From Monday 20th July – Sunday 6th September, you’ll be able to watch delectable demonstrations on how jelly snakes were moulded, sugar skulls were decorated and ice-cream sundaes were piped during production.
Expert prop makers will be based in the Ministry Munchies kiosk from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and will challenge you to spot the difference between real bakes and prop fakes as you see edible delights being created and get up close to original artefacts.
You’ll be able to:
Learn how props such as the floating pudding from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (that Dobby drops on the Dursleys’ guests) were made
See the Gryffindor common room set decorated as it was for the Quidditch victory scenes in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, complete with decorations, sweet wrappers and a barrel of Butterbeer
Discover how towering ‘frozen’ desserts were assembled outside Florean Fortescue’s ice-cream parlour on the Diagon Alley set
Take a look at some of the graphic designers’ original sketches and designs in our Art Department (they were tasked with creating dozens of unique sweet boxes and wrappers from Honeydukes and Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes – in the end they created more than 120 different items for the Weasley twins’ shop alone!)
Butterbeer ice-cream will also be available to purchase in our backlot café this summer as well as frothy tankards of the drink which is reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch.
Book your tickets now and see if you can tell the difference between a real bake and a prop fake!
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London has released a video showing the journey the Hogwarts Express is taking to get to the studio
After just under 1 million miles in service followed by an iconic appearance in the Harry Potter film series, the Hogwarts Express is steaming into Warner Bros. Studio Tour London this March! Watch the journey so far here.
To celebrate the arrival of the #?HogwartsExpress we have a competition for you to enter! Click below to be in with a chance of winning four tickets to our VIP launch event. http://bit.ly/WBcompetition
Step on to authentic sets, discover the magic behind spellbinding special effects and explore the behind-the-scenes secrets of the Harry Potter film series. Tread the original stone floor of the iconic Hogwarts Great Hall, encounter animatronic creatures and wander down Diagon Alley. Located at the Studios where all 8 films were produced, the Studio Tour showcases the incredible British talent, imagination and artistry that went into making the impossible a reality on screen. Visitors will relive the magic through the eyes of the filmmakers who brought the Harry Potter film series to life.
For more information on the Studio Tour and to book tickets, please visit www.wbstudiotour.co.uk
Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter have just launched a contest where you can win four tickets to the VIP launch event to celebrate the arrival of the Hogwarts Express. As we posted back in January, in March the studio tour will be expanding to include a recreation of Platform 9 3/4 AND the original Hogwarts Express stream engine! To enter to win, visit the sweepstakes page! Unfortunately the contest is only open to UK residents.
We’re inviting visitors to go behind the station wall this spring and see the majestic Olton Hall steam train from the Harry Potter film series.
The original Hogwarts Express locomotive will be housed in a recreation of Platform 9 3/4; created by many of the original crew including Production Designer Stuart Craig.
To celebrate, we’re offering you the opportunity to win four tickets to the VIP Launch event on Tuesday 17th March, plus three runners-up will receive four gift tickets to visit the Studio Tour!
It has been revealed this morning that this coming March Warner Bros. Studio Tour London will be expanding! This extension is set to include a recreation of Platform 9 3/4 AND the original Hogwarts Express stream engine! Some concept art for the addition may be seen in the gallery.
This March, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter will unveil a 20,000ft2 expansion, including the original Hogwarts Express steam engine and a recreation of Platform 9 ¾. The new, permanent section will offer a glimpse into how some of the films’ most iconic scenes were created as well as give visitors the chance to climb aboard the train’s carriage and to pose with a luggage trolley as it disappears through the platform wall.
Throughout the Harry Potter film series, British steam train no. 5972, ‘Olton Hall’, was used as the Hogwarts Express. Scenes featuring the working engine – including the very last scene to be shot, in which a grown-up Harry, Ron and Hermione wave their own children off as they head to school – were filmed on a soundstage at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden and on a track running the full length of the Studios’ 100-acre backlot. The 78-year-old red engine will return to the series’ production home this spring and will be displayed on a realistic set of tracks, with steam billowing as visitors step onto the platform.
Officially opening on Thursday 19th March, the new, must-see section has been redesigned and will be built by many of the crew members who worked on the most successful film series of all time. Every inch of the platform’s glass roof, yellow brick walls and luggage racks, designed by Oscar® and BAFTA winning Production Designer Stuart Craig, will be painstakingly reassembled by a team led by Construction Manager Paul Hayes and dressed by Set Decorator Rosie Goodwin. Oscar® and BAFTA winning Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson will rig the locomotive with special effects steam.
Visitors will be able to walk along the train’s adjoining carriage and sit in the interior carriage set that was used during filming (complete with ‘windows’ that demonstrate the process used to create iconic train scenes from the films such as the escape of Harry’s first Chocolate Frog and the Dementor attack). A selection of prop luggage will be on show and visitors can find out which character owned which items by turning an interactive dial (characters include Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, Luna Lovegood and more). A train-themed souvenir shop will also be open on the platform, stocking a wide range of goodies inspired by the Harry Potter films and, specifically, the Hogwarts Express.
