Hogwarts Tour in London

10 Highlights from London's Harry Potter Studio Tour  July 28, 2013 – 01:03 pm
Studio tour opens up rich world of J.K. Rowling in The Making of

By Maria Teresa Hart

Muggles, take note: The Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour is now open for wizarding business, to the delight of fans worldwide. Not to be confused with the theme park set in Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida (that one's dubbed The Wizarding World of Harry Potter), this new attraction is set just outside of London’s city center, and showcases the real sets, props, makeup, and special effects used in the eight movies. Even those who don’t consider themselves afflicted with Potter-mania will still appreciate the artistry on display and the astounding work that went into assembling the sets for the sorcery-infused saga. From the Great Hall of Hogwarts to a sundry of magical props, each set piece tells part of Harry's adventures—read on for the top tour highlights.

1. Hogwarts Great Hall

Like any new student would, visitors begin their visit by crossing through the massive doors of Hogwarts into the Great Hall. Inside these looming walls, you’ll see each Hogwarts house represented by its costumes. (Don’t worry, there’s no sorting hat, so you can take your picture with both Gryffindor and Slytherin.) But it’s the professors’ costumes up front that inspire the most love: Seeing Dumbledore’s robe and hat upfront is almost like standing before the man himself (you'll just miss out on the fatherly advice).

2. Defense Against the Dark Arts Classroom

You won’t learn how to do a Patronus Charm here, but this classroom, with its piles of musty bottles and labeled jugs, is the most memorable in the films, and it’s well maintained here. Dank stone walls and an odd hodgepodge of cauldrons and roots will give you a strong desire to pull up a chair and start experimenting.

3. Dumbledore’s Office

When looking for wisdom or comfort, Harry Potter retreated to Dumbledore’s office, and it’s easy to see why. The circular space feels ancient and inviting, and it so perfectly matches what was depicted onscreen that you half expect the paintings to move.

4. Newspapers and Candies

The big bombastic set pieces command so much attention that it’s easy to overlook this cabinet full of printed props. But it’s here that you’ll discover just how rich and detailed the work on these movies was. The jumble of newspapers (The Quibbler and The Daily Prophet), candy wrappers, and letters were so small, at times they didn’t register on the film; but they always supported the actors and allowed them to believe in their roles of being a witch or wizard.

5. Broomsticks

Don a Hogwarts robe and hop on one of the broomsticks behind a green screen to view yourself on a monitor as you zoom around various backdrops, including Hogwarts, the streets of London, and over the river Thames. (Tip: If you’re doing the tour with younger kids, you might want to head to this spot early on so they don’t get as frustrated with the other look-but-don’t-touch displays on the rest of the tour.)

Source: www.fodors.com


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