On Sunday we took a trip up to the Warner Brother Studios to catch a little magic at the Making of Harry Potter tour. The tickets were a birthday gift for my little sister, who’s a total Harry Potter fan-girl – and it was the best gift we could possibly give her (with the exception of a life sized unicorn).
The first thing you notice as you pull up to the studios (named J and K, geddit?) is their incredible vastness. They stretch almost as far as the eye can see and each studio is crammed with sets, props and plenty of secrets. Which, of course, I won’t divulge.
We arrived a little early (which is most definitely advisable) and headed straight for the gift-shop, which was basically Flourish & Blotts, Honeydukes, Olivanders and Madam Malkin’s all rolled into one. For those of you looking confused, it sells books, sweets, wands, clothes and much much more. I walked away with a chocolate frog and a sugar quill, Kate immediately purchased a wand and went back for sweets later on. Neither of us felt like parting with £69.95 for a knitted jumper.
Now equipped with plenty of sugar for the tour, we got in line. Being a Sunday, it wasn’t too crowded and I don’t think it took more than 15 minutes to get in. I think the start of the tour is best left as a surprise (no filming allowed, so watching my video won’t spoil it) but I thought it was pretty amazing and I’m not even a huge HP fan!
You can stroll through studio’s J and K at whatever pace you fancy to take in the thousands of things there are to see – whole sets, paper models, animatronic characters and hundreds of props – including endless antique-style paintings which lined Hogwart’s corridors. Physically seeing the actual sets is amazing and it’s pretty bizarre to think you’re standing in the same place that the actors and crew called home for a decade. Plus, you get to learn the behind the scenes secrets from the most magical elements of the films – which I imagine makes them seem an extra bit wonderful when you rewatch them.
If you’re feeling a little thirsty you can grab yourself a Butterbeer in the outside section between the studios – a very sweet and frothy creation that proved a little more popular with the young than the older in our party. Still, it gives you a very attractive moustache and you can walk away with a pretty cool tankard. Who doesn’t need a tankard?
But you don’t need to listen to me talk about it – see it for yourself: