A fandom mecca, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter is a monument to the biggest movie series of all time and a must for every Harry Potter fan. Step in and get immersed in colossal studios where all eight of the Potter films were shot is a collection of props, costumes, and sets that will amaze even the most apathetic of visitors. Opening in Spring 2012, in under a year it had over a million visitors and these numbers are far from dwindling. Situated just a 20-minute train ride from London, adults can visit for £35 and under-16-year-olds, with packages available for families. Tickets must be booked in advance. An audio guide is available to hire, narrated by Draco Malfoy actor, Tom Felton. At the end of the tour is a gift shop that includes a number of items exclusive to the tour.
Website Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tripadvisor
After this comes the backlot, where tourists can pose with the Ford Anglia, Sirius's bike, and the Knight Bus before enjoying a refreshing butterbeer from one of the food and drink stalls available. The next few sections offer a more detailed explanation of the production process including Creature Effects, the Arts Department, and the Model Room, with Diagon Alley sandwiched in between. The pièce de résistance is the breathtaking hand-sculpted 1:24 scale construction of Hogwarts followed up by thousands of wand boxes, each labeled with a cast or crew member from the film series. The tour ends at the gift shop.
Council for Learning Outside the Classroom 2020
Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge
EuroShop RetailDesign Award 2020
Retail Design: Lumsden Design
British Youth Travel Awards 2019
Best Schools Programme
PETA Travel Awards 2019
Cruelty-Free Travel Award
School Travel Awards 2019
Best Venue for English Learning
School Travel Awards 2018
Best Venue for English Learning
Sandford Award 2017
School Travel Awards 2017
Best Venue for English Learning
Feb 13–25, 2015
Feb 14–24, 2014
May 25–Jun 2, 2013
This event saw animal actors from the films visit the Studio Tour accompanied by head animal trainer Julie Tottman, who helped "create the performances" of more than 250 live creatures throughout all eight Harry Potter films. Visitors had the chance to watch demonstrations and learn more about the animals and their trainers.
Featured were cats that played Crookshanks and Mrs. Norris, the toad that played Neville Longbottom’s pet, Trevor, and an owl that played Hedwig.
There were also demonstrations from animals who were trained like the animals in the films, including rats trained like "Scabbers" and a Neapolitan mastiff trained like "Fang."
In 2015, trainers held flight displays with owls on the backlot and guests had the chance to take photos with an owl who played Hedwig outside Privet Drive.
Original report: June 5, 2013 by Claire Furner
Back to School
Sep 10–20, 2015
Sep 6–26, 2013
In honor of the back-to-school season, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London offered special filmmaking workshops. Visitors to the Studio Tour not only enjoyed seeing all of the amazing sets and props from Harry Potter in person, but they were also able to take part in a variety of set design and storyboard workshops. Different opportunities included making white card models, creating storyboards, and learning about the specific camera and post-production techniques used to create the magical world of Harry Potter.
Additionally, the Studio Tour celebrated back-to-school by dressing a section of the Great Hall just as it was during the OWL examinations, as seen in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Staff members of the Tour donned authentic robes used in filming, and visitors were able to try on replica robes for themselves.
In 2013, the Studio Tour also gave a select group of 11-year-olds a very special back-to-school gift: the first school assembly to be held in the Great Hall.
Breakfast at Hogwarts
Aug 20 and 27, 2017
Aug 21 and 28, 2016
Guests of this event got to go into the Studio Tour before it opened to general visitors one day to explore, drink butterbeer on the backlot, and have breakfast at Hogwarts.
At the first event, drinks and breakfast canapés were served in front of the Hogwarts Castle model, but in 2017 they changed that to being in the Great Hall itself.
Visitors were encouraged to take photos with staff members dressed in Hogwarts robes and in 2016 a group photograph was taken and given to each of them along with a guidebook as a souvenir.
The Great Hall tables were even dressed for the occasion with wizarding breakfast foods like Pixie Puffs and Cheeri Owls.
