Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Making of Harry Potter - Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat recently, purely because I have not done anything particularly interesting (except drinking) and work has taken over my life. However, on Saturday I surprised my boyfriend and took him to the Warner Brothers Studio in London for a behind the scenes tour of "The Making of Harry Potter".

I planned this trip around 5 weeks ago whilst my boyfriend Luke was travelling. He absolutely loves Harry Potter so this was a great surprise for when he got back. I booked the 5pm tour which cost £33 each for an Adult ticket and being the organised individual that I am, I also purchased two day return train tickets to Watford Junction for around £6 each. Bargain.

The Making of Harry Potter - Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Admittedly, we went out the night before so we weren't feeling that fresh but we were both extremely excited for what was ahead of us. Whilst we were in the queue, the first set that we saw was Harry's bedroom from The Philosophers Stone, the cupboard under the stairs. We only got a quick glance of this before everyone on our tour got directed into a big room, where the tour guide talked us through the success of the 8 films and the impact Harry Potter has had on the world.

The Making of Harry Potter - Cupboard Under The Stairs

It was explained that every item of clothing, prop and film set within the tour were 100% genuine and used throughout the 8 films, so when I saw the doors to the Great Hall, I kind of got rather excited. When the doors opened, the Great Hall was revealed. It was a bit smaller than I expected but nonetheless, breathless. Here we saw a number of costumes from some of the main characters, the house points hourglasses, Dumbledore's podium and more. We also found out that the tiles in the Great Hall are made of real slate due to the amount of use they would have - cheeky HP fact there.

The Making of Harry Potter - The Great Hall

The Making of Harry Potter - Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

The Making of Harry Potter - Character Costumes

After this, we continued onto the next part of the tour where we got to look at further sets including Dumbledore's office, the Weesley's Burrow, Malfoy Manor, Snape's Dungeon and more. During this part of the tour, I did learn that Dolores Umbridge is first styled in pastel shades of pink during "The Order of the Phoenix". As the films continue, she starts to wear outfits in hot pink colours which represents the power that gained through becoming head teacher of Hogwarts. Also, on her first outfit, it seems as if there are two buttons at the bottom of her dress. However if you zoom in, this detail is actually two skulls which represent her evil characteristics.  

The Making of Harry Potter - Dumbledore's Office

The Making of Harry Potter - The Weesley's Burrow

The Making of Harry Potter - Malfoy's Manor

The Making of Harry Potter - Snape's Dungeon

Another fun HP fact that I learnt here was that Lord Voldemort's costumes lighten throughout the films as the Horcrux's are destroyed. Luke and I also got to ride a broomstick and also take Ford Anglia, Ron's dad's flying car, for a spin. We did buy a photo for £14 but I haven't had a chance to scan it in yet but it is quite funny.

The Making of Harry Potter - Platform 9 3/4 Hogwarts Express

The Making of Harry Potter - Hogwarts Express

THEN all of a sudden I finally received my letter to Hogwarts and boarded the Hogwart Express. My dreams have come true and I can become a wizard! Joking obviously. However, we were lucky enough to see and go into the original Hogwarts Express steam engine used in the films. It was a lot smaller than I thought but it was still awesome. After this, we stopped off for some food and had a Butterbeer which was a lot nicer than everyone had told me. It just tasted like a sweet creamy butterscotch soda. They even sell ice cream Butterbeer too now for those who don't want the drink.

The Making of Harry Potter - Hogwarts Bridge

The Making of Harry Potter - 4 Privet Drive

The Making of Harry Potter - Godrics Hollow

On the last leg of the tour, we took a snoop down Diagon Alley. All of the shops here had so much detail and they were finished to such a high standard that it must have taken months to create this set for filming. 

The Making of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

From here we then saw various architectural models (which were fascinating themselves) before seeing the highlight of the whole tour. The Hogwarts Castle. The model is a 1:24 scale representation of the castle, and was used for exterior shots of the magical school. It was literally breathtaking. Every 4 minutes, the atmosphere changes through a day-to-night cycle to show off the lighting to it's full effect. I think we spent at least 30 minutes in this part of the tour.

The Making of Harry Potter - Hogwarts Castle

The Making of Harry Potter - Hogwarts Castle

The Making of Harry Potter - Hogwarts Castle

Overall, Luke and I had the best day. I think it is a great surprise for a special someone who loves Harry Potter as it isn't overly expensive but you do need to book quite far in advance. I would definitely go again but only if someone else paid haha.

Just remember, it's leviosa not leviosarrrrr.