Visiting The Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour promises a day of excitement all year round for film fans – add in the magical festive extras during the winter season and that excitement quadruples quicker than you can say Alohomora! But don’t just take our word for it, SuperBreaker Hayley is here to tell us all why Hogwarts in the Snow is a must-see this Christmas!
As a major Harry Potter fan, when the opportunity arose to visit the Harry Potter Studios during the ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’ makeover, I near enough screamed like a child on Christmas morning.
Born in the early 90s, I grew up with these films. The stars were of a similar age, and the films captivated me with all its wonder and splendour. It was a world every nine year old dreamed of, and as the films and its characters grew older, I did too. Now in my early 20’s, I’m still just as in awe of this magical film series as ever.
In complete contrast, one person I went on the tour with was a complete newbie – can you believe he’d never read a book or even seen a film? So there was me – like a kid in a candy shop, and there was him – baffled and maybe slightly confused by my excitement. But, I can hand on my heart say that we both left amazed; having enjoyed the experience from two completely different points of view.
Now, rather than babbling on forever in extreme detail about how much I loved every single thing – I thought I’d give you my top 5 favourites. And therefore, giving you merely 5 reasons to go enjoy this fantastic studio tour experience.
The film set’s come to life
I didn’t realised how much intricate work and detail went into building these sets and making the extraordinary scenes. I realised when I first entered the great hall! I got to experience all its grandeur; seeing it fully decked out with Christmas tree’s and a festive feast was magnificent – I would highly recommend going at this time of year too. Knowing that the series of Harry Potter films were filmed in the very set I was stood in was a marvellous feeling. Because let’s face it, how many films can you watch and say that you’ve been there?!
You see Dumbledores office, Gringotts vault door, the door to the Chamber of Secrets, Diagon Alley, Privet Drive and more – all of it built to size and sat right in front of your eyes. From the perspective of someone who’s seen all the films, it was amazing to see the sets come to life; and from the perspective of someone who hasn’t seen a films, you can still truly enjoy the splendour and craftsmanship of each and every item.
Ride a Broomstick
Just like in the films, you have the opportunity to experience green screen technology and ride a broomstick just like the cast would during a game of Quidditch. As a film fan, this exciting experience learning the secrets of how they make the witches and wizards fly was amazing. From another perspective, it really was insightful to see green screen technology at work.
Now, as any Harry Potter film fans will know, Butterbeer was the drink of choice for the characters when they visited The Three Broomsticks Inn in Hogsmeade. Out in the studios backlot, visitors get to sample a frothy tankard of this non-alcoholic Butterbeer, just as the characters did in the film. Reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch, visitors of all ages can enjoy the taste of this magical drink. You really get a feel for the film when trying this; just don’t forget to take a picture of your Butterbeer moustache!
As a fan of souvenirs, I was quite literally in my element when I got to the gift shop! The studio shop features original props from the Harry Potter film series, plus gifts available for purchase including everything from authentic replicas of the characters wands to delicious chocolate frogs, as well as Griffindor cloaks and Slytherin mugs. At the steeper end of the scale, you can purchase (or just admire as I did) an authentic replica of a Nimbus 200; quite a sight for a real Quidditch fan.
Scale model of Hogwarts
This breathtaking 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts was, for me, the pièce de résistance. Used for exterior shots of the magical school, the film’s art department created this model in minute detail. Built for the first film, the model was filmed and enhanced with digital effects to create realistic views of its exterior. Covered in snow, the sight of this magnificent castle was immense. I stood in awe, admiring every turret and tower. It really brings home the scale of this film series, and truly makes you appreciate the work of all that were involved in its creation.
For me, this tour was one of a kind – and couldn’t be more relevant for such a successful franchise! It give’s fans a chance to admire, and newbie’s a chance to fall in love with the films. Believe me when I say, you’ll walk out insisting on watching all 8 films from the start – I know I did.
Have you visited Hogwarts in the Snow too? What were your favourites parts of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour? Let us know by filling out the comments box below.