This weekend, THN were lucky enough to attend and explore the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour at Leavesden and my, what a tremendous experience. They’ve pulled out all the stops to celebrate their first Christmas and brought the season truly to life among an unbelievable amount of things to explore, investigate and learn. Although I didn’t initially read the books and it took me a few years to watch the first Harry Potter film, I was hooked once the fantastical world came to life on the big screen.
The sheer scale, love, production and hard work is evident everywhere that’s run by a highly efficient team giving you an introduction to a couple of short films and then, before you know it, you’re walking into the Great Hall at Hogwarts. For Christmas, they’ve worked for hours to transform it into a giant seasonal party, complete with Turkeys, Christmas cakes, trees and decorations that all make you feel like you’re part of the film.
The dedication to detail is what makes this remarkable and you’re advised to give yourself about 3 hours once you leave the Great Hall, as you’re then free to roam the exhibits and sets. There are obviously secrets to discover about filming, so I don’t want to give away things I saw and quite frankly, it’s almost impossible to list them all but this isn’t a bad thing. Whereas some tours and events can falter and disappoint with things missing that you want to see, I think every fan of Harry Potter will find their personal favourites from any of the eight films.
The Big Room compromises of practically endless sets, paintings, props with informative background information on how it all came together. You’ll marvel at Hagrid’s Hut, the Weasley Kitchen, the Potions classroom plus Dumbledore’s office and even the famous Gryffindor common room. You’ll even get the chance to jump on a broomstick and have your picture taken flying in your favourite house colours and then onto the Ministry of Magic. We’re not finished yet either, as you can explore 4 Privet Drive and whilst there, why not grab yourself a genuine Butterbeer that’s a completely unique flavour and then hang out around the Knight Bus.
There’s an outstanding look at the animatronics and creations in the Creature Shop, plus walk down Diagon Alley, see original concept art work in the Art Department and finally, the awe-inspiring Model Room where Hogwarts itself is re-created in large scale and it frankly took my breath away. It had to be seen it be believed. I can’t recommend highly enough the value of the tour for all ages and even if you don’t know Harry Potter as well, there’s no way you won’t appreciate the details, the heart, soul and time that’s gone into making these now timeless classics. So, what you waiting for? BOOK NOW! Secrets Are Revealed!
Scroll down for pictures and insight but don’t worry, there’s still so much more to see when you visit:
All Photography By Dan Bullock.