by Kyrie Adderholt
When you first arrive at the studio, located just outside of London, it appears to be just a normal building. However, when you step inside, you see pictures of the cast members all around the walls, as well as the handprints of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. While you are queuing to enter the actual tour, you walk by the cupboard under the stairs that was used in the films, complete with a pair of the glasses worn by Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. The first parts of the tour are two film rooms. The first room has screens around the walls and it shows a short film about turning the books into movies. Then you enter into a proper cinema room where you see a film narrated by Dan, Emma, and Rupert that talks about the making of the films and everything that went into them. Then the tour properly begins!
I won’t go through everything in order because I do not want to ruin the tour for those who might take it in the future. During the first half of the tour there are so many different areas to visit. You get to walk through the Great Hall and view the costumes worn by the professors in the films. Other areas include props from the Yule Ball, the gates to Hogwarts, the Mirror of Erised, the Gryffindor Common Room, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley’s room in Gryffindor tower, the Headmaster’s Office, the potions classroom, Rubeus Hagrid’s hut, and the kitchen at the Burrow. There is also a section that resembles the Room of Requirement. It is full of random props from the movies. Every time I have visited I have spotted something that I missed the previous time. One of my favourite parts is the moving props in the Burrow and the potions classroom. There is a knife cutting vegetables, a cauldron stirring itself, and several others.
After all of this you come to an area that focuses on the flying vehicles and quidditch. It shows how quidditch was filmed, and you actually get to see some of the vehicles moving in person. There is even a section where you can get your picture taken while sitting on a broom! It is in front of a green screen so it appears you are flying on the quidditch pitch or in front of Hogwarts.
Before entering the second half of the tour, you will go through the outdoor area. This has the giant chess pieces from the first movie as well as the Hogwarts bridge which you are actually able to walk across. You can knock on the door of number 4 Privet Drive and visit the Potter house from Godric’s Hollow. You can sit in a replica of Mr. Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia or on a replica of Rubeus Hagrid’s motorbike. While you’re seeing all of this, you can treat yourself to a big cup of butterbeer from the snack bar outside. No trip is complete without butterbeer!
You then enter into the second half of the tour. This starts out with the creatures of Harry Potter. There are goblins, house elves, dragons, thestrals, and acromantulas. There are also segments showing how these creatures were made. Once you are through the creature area, you enter into the Diagon Alley set that was used in the movies. You will definitely want to take your time walking through here because the details on each shop are amazing to see! Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour will definitely have you craving ice cream and Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes is full of amusing items. Once you leave Diagon Alley you will enter my least favourite part of the tour which is full of drawings and set design plans. Some of you might really enjoy that part, but it just wasn’t for me! After that, though, you get to the grand finale of the tour. I am not going to say what it is, because again, I do not want to ruin it for those who might eventually go there, but if you do want to know then you can find out on the tour’s website. I will say, however, that it is completely worth the price of the tour just to see that final room. The whole time you’re there you can hear the gasps and exclamations from people as they walk in and see it for the first time.
Finally, you will come to the end of the tour: the gift shop. Here you will find anything you could possibly want! They have the books, the films, shirts from the tour and every house, wands, candy (you must try the Fizzing Whizzbees and sugar quills, my personal favourites!), stuffed creatures from the films, and so much more. If you are going there I would definitely suggest putting aside a decent amount of spending money for that section!
If you ever get the chance to go to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – the Making of Harry Potter, I highly suggest it. I have been to Harry Potter World in Orlando and I definitely enjoyed this one way more. The tour is full of three of four hours’ worth of fun for any Harry Potter fan!