My Fifth Visit to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London The Making of Harry Potter

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

I've been lucky enough to visit the Warner Brothers studio tour five times now and each time I grow to love it more. Harry Potter is something that I've always be passionate about and my love for it continues to grow. Being able to go behind the scenes of the films and see how they were made will always cease to amaze me. One of the reasons I decided to study film at university was down to my interest in the film industry and being able to see the amount of hard work that goes into bringing a film to life. Therefore, being able to visit the place where the magic of Harry Potter was brought to life is something I will never get tired of. I'll do my best to not include any spoilers throughout this post!

Our tour wasn't until 4pm but we set out early as it was bank holiday weekend and we wanted to avoid any traffic. However, we managed to get there an hour and a half before our tour but we grabbed a drink from the cafe and had a wander around one of my favourite things the tour has to offer, the shop. Where I finally replaced my broken Gryffindor pin and purchased a few more pins for my collection. We were also able to join an earlier tour as they had quite a few availabilities. I'll never forget the time I first experienced sitting in their cinema and seeing the magic unfold before my eyes, I wish that was something I could experience for the first time on each of my visits. Walking into the Great Hall will always be magical for me, as it is such an iconic set. Being able to see the costumes in person and the amount of detail that went into them is always mesmerizing, as the beauty of them doesn't always come across on the screen. Seeing the Gryffindor dorm and common rooms was such a shock for me the first time, as they are a lot smaller than they appear to be on screen but I guess that truly is the magic of film. If I could ever warrant having my own office I would more than likely design it after Umbridge's. Who wouldn't want their office to be covered in pink and cat decorations? I know I definitely would. Something that does come across on screen is the amount of detail that went into the creating and bringing the sets to life. Such as Snape's potion classroom, Hagrid's hut, the Ministry of Magic and Dumbledore's office. The amount of craftsman ship that went into designing these sets really is apparent, so being able to view everything so closely and see all of the minute detail that went in them is absolutely incredible. Being able to see the scale of them is amazing, as it makes me wonder how they fit the cast, crew, cameras, lighting, etc onto some of the sets.

The Forbidden Forest has recently just opened, so I was extremely excited to step into it. I have to admit I did have high expectations for it but I was slightly disappointed, I was expecting it to be bigger. Also, you can't really walk around and look at everything at your own pace, as you go through in groups in order to be shown a special effect. So much detail went into creating the set, so being able to take your time and take it all in would've made seeing this set a lot more enjoyable. However, it was still incredibly magical and being able to bow to Buckbeak was definitely a highlight of this trip. One of the main reasons I was so excited for this trip was because I had not yet seen the Hogwarts Express, it opened about 2 months after my last visit. The way they have designed it so you turn round a corner and onto the platform with the train right in front of you just like Harry did in Philosopher's Stone is so magical because it really does take your breath away and makes you feel like you are really there experiencing the magic with him. Cheesy, I know. It honestly feels like you are stood on a train platform, especially with the fake smoke. I was finally able to take a picture with the trolley's in the wall and the Platform 9 3/4 sign, which is something I had been wanting to do for such a long time. This is definitely my new favourite area throughout the tour, as it even has its own shop where it sells exclusive items that you won't be able to buy anywhere else. I did get a Hogwarts Express cushion and a Hogwarts Express pin from the shop! By including the Forbidden Forest and the Hogwarts Express it has not only made the tour longer but a lot more enjoyable. Especially if you have been a few times before and have already seen everything there, it is amazing that they are continuing to add new sets.

After seeing the two sets, it was onto the backlot! I have never been a fan of butterbeer, I remember being so excited to try it during my first trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando but I was slightly disappointed, I really wanted to like it. I definitely prefer a nice, cold pumpkin juice! I'm not too sure when butterbeer ice cream was introduced at the tour but I couldn't wait to finally try it and I was not disappointed. It is expensive for what it is, especially if you buy it in a souvenir cup (£7) but you do get a lot of ice cream. I can't describe the flavour but if you're not a fan of the butterbeer drink, then give the ice cream a try! The backlot is also one of my favourite places at the tour, as you've been inside for so long it is nice to step outside for some fresh air. This is where you are able to see Privet Drive, the Knight Bus, Godrick's Hollow, etc and if the weathers not gloomy you are able to take some amazing photos outside. It's then onto the creature workshop, Diagon Alley and Hogwarts. Creature workshop is incredibly informative and interesting, as it shows you the scale of what went into creating the different creatures in the films. You are also able to see a lot of the concept art and small scale models they created, concept art is incredible to me and it is one of my favourite things to look at for any film. I won't go into detail about Diagon Alley and the castle, as it is definitely something you do not want spoiled for you.

I even made myself some Gryffindor ears to wear to the tour and I received a few compliments on them! I'll hopefully be listing the different houses on my shop when it opens.

I really hope they bring back being able to meet the animals they used during filming, as I would absolutely love to meet the cat actors that played Crookshanks! I can't wait to return to the tour, it is something that I know I will never tire of experiencing. Have you ever visited the Warner Bros. tour?

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