Being in London, I was relatively so close to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Harry Potter experience that it was very important to me that I made it for a visit! With some finagling, I managed to do it, and it was silly and fun and really quite amazing! Mr. Q and I actually split up for this day’s activities, because going was rather expensive and while he’s seen the movies once he doesn’t remember much about HP (sad, I know!). He had his own fun, though, that I wouldn’t have been interested in, so it worked out well. I took hundreds of pictures and had to comb through them to find the ones that made it to the blog.
I did the HP tour bus thing to get there. Easy and pretty darn eye catching.
In the line to enter… it’s the cupboard under the stairs!
After a short movie introducing things, there’s a spectacular event where the last image is the door to the great hall, then the screen rises… and the actual door to the great hall is waiting for you! These are the awesome knights outside the great hall.
I believe that part of my reason for liking HP so much is that there is such an immense amount of detail in the creation of the world in both the books and the movies. I love being able to step into such a well-developed reality.
Inside the great hall. I couldn’t get a good shot of the whole thing (too big!), so you just get part of it.
This is so neat. You walk out of the great hall and into the general warehouse space and get to see the back sides of the set pieces. These are the supports of the great hall!
There was a special interest area devoted to the costumes and hair in the show, which of course was right in line with my interests. There was also an employee talking about the wigs and hair and answering questions, which was really interesting and informative. Even some of the every day hairstyles were wigs, so that the actors would always look the same for certain scenes, even if re-filming was necessary and they had cut their hair, etc.
This display had a Beauxbatons dress right next to the pattern for it on a dummy!
And a bit of distressing. Multiples of garments that are distressed is standard for film and it’s interesting to see multiple stages side by side.
There were also costumes on mannequins scattered throughout the tour, but I can’t show them all! Again, there is so much detail in the costumes. Such amazing fabrics, and construction, and details…
Wands obviously play a huge part in HP. This was a creative way to display lots of them. There is such attention to detail and character!
What do you see in the Mirror of Erised? I see me, at the HP studio!
Part of the Gryffindor common room. There is a painting of Minerva McGonagall in her younger days on the wall that I never noticed in the films. I rather like her outfit!
Part of the potions classroom.
The Weasley house–there were interactive objects that would “magically” move when the controls were activated. In this case, I’m causing the knife on the table to chop the carrots.
The iron also “magically” ironed the dress on the ironing board.
Magic is Might. Or not.
Platform 9 3/4!
See? There are about four of these in a line along a wall so the line doesn’t get too long for people who want to take pictures.
Yes, that’s me with the Hogwarts Express!
Just one of many cases full of the printed material from the films. I bet creating all the books and papers and letters and labels and everything was a fun job at times!
On the backlot–the triple decker Knight Bus. Turns out they stuck multiple buses together to create it. And they actually arranged to shut down very specific streets in London to film it. Why specific? Because it’s too tall to fit under bridges!
Next to the Knight Bus is Number 4, Privet Drive.
Or at least, the front of it! Right next to…
Bathilda Bagshot’s house.
The life size chess pieces are also in the back lot. They are really neat!
Then there’s a look into the creature studio.
And there’s Diagon Alley! So much detail, so many HP scenes… Gringotts was always in shadow, so no good pictures of that.
Then there is a whole area devoted to the designing and drafting of all of the elements in the films. It’s amazing to think that every little thing had to be designed down to the smallest detail!
And there’s also concept art…
And models of different sets. These have such detail in them, but were relatively small–this one is maybe four feet across?
There are paper owls in the Owlery nooks!
Then there is a model that tops it all…
It has it’s own room, with a ramp that circles around and slowly descends, so you can see the castle from every angle. This is what they used to shoot some of the outside scenes of the castle.
With people, for scale.
I firmly believe that those behind the scenes deserve credit, too, whether they make it into the credits or not.
Finally, you end up in the HP store. Mostly overpriced, in my opinion, and I really didn’t need stuff to take home with me. If I was going to be tempted by anything though, these were them.
And stuffed Pygmy Puffs!
And there were so many other really awesome things I didn’t include pictures of! If you like HP and you’re in London, I highly suggest visiting. Of course, if you don’t like HP, I wouldn’t spend the money, because while you can still enjoy the attention to detail, if you don’t know what all the things are it wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining and fantastic.
Anyway, here’s the last picture–from the green screen broomstick experience!