Most daughters take their mums for a Sunday roast or a nice spa day if they’re lucky. This year I took mine to the Harry Potter tour at Warner Brothers Studios London. It’s a little unconventional I know. But I love Harry Potter and my mum also loves it because I subjected her to it for a good decade of my childhood. So it seemed like the perfect day out, with a pub lunch thrown in of course.
The tour started with a film narrated by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint talking about making the film in the Leavesden studios, before being presented with the set of the Great Hall. It was an impressive start I’ve got to say. I mean, the film revs up the inner Potterhead in you before showing you one of the most iconic sets of the films. It’s a good way to begin isn’t it? It even had the sorting hat! *geeks out*
The rest of the sets are then available for you to see at your own pace with lots of props and costumes all over the place. I thought the big phoenix staircase to Dumbledore’s office was pretty cool as well as The Burrow where you could make the the knife chop a carrot with a wave of your hand. C’est magique, non?
There’s even interactive parts of the tour where you can have some green screen fun! Ride a broomstick or ride the Hogwarts Express and you can can have a magical background added to your video. It’s a cool idea but I totally CBA with queuing. It’s a nice touch though I thought.
I liked that no matter where you were on the tour there were always hidden little gems or things hanging from the ceiling, like dementors or dragons, so there was so much to take in. Even nondescript hallways between areas had photos of the films being made or even the Proclamation posters from Order of the Phoenix. There’s a lot of cool stuff to see.
And hey, what about the big props. Like the actual Hogwarts Express! It’s there, folks. They even dressed the carriages inside to represent each of the films, such as frozen glass for when the dementors got aboard in the third film.
Oh and the Knight Bus, Privet Drive and lots of other big props were showcased in the outdoor area. Very cool.
In the Backlot Cafe, I even had the experience of trying the fictional drink of Butterbeer. Verdict? It’s weird. I don’t think I particularly liked it to be honest. It’s like non-alcoholic beer topped with a thick butterscotch foam. It took me a long time to figure out whether I liked it or not because it’s so strange. But I think the answer was no, Butterbeer is not my jam.
Despite the endless photo opportunities the Harry Potter tour offered (clearly I went overboard), it was also cool to see the technical parts of making the films. The prosthetics (goblin faces), the robotics (ferocious books and screaming plants) and even the architecture. Who knew so much work went in to making a set, ay? I was impressed.
The tour ended with two of the more impressive sets. One was Diagon Alley with the Weasley Wizarding Wheezes shop complete with Puking Pastilles display. Which my mum so delightfully posed for haha!
The other was the Hogwarts model used for exterior shots in the films. It’s pretty cool when you realise it’s a model and looks completely real in the films.
Last but not least the gift shop. I wouldn’t normally mention the gift shop in this kind of thing, because who cares, right? But I had to share this photo of a phone case made to look like The Monster Book of Monsters!! Made me laugh.
Overall, me and my mum had a great day at Warner Brothers Studios. It was fun taking funny photos together and geeking out over props. I think it was a pretty good pick for Mother’s Day, as well as a cool sight to see if you’re in London!
The ‘Making of Harry Potter’ is situated at Warner Brothers Studios in Leavesden, on the outskirts of London. Make no mistake, this is nowhere near central London, but it is still a big draw for backpackers and a lot of hostels do day tours up here. Alternatively if you want to make your own way, you can get the train from London Euston to Watford Junction and jump on the shuttle bus that will take you straight there. Tickets for the Making of Harry Potter are £35 for adults and you can find out more information here.
Are you a fellow Potterhead? Have you visited the Making of Harry Potter tour in London? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!
Total blogger transparency: I accepted free entry to the Making of Harry Potter but all opinions expressed are my own. I wouldn’t play you like that, shorty.