Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making Of Harry Potter

This post was last updated June 2023.

We have visited the Warner Bros Studio Tour in London quite a few times now over the years and every time we have visited we have seen something different whether it's something we missed last time or whether it was a special event such as the addition of the Forbidden Forest or Gringotts Bank. The Warner Bros Studios brings to real life the magical world of Harry Potter and it is a must see for Harry Potter fans. 

Hogwarts castle




What To Expect Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making Of Harry Potter (Sat Nav WD25 7LR)
First of all I must mention this is not a theme park. The Harry Potter Studio Tour takes you behind the scenes of the Harry Potter films. It is a self guided tour which you can enjoy at your own leisure. It's a magical experience which will transport you in to the Harry Potter world. The experience is broken in to six different sections. Sets, Props, Costumes, Visual and Special Effects, Creature Effects and The Art Department.

Your Tour Has Now Begun!

Costumes from Harry Potter


FILM SETS

Great Hall 
Serving as the backdrop to some of the film series’ most iconic scenes such as the Yule Ball and the Battle of Hogwarts, the Great Hall was first built for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 2000 and was used as a key set for six more films.

Forbidden Forest 
The Forbidden Forest seen at the Studio Tour is filled with 19 trees each with a diameter of over 12 feet.

Platform 9 and 3/4 at King's Cross Train Station 
Most of the scenes that take place on Platform 9 ¾ were actually shot on location at King’s Cross Station in London, however, during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, part of the station platform was recreated on a soundstage at the Leavesden Studios, complete with the track and the train. 

Diagon Alley 
The Diagon Alley set constantly changed throughout the film series. Since its construction, walls have shifted, shop fronts have moved and entire buildings have been carefully tweaked, leaning just slightly, to create the street that is seen in the films.

Gringotts Wizarding Bank 
From Harry Potter first discovering Diagon Alley to the famous trio escaping on a Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon in their quest for a Horcrux, Gringotts Wizarding Bank played an important role in the Harry Potter film series.

Professor Sprouts Greenhouse 
The greenhouse is a fan-favourite set from the Harry Potter film series, where students were taught their Herbology lessons with Professor Pomona Sprout. 

The burrow
PROPS

Potions Classroom 
Over 950 potion jars line the walls of the classroom, each with unique props kept inside them including baked animal bones from a local butcher shop, dried leaves, herbs and shrunken heads made by the props department. 

Memory Cabinet 
Nearly 900 memory vials and labels were created for the cabinet that can be found in Professor Dumbledore’s office.

Professor Umbridge's Office 
Great attention was paid to the inside of the only pink office in the Ministry of Magic, belonging to Professor Dolores Umbridge, including her collection of plates featuring various moving kittens.

Puking Pastilles 
Stocking everything from Extendable Ears to fireworks, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes was designed to look like an 18th century storefront and took more than three months to build 

The chamber of secrets

COSTUMES

Quidditch 
Filmmakers faced a huge challenge when turning the wizarding sport of Quidditch into a real sport they could capture on film. Quidditch uniforms evolved throughout the film series, going from thick robes in the first two films to lighter, sportier robes with the players name and number on the back in the later films.

19 Years Later 
When tasked with creating outfits for the scene Costume Designer, Jany Temime wanted to keep to a similar palette of pinks, oranges, blues and browns seen throughout the film series. 

Yule Ball 
The Yule Ball held to celebrate Christmas and the Triwizard Tournament presented an opportunity for the Costume Department to create a more formal style of wizard wear.

BeauxBatons
The “French Blue” fabric of the Beauxbatons uniform was chosen to stand out from the muted blacks, browns and greys of the other school colours.

SPECIAL AND VISUAL EFFECTS

The Chamber Of Secrets Door 
Often mistaken for a Visual Effect, the Chamber of Secrets door is actually a fully operational door created by the Special Effects team based upon sketches provided by the Art Department.

Invisibility Cloak
Gifted to Harry in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Invisibility Cloak features prominently in the films. 

Whomping Willow
The temperamental tree began as a sketch from the Art Department which then had to be made into a real Whomping Willow for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. 

Green Screen 
Filmmakers often shoot visual effects scenes on a green screen, which allows them to replace the green colours with a completely different background or computer-generated set. 

boy with wand

boy with wand

CREATURE EFFECTS

Basilisk 
The Basilisk that lives deep below Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was created through a mixture of Practical and Visual effects.

Buckbeak 
Three life-size animatronic versions of Buckbeak the Hippogriff were created for the Harry Potter film series: one standing, another rearing and a third lying down.

Goblin Heads 
Goblins in the Harry Potter film series act as bank officials and tellers at Gringotts bank in Diagon Alley. 

Aragog 
Created by Nick Dudman, Creature and Make-Up Effects Designer, with help from Production Designer Stuart Craig, Aragog had a leg span of over 18 feet and was even able to crawl out of a hole and deliver dialogue in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

ART DEPARTMENT

Graphic Design 
The Art Department were responsible for designing and creating thousands of props that helped to bring the visual world of Harry Potter to life on screen. 

White Card Models 
During the filming process, before the actual set construction began, the Art Department would create a white card model of the set/location.

Technical Drawings 
Dozens of concept artists, illustrators and art directors created every environment, prop and character of the Harry Potter film series.