In 2017, John Richardson (Potter special effects supervisor) attended and demonstrated how he and his colleagues made the door to the Chamber of Secrets. Costume designer Laurent Guinci, who worked on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, and Order of the Phoenix, was also there and helped guests step into Professor Slughorn’s armchair suit for a unique photo opportunity.
A Celebration of Slytherin
May 17–Sep 15, 2021
Aug 20–Nov 4, 2020
A Celebration of Slytherin shines a spotlight on all things Slytherin. This event allows Harry Potter fans to celebrate a Slytherin victory of the House Cup in the Great Hall. It is complete with a grand feast and original banners from the film series.
During the special feature, a 25-foot-high section of the iconic set is on display, furnished, and dressed with authentic props. When stepping into the Great Hall, visitors are greeted by a sea of green House banners from the film series suspended from the enchanted ceiling, denoting a Slytherin victory of the House Cup.
A number of original costumes belonging to the Malfoy family are on display, allowing visitors to see how the designs changed to depict their rise and fall in power and status alongside Lord Voldemort.
Christmas Dinner in the Great Hall
Dec 13–15, 2022
Dec 13–15, 2021
Dec 9–11, 2019
Dec 10–12, 2018
Dec 11–13, 2017
Dec 7–8, 2016
Dec 3, 2015
Since 2015, the Studio Tour has been hosting enormously successful Christmas dinners every year.
As part of its Hogwarts in the Snow feature, sets throughout the Tour are decorated for the festive season with Christmas trees, fake snow, and more. The first two courses of the meal are eaten by guests in the Great Hall, but dessert is served on platform nine and three-quarters.
As well as the main meal, drinks and canapés are served beforehand and butterbeer can be found at the Backlot Café.
All visitors can explore the Tour while they’re there before ending the night with dancing.
In earlier years, the ticket included the chance to pick a wand to take home.
The event is restricted to those aged 18 and above.
Sep 23–Nov 6, 2022
Sep 24–Nov 7, 2021
Sep 27–Nov 10, 2019
Sep 28–Nov 10, 2018
Oct 1–Nov 12, 2017
Oct 16–Nov 1, 2016
Original opening: Oct 14, 2014
What began as a week-long event celebrating Halloween each year is now a feature spread across the whole of October and beyond; Diagon Alley plunges into shadows, and Death Eaters patrol the Studio Tour prepared to duel with passing visitors.
In 2017, prop makers who worked on the films created over 100 pumpkins (in place of the CGI ones from the movie), and they now “float” over a Halloween feast on the Studio Tour’s Great Hall set during every “Dark Arts” feature.
Death Eater costumes are put on display while staff runs demonstrations of how to make troll snot, unicorn blood, and Fluffy’s drool.
In 2018, on one of the weekends during the feature, exclusive evening viewings were held and christened a “Celebration of Costume.” Guests were encouraged to dress as their favorite Harry Potter characters, and there were giveaways and exclusive photo opportunities - including sitting at a real Great Hall table laid for a Halloween feast. Visitors received a free digital download of their image to remember the evening.
In 2021, the Dark Arts feature focused on the symbol of Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. The Dark Mark was projected throughout the Studio Tour for fans to follow on their visit. Visitors could collect a Studio Tour passport on arrival and go on the hunt for the Dark Mark. In addition to this, visitors were also invited to learn the moves behind a wand combat scene in a live duel with Death Eaters.
Original preview report: October 14, 2014 by Claire Furner
Hogwarts After Dark
Oct 9-8, 2021
Oct 25–27, 2019
Oct 26–28, 2018
Oct 27–29, 2017
In 2017, following the success of its Christmas- and Valentine’s-themed dinners, the Studio Tour started hosting dinners when the Great Hall set is dressed for Halloween.
On arrival, guests are treated to smoking dry ice cocktails and canapés before dining under the pumpkins that "float" above the Great Hall tables. Guests then take a lantern and venture into the Forbidden Forest in search of dessert.
