Harry Potter Studios; the hub of Harry Potter and where all the magic happens… Literally.
Everything from the sets, the planning, the costumes, the makeup, the CGI, the models and the butterbeer are displayed in these studios. If you are a lover of Harry Potter, or of films in general, this place will “confringo“ your little mind (did you see what I did there).
Although the Warner Bros Studios are becoming incredibly touristy, I would still highly recommend you take the time out of your busy schedule to experience it in all its glory. I was completely intrigued by every little part of this place and although I’m not a hardcore Harry Potter fan, I still loved every second of it.
Some of the most recognizable parts of the Harry Potter films are in these studios, and I can ensure you that all of it is the real deal.
No faking… These are the exact sets that you see in the movies and some of the most iconic props are here for you to enjoy. Everything from the Knight Bus to Privet Drive! You certainly won’t be disappointed.
If you’re a die-hard Daniel Radcliffe fan you could also think “OMG HE TOUCHED THIS DOOR HANDLE, HE SAT ON THIS BUS, HE WALKED ON THIS BRIDGE!!” Unfortunately, that is not me but by no means did that affect my experience.
So what are my thoughts on Butter Beer? Delicious but sickly.
If you’re wanting to come all the way to Harry Potter Studios only to taste this drink, I would save some pounds and buy some creamy soda, butterscotch syrup and whipped cream. Because that is essentially all it is… It was yummy, but overpriced and can easily be created in your kitchen!
Aside from that, you will certainly not be able to experience anything else from your home (aside from through a screen of course).
Let’s go through a few things that you will experience on this Warner Bros Studio Tour:
• You will get to walk down Diagon Alley.
• Taste Butter Beer
• See the iconic Hogwarts Bridge, Knight bus, Privet Drive, Great Hall, Castle and more.
• You will learn about all the behind the scenes work in the production of the film, including exclusive footage!
• See the costumes that were worn by the cast and crew. The props, creature effects, arts, graphics and more.
• See the work of the CGI and how the ‘magic happens’.
I don’t want to type away at all the secrets you will learn from this experience, that’s for you to find out. But I certainly will say that the depth and details that go into filmmaking was completely incomprehensible to me. Everything from the way the cauldrons spin, to how intricate the backdrop details are.
No matter if you’re a lover or a hater of Harry Potter, the Warner Bros Studios are fascinating nonetheless. Although there is one thing that I am going to let slip…
Did you know that Hagrid (you know, the huge, scruffy, big-bearded one) has a life-size robotic body double that doesn’t involve the actor? A huge suite is pumped full of water to create the life-sized character, a person is inside manoeuvring the body, and a robotic Hagrid head is on top to make it appear his size without computer generation. Amazing!
This was by far the thing that blew my mind the most.
Coming from a used-to-be makeup artist, the detail in the special effects, masks and wigs was bar none. As you can see in these images, hours and hours and hours of work have been put into every little part of this creation.
Hours of work are put in to every day of filming, just to apply the prosthetics and makeup. Hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of hours, are spent throughout the production to make the characters appear as magical as they are. Now that is something to appreciate!
In all of the sets, you will find numerous things that never get shown in the films. So if you make a visit, ensure you take the time to observe all the little details. Don’t rush, if you are interested in the amount of work that is put into your 2 hours of entertainment, you will not want to skim past a thing.
The most impressive part of the experience for me was seeing the mini (well not so mini) model of Hogwarts Castle. This model has been used for all of the exterior shots since the first movie and has such detail to the extent of owls in the windows, door hinges on the tiny doors and a fibre optic lighting system that turns on the inside lights, torches and makes it appear as though there are people inside.
I quote “The time spent by all the artists put together would have totalled up to 74 years!!”
The sheer amount of work that was put into this film is what I found so spellbinding (haha). I am no film expert and have never had any experience in the production of a movie… But I can definitely say that since this experience I appreciate my 2 hours of entertainment more than ever.
Considering that the Harry Potter series is one of the most successful film franchises of all time, I really do understand what all the fuss is about. These films made a whopping 1.7 billion in the US and has one of the biggest fan bases in history – Harry Potter lovers are crazy!
So is the Harry Potter Studio Tour worth the hype? Hell yeah, it is!
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