Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour
Leavesden near Watford, London
12TH NOVEMBER 2022 - 15TH JANUARY 2023
You are invited to experience a very 'Harry Christmas' at the Studio Tour during Hogwarts in the Snow, the most magical time of year, when iconic Harry Potter sets are dressed for the festive season in a blanket of filmmaking snow.
Timed entry for The Tour is normally booked for 1.30pm with departure at 5pm (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.
Harry Potter fans can experience the magic of filmmaking first-hand with many of the original cast and crew returning 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 Great Hall is home to some of the beautiful hand crafted props created for the Harry Potter film series including Professor Dumbledore's lectern and the House Points Counter. Though rarely seen on screen, it is rumoured that when the House Points Counter was first built it caused a national shortage of Indian glass beads.
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 9 ¾ to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Most of the scenes that take place on Platform 9 ¾ were actually shot on location at King's Cross Station in London, however, during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, part of the station platform was recreated on a soundstage here at Leavesden, complete with the track and the train. The Hogwarts Express provided the background for the very first shot ever captured for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and then, ten years later, for the very last shot of the entire series in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2. 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 Diagon Alley set pieces were also re-dressed for use in the village of Hogsmeade for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The original design of the street combined the rich details from the Harry Potter books with inspiration from the streets described in the works of Charles Dickens. 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.
Gringotts Wizarding Bank played an important role in the Harry Potter film series. Lined by towering marble pillars, the grand banking hall is decorated with three magnificent crystal chandeliers and finished with real brass leaf. Inkwells, quills, ledgers and piles of Galleons, Sickles and Knuts complete the goblin tellers' desks as seen on screen. The Prop-making Department, led by Pierre Bohanna, created over 210,000 coins for the final two films alone.
The greenhouse is a fan-favourite set from the Harry Potter film series, where students were taught their Herbology lessons with Professor Pomona Sprout. Built by the original Harry Potter filmmakers, the greenhouse is home to many exotic and magical plants. Just like a Hogwarts student, you will be able to step into the greenhouse and stop to pull out a potted Mandrake as part of an interactive display. Based on the scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, you will recognise the Venomous Tentacula hanging from the ceiling as you walk through the greenhouse. During filming, various techniques were used to achieve the movement of the magical plants. The sinuous grasping movement of the Tentacula's tendrils was computer-generated however, the movement of the Mandrakes was achieved using animatronic controllers hidden beneath the table.
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 an extensive 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.