In 2018, original prop makers who worked on the series attended to explain how they recreated the film’s CGI floating pumpkins as physical props for the Studio Tour.
Throughout the evening, Death Eaters roam the attraction wearing original costumes from the films and Wand Choreographer Paul Harris is on hand to train visitors to engage these servants of the Dark Lord in duels.
The evening finishes with butterbeer in the Backlot Café and a walk through the gloomily lit Diagon Alley.
In 2019, a red carpet guided guests into the Great Hall, which was fully transformed for Halloween. There were floating pumpkins, red apples, and cauldrons of lollipops.
A spooky cocktail and canapé reception preceded dinner. After the meal, guests explored the Studio Tour and then followed a lantern trail to the Forbidden Forest, where they enjoyed delicious desserts.
Before the night concluded, they walked through a darkened Diagon Alley.
The event is restricted to those age 18 and above.
Hogwarts in the Snow
Nov 12, 2022–Jan 15, 2023
Nov 13, 2021–Jan 16, 2022
Dec 3, 2020–Dec 15, 2020
Nov 16, 2019–Jan 26, 2020
Nov 17, 2018–Jan 27, 2019
Nov 18, 2017–Jan 28, 2018
Nov 19, 2016–Jan 29, 2017
Nov 13, 2015–Jan 31, 2016
Nov 14, 2014–Feb 2, 2015
Dec 15, 2013–Feb 2, 2014
The ever-popular Hogwarts in the Snow returns each festive season. The huge scale model of Hogwarts is dusted with "snow" and numerous sets are dressed for Christmas. On-theme costumes like Weasley jumpers and Luna's dress for Slughorn's party are put on display.
While every Hogwarts in the Snow has seen a Christmas feast on the Great Hall's tables and trees lining the walls, since 2017, the stage in the Great Hall has also been decorated as it was for the Yule Ball.
Special effects fire (water vapor + lighting effects) "burn" in fireplaces in the Leaky Cauldron, Great Hall, and other places throughout the Tour. Plus, visitors are able to get their hands on different kinds of fake snow and learn what they're all used for.
The 2015/16 feature was the first time the Studio Tour had special effects experts rig the Goblet of Fire to emerge from its original jeweled casket and "ignite" with color-changing flames, as seen in the Goblet of Fire.
In 2020, the Studio Tour extended its wintry makeover to include Diagon Alley too, covering the set in fake snow and decking the shops with Christmas decorations. Fans will know Diagon Alley never appeared like this in the movies, but the same set was used for the snowy Hogsmeade scenes in Prisoner of Azkaban.
The Forbidden Forest was transformed into a winter wonderland in 2021. This was the first time that the Forest was a part of Hogwarts in the Snow since it was added to the Studio Tour in 2017.
Original preview report: November 15, 2013 by Claire Furner & Rosie Morris
Introducing the Art Department
Feb 14–24, 2020
Feb 9–25, 2019
Feb 9–19, 2018
A newer feature at the Studio Tour, Introducing the Art Department showcases the artistry that went into the Harry Potter films. Demonstrations of a range of filmmaking techniques are held by some of the original members of the art department, including the team who created thousands of wands during the ten years of filming.
For the inaugural 2018 feature, exclusive videos were recorded with Potter production designer Stuart Craig introducing each area of the art department.
Valentine's Dinner in the Great Hall
Feb 11–13, 2022
Feb 14–16, 2020
Feb 14–16, 2019
Feb 9–10, 2018
Feb 11–12, 2017
Feb 13–14, 2016
Each year, the Studio Tour hosts two or three dinners in the Great Hall for couples celebrating Valentine's Day.
Guests are welcomed with canapés and drinks – including a “Love Potion” cocktail – before being served a three-course meal. A souvenir photo is taken of every couple and for the first couple of years, the diners found wands waiting for them at their tables.
