This post was first published in 2016 but has been updated and improved after my recent visit to WB Tour London in 2018.
Hogwarts in the Snow is a yearly Christmas tradition at Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London. They pull out all the stops with Christmas decorations through the Harry Potter tour as winter and snow fall over Hogwarts.
I have had the immense pleasure of attending two “Hogwarts in the Snow” events held here and each year it gets more and more magical. This is my Hogwarts in the Snow review but you might like to check out my ultimate guide to WB Tour London first.
Read my detailed Harry Potter Studio Tour review here.
Why You Should Visit Hogwarts in the Snow
I’m sure the first thing on most people’s minds when they first hear about Hogwarts in the Snow is – how is it different from the Harry Potter tour at all other points in the year?
It’s a fair question, especially if you’ve already been to WB Tour London and experienced it all before. Is it worth going again?
I’ve been to Warner Bros. Harry Potter Tour in London four times now and two of those times have been for Hogwarts in the Snow. I can say with zero hesitation that it’s absolutely worth visiting at this time of year and definitely worth visiting again if you’ve already been.
There’s a reason why the Harry Potter series is frequently selected amongst the top Christmas films and books to read at this time of year. J K Rowling’s universe is even more magical at Christmas!
This post will detail the unique aspects you of the Harry Potter Tour you can enjoy at Hogwarts in the Snow only. For a detailed overview of all aspects of the tour, check out my guide to WB Tour London.
What to see at Hogwarts in the Snow
The Great Hall is always a magnificent sight to behold. All the more so at Christmas. The hall is decorated with Christmas trees and there is, of course, a Christmas feast laid out. Unfortunately you won’t be able to sit yourself down at the table but perhaps that’s for the best since there are flaming Christmas puddings!
This is one of the most impressive rooms on the tour and one of my favourites since the Great Hall is based off the dining hall at Christ Church, Oxford, where I studied. There isn’t a magical ceiling unfortunately but there are moving Christmas tree decorations.
The very end of The Great Hall pays tribute to the Yule Ball in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which took place on Christmas day. Here you’ll find a little model of Professor Flitwick, wearing his dress robes, and his gorgeous winter orchestra set up. There are giant Christmas trees topped with snow, icicles hanging from the ceiling and everything is draped in silver.
The glass structure and drinks vials from the Yule Ball are always on display at the tour but they’ve moved into the Great Hall for Hogwarts in the Snow and it looks at home with all the snowy Christmas trees in the background.
Check out this post for the best Harry Potter Christmas scenes.
After this, you enter a very large room that is full of various, smaller Harry Potter exhibits. There are props, costumes and sets. You really do learn everything about how the Harry Potter films were made. You’ll see everything from the Triwizard cup to the all the different quidditch balls and broomsticks.
My first Harry Potter Tour review contains much more detailed information about what there is to see, but I will focus on the aspects unique to Hogwarts in the Snow in this post.
So what’s different at Hogwarts in the Snow?
The Gryffindor Common Room and Boy’s Dormitory have both been decorated for Christmas, which makes them that little bit more special and festive. You’ll find tinsel and Christmas cards hanging in the dormitories and evidence of presents. Molly Weasley’s infamous knitted Christmas jumpers make an appearance in the Common Room too.
As you explore the rest of the exhibit, you’ll see all the usual sets: Dumbledore’s Office, Snape’s Potions class, Umbridge’s Office, The Forbidden Forest, Malfoy Manner and more. The only one of these that has been decorated for Christmas is the Burrow. Here you’ll find Molly Weasley’s scarf knitting itself, the pans washing themselves and evidence of a hearty Christmas dinner on the table – muggle Christmas paper hats and all.
An additional stall in set up in the main hall where you can find out all about how they make Hogwarts look snowy and how they create fire in the movies. You can run your hands through different types of fake snow to see the difference in all the options and even run your hands through a flame!
At least it looks like a flame. It’s perfectly safe of course!
Outside, you’ll find the Knight Bus, Privet Drive, Hogwarts Bridge, the Ford Anglia, the giant chess pieces and more. There’s a wonderful snow machine out here that pumps out artificial snowflakes at regular intervals so you feel like you’re actually in the depths of the winter! It’s amazing how a little snow can make everything seem that little bit more special and magical.
The next snowy instalment of the Harry Potter Tour can be found at Diagon Alley. There’s not a huge amount of snow to be seen here but they do have a little path with footprints that appear and disappear in the snow. This actually does look quite like magic and you can imagine Harry walking through Hogsmeade with his invisibility cloak on.
All the shops here have been decorated to look like real shops with real displays. This is one of the only parts of the Tour where you actually feel like you are standing in the wizarding world as it’s large and immersive.
Of course, they save the best til last and there’s nothing quite like rounding the corner to seeing the magnificent Hogwarts castle. This model is actually huge and the picture below really doesn’t do it justice. They also play the Harry Potter theme music in this room, which always makes me tear up!
It’s amazing how large and detailed this model is and I can’t imagine how long it took to make. This model was used to film the outside of Hogwarts, so this is what you are actually seeing in the films, not a real castle! Of course, this part has also been covered in a dash of snow, which is lovely. There’s even a little stall showing you all the different types of artificial snow that would’ve been used and how it is made.
Harry Potter Gift Shop
At the end of the tour, you head out through the gift shop. At Christmas time you’ll find lots more items on stock including Harry Potter Christmas tree decorations, Molly Weasley’s sweaters, Harry Potter stockings and more. These are incredibly pricey (I mean, £17 for a tiny Christmas tree decoration?) so it’s not the best place to do your Christmas shopping but perhaps you can pick up a small memento.
Is Hogwarts in the Snow Worth It?
The Harry Potter Studio Tour in London is one of my favourite places to visit at any point of the year but it’s extra special at Christmas time. The Great Hall looks stunning when it’s had a festive make over and if you’ve never been to the Studio before then now is the perfect time to visit. It’s impossible not to get into the Christmas spirit after a visit to Hogwarts in the Snow!
There really is no other phenomenon quite like Harry Potter and the Studio Tour makes you realise and appreciate just how much time and effort has gone into every single, tiny detail of these films. The additional behind-the-scenes insight you’ve given at Hogwarts in the Snow, such as how they make snow that doesn’t melt, is fascinating and this is the only time these tricks are explained.
I don’t know a single person who hasn’t been absolutely blown away by the Studio Tour as it’s an incredible exhibition. Book tickets to Hogwarts in the Snow now and put a wide smile on someone’s face this Christmas.
Book Hogwarts in the Snow Tickets
The exhibition will be covered in snow until the 27th January 2019 so there’s plenty of time for you to book tickets and get down there!
Find out more and book your studio tour tickets on the Warner Bros Studio Tour website below:
*I was invited by WB Tour London to experience Hogwarts in the Snow but, as always, all opinions and Potter-related excitement are my own. I’m so grateful to everyone at WB Tour London who made the night special! Thank you all for this magical evening.
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