Event Report: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London Pre-Opening Press Event
The Warner Bros. studio tour takes place in two completely new modern buildings on the property, so you will not be seeing the actual location where the films were created. However, approaching the property, knowing that these brilliant films were all made within a few hundred feet of where you are, is magic all on its own.
You will first enter the entrance hall, where you will be picking up your ordered tickets. The entrance hall has gigantic individual images of most of our favorite characters, 23 in all. The tour starts and your group is ushered into a large room with eight screens that have displays of movie posters from a variety of different countries.
A tour guide introduces themselves and shows a short movie featuring the background of how Heyday Films leader and film producer David Heyman discovered Harry Potter. From this room, the excitement swells as you are ushered into a movie theater for a short film featuring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson talking about the sets they have worked on for the past ten years and how they are sure you will be impressed with the craftsmanship in all the little details along the way.
When the short film is complete, the screen is lifted and there it is, the entry doors to the Great Hall, just as if you were ready to be Sorted like a first year. You can find so many little treasures inside just this first room that you will be primed and ready to continue with the full tour. Be sure to take your time throughout each of the sets. You are given plenty of time to explore all you want; however, you cannot move backward through the tour.
As you leave that first studio, you spot the Knight Bus sitting outside in all of its purple majesty as well as quite a few other large set pieces: number four, Privet Drive, the Potter house, the bridge to Hogwarts, the Ford Anglia, and a few more. While enjoying these outdoor sets, you also have the chance to try the butterbeer.
When you are ready, you enter the second building and the final portion of the studio tour. This portion is just as exciting since it contains the behind-the-scenes work, including the entire creature and art department inside information. The concept drawings, the animatronics of all the creatures, the architectural drawings, and the miniature models of all the sets give the tourist a full sense of how the creators of the films worked so diligently and painstakingly throughout the past decade to create this magical world.
Before entering the gift shop, which is the final leg of the Warner Bros. studio tour, you enter a wand display room. You may be thinking that Warner Bros. is just trying to convince you to purchase a wand here, but that is not what this room is about. It is a tribute. Every single one of the more than 4,000 people who helped create this film, from the cast to the crew, drivers, caterers, prop makers, etc. has their name on one of the wand boxes. The staff member located there, Stephen, will tell you stories of the people who you may or may not have known. Personally, I found this to be extremely enlightening since each of these people played a significant role in the creation of our favorite film series.
Bottom line: This experience is truly magical, and if there is some way for you to make it to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, I would certainly encourage you to go. A word of advice to the ladies from my companion Josée: Leave your heels at home, and opt for sneakers instead. Feel free, however, to wear your best costume. The staff will be more than happy to compliment you on your outfit. Be sure to read Josée Leblanc’s fan report as well.