If there is one place on this planet that is sure to make me happy, it’s the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour. I’ve been to Leavesden studios twice before but it’s never lost its magic on me, in fact, with all the new additions, it’s more and more magical each time. The last time I went was before Christmas 2016 for the Hogwarts in the Snow event, but since then they’ve added a new Forbidden Forest feature. This time, I was kindly invited to preview the new Wizarding Wardrobes Exhibition which is open from the 21st July to the 4th September 2017.
Keep on reading to find out more…
The day of the WB Tour preview event, I met up with the lovely Ziba (@zibaartystone) beforehand for some precursory Potter fun. We headed to MinaLima designs in London where you can view all the graphics from the films such as Daily Prophet papers, book covers, the Marauders Map and more! This is completely free so well worth a visit if you’re heading to London for some Harry Potter tourism.
Now onto the event…
Ziba and I arrived at the Studio and grabbed a quick bite to eat in the canteen (where I stole a Knight Bus kids takeaway lunch box lol) before heading to the drinks reception for some champers and nibbles. The reception went on for quite a while and then we headed into the tour to see what’s new…
A large part of what made the Harry Potter series so magical is undoubtedly the amazing costumes, props, creatures, scenery etc. Did you know that over 25,000 unique items of clothing were used during their 10 years of filming? It’s facts like these that keep me coming back to the Studio Tour over and over again. An immense amount of effort went into creating the most minute of details in these films and unless if you’ve been to the Studio Tour to witness these objects yourself then you’d just have no idea.
At the preview event we were lucky enough to witness the world-renowned milliner (hat maker) Philip Treacy quickly whip up the iconic Beauxbatons hat. This was really impressive as he did it in the space of a couple of minutes, right before our eyes! Costume Designer Laurent Guinci was also on hand to talk about how some of the best costumes were designed (and sometimes destroyed!). Rita Skeeter’s costumes, previously unseen at the Studio Tour, were on display and we could see the paper mockups of the designs too. Later, Hair & Make-Up Artists Lisa Tomblin and Amanda Knight demonstrated how Harry’s iconic lightning bolt scar was applied.
My favourite bit had to be trying on Slughorn’s sofa costume! I think you can tell from the pictures just how ecstatic I was to be inside a sofa costume 😂 To get into it, you go up two steps behind it, place your arms inside the arm rests and poke your head out through the hole in the top. Then you step forwards and rise upwards, making the sofa bounce outwards, just like it did in the movies!
The new Forbidden Forest feature was smaller than I was expecting but also a lot better than I thought it would be. I was completely amazed by the fact that the trees felt like real trees and they have scary features in there like acromantulas falling from the sky. You can see how they created the patronuses in the films and this is a lot simpler than you’d imagine which is a bit of a let down. They actually just put some very bright lights on a dog mannequin, which from far away creates the patronus effect!
Some other new things I hadn’t seen before included this little trick to make you understand how they made Hagrid seem so gigantic compared to Harry and his friends. It’s all a matter of perspective as I actually haven’t moved anything in this picture except for my head!!
In the outdoor area, you can now go into the Dursley home and see the living room full of Harry’s Hogwarts Acceptance Letters. I only wish I could put my hand out and grab one! What’s more, there is now butter beer ice cream, which is far better than the drink version in my opinion as it tastes like vanilla soft serve with some caramel swirled into it. h e a v e n.
Some other highlights, though not new, include the Hogwarts Express section where you can take a stroll through the real Hogwarts Express, buy some goodies that would’ve been on sale on the trolley and also sit in one of the compartments for a photo op with your friends!
All in all, I had another absolutely magical evening at the Studio Tour with Warner Bros and I would thoroughly recommend booking a visit this summer to check out all the new features that have been added in recent months. The Wizarding Wardrobes exhibit is perfect for those who want to find out even more behind the scenes info on the Harry Potter costumes.
Thank you WB Studio Tour!
Have you ever been to the Studio Tour? Which part was your favourite?
21st July – 4th September
Book now wbstudiotour.co.uk