Everyone is then free to explore the studio Tour, and explore landmark areas of the wizarding world, including the trademark Hogwarts Express locomotive which will be set up on platform nine and three-quarters. GuestsJune 20 will also have the opportunity to view costumes of couples from the Harry Potter films, as well as the chance to enjoy butterbeer at the Backlot Café and drinks on platform nine and three-quarters. At the close of the evening, tea, coffee, and petit fours are served by the Hogwarts Castle model.
The event is restricted to those age 18 and above.
Jan 22–Jun 20, 2022
Jan 21-Apr 18, 2023
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London's Magical Mischief explored the filmmaking techniques behind the mischievous moments of the Harry Potter films on the big screen and uncovered how the films' special effects team brought magical mishaps to life. For instance, they were able to visit Harry's Bedroom from the set of Chamber of Secrets and learn how the house-elf Dobby was brought to life. As part of the Marauder's Map activity passport, visitors found Cornish pixies all around the Studio Tour and collected stamps.
- Mandrakes and Magical Creatures
- Magical Mischief
- Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Screenings
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Screenings
- Behind the Seams
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Screenings
- Harry Potter Quiz Dinner in the Great Hall
- Goblet of Fire
- Wizarding Wardrobes
- Directing Dobby
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenings
- Fifteenth Anniversary Film Celebrations
- Finding the Philosopher's Stone
- September Screenings
- Sweets and Treats
- Hogwarts Express Launch
- Hogwarts Express Preview
- Bludgers and Broomsticks
- Summer Screenings
- Wand Week - Part 2
- Feathers and Flight
- Second Anniversary
- Ghostly Goings-On
- Summer Spells
- One-Year Anniversary
- Wand Week - Part 1
- Grand Opening
- Pre-Opening Press Event
- Pre-Launch Report
- Grand Opening
Mandrakes and Magical Creatures (Jul 1–Sep 12, 2022)
Mandrakes and Magical Creatures celebrated the permanent addition of Professor Sprout's Herbology greenhouse to the studio tour. This feature included Cornish pixies, Dumbledore’s beloved Fawkes, and the animatronic Monster Book of Monsters. In addition, visitors were greeted in the Great Hall by the Hogwarts Frog Choir and learned how Thestrals and mandrakes were brought to life using a mixture of scale models and CGI in the Creatures Workshop.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Screenings (Apr 8–11, 2022)
The opening weekend of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore brought with it the chance to attend a special screening of the film at its production home: Leavesden Studios.
Fans were able to purchase a package that included admittance into Warner Bros. Studio Tour London along with a souvenir green screen photo, a meal at the Backlot Café, and a snack to enjoy during the screening. Each showing of the movie included an introduction by the head of the department prop maker, Pierre Bohanna, along with a Q&A.
Tickets cost £149.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Screenings (Nov 19–22, 2021)
To celebrate its 20th anniversary on November 16, 2021, the first Harry Potter film was screened at the Studio Tour on four consecutive nights. Visitors were able to explore the film's famous sets and grab a mug of butterbeer before returning to the Great Hall in the evening for the special exclusive screening.
The final screening on November 22 was adapted specifically for autistic visitors, with accommodations to reduce stress and sensory input.
Tickets cost £99 (£69 for children) and included a butterbeer drink or ice cream, a hot meal and one soft or alcoholic from the café, a “movie treat” from the Honeydukes trolley, and entrance to the Studio Tour.
Behind the Seams (May 26, 2018–Dec 31, 2019)
Behind the Seams offered the opportunity to uncover the secrets of the Harry Potter costume department. Tour experts guided visitors through the process of creating 25,000 items of clothing that were made for the films - from sketches to finished outfits.
Behind the Seams took place in a workshop environment, where visitors were able to view costumes never before seen at the Studio Tour. Each experience finished with the exclusive chance to try on Hogwarts robes (in the different Hogwarts House colors) that appeared on-screen during the Harry Potter films.
Tickets cost £65 (£55 for children) and included entrance to the Studio Tour.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Screenings (Nov 17–19, 2018)
The opening weekend of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald brought with it the chance to attend one of five special screenings of the film at its production home - Leavesden Studios.
