Warning this post contains lots of pictures and info about the Warner Bros Studio Tour but I've tried to leave out the best bits so as not to spoil it for anyone who's planning a trip.
So this is a very picture heavy post about my trip to the Warner Bros Studio Tour in Leavesden to see the sets and behind the scenes secrets from the making of the Harry Potter movies, I did really try not too give too much away in case any of you intend on visiting the tour. Believe it or not I tried to post only a few photos from the tour so as not to spoil it for any potential visitors and considering I took over 600 photos I don't think I did too badly.
For those of you who don't know I am a huge Harry Potter fan and have been infatuated with the franchise since reading the first book at the tender age of 8, so as you can imagine I was beyond thrilled to receive gift tickets from Pete for Christmas, I decided to book our visit for Valentines day to coincide with the start of thier Animal Actors Week.
We stayed at the Jurys Inn which was a short walk from Watford station where a bus takes you directly to the studio tour, upon arrival we bought ourselves an audio guide, for an extra £4.95, which told us loads of extra behind the scenes info and I have to say I did enjoy listening to Tom Felton's voice as we walked around the tour. In total we were in the studios for about five hours but we could have easily stayed much longer as there was so much to see and every little prop and set was created with outstanding detail.
Whilst you queue for the tour you get to have a close up look at THE cupboard under the stairs, after this your lead into a small cinema to watch an introduction film about the movies told by Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe. You then enter THE Great Hall where you're told lots of behind the scenes info by a very knowledgeable guide after that you're let into the rest of the studios where you can wander about in your own time and take in all the incredible sets, costumes and props and trust me every little detail is just so much more incredible than I could have imagined. You then move outside where you can treat yourselves to a nice Butterbeer (they are very tasty but incredibly sweet) and take pictures by the Knight Bus, Hagrids Bike, The Ford Anglia, Number 4 Privet Drive and more, as it was Animal Actors week they also had a beautiful Snowy Owl sat right outside Number 4 Privet Drive.
The next part of the tour is the creatures department where you get to see how they made all the amazing mystical creatures and the mask and make-up used for different characters including the goblins which were incredible. After this you get to walk down Diagon Alley which leads into the Art Department which I loved as there was lots of the original concept art created to help bring the books to life and onto the big screen. The last part of the tour is spectacular, in a big dark room sits a huge model of Hogwarts which is used for all the outside shots of the castle in movies 1-6 and it is just beautiful the detail on every little part of it is just astounding. As it was animal week when we visited there were various animals dotted around the different sets along with trainers who were demonstrating how they trained the animals for the movies, my personal favourites were the Persian cats like Crookshanks and the Neapolitan Mastiffs like Fang.
Of course as the gift shop was conveniently the exit from the tour I did have to make a few purchases but I will post about my purchases in another upcoming blog post.
So it's safe to say we had a fantastic day and it was above and beyond all of my expectations I definitely want to go again but I'll probably wait until next year as it did work out as quite a pricey trip.