OMG in 2017 we finally got to go to Warner Brother Studios to see the Harry Potter tour. I always remember the first time I heard of Harry Potter – the book had literally just come out and my primary school teacher read it to us a couple of days a week after break. It got to the point where I just couldn’t wait any longer and just needed to know what else was happening. My Auntie Tracey bought me the second two quite quickly after and the Harry Potter addiction was there.
I was of the generation that would queue up in Tesco at midnight waiting for the latest volume to come out. It’s a little bit sad that people do this now for playstation games and trainers, but not for the written word. However, I do think this was part of the magic of Harry Potter. It was a huge part of my life as a child and the studio tour definitely didn’t disappoint. Although I wasn’t happy with the aspects of the books being left out of the movies (like Peeves!), I do think that the films captured the essence of the books & therefore this tour carried on the same.
So firstly, you need to book quite far in advance for HP tour, you definitely can’t just rock up on the day and you get given a tour time too. We had an earlyish time for the tour but we got there a little bit earlier to give us some time. They have a coffee shop on site and you can get into the gift shop too. there are plenty of bits and bobs in the foyer to keep you interested too. When your tour group goes in, you get into a little lobby first which tells you about the movie franchise, how it was discovered & part of the journey of the Harry Potter phenomenon from a business perspective – all interesting stuff. The little group we were with then moved into the next part – a cinema screen (while another little group replaced us in the first room – very clever organisation and means that the queues don’t build up too much once you’re in there).
We took our seats in the cinema and watched the screen as it filled with Daniel Radcliffe, Ron Weasley and Emma Watson. It was behind the scenes footage of them growing up within the movie right up until the end of filming. For me, the whole thing was quite emotional. At the end of the roughly 15 minute film, the screen rose up and there were the doors to the great hall. We went through and were greeted by the great hall. After a short chat by the staff member, we were left to wander through.
The tour walks you through all aspects of the Harry Potter movies. It takes you through the actual film sets of Dumbledore’s office, Snape’s Potion class as well as the dormitories and Hagrid’s hut. There are tonnes of props featured in the movie and one of my favourite displays were the costumes.
There were quite a few interactive parts of this too. You could ride on a broomstick in front of a green screen which shows you flying through London & quidditch.
You then get to the Forbidden Forest which was new for 2017. It was one of the best parts of the whole experience. You can bow to Fang but I drew the line at the spiders. That bit is not so good! They have special effects and the spiders then drop down from the ceiling – super scary.
SO you walk through Diagon Alley as well as walk outside and get to go inside 4 Privet Drive and the Knight Bus as well as walk through the wooden bridge. The special effects section of the tour was amazing because you get to see the animatronics. The lifesize model of Bathilda Bagshot was incredible.
The end of the tour resulted in this castle shot – you walk down and round the whole castle and then back through the gift shop.
I didn’t want to do a whole review on the tour, I think you have to experience it all for yourself. However, I will be going back and if you do love Harry Potter, I feel like you should give it a go for yourself too!