Those attending got the chance to see the whole Tour in the opening days of 2018's Hogwarts in the Snow feature. They were also some of the first to view new displays of costumes and props from Crimes of Grindelwald.
Complimentary hot food and butterbeer were served at the Backlot Café, and there was time to grab a drink and snack just before settling down to watch the hotly anticipated Fantastic Beasts sequel at the end of the Tour.
Each screening was introduced by Pierre Bohanna, who has been the head prop maker on every wizarding world film.
Tickets cost £149.
Harry Potter Quiz Dinner in the Great Hall (Jul 5, 12, and 19, 2018)
The Studio Tour hosted three Harry Potter quiz nights right on the Great Hall set. Competitors were able to explore the full Tour and enjoy a meal (with butterbeer) at the Backlot Café before returning to the Great Hall for a quiz covering, among other things, magical artifacts, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, and Care of Magical Creatures.
Teams competed against each other to win a collection of exclusive Warner Bros. Studio Tour London goodies. The teams were of between six and 12 people. People could book tickets as a team or be allocated to one on the night.
Tickets cost £65 per person and were available to those age 16 and above.
Goblet of Fire (Mar 30–Sep 23, 2018)
For five months, the Studio Tour celebrated Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
The Goblet of Fire prop, which Pierre Bohanna and the prop-making department carved from a single piece of wood, returned to the Great Hall for the first time since it was used in filming. Plus, there were live demonstrations showing the filmmaking magic behind how pieces of parchment were propelled from the Goblet.
Costumes from the film, including those of Barty Crouch, Jr. and the Weasley twins, were also on display.
Wizarding Wardrobes (Jul 21–Sep 27, 2017)
Thousands of costumes were created for the eight Harry Potter films, from Hermione's gorgeous Yule Ball gown to the intricate masks of the Death Eaters. Costume designer Judianna Makovsky was even nominated for an Academy Award for her work on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
During the Wizarding Wardrobes feature, visitors were able to admire the incredible craftsmanship that went into costumes never before seen at the Tour.
There was the chance to discover how clothes are transformed from brand new to centuries-old or battle-torn and to find out more about the journey a costume goes through, from initial design to finished article. They also saw an all-new demonstration of "Professor Slughorn's armchair suit."
Directing Dobby (Feb 4–Mar 31, 2017)
This feature gave visitors the opportunity to discover the behind-the-scenes secrets of everybody’s favorite house-elf.
They could find out more about the CGI magic and filmmaking wizardry used to bring Dobby to life - from a tennis ball on a stick to a detailed, full-size model - and got to try out a new, interactive experience where motion capture technology was demonstrated by Dobby copying their movements.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenings (Nov 18–20, 2016)
The weekend of the film’s release, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London hosted special screenings of the next chapter in the wizarding world.
Screenings were held November 18–20, and special packages, priced at £145, were required for entry. The screening packages included:
- Studio Tour with specially created souvenir ticket
- Butterbeer served in a souvenir tankard
- Choice of hot food and a glass of wine, beer, or soft drink in the Backlot Café
- Complimentary souvenir green screen photograph
- Ticket to screening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in theaters
- A bag of candy or popcorn to enjoy in the theater
- Choice of wine, beer, hot drink, or soft drink in the Studio lobby to enjoy in the theater
- Souvenir guidebook
- Return shuttle to Watford Junction Station
It was definitely a special opportunity to watch the movie on location where it was filmed, with props and costumes from the film on display just a few feet away.
Fifteenth Anniversary Film Celebrations (Oct 15–Nov 4, 2016)
In a final celebration of 15 years since the cinematic release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Studio Tour brought back fans' favorite props and costumes as voted for on social media.
These included Hagrid’s deconstructed costume from this year’s half-giant Hagrid feature and an interactive special effects "UP" broomstick. The Great Hall set was dressed for Halloween and featured Professor Quirrell's costume.
It was the last chance to see the original Sorting Hat and stool in the Great Hall as well as the interior set of number four, Privet Drive since this was re-opened specially for the 15th-anniversary celebrations.
