As many of you know, I’m a Harry Potter fan (Liz, not Rob). I’ve read the books, I’ve seen the films, I even have a few collectables. So when I heard about the Harry Potter Studio Tour, there was no question about it. We were going to see it. And Elly too.
The rumour was that Warner Bros. Studios had kept every prop, set and costume so they could be put on display. Normally, a film studio will sell everything because they won’t get used again. Warner Bros. realised that they could make more money out of it all with a tour. Looking at the number of people there, they weren’t wrong.
Financial’s aside, the tour is amazing.
First, there’s the Great Hall. It’s not as big as you’d expect (I think Elly said the same thing in her post) but it’s still impressive. They have 2 of the 4 house tables set out, and various school and staff costumes on display around the outside. It’s kind of an overwhelming first room because there are *so many* things to look at. A brilliant introduction to the whole tour.
Throughout the tour, they play music from the films as well as lighting every set in a beautiful way. It’s all so atmospheric and draws out your memories from the movies. A great idea by the organisers, making this studio tour an experience not just a museum or exhibit about the film.
Some of my favourite sets at the whole studio were the Griffindor dormitory and common room. The dormitory was originally constructed for the first film, so the beds were far too small for the actors in the later films. The guys had to curl up to make it look like they still fit! The sets felt very homely – the blankets, the trunks of luggage, the comfy furniture in the common room. Wonderful rooms, wonderful sets.
I love the Weasley’s living room below. It was all wobbly and crooked as if Mr Weasley had built it himself. Apparently it was originally built straight, then yanked crooked forcefully by the crew. The set had various magical items at work on the set, like knitting needles doing their knitting and a wash brush scrubbing a pan in the sink. Very cool.
The details, the details! There were so many details. They really did keep everything from the films. Every little thing. It was amazing.
In the outside area (where you could buy some terrible tasting butterbeer) was Harry Potter’s family home that they used for some of their filming. The house was based on Lavenham’s Guildhall that we saw in Suffolk a few months ago. The house on the right is 4 Privet Drive. They did originally film on an actual street in Bracknell, Berkshire, but it was too annoying having to close the street for the residents each year. So, they decided to build their own 4 Privet Drive.
The absolute highlight for me, though, was Diagon Alley. With the lighting and the Diagon Alley music from the film playing all around, I was completely blown away. It was perfect.
These photos are only a snapshot of the studio tour. We were there for 3 hours just walking through. Various actors, like Daniel, Emma and Rupert, explained things in the videos. Tom Felton who played Draco did the audio guide (which I recommend you get, by the way). It was such a memorable day. I’d be happy to go back again.
To any Harry Potter fan out there, you must go and see this place. You won’t regret it.
For more information about the tour: visit Warner Bros Studio Tour.