Sarah Roots, Vice President of Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, commented: “We can’t wait to open our first expansion, Platform 9 ¾, just before the Studio Tour’s third anniversary in March. The Hogwarts Express had a starring role in the films so we’re excited that it will be taking centre stage in the new area. It’s the piece that visitors have most requested to see and we’re expecting a fantastic response.”
Stuart Craig, Production Designer on all eight Harry Potter films, added: “The Hogwarts Express was the setting for many iconic scenes, from Harry, Hermione and Ron’s first meeting in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to the moment the trio’s children embark on their first journey to school 26 years later. The wizarding world doesn’t have a need for modern technology so we knew a traditional steam engine would make the perfect school train. Before we began filming in 2000, we scoured the country and found ‘Olton Hall’ at a preservation centre in Lancashire; realising pretty quickly that it was exactly what we had been looking for.”
The new Platform 9 ¾ section, featuring the original Hogwarts Express, will open on Thursday 19th March and entrance will be included in the standard ticket price.
This half-term, visitors to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter will get the chance to meet the animal actors who starred in the most successful film series of all time. From Friday 13th to Wednesday 25th February, a selection of animals will team up with their trainers to showcase their acting skills and take part in live training demonstrations.
A menagerie of owls, cats and a toad will return to the incredible sets they ‘acted’ on during production; led by Head Animal Trainer Julie Tottman, who helped create the performances of more than 250 live creatures throughout all eight Harry Potter films.
Visitors to the Gryffindor common room set will find it occupied by a Red Persian cat that played Hermione Granger’s bandy-legged feline Crookshanks. He will be joined by a Maine Coon cat that portrayed Filch’s partner-in-crime Mrs Norris and the 14-year-old toad that played Neville Longbottom’s pet Trevor.
Outside Privet Drive, visitors will be able to pose for a picture with a Snowy Owl that played Harry Potter’s loyal companion and post-delivering bird Hedwig. Animal Trainers will hold flight demonstrations throughout the day on the Studio Tour’s backlot, showcasing the techniques they used during filming.
A parliament of performing owls will be stationed on the wizarding shopping street set, Diagon Alley, including the Great Grey Owl that played the Weasley family bird Errol and the tiny Little Owl that portrayed Ron’s companion Pigwidgeon.
Feathered and furry facts:
Although owls are generally considered to be wise, they are, in fact, notoriously difficult to train and can take up to three months to learn what a raven can master in a week.
The scene which required the largest number of birds to ‘act’ was the owlery scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Trainers took on the difficult task of teaching almost 80 owls to hoot, fly and sit still at the same time
Initial groundwork for animal training takes about three to five weeks; when a script first arrived, the Animal Department would begin fundamental training, develop questions and ideas about how the scenes would be shot and then work with the director to finalise training plans.
Crackerjack, one of the cats that played Crookshanks, became very good friends with one of the rats that played Scabbers. In fact, he would often chase the rat around the sets even when the cameras weren’t rolling.
Animals appeared in the Harry Potter film series in some unexpected places. Themed breakfast cereals, including Lunfrey’s Cheeri Owls and Honeydukes’ Pixie Puffs, were created especially for the films by Graphic Designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima.
The Studio Tour’s Animal Actors feature will run from Friday 13th to Wednesday 25th February and all additional activities are included in the standard ticket price.
Due to popular demand, from Friday 14th November to Sunday 1st February, visitors will get the chance to see the Hogwarts castle model covered in a blanket of snow. There will also be new additions to the holiday/Christmas decor. For full details, read the press release below and see some photos from last year in the gallery. Tickets must be pre-booked at www.wbstudiotour.co.uk and all extra activities are included in the ticket price.
The most magical snowfall of the season will return to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter this year as the breathtaking Hogwarts castle model is covered in a blanket of snow. Visitors will get the chance to see the castle’s festive makeover – as well as the iconic Great Hall decorated for Christmas – from Friday 14th November to Sunday 1st February.
For the first time at the Studio Tour, the film series’ Special Effects Department will use coloured lights and a special vapour that flickers and dances to create ‘fire’ in the Great Hall and Gryffindor common room fireplaces. Meanwhile, real flames will lick the plum puddings on display in the Great Hall.
Most of the snow used on the Hogwarts castle model throughout the Harry Potter film series was a mixture of paper and dendritic salt. It was used because it clumps like snow and even squeaks when walked on. During filming, a member of the crew climbed aboard an elevated work platform and sprinkled the mixture onto the model by hand with a sieve – like dusting sugar onto a cake. The same process will be used at the Studio Tour this November and samples of the different types of snow used in the film series will be on display.
The Great Hall will be decorated with the original props seen during the Christmas feast in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Eight Christmas trees will line the iconic set and two long dining tables will be dressed as they were for seasonal feasts with prop versions of turkeys, hams, fruit, vegetables and snow cakes (while the food featured in the feasts throughout the early films was real, the Set Decoration Department later used artificial food created from powder and resin).
Visitors will see the hand-knitted jumpers that Molly Weasley gave Ron and Harry for Christmas in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Other costumes on display will include one of the first Christmas presents Harry ever received at Hogwarts, his Invisibility Cloak, and the dress Luna Lovegood wore to the Slug Club Christmas party in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.