The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour

Friday, November 07, 2014 Sarah Unes 1 Comments

Prepare for a slightly unusual off topic, fangirl post but I have always, always been a HUGE Harry Potter fan. To be honest -apart from a select few (crazy people),  I personally don't know that many people that are not.Living in the UK means we have all the locations the Harry Potter movies were shot at, or locations that inspired the books and in turn movies. Although Leavesden studios have been open for quite a while ( about 2 years) for some reason unbeknown to man I only made my way up there this week. At first I thought the price was a little steep, but after actually being there I have to say it was completely worth it- and I'd go as far as going again. Seeing how the books came to life through the movies were quite literally a fangirls dream come true.

Not that I didn't appreciate it before, but the tour brought a whole new level of costume, prop and make-up appreciation. Just 50 members of costume staff - dressed not only the huge regular cast, but also the hundreds of extras- for example all of the staff you see in the Ministry of Magic. Personal costume favourites were those worn to the Yule Ball (yes, even Ron's getup) and the uniforms worn by the Beauxbaton girls. The attention to detail is astounding, even down to the damage in each of Daniel Radcliffe's costume worn through Deathly Hallows Part 1.

Another interesting tidbit- the beds in the Gryffindor boys dormitory were the same used in the very first movie, and are in fact tiny. As they inevitably grew- the actors could barely fit into the beds, luckily camera angles could conceal all of that!

The potions classroom is actually one of my favourite sets from the movies, ofcourse the walls are entirely lined with glass bottles and jars containing potions and ingredients. It was unfortunately too dark for any decent photos although, the darkeness only added to the atmosphere.

The recently opened Dark Arts section! Charity Burbage was eerily realistic- even down to the sheens of sweat and saliva on her chin. These photos were taken in the dark on a phone and do absolutely NO justice.

 A great example of how not to take a photo in the Weasley's car...

A few things that I took from visiting the tour, that may have been good to know prior to my visit :

1. There aren't too many choices of food/drinks besides sandwiches so if you are fussy bring your own.
2. The first part of the tour is the great hall (obviously). When your tour starts- make sure to make your way to the left side of the room, and stand next to the furthest left hand door on that left side. That way you are first in, sitting at the front for the short pre-tour presentation and can get into the Great Hall without hordes of people in your way. If its your birthday you even get to open the doors! Or just be really cheeky and lie.
3. The majority of the tour is pretty darkly lit- so at times if you are taking photos you will need something with a flash which could still distort colours so be aware of that.
4. Bring an extra battery or portable charger because your camera/phone will die from the hundreds of Instagram opportunities you pass.
5. Theres an option to ride a broomstick infront of a green screen. Its great- but the entire que can see your video, and the people that weren't going all out and just sitting on the broomsticks looking embarrassed looked the most foolish. So don't be afraid to go a little crazy. Besides when's the next time you get to ride around London on a broomstick? Exactly. I am pretty sure I could hear people in fits of laughter as I flailed around like a crazy person.
6. I'm sure you have heard stories about the Butterbeer. It doesn't taste too great- like sugary sparkling water, but the foam they put on top tastes great and is the only vanilla/caramel taste about it. I really just wish I asked for a cup of foam. The photos above are my happily surprised reactions to the foam.
7. Save up if you are planning to buy merch, a notebook is £12 while jumpers are £70. Wow Warner Brothers really know what they are doing here. Alternatively, a hoody is £40. I personally would have opted for a Slytherin wooly was sold out. Or better yet- check out the online store for a better idea before visiting.

Have you ever visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour? What did you think ? I think my favourite parts of the tour had to be the potions classroom, Dumbledore's amazing office, Diagon Alley and of course the huge model of Hogwarts used for many of the long shots in the Harry Potter series. If anything the studio tour just got me excited for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!

1 comment:

  1. I went here 2 months ago and it was amazing! Love your pictures xx