UPDATED: Warner Bros. Studio Tour Unveils New Expansion!
We’ve all been trying our best to figure out the riddles and clues that have been coming this week from the team at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter regarding its latest expansion. Finally, however, the wait is over, and the secret has been unveiled.
This morning, the Studio Tour announced that the new expansion will contain the original Hogwarts Express steam train! The expansion will be open starting in March.
The expansion will include the original Hogwarts Express steam engine and a re-creation of platform nine and three-quarters.
The new, permanent section will offer a glimpse into how some of the films’ most iconic scenes were created as well as give visitors the chance to climb aboard the train’s carriage and to pose with a luggage trolley as it disappears through the platform wall.
The new section will officially open on March 19, just before the tour’s third anniversary.
Visitors will be able to walk along the train’s adjoining carriage and sit in the interior carriage set that was used during filming (complete with ‘windows’ that demonstrate the process used to create iconic train scenes from the films such as the escape of Harry’s first Chocolate Frog and the Dementor attack). A selection of prop luggage will be on show, and visitors can find out which character owned which items by turning an interactive dial (characters include Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, Luna Lovegood and more). A train-themed souvenir shop will also be open on the platform, stocking a wide range of goodies inspired by the Harry Potter films and specifically, the Hogwarts Express.
Stuart Craig, the production designer on all the Potter films, explained a bit of the history behind the locomotive:
The Hogwarts Express was the setting for many iconic scenes, from Harry, Hermione and Ron’s first meeting in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to the moment the trio’s children embark on their first journey to school 26 years later. The wizarding world doesn’t have a need for modern technology, so we knew a traditional steam engine would make the perfect school train. Before we began filming in 2000, we scoured the country and found ‘Olton Hall’ at a preservation centre in Lancashire, realising pretty quickly that it was exactly what we had been looking for.
You can read the full press release and see an artist’s impression of how the new area will look below. How excited are you for this new expansion to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour? Here at MuggleNet, we’re extremely excited, and we can’t wait to visit again to see platform nine and three-quarters and the train! You can find out more about visiting and tickets here. Let us know in the comments your thoughts and whether you’re planning a visit for this new expansion.