show that he had taken over his father's role within the family.
Refreshments are available from the Studio Café, with a full selection of coffees, hot and cold drinks can be purchased at two locations within the Studio Tour. There's also a shop stocked with a wide range of gifts and souvenirs to remind you of the day you spent immersed in the making of Harry Potter.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.