Finding the Philosopher's Stone (Jul 22–Sep 5, 2016)
In honor of the 15th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film, the Studio Tour celebrated the quest Harry, Ron, and Hermione undertake at the end of the film to protect the Stone.
Visitors could discover how the giant chess pieces were made to move and how Fluffy was brought to life. A moving display of Devil's Snare was also exhibited for the first time.
September Screenings (Sep 19–29, 2015)
The Studio Tour announced that a series of screenings would be taking place in September 2015. The films were screened over a week, starting on September 19 with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and ending on September 26 with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.
Tickets included entry to the Tour itself, as well as a butterbeer, a hot snack, a soft drink, and popcorn – and of course entry to the film itself.
Sweets and Treats (Jul 20–Sep 6, 2015)
Exhibition looking at how the food seen in the films was made.
MuggleNet represented by Laura Louise Rafferty
Hogwarts Express Launch (Mar 17, 2015)
Official launch of the Hogwarts Express feature. Special guests included Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara.
MuggleNet represented by Sophie Reid
Hogwarts Express Preview (Mar 3, 2015)
Preview of the Hogwarts Express feature.
MuggleNet represented by Sophie Reid
Bludgers and Broomsticks (Jul 18–Sep 1, 2014)
Exhibition profiling the games and sports in the Harry Potter films
MuggleNet represented by Sophie Reid
Summer Screenings (Jul 7–Aug 26, 2014)
In the summer of 2014, there were special screenings of all eight Potter films. The film screenings took place each Monday and Tuesday beginning on July 7 and ran for eight weeks through August 26. From the press release:
[V]isitors to these exclusive screenings [began] by exploring the Studio Tour (which include[d] a chance to taste butterbeer) before grabbing a hot snack, popcorn and a drink and then settling down in the Studio Tour’s cinema to watch their chosen film.
The dates for each film screening were as follows:
July 7 & 8: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
July 14 & 15: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
July 21 & 22: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
July 28 & 29: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
August 4 & 5: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
August 11 & 12: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
August 18 & 19: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
August 25 & 26: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
A week before the Summer Screenings began, the Studio Tour held a VIP screening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The event was attended by Potter alumnus Warwick Davis, along with other celebrities, including Idris Elba, James Buckley, Jonathan Ross, Jill Halfpenny, and Jamelia.
Guests were also treated to a VIP tour of the studios, during which actor Idris Elba confessed that if he could play any Potter character, he would choose Hagrid.
⬆ Back to top
Wand Week - Part 2 (May 23-Jun 2, 2014)
A weeklong event hosted by the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter. This event is focused on wand-making, allowing fans to design their own wand.
Feathers and Flight (Apr 19-27, 2014)
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter’s special event giving fans a behind the scenes look into the making of animatronic quills, birds, and broomsticks featured in the Potter films.
MuggleNet represented by Claire Furner.
Second Anniversary (Mar 28–30, 2014)
To kick off its second year, from March 28 to March 30, 2014, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter featured special guests Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima.
Ahead of the weekend, Warner Bros. described the event thus:
To celebrate our second anniversary, graphic designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima will be on hand at the Studio Tour to demonstrate the creative processes they used to develop the graphic style of the Harry Potter film series. You’ll be able to take a closer look at some of the iconic graphics they created, including issues of the Daily Prophet, the Marauder’s Map, fanciful Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes products, and wickedly enchanting books.
Ghostly Goings-On (Oct 19–Nov 3, 2013)
A two-week feature timed to coincide with Halloween. Among other spooky additions, costumes of the ghosts in the series were displayed in the Great Hall and staff showed visitors how to make troll bogies, three-headed dog saliva, and shimmering unicorn blood.
MuggleNet represented by Rosie Morris
Summer Spells (Jul 26–Sep 2, 2013)
In summer 2013, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter invited visitors to delve into the world of spellcasting, potions, and wizard duels as it hosted its first Summer Spells feature. Visitors discovered first-hand how spells such as the Levitation Charm came to life on screen and how the wand movements that accompanied them were developed.
