Expecto Patronum! Flying into Hogwarts Film Set at the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour!
If you’re an ardent fan of Harry Potter, GO. If you’re a film student, or an ex film student who watched the film series just because everyone is doing so, GO. If you’re someone who just loves to know what goes behind the cameras in a film set, GO. And if you’re a parent accompanying your children who are fans of the book and movie series… you have no choice but to GO.
Exploring the wondrous, magical Hogwarts film set has got to be one of the highlights of my trip to London!
Oh yeah, we’re so ready!
All in all, visiting the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour in London is a trip to Hogwarts exploring the muggle-language behind the magic. It’s essentially a walking tour around the film set that made the highly successful book-to-movie series, and the birth of some of the biggest stars in showbiz.
*Hint: When the guide asks ‘Anybody’s birthday today?’ Just raise your hand and scream ‘ME!’. It’s going to be worth it.
Life’s good when you’ve been sorted to your favourite house
We booked a tour with Golden Tours, which include our transportation to-and-fro, and the entrance ticket. We booked the earliest time slot, and were pretty much the first batch to enter the area… but we were about half an hour early before the tour officially starts!
The tour bus by Golden Tours are all decked out in Harry Potter – exterior mostly. On your way there, which takes about a little more than an hour, enjoy the first film ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ on the little TV screen installed in the bus.
My ticket to Hogwarts!
Though this would be the ideal way to travel to Hogwarts
But definitely not this!
The studio is located near pinewood studios and at that time when I was there, apparently STAR WARS EPISODE 8 was filming at Pinewood!! Geeked out for a moment.
There, you get to see some of the beautiful costumes and props that were used in the movies; tour around the huge sets of iconic scenes such as the Great Hall, Gryffindor’s dorm, Dursley’s home, Diagon Alley, Gringotts Wizarding Bank and much more. Suit up in the houses robes and snap a ‘video picture’ of you riding the Flying Ford Anglia (the blue car that flies) and of course, on your favourite Nimbus 2000 – sort of.
I wished someone will reveal the special concoction to teleportation
Paper-cut models to give you an overview of the landscape of Hogwarts
Shopping at Diagon Alley!
It must be an interesting direction for the art department to come up with psychedelic and colourful props like these!
I know some of you are going to hate me when I say I’m not a fan of Harry Potter. Yes, neither the book or the movies. I don’t detest anything, just not a fan. I’ve watched the movie series, yes, love the magical fantasies but I’m no Potterhead (assuming that’s what fans are called?).
The damn gorgeous costumes as seen from the films
Out of bounds to students… and visitors
But yes, I throughly enjoyed myself there… mostly because I’m in awe of the extend of the huge set and the amount of detail that goes into it.
One of my favourites: The green screen set
Ron’s favourite giant spider hangs by the ceiling at the ‘props’ section
Hair and makeup are essentials to any film set
Goblins’ prosthetic masks for Gringotts Wizarding Bank scenes
Breaking down how ‘the monster book of monsters’ works
Throughout the tour, you’ll get to learn more about green screen techniques; special effects, the animatronics and sketches and mock-ups of Hogwarts.
Your trip there won’t be complete without trying the famous Butter Beer! The ‘foam’ is just malt and the ‘beer’ is pure soda. It’s too sweet for my liking, but well, I’m glad to say ‘I’ve tried (the overpriced) butter beer!’.
It’s battle time!
Like a film set, huh!
Apart from the massive photo opportunities and just getting excited to see the film sets and props right before your eyes, there are a few activities you can also participate in, like the ‘Learn to fight with spells’ – learning the right swishes and poses to cast a specific spell during fights. Or photo-taking memorabilia – hopping on a broom and fly across the city with the augmented-reality clip.. all with a robe, no less.
Thank you Hogwarts!
Muggle, Wizard, Parent. Who cares. It’s Harry Potter…. and it’s awesome!