Warner Bros. Executive Sarah Roots Talks Bringing Studio Tour to Tokyo
It has been a number of months since the news first broke that a new location of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour would be opening in Tokyo, Japan. Though Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo – The Making of Harry Potter won’t be open until the first half of 2023, we have some more information about what to expect. Sarah Roots, Executive Vice President of Warner Bros. Studio Tours & Retail, discussed the upcoming location for the latest issue of Attractions Management.
Roots, who is also featured on the cover of the issue of the magazine, talked about how Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo will be different from Warner Bros. Studio Tour London and what visitors can expect from it.
As we previously reported, the new Studio Tour will sit on the site of the former Toshimaen amusement park. According to Attractions Management, it will feature set replicas of the Great Hall, the Forbidden Forest, and Diagon Alley, in addition to original props and costumes from the film series. Reportedly, the area outside the Studio Tour will be landscaped, featuring sculptures of Harry Potter characters.
Roots addressed the decision to build a Studio Tour in Tokyo, mentioning how passionate Japanese fans are about the franchise’s intellectual property (IP).
The intense Harry Potter fandom of Japan and the location of Tokyo [having] such a high population of people who love to engage with IP and have days out made it a really strong place for us to go.
The differences in the two tours, however, will be because of the fact that Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is based at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, where the films were made. Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo will have replicas of the sets rather than the original sets, but the comments made by Roots suggest that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
We have the benefit of a brand[-]new building in Japan, and it’s bigger, so we’ll be able to make an enhanced Forbidden Forest, for example.
Constructing the sets out of new materials also means that they won’t be as delicate as the ones in London, added Roots.
There’s an opportunity to make them more durable, which would allow visitors to have better access to them.
Additionally, Roots noted that Warner Bros. is planning to include more interactive elements at Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo, including the possibility of photo opportunities.
The Japanese love photo ops, interactives and getting involved, and we’ll be adding a lot of interactivity and engagement into that tour.
Although fans might be concerned that planning for Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo was set back by the COVID-19 pandemic, Roots explained that the shutdowns “heightened the focus on it.” With the added benefit of being able to learn from how Warner Bros. Studio Tour London has operated and what has and has not worked there, Roots seems confident that the Tokyo attraction will be a success.
Are you looking forward to visiting the upcoming Studio Tour when it opens?