ATTENTION ALL POTTERHEADS! For any true HP fan visiting the UK, one experience triumphs over them all. Located in Watford, England (about 25 minutes from London), both Muggle and Magical worlds collide at Warner Bros. The Making of Harry Potter studio tour. From extravagant Hogwarts sets to intricately-designed Horcruxes, this incredible exhibition explores the ingenious behind-the-scenes movie magic unique to the Harry Potter film franchise.
Witness the extraordinary, authentic Harry Potter film sets from the moment you step inside the studio. The attraction exhibits countless sets from across the franchise, including Dumbledore’s office, Privet Drive, Platform 9¾, the Gryffindor Common Room and so many more! Visiting the studio offers you the chance to see, up-close, the skilled craftsmanship of set designers who physically recreated J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. Fancied taking Potions with Professor Snape or Professor Slughorn? Check out the elaborate Potions classroom, decorated with self-stirring cauldrons (yep, seriously; it’s magic!), strange ingredients and even a vial of Felix Felicis; anyone feeling lucky?
Do you love all things Weasley? Take a peek inside the Burrow’s kitchen and watch a pan literally clean itself, it’s amazing! Have you been accepted into Hogwarts and need your school supplies? Diagon Alley is the place to be; from Ollivanders Wand Shop to Fred and George’s Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, this set exhibits the spectacular exteriors of iconic wizarding shops seen in the films. Whilst it might be out-of-bounds for Hogwarts students, Warner Bros. studio also features a walkthrough of the notorious Forbidden Forest! But arachnophobes beware, you might just bump into Aragog…
No powerful wizard like Albus Dumbledore is seen without his wand, cloak and beard, so no Harry Potter film would be complete without the countless props and costumes used to bring the story & its characters to life. From Madam Hooch’s quidditch equipment to Nicolas Flamels’ Philosopher’s Stone, the studio is brimming with perfectly-handcrafted props straight from the movies.
Haven’t been lucky enough to spot Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter himself) randomly down the street? Then just check out his clothes! On display are many authentic costumes and wigs worn by the actors themselves, including Harry, Ron and Hermione’s less Hogwarts-y threads from The Prisoner of Azkaban, Fenrir Greyback’s wolfish facial makeup, Lord Voldemort’s green silk robes and Dolores Umbridge’s infamous pink outfit *shivers (it’s hard to tell who was eviller between those two).
The Making of Harry Potter also delves into the reality behind on-screen fantasy, like how a Ford Anglia appeared to fly over London. Throughout the exhibition you’ll encounter animatronics, set models, chroma keying technology and life-size character figurines; see how advanced motion mechanics made broomsticks twist and turn, learn how a plain green background was transformed into rolling Scottish hills, discover the robotic gear behind Professor Lupin’s realistic werewolf transformation, find out how a Patronus charm was captured and so many more possibilities! You’ll never witness the absolute mastery behind Harry Potter visual and practical effects anywhere else!
In addition to sets, props and costumes and effects, the attraction is also designed to unleash your inner witch or wizard through interactive exhibits and experiences. You can test your luck at “flying” a broom, participate in a wand-wielding choreography class, treat your tastebuds to a delicious brew of Butterbeer (non-alcoholic, sorry guys) and other magical activities no Muggle would ever dream of (and if they did, someone would have to obliviate them).
Combined with beautiful music filling the air from the Harry Potter film scores, the Harry Potter studio tour in London is an incredibly atmospheric experience for wizards and witches of all ages. Whether you’re a dedicated lover of the entire HP universe or not, you will gawk in amazement when faced with the masterpiece of behind-the-scenes Harry Potter movie magic. It is an attraction not to miss when visiting the United Kingdom so, with that being said… Accio plane tickets!
HOW TO GET THERE VIA MUGGLE PUBLIC TRANSPORT:
For witches and wizards in London unable to Apparate or use Floo powder, you can reach Watford Junction by travelling on a direct Muggle train service (approx. 25 minutes) departing from London Euston Station. From there, studio bus transfers are available. Arthur Weasley would be proud of you.