For Christmas I bought tickets for my best friend and I to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tours as she’s never been. I’ve been once but it was a couple of years ago and in the summer, this time I knew Hogwarts would still be decked for Christmas and covered in snow and I couldn’t wait to see it all again!
Please note that if you haven’t visited the studio tour and wouldn’t like to be spoiled on it, sadly this blog does contain spoilers!
From the moment you walk into the Studio Tours you’re greeted with things you’d never have seen before unless you’ve been to the studio tours – just past the doors are these moulds of the famous trio’s hands where no one can resist comparing their hands to Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint’s!
Before you embark on the tour there are two rooms where on separate screens and then a cinema screen, a brief history of the success of Harry Potter is explained by some of the directors, screenwriters and actors behind the huge franchise. Then the magic begins!
Throughout the tour you get to see the Great Hall in all it’s glory, the opportunity to fully explore soundstages J and K (get it?!) as well as a few sets outside including the houses of Privet Drive, the Potter’s house, the Knight Bus and many others! Everything there is exactly as it was in the films so what you’re seeing is the real deal, and I think that’s what makes it all so incredible. Even after knowing how some of the tricks were done they still look completely magical in person!
There’s so much to see in the tour, you definitely need to allow yourself at least a few hours to see absolutely everything. We started our tour at 3pm and left the building at 7:15pm and could’ve stayed for even longer! The amount of detail that has been put into every single prop means that a simple glance at it isn’t enough, not if you want to fully appreciate it anyway.
One of my favourite parts of the tour was the design room were they had all the blueprints of various props and architecture, seeing all the sketches and margins was incredibly impressive, so much was put into each and every one of the films to make it perfect.
Of course the highlight of the tour is the last room where you can see Hogwarts in it’s entirety. Here is where they show you the build of Hogwarts that they used for all the large landscape shots in the films so it wasn’t completely CGI, and you can watch my vlog of the tour to see all angles of this masterpiece!
Last but not least you have one more thing to marvel at in the tour, and that is the Harry Potter shop. You may as well give yourself an hour to explore this alone as well as everything else in the tour because wow there’s a lot of stuff in here! Unfortunately as we were pushed for time (we spent too much time ogling at everything else…) and I couldn’t get any photos of the shop but trust me when I say it’s a Harry Potter fan’s dream.
Loads of new things have been added to the tour since I last went such as learning how to duel (which you can see in my video!), being able to go on the back of the Knight Bus and sit in the Ford Anglia, basically just more things that were already there but now you can physically access them rather than just looking at them which is really fun! More things are constantly being added or expanded to with the tour so it’s always growing and getting better.
While you’re there I’d 100% say talk to the tour guides. They know everything. We met one especially lovely guide in Diagon Alley and she was full of information about the films that she happily wanted to share with us and this is one thing that’ll make each person’s trip to the tour unique because the more you ask the more you’ll know – therefore the more you’ll take away from the tour! She also took my camera to take some sneaky photos inside Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes!
There’s so much more I could say about how wonderful the Harry Potter Studio Tour is but really you have to see it for yourself. But until you book your own tickets to go, here you can watch our trip through the tour, enjoy!