Last Thursday I was very lucky to have the opportunity to return to the Warner Brother Studio Tour for a preview of their brand new Hogwarts in the Snow feature. As the boys had different things on in school we made the decision that I would attend along with Erin and my mum. So on Thursday lunchtime we set off on the five hour trip to London. Unfortunately the weather was awful and it took longer than usual.
This was my mums first trip to the Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour so she asked questions along the way about what she could expect. But as I didn’t want to spoil the surprise I told her she would have to wait and see! Erin was very good on the long journey and even managed to sleep for a period of time which was good and meant she was refreshed for the tour.
We arrived at the Studio tour about ten minutes late and were directed to the parking area. We checked in and were given our tickets with our tours time slot. In the middle of the entrance area there was a huge and I really do mean huge Christmas Tree. It smelt devine too, all those lovely Christmas smells, cinnamon and mulled wine. It really did set the mood perfectly.
We had some time so we freshened up and spent some time in the gift shop. Erin was very taken with Crookshanks the cat and we ended up treating her to her own one! We then made our way to join the others who were in our tour group. There I saw some friendly faces and said hello briefly before the tour got underway.
I really don’t want to spoil to much of the tour for you so have decided only to share a few of the photographs I took during the tour. We were very lucky to be treated to a spot of audience participation at the beginning of the tour and learnt some Wand Choreography from Paul Harries who choreographed the wand combat sequences for the Harry Potter films. It was fun way to start the tour and I’m sure the boys will be keen to see what I learnt when we get the chance.
Then it was time for us to experience Hogwarts in the Snow. I have to admit I kept looking over at my mum to see her expressions as we moved through into the Great Hall. It was lovely watching the delight at what we were seeing and even Erin ooh’d and kept saying “look mum”. The Great Hall had been dressed for Christmas with no less than eight Christmas trees and props from Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. The special effects department had also been working hard and the Plum Puddings were actually alight. It really did feel like we had stepped into a Christmas scene.
Once we had taken in everything in the Great Hall we moved through into the next section of the tour which is self guided. We were treated to some refreshments and were able to take our time looking at all the props and costumes and sets. There was also a booth set up where you could see how Fire and Ice were made which was interesting.
Even though I knew the boys and dad of 3 would have loved to have been with us, I have to admit it was great to have the opportunity to look around the bits I didn’t have the chance to see on our last visit. I also managed to persuade my mum to have a go on the green screens with Erin and I, we rode in the Weasley’s car and rode on broomsticks!
Erin insisted in carrying her Crookshanks around with us and had everyone telling us how well behaved she was and how sweet she was! She really was very well behaved and seemed to enjoy looking at everything.
We then made our way outside were there was the a chance to try Butterbeer. It was actually snowing too which was a real treat. We spent some time taking photographs at Privet Drive (a must for all visitors) before moving back inside to the next section.
One of the things that amazed me again on this visit was the scale and the attention to detail that absolutely everything in the Harry Potter movies had, from sets, costumes and props. I enjoyed spending some time looking at the sketches of sets that are on display and all the concept material. So much thought, time and effort went into every element and its this that made the Harry Potter films what they are. My mum was amazed too, I think it’s something that you can’t quite grasp the scale of until you are actually there and see it in person. I also like the fact that throughout the tour there are guides available and they literally answer any Harry Potter related question you have, it’s incredible how much they know, so take advantage of the opportunity to ask as many questions as you like.
The last section in the tour is the model of Hogwarts and it’s been transformed by a blanket of snow, it’s simply magically and I actually felt very festive after looking at it.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable time at the preview event and loved Hogwarts in the Snow. I know I said it after our first visit but honestly I still feel that more than one visit is needed to the Making of Harry Potter, I personally feel like there is still more that I have not quite taken in even on this visit and would love to go back again.
Hogwarts in the Snow is now open to the public and runs until Sunday 1st February 2015. It’s something I can’t recommend going to highly enough and is well worth the cost of the entry tickets. I also recommend booking your tickets for your visit online to avoid disappointment. For more information and to book your tickets please visit Warner Bros Studio Tour London
Disclaimer – We were invited to the preview event for the purpose of this post, however the content of the post is 100% my own.