Knowledgeable staff members were on hand to teach wand battle choreography, aided by an interactive experience created by choreography expert Paul Harris. Paul composed the battle scene between Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) and Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and is the world’s only wand combat choreographer.
Those exploring Diagon Alley were able to take part in a special effects demonstration created by BAFTA-winning special effects supervisor John Richardson. By pointing a wand, visitors were able to cast a spell that made the sign above Potage’s Cauldron Shop bang and flash as if by magic.
In scenes where a character conjured his or her Patronus – a protective charm that usually takes the form of an animal and shields the wizard against Dementors – actors such as Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, whose Patronus was a stag) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger, who casts an otter Patronus) had to use their imagination; Patronuses were created post-filming using CGI. The cast was, however, aided by an Irish wolfhound dressed in a specially made costume, which helped them visualize the glowing effect of a Patronus. This was on display at the Studio Tour for the first time throughout the Summer Spells feature.
- In the first and second films, the wands looked quite plain. This was drastically changed in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when the wands were given distinctive shapes and carvings, reflecting the owners’ personalities. For example, the wand of Professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) is inlaid with silver slug trails and has a slug-shaped handle.
- Some of the cast of the Harry Potter film series had their own ideas about how their characters’ wands should look. Actor Ralph Fiennes said he wanted Voldemort’s wand to look like an evil finger pointing off into the distance; this influence can be seen in the wand he used on-screen, which appears to be made of bone.
- Over the course of the films the prop team created thousands of wands. Rumor has it they never lost a single one – though Daniel Radcliffe wore out over 60 wands during the making of the film series.
- Hundreds of potion jars line the walls of the Potions classroom, which can be seen at the Studio Tour. Among the ingredients kept in them are plastic animals from a zoo gift shop, baked animal bones from a local butcher shop, and dried leaves and herbs.
One-Year Anniversary (Mar 31, 2013)
One-year anniversary celebration with a series of surprises for visitors
MuggleNet represented by Claire Furner
Wand Week - Part 1 (Feb 16-24, 2013)
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter invited fans to delve into the world of wand making, spell casting, and wizarding duels with activities created by special effects and choreography experts from the Harry Potter film series.
MuggleNet represented by Rosie Morris
Grand Opening (Mar 31, 2012)
Red carpet event attended by cast and crew of the Harry Potter film series
MuggleNet represented by Kat Miller
Pre-Opening Press Event (Mar 23, 2012)
An early look at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
MuggleNet represented by Keith Hawk
Read the Report 1 Read the Report 2
Pre-Launch Report (Oct 2, 2011)
A preview of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter at Leavesden Studios.
MuggleNet represented by Nicholas Myers
Travel Back in Time Next Summer with Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter is already planning a summer you won’t soon forget to celebrate the studio’s 11th anniversary. Just like Hogwarts students receive their letters inviting them to the school when they turn 11, Studio Tour London is inviting Potterheads to come rediscover Harry Potter’s first year at Hogwarts during its special summer feature Discovering Hogwarts, which will take place between May 2 and September 4, 2023.
As the year nears its end, we’re thrilled to know that some magic already awaits us in 2023. Tickets for the tour can be booked now. Please note that you need to book your tickets in advance, so hurry before they’re all gone.
Will Dunn's (James Sirius Potter) Report
So on Sunday, I went back to Leavesden Studios (Now Warner Bros Studios Leavesden I guess...) with some of the other Potterkids (yes, that's what we call each other) to see the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. IT'S ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD. That probably sounds like a shameless plug or something, but it genuinely is.
Seeing the studios again after nearly two years was very, very odd; the place has completely changed, which for film crews and tour-goers is great, it was definitely a little strange for me personally though, even though I only shot there for a week.
