I could barely contain my excitement! I was finally queuing to go to the Warner Bros. Studio to have a glimpse of the making of Harry Potter.
As soon as I realised I was standing in line for the shuttle that was about to take me straight to the studio, I started squeezing my boyfriend’s arm so hard I was afraid to hurt him. Grinning from ear to ear, I was biting my upper lip trying to hide my contentment for being here. It seemed to me that I was the most excited one and I had a difficult time trying to keep my hysterical sounds inside my head.
I’ve read the books and watched the movies countless times, and I know the dialogues by heart of every single movie contained in the Harry Potter phenomenon. When I was 11, not only was I waiting my letter from Hogwarts – I actually sent one to myself – but I was also recopying the lyrics of the third movie in english – a language I practically didn’t know at that time. It’s Harry Potter that had me first fall in love with the United Kingdom, with its history and its architecture. I even might have bought 3 wands at the Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross station – for those who wonder these are Ginny’s, Slughorn’s and a Death Eater’s that was awesome.
By now, you’ve probably noticed that I am a huge fan of Harry Potter. So it was with a broken heart that I left London the first time I came here in 2014 without seeing the studio. By the time I realised that it was possible to visit it, I was broke and it was fully booked.
More than three years have passed since then, so it was an absolute most to go this time. No way I would fly across the Atlantic Ocean without paying a visit to the making of Harry Potter. After a 20 minutes train ride, a 15 minutes in the shuttle to Leavesden and there it was, the Warner Brothers Studio – the Making of Harry Potter.
Let me start with this obvious statement : I loved my visit!
The tour lasts approximately 3.5 hours depending of your interest and whether you enjoy or not a butterbeer – which I didn’t, more on than later. It takes you to the most magical sets that you can see through the eight movies, from the Dursley’s house to the Gryffindor common room; from the Burrow to the Ministry of Magic; from the Malfoy’s Manor to the Yull Ball; and so much more.
Of course, I knew that such a worldwide phenomenon requires time and time of work and the implication of thousands of people, but you can only really understand all of their work once you are in the studio. From the hundreds of wands that they had to create and design to the costumes that were made for everyone, from every little decor detail to the mechanical conception of mythical creatures, you go through it all.
Not only can you see the costumes, the sets, the accessories, the creatures’ design, but there are also dozens of videos to explain how the visual effects work, how they’ve worked with every animal that is seen in the movies, how difficult it was to work with students and to manage to let them go to school while filming, how long they had to create a new set, how they furnished the Gryffindor common room, etc.
The people who work at the studio also have some stories to tell about the making of the films, some unknown facts about the actors, the costumes, the deleted scenes, and again, so much more. Plus, there are demonstrations of visual effects and special effects, you can either fly on a broomstick or crash the Ford Anglia, that’s up to you.
To enjoy the most of my visit I paid for an audioguide, which had even more videos about the making of the Diagon Alley, the Great Hall, the producers and of course about the role played by J. K. Rowling, and it added a lot to my experience at the studio.
Now, I said earlier that it’s possible to taste the so known butterbeer. But that I didn’t. It is my biggest regret and well, the only one actually. The truth is… I’m just stupid. I wish I had a fair explanation for that, but there aren’t any. Earlier in September, I bought my bus ticket from London to Edinburgh. And then I booked my visit to the Warner Bros. Studio, and they happened to be the same day. I just didn’t look at how long the visit is supposed to take and how long is the ride to get to the coach station, so I didn’t even have a 20 minutes to queue to get a butterbeer and to actually enjoy it. That saddened me. Positive side is that it gives me a reason to go back next time I come to London!
The Warner Bros. Studio – The Making of Harry Potter takes you through a truly magical journey and I loved every second of it. Can’t wait to go back!
Have you ever visited the Warner Bros. Studio – The Making of Harry Potter? Did you like it? Or is it something on your to-do list?