In the second part of 'The Perfect Weekend in Hertfordshire, England' (after staying at The Grove for one perfect night) I’m taking you just a ten minute drive to a ‘must-see' for any Harry Potter fans, The Harry Potter Studio Tour at Leavesden Studios.
As Warner Bros’ opens its doors to the making of the 8 movies, fans will be able to experience the making of Harry Potter in all its magical glory with real sound stages and the actual set where the movies were filmed. Not only that but you’ll be able to see the costumes and incredible props up close and take a peek into all your favourite places in the movie.
As you step in to the studio, you’ll take a walk down the hallway where you can rent an audio guide to give you even more information about the movies and behind the scenes information.
As you enter the start of the tour, you’ll be introduced to a muggle who will get you ready for your day, as you hear about the movies, their popularity and worldwide release. You’ll then be led into a cinema, where the cast will walk you through some of their favorite moments on set and their memories growing up playing the famous characters. As the clip ends the curtain will rise and you’ll be faced with the incredible grand doors of the Grand Hall dinning room which, unlike a lot of sets is truly as grand and stunning as it looks in the movies.
The tour will take you on a magical exploration of the costumes, props, including how they made the snow look so authentic, the potions classroom and even a chance to board the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9¾ and the opportunity to take a photo of you walking through ‘the wall’ ahead of your journey.
Be warned though, some of the magic may burst for you as you’ll be let into some of the movie's secrets, seeing how the SFX made characters such as Hagrid appear to be a giant, a close up look at the motorised Thestral, how they animated Dobby, a walk through the Forbidden Forest where you’ll get up and maybe a little too close to Aragog and you’ll even be able to hop on a broomstick against a green screen and see yourself fly through the air.
All this comes before sampling some Butter Beer at the studios cafe and stepping outside to visit 4 Privet Drive and walking into Harry Potter’s uncle and aunts home and see the closet under the stairs that Harry Potter used to live in and sit in the car driven by Harry Potter. In the winter months you can take a walk through the snow storm created outside the houses in the neighbourhood!
Next, the tour lets you walk through Diagon Alley. Feel the atmosphere of the winding and cobbled streets that transports you to feeling like you're standing right in the middle of one of the movies.
After walking the alley, you'll be lead to one of the most moving and breathtaking moments of your day and the finale of the tour. As you walk up a slope before finding yourself hovering above the entire Hogwarts model, as the stunning Harry Potter theme song by John Williams plays. The screens that are displayed around the outer edge of the barriers show just how the model was used in the movie as well as showing you how the incorporation of green screen technology was used to create scenes such as Harry Potter flying on his broomstick during the quidditch games.
THE HOGWARTS MODEL
The tour is an absolute treasure for any fan of Harry Potter and gives you all the information you could ever want to know about the making of the Harry Potter movies and will leave you as enchanted as you are amazed by the world that was created.
For more information on the Harry Potter Tour visit: https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk
With thanks to Warner Brothers Tour.