This festive season, Warner Bros Studio Tour London perfectly set the scene of a white Christmas with the opening of Hogwarts In The Snow. The special effects team created snow that never melts, the set dressers transform each set into Christmas scenes, and you get to see flames without fire. Hogwarts In The Snow is the place to be this Christmas, its open now until the 31st January 2016.
Last week my boyfriend treated me to the Harry Potter Studio London tour as part of my birthday gift! Now, I’m here to tell you all about it. Upon arrival you are welcomed with music and Christmas décor like no other, as well as props and pictures from the films. After entry you are given a short talk and cinematic viewing of what lies ahead, from costumes, sets, behind the scenes footage and more.
The first scene set is the Great Hall, decorated with Christmas trees, décor and a festive feast, as well as mannequins of the cast set on the stage. It’s unbelievable how real the set feels, quite like you’re there in one of the films. After being given some information on how various monumental scenes in the film were created, such as the famous floating candles, we moved into the interior sets.
This is the room where we stayed for hours, and yes I do mean hours! Everything was so fascinating, with so much to see. It began with an ice sculpture that depicted the Yule Ball, so elegantly created. The best parts of the makeup, hair and costume departments, which of course I was so intrigued to see, then followed this. The real costumes hung upon the rails, with the day and scene number clearly noted on the tags. With these were the wigs of every cast member (that used them) from Draco Malfoy to Hagrid.
The sets have been incredibly well maintained, with each part being exactly as you see them in the film. You get to stand aside and take a look at many sets, some include the boys dormitory, Gryffindors Common Room, the Weasley’s and Hagrid’s houses, as well as being allowed to wander round Dumbledore’s office. As you can imagine, every prop is still in place and in perfect condition. My favourite set was the Charms classroom, where the spells took place. Like each set, the props were so intricately designed, down to engravings of names on each potion, as well as moving props to see the set live in action.
Following the sets where the flying car and broomsticks in action, with screenings of how the special effects worked – we both found this part amazing, as you can’t ever imagine what filming looked like. On the note of the famous transport is the Hogwarts Express, which you get to go inside and have a wander. Each carriage replicates a scene from each film, from props to markings on the windows. Of course, the exterior sets included the famous night bus from Prisoner of Azkaban, Potter’s Cottage and Harry’s family residence on Privet Drive.
The last two sections were the Creature room and Diagon Alley, which both had live demonstrations of how each creature was made (yes, they are real and not CGI). Makeup, head and body moulds are all on display in the Creature room for you to get a sense of what went on behind the scenes. Like all of the sets, Diagon Alley was smaller but just like how you see it in the film.
The tour ended with a small model of Hogwarts (shown in the first photo), lit up and covered in snow. I was amazed to find out that many scenes had actually been filmed using the model. Characters were green screened and shrunk to fit, whilst camera would work its way around the small set making it seem like a full size building. The entire experience was just out of this world and I highly recommend anyone to go. You get to find out so much more and be a part of it.
Which part would you love to see?