SO THE TOUR ITSELF. I don't want to give away too many spoilers... hmm. Well, for starters, there's a really cool-looking café at the start. That's not too spoiler-y, right? I ended up waiting at said café for a while; Ryan (Hugo) Ellie (Lily, Harry's mama, not daughter), and Ben (Young Sev!) had booked an earlier slot, and Helena (Rose) had gotten stuck somewhere in central London, thus I waited with a Sprite, people watching, as you do. So I now hold fond memories of that café, I recommend it, etc etc.
We started the first part of the tour by opening the huge doors into the Great Hall, and then the hangar after that had a huge collection of various sets from the series, which are just amazing to see in person, the amount of detail, and the obvious amount of effort that the set designers put into them, is just incredible. So props to them for that (did you see what I did there?!). There are parts of the Ministry of Magic set too, that especially took me back to when I did Potter; we all did our first rehearsal on that set, with the trio and David Yates, and all the crew. I remember being blown away by the size of it, not to mention the fact I was even there. I guess that was a reminder of how lucky I was to be part of it.
There's a part that involves brooms and green screens... I say no more.
And then, the tour continues onward, but OUTSIDE. Yes, you heard me. OUTSIDE. And what could possibly make this outside-ness better? Butterbeer. And Hagrid's Bike. And the Knight Bus. Helena and I decided to hijack Hagrid's Bike, I got a little concerned I wasn't gonna get out of the sidecar after I got in, but I just about squeezed out.
So then, assuming you've finished your butterbeer (taking drinks indoors is a nono), we proceed onwards again to, if I recall correctly, GOBLINS. And SPIDERS. My mum got especially scared by the spiders. YAY. I believe I saw Warwick Davis' face in a mould somewhere too.
It was pretty crazy seeing all the different sections, and thinking of the sheer amount of people that worked on the films. I think the number that worked on DH was around 2000.
I'm trying not to make this too much of a walkthrough, I have a feeling I'm failing. Oh well. This pic speaks for itself! Yes, it was huge.
Then the wand boxes. To sum it up, pretty much everyone that played a part in the making of the films, no matter what they did to contribute, got a wand box, which are all in this section. I think this is a really cool touch, so often crew members get a place on the credits (or not even that) and that's it, cheers, you're done, bye! But here, the wand boxes give them the extra recognition that they definitely deserve. And let's be honest, having a wand named after you is more than cool.
Seeing my own box was great too! Thankyouthankyouthankyou to Hannah who spotted Helena and me and showed them to us. And thanks for putting up with my requests for Jenny Harling and Jonny Greenwood, her knowledge of where they all are is pretty impressive... as is the enthusiasm of all the people that work there.
And then, that was it. Worth it? Oh yus. The interactivity is so good, and it was a nice little nostalgic Potter top-up for me (I need one every now and again, don't we all?). I think (and hope) I can speak for the other kiddies in saying that we all loved it; we met up afterward for a meal and were raving about it.
Oh, I couldn’t resist doing this either.
Ellie Darcey-Alden's (Young Lily Evans) Report
I think that my studio tour was absolutely amazing; it was a totally awesome adventure. My favorite part was either seeing the mini version of the Hogwarts Castle, riding on the broomsticks, or standing in the Great Hall again, I can't really decide which because they were all so fantastic. Standing in the Great Hall made me feel proud because I remembered being under the Sorting Hat, riding the broomstick was just so cool because I had never really done it before, and as for the miniature castle... well you have to see it to believe it, I think it should be the 8th Wonder of the world. Oh and I also loved finding the Wand Box with my name on it in the Wand room, I can't believe it really...
Everything was mind-blowing, from art sketches to mechanical beasts like Aragog. It was mesmerising to see ALL of the sets and props they used from the first film all the way to the last. All of the crew put so much effort into the making; they had to make sure that every minor detail was correct like every strand of hair on the Goblins to every one of Buckbeak's feathers. It is totally incredible to think that all of this originated from the imagination of J.K. Rowling... Wow completely mind-blowing!!!
I recommend a visit to everyone, I think they should go and experience this wicked adventure.