The UK Diaries Part 5: WB Studio Tour London

My second Harry Potter post for this UK trip is the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Leavesden, the site where the Harry Potter films were made for ten years (and currently where the Fantastic Beasts films are being made). The Tour features the set, props, costumes, special effects and visual effects, creature effects, and the art department from the Harry Potter films.

At this point, we’d already gone to a John Williams BBC Prom (wherein we got teary-eyed within the first few bars of Hedwig’s theme), visited the House of MinaLima and watched the Cursed Child a few days before, and even met Evanna Lynch and Dan Fogler (but I’ll save those stories for another post). This time, on July 31st, we celebrated Harry Potter’s birthday and our last full day in London (we were leaving for Scotland the next day) at the WB Studio Tour.

Tickets to the Studio Tour are booked in advance (no walk-ins), and we booked ours way back in April, since we were determined to do the Studio Tour on July 31st and we didn’t want to risk tickets running out. Tickets are priced at 39 GBP per person.

We slept in that morning (we were all out late the night before) and had brunch at Caravan King’s Cross, before boarding the train to Watford Junction (about 20 minutes) from Euston Station and getting on the shuttle to Leavesden (about 10 minutes, 2.50 GBP for a return ticket). There are tour operators that offer shuttle services directly to the studio (you can even get the shuttle bundled with the Studio Tour ticket) from Central London but they’re twice as expensive, and our favorite Bus 91 (which stops right near our doorstep) goes to Euston anyway.

We arrived just in time for our 1:00 tour schedule at the Studio (my cousin and I were in our Hogwarts uniforms — Dianne in Hufflepuff and me in Slytherin!). We were led into an auditorium where we watched a short film — Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were in it, and they welcomed us to the Studio.

After the film, the screen lifted and we found ourselves facing a huge set of doors, which of course opened to the Great Hall, marking the start of the tour.

I got to open the door! Photo by my friend Mika.

A special exhibit on the Wizarding Wardrobes was on when when we visited, hence they had a full display of the costumes and makeup from the film franchise.

the Head Table
Hogwarts uniform
Yule Ball
Lupin and Boggart Snape-Augusta Longbottom
Severus Snape
wigs
Quidditch
Professor Umbridge
Rita Skeeter
Harry in the Invisibility Cloak , with Hermione and Ron
Hagrid
Harry meets Ron
19 Years Later
prosthetics
hats galore!
Newt and Tina, yaaaas!

I have a ton of photos (which all can’t possibly fit here), so I’ll just upload my favorites here and put up the rest on Facebook.

the cupboard under the stairs
in the Great Hall
Hogwarts staircase
Potions classroom
Gryffindor Common Room
Clock Tower
Dumbledore’s office
Hanging out at Hagrid’s Hut
The Chamber of Secrets

Flying Ford Anglia
The Burrow
at Malfoy Manor
Aragog in the Forbidden Forest
At Platform Nine and Three Quarters
with my trolley!
it’s the Hogwarts Express!
books and publications
three Butterbeers and butterbeer ice cream
Cheers!
The Knight Bus
inside the Knight Bus
the Hogwarts bridge
at Privet Drive
Flurry of letters
McGonagall’s Chess set
Fawkes
Hogwarts model
Gringotts
Flourish and Blotts
Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes
Hogwarts sketches from the artists’ studio — one of my favorite parts of the exhibit
amazing paper maquettes of key locations in the series
Hogwarts model — at this point everyone gets teary-eyed.
Ollivander’s

The tour ends at the shop (of course!), where I bought a Marauder’s Map scarf and a Slytherin Head Girl badge.

Still not a fan of the film franchise (although the new Fantastic Beasts series is winning me over), but definitely appreciated the artistry that went into the production. This was a fantastic way to cap off our London stay (followed by the loveliest home-cooked dinner that night at author Candy Gourlay’s house), but more adventures awaited us in Scotland!

Wading through the rest of the photos, but the album should be up on Facebook in a day or two.

More chronicles from the UK trip, soon!

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Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Studio Tour Drive
Leavesden
WD25 7LR
https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk

 

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