Hogwarts Castle 
The jewel in the crown of the art department is the intricately detailed model of Hogwarts castle. Built for the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the model's every courtyard, tower and turret were filmed and enhanced with digital effects to create unforgettably realistic views of the magical school.

The Hogwarts Express

HOW LONG DOES THE TOUR TAKE?
The amount of time it take is up to you. It took us about 4 hours to walk around the tour. We are huge fans of the Harry Potter movies so we didn't want to miss anything. As you walk around there are staff on hand to answer any questions you may have and also offering you the chance to earn badges to take home.

There are interactive experiences you can enjoy along the WB Studio tours such as the broomstick challenge. You wait your turn then hover your hand over the broom to make it rise up, just like in the flying lesson in the first movie. 

There is a chance to ride a broomstick or ride in Ron's car in front of a green screen. This is not included in your ticket price. You can purchase a photograph or video to take home. 

harry's home at Godric Hollow

FOOD AND DRINK
There are four options for Food and Drink at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. the Hub Cafe, Food Hall and Chocolate Frog cafe are available before or after your tour and the Backlot cafe is half way round the tour giving you the chance to sit and have refreshments. 

Food Hall offers you the chance to enjoy classic British meals, hand-made pizza direct from our stone-fired pizza oven, pies, burgers, salads, children’s meals and a wide range of sandwiches.

The Hub Cafe. Under the watch of the Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon in the Studio Tour Hub, the Hub CafĂ© serves speciality Starbucks hot and cold drinks and bakery items throughout the day. 

The Chocolate Frog Cafe serves luxury hot chocolate, ice creams and milkshakes, and an extensive range of cakes expertly hand-crafted by their team of pâtissiers.

The Backlot Cafe serves breakfast until 11:00 then classic burgers and hot dogs. Indoor and outdoor seating is available with views of exterior sets and props such as the Knight Bus, Privet Drive and the Hogwarts Bridge. It's also a great opportunity to enjoy a non alcoholic Butterbeer or Butterbeer Ice Cream.

Afternoon Tea at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is available as an add-on when purchasing your Studio Tour tickets. Afternoon Tea at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London features an array of indulgent sweets, savoury treats, and delectably delicious baked scones, served with an assortment of loose-leaf teas. You can also add some sparkle to the occasion and upgrade your Afternoon Tea to include a glass of champagne.

TICKETS
There are a wide selection of tickets available including adult ticket, child ticket and a family ticket. Groups and Schools are also welcome at the tour. Time slots are available throughout the day.

To find the best ticket for you check out the tickets page on the official website.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Discovering Hogwarts 2nd May - 4th September 23. 
Just like a Hogwarts student would, the Studio Tour will celebrate its 11th year with an invitation to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Brand new for 2023, you are invited to explore Harry’s early years at Hogwarts with some of your favourite scenes brought to life.

Discover The Dark Arts 15th September - 5th November 23
Back by popular demand, Dark Arts returns to the Studio Tour in 2023. Step into the iconic sets from the Harry Potter film series in a spookier setting as we dim the lights and set the stage especially for Hallowe’en.

Hogwarts In The Snow 11th November - 14th January 2024
2023 will conclude with the return of the Studio Tour’s beloved Hogwarts in the Snow feature. Starting at the Great Hall, bedecked in the gold decorations from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, all the way through to Hogwarts castle model, fan-favourite sets throughout the Studio Tour will be displayed in their festive finery. Learn the secrets behind ice that never melts and fire that doesn’t burn and see a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley and the magnificent Hogwarts castle model. 

Inside privet drive
ENHANCE YOUR VISIT
The Wizarding World is home to untold secrets – so many in fact, even Dumbledore doesn’t claim to know them all. Harry Potter certainly uncovered a few during his adventures at Hogwarts and now it’s your turn to discover hidden magic with Enchanted Keys.

Placed throughout the Studio Tour, Enchanted Keys unlock secrets, quizzes, videos and more to enhance your visit. To unlock them, you’ll need the free Harry Potter Fan Club app – the official Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts companion.

If you find an Enchanted Key at the Studio Tour:

Download the Harry Potter Fan Club app
Log in, tap the key symbol in the Discover tab
Scan the Enchanted Key to uncover its secrets
The Harry Potter Fan Club app is available to download on the App Store or you can get it on Google Play.

Once you scan an Enchanted Key with the Harry Potter Fan Club app, you’ll be rewarded with an exclusive piece of content related to the area of the Studio Tour you’re in – so keep a Seeker’s eye out for every Enchanted Key to make the most of your visit.

If you get stuck, be sure to ask a member of staff. After all, help will always be given to those who ask for it.

OPENING TIMES
Open times vary depending on the time of year you may visit so it is always best to visit the website for up to date opening times. 

GETTING THERE
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour can be reached by Shuttle From Watford Station. If travelling by train the nearest station is Watford Junction. 

Car parking is available and is free to guests. There are a number of blue badge parking available and you can purchase a priority parking pass with your tickets for an extra £10.

Have you visited The Warner Bros. Studio Tour? What was your favourite part? If you haven't visited yet I hope our guide answers some questions you may have had and please feel free to message me on socials or comment below if I haven't answered something.

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Michelle 

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