I haven’t read any of the books before, but I have caught all the Harry Potter movies! I’ve watched all of the movies in the cinema, so I was really excited to go to the Harry Potter Studio to check out the sets and how the movie magic was created!
Hazel and I didn’t hesitate even for a second before we booked the Harry Potter Studio Tour with the school as part of the summer programme activities! I think we were probably the first two who signed up hahaha. We paid a subsidised price which included the tickets to the studio tour, and also a coach ride to and from the school hostel.
I’ve watched so many vlogs on YouTube of the HP Studio Tour, so the entrance of the building already looked way too familiar! It had the photos of the cast members blown up all around the walls, especially Harry, Ron & Hermione from the very first film hahaha how cute.
Even though there was a pretty long line to wait to get into the studio, there was enough to occupy the crowd at the entrance area. There was a Starbucks to grab a coffee while in the queue (but you’re not allowed to eat in the studio!), and also take pictures of the set items such as the flying car, and also Harry’s little room under the stairs.
The Great Hall
We started with a short video that summarised the long history of the Harry Potter franchise, which made everything 10x cooler and excited you way more for the tour hahaha. Then the screen rolls up and the legendary door that leads to The Great Hall! I was impressed by that.
It doesn’t look as big as how the movies make it out to be, but of course post-production made The Great Hall much more majestic onscreen. But just standing there and thinking about how all the cast members and crew were filming at the very spot was super amazing to me. And because the scenes are so very familiar to me, it made everything looked so coooooooooooooool.
The uniforms that the cast once wore were also exhibited there, including a long table of fake food hahaha. Oh and did you know they are selling romantic dinners in the Great Hall for Valentine’s Day? COOOL.
Other than the sets that were being displayed, a lot more detail behind the production of the movie was also described and displayed to visitors. The way the make-up was done, the costumes, and the masks used for the special creatures in the movie were all displayed.
I liked that other than the things that people could actually see from the movie (like the key movie characters, the sets etc), the behind-the-scenes effort and crew members were also credited and honoured within the studio tour. Gives you much more appreciation for the movies!
The set room that followed The Great Hall was amazing. There was so much to see, I caught myself photographing like everything and anything. All the sets were maintained just the way they were in the movies. It was very cool to see everything so up close. You get to see how detailed all the sets were made, and every little thing has a meaning.
On this very train, visitors get to walk in and see the sets of the train scenes in the movies. Each cabin was decorated with iconic items that characterised each Harry Potter movie. It looked really cool!
The hall with the Hogwarts Express train was really organised to facilitate the visitors that wanted to have photos. I was real impressed with how it was carried out! The famous photo spot at the Platform 9¾ was installed in the hall, and about 4 of them actually. Each station had a little queue waiting to get their photo taken! The attendant would be holding a few of the scarfs for you to pick, and you get your shot, and move right on. It was facilitated really well and the queue moved fast.
There was another queue to get into the open train set. It was a really quick-moving queue, and it was mainly to sit in the comfy seats and get our photos taken. A photographer comes by each cabin to take your photo, and I guess you get to buy it later on (if you want to). The windows were screens, which play passing scenery to let you pretend as though you are on the actual moving Hogwarts Express Train! Experiencing it like a Hogwarts student hehe.
This display shelf was really really amazing. Just the sheer amount of detail that goes into all the props was mind-blowing: The newspapers that were actually properly written, and each book had at least a few pages with legit content, just in case the camera went by it. Everything was way cooooool.
We finally got to the backlot of the studio, where the Studio Café is also located. The café prepares food daily. There aren’t an awful lot of choices, but it’s good enough for anyone who should be already starving at this point! I know I was.
The Studio Café is also where you can purchase the well-known Butterbeer! Tasting truly of butter, the taste of butter was pretty apparent in the drink, but it wasn’t alcoholic haha. It tasted interesting though! You can also buy Butterbeer ice-cream, though I didn’t think it was worth the money.
The backlot featured the purple Knight Bus, Privet Drive, and the Hogwarts Bridge. There were also these large Wizard’s Chess pieces as seen in The Philosopher’s Stone. We got to take a photo in Hagrid’s motorcycle and sidecar as well 🙂
The very famous Diagon Alley where all the activities went on at. It was so cool to be walking down the very same Diagon Alley that the characters in the movie walked on. All the shop windows were well designed and decorated, and every detail was taken care of.
This is a 1:24 scale model of the Hogwarts Castle that was intricately designed by the Production Designer. It was seriously mind-blowing, but this model was used to film the exterior scenes of the castle in the movie. There was a short video to show how this movie magic was done. So many special effects and yet everything looked so real on screen. Amazing. It may be a smaller version of the Hogwarts Castle, but it was still as majestic. The lights even changed in colour to make it look like a day-night transition!
This wall of wand boxes have the names of all the important people who made the movies possible. I think it’s an incredible way for all those who deserve the credit, to leave their mark in the studio! I tried to find Daniel Radcliffe’s name, I did. But…I was going cross-eyed and it wasn’t going to happen LOL.
The studio tour ended at the gift shop, where I bought loads of sweets and treats (the infamous jelly beans & chocolate flies/roaches) and also pretty postcards! There were mad loads of things in the gift shop, you better go there with your wallet prepared!! There were T-shirts, scarfs, caps, cookies, chocolates etc. Plenty of things to go around, a gift for pretty much anyone you know. Stay away if you don’t want to make stupid purchases (but that’s what you do when you’re on holiday right?)
I’ve seen and heard so much about the Harry Potter Studio Tour, but this experience was still nothing but amazing. It was such a cool experience to get to learn and see the makings of the movies. Everything looked so familiar and yet so new at the same time. It was great to get to see everything up close, truly gives you a deeper appreciation for the franchise.
No matter how busy you are, make the time to visit the Harry Potter Studios if you are in London!!!
Harry Potter Studio Tour London
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive. Leavesden WD25 7LR
Admission fees: Adults (over 16 y/o): £35; Child (5-15 y/o): £27 (Family and group tickets are available)
Opening hours: (Earliest) 0900 – 2200
There are a variety of opening hours found here!