Literary Destination: London Harry Potter Studio Experience

This entry is part 8 of 25 in the series Literary London & Enid Blyton's Dorset

The Book

Purchase Harry Potter on AmazonHarry Potter, books 1-7, by J. K. Rowling

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Summary: Harry Potter is a boy wizard. The seven-book series follows Potter through his wizarding school career, during which he fights against evil to save his world time and time again. Each book gets progressively darker, but in the end love always wins.

Location: Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter, London, England

Purchase on Amazon (*affiliate link)


The Experience

This was the most amazing day of the trip so far, for me anyway. We spent almost the entire day at the London Harry Potter Studio experience. There was so much to see and do and so much visual stimuli that, unlike at the British Museum, I did not have time to think and analyze, or takes notes about what I saw. I was so tired by this evening that I couldn’t even stay awake to write about the day, so this entry may be shorter than it otherwise would have been.
The excursion to the Harry Potter Studio was so much fun! Unlike the day before, where I had needed a cup of afternoon tea and I had noticed how achy my feet were, this day I was so hyped with adrenaline that I hardly noticed my feet and I was wide awake for the whole thing!

Hogwarts Doors
Doors to Hogwarts Great Hall

The studio tour starts in a room with movie theater style seats where we sat and watched a short film in which the actors who played the 3 main characters Harry, Ron, & Hermione welcomed us to the experience. Finally the screen raised to reveal the doors to Hogwarts’ Great Hall. The audience surged forward out of their seats and we were then allowed to proceed through the doors into the set of the great hall. In the hall were not only the house tables, dressed with place settings, but costumes from each house were displayed along the walls. At the front of the room were the costumes of the professors that sat at the head table. After this room the tour guides left us to continue on at our own pace.

Harry Potter Studio Great Hall
Hogwarts Great Hall

The next room we stepped into was a GIANT warehouse space where several interior sets, props, and costumes have been stored and displayed. This one room took us hours to get through. At the back of the room there was an area with 8 green screen rooms where we waited in line to get our pictures taken and photo shopped into the flying car and riding brooms.

harry potter studio interior sets
Interior sets: Dumbledore’s office, Gryffindor dormitory, Weasly kitchen, Professor Umbridge’s office

From there, we entered the new wing, added a couple months ago, where we found ourselves on Platform 9 ¾. Again we queued for photos, this time with scarfs and carts halfway through the brick wall of Platform 9 ¾.

harry potter studio Platform 9 3/4
Platform 9 3/4

After numerous retakes, we queued to walk through the steam engine with carriage rooms redressed with props from each of the films. Across from the engine was an interior set for carriage seats where we could take photos.

harry potter studio Platform 9 3/4

By the time we were finished with the second room it was about 2pm and we happily entered a café that had been thoughtfully placed in the middle of the experience. After Butterbeer, some light sustenance, and resting of feet, we headed out onto the “backlot,” a small yard where we found the Night Bus, #4 Privit Drive, the house at Godrick’s Hollow, the Hogwarts bridge, as well as Hagrid’s motor bike and the flying car we could get in to take photos.

harry potter studio Godrick's Hollow
The house at Godrick’s Hollow
harry potter studio Night Bus
The Night Bus

Back inside, we entered the making of the films area. We walked by hair, makeup, costuming, animatronics, set models and art, blueprints,

harry potter studio Hippogriff
Buckbeak, the Hippogriff, a very large animatronic

and finally the model of Hogwarts Castle which was much larger than I had expected it to be.

harry potter studio Hogwarts Castle
Micah, my Mom & I in front of the model of Hogwarts Castle

An announcement stating the place was closing in an hour had spurred us on at hair and makeup. By the time we hit the final gift shop we had 10 minutes until the last bus left! I found a Gryffindor sweater, which is exactly what I had been wanting to buy on this trip. The sweater’s tag states that this sweater is made of sheep’s wool at the same mill in Scotland that made all the actors and extras’ sweaters. It is so unbelievably warm and practically wind proof. It will be great for work and I can’t wait to wear it with my scarf!


Plan Your Visit

Website

Suggested Related Sites

  • Kings Cross Station, London, England
  • Harry Potter World, Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida, USA

Let’s Talk!

Have you been to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour? Do you want to go? Are you afraid seeing the props up close and behind the scene techniques will ruin your enjoyment of the films? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

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