On Mother's Day me and my friend Mia took our friend Lyn to the Warner Brother's Harry Potter Studio Tour as her birthday treat. It was something we all talked about for ages and finally had a free day we could all go. I am the biggest Harry Potter geek and they are still my favourite books ever and always will be!
I would like to put a huge SPOILER ALERT right here as I do go into detail and share some secrets of the tour and really don't want to ruin it for you if you don't want to find them out just yet!
The Great Hall was actually smaller than I thought it would be but the tour guide told us 400 people have gotten in for scenes along with cameras! The floor is actually the same stone used in old churches; the designers knew this set would be used for around 10 years and have thousands of people go past so needed it to last!
Costumes aren't the biggest part of the Harry Potter films as there is too much brilliant action to care usually! Hermione's Yule Ball dress is perhaps the only outfit that wowed viewers as it was a shock to see her all girly for a change! It was interesting to see how the costumes alter throughout a fight scene; the picture above shows how Daniel Radcliffe's costume gets more worn and torn throughout a battle scene!
We were left to walk around a sound stage and learn some more magic about Harry Potter. I loved the Gryffindor common room and it actually looks comfy! What really fascinated us was how every little detail was designed and made. There were so many props used to make Hogwarts look old, I wondered why they couldn't source and hire old artefacts! My question was answered when I read a sign saying certain items just weren't magical enough. My favourite knowledge bomb was when we found out the oil paintings hung on Hogwarts walls are actually members of team that weren't on camera. Producers, designers and graphic designers all got to be immortalised in an oil portrait and got to be in the film without us knowing!
We all tried butter beer although just didn't get it. Fizzy coloured cream soda (our closest guess) with actual cream poured on top to look like beer. Drink it quick of the cream will drop down due to it's weight and make the drink look like curdle milk. Not appetising. Neither is the £2.95 price tag. We should have shared... Outside was a few more famous sets and props which we couldn't fully appreciate because it was freezing and really dark but we took a few photo ops as usual! I also got to see Buckbeak, one of my favourite animals in the films!
Into the second stage set we got to see Diagon Alley which was my favourite set of all. When Harry goes there for the first time it is perhaps one of my favourite scenes ever! The tour's pièce de résistance is the scale model of Hogwarts. You forget it's not a real place and all the outdoor scenes are done based on this amazingly intricate model and then with CGI. It really is so amazing and so so big! On the way out the above quote from J.K. Rowling was aired. I grew up with these books and films and as they became teenagers so did I. It may be silly and I may not be alone but when you re-read the books or watch the films it does feel like you're with old friends and that it isn't just a story, it's a part of us.