Enjoying a Wand(er) at ‘Making of Harry Potter’ Tour

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The Making of Harry Potter at The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London throws wide open the Hogwarts door.
I’ve never been a huge Harry Potter fan. As a result, J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. never made a dime off of that character. Sorry. It’s sad, really.
But, there is the occasional person who seems to enjoy it. To give them an up close, in person look at the sets, props and costumes of a book and movie franchise that somehow managed to eek out a few measly dollars here and there.
I came away from the experience amazed by the amount of detail that went into every aspect of the movies’ creation and impressed by the amount of intimate access the tour’s designers offered to visitors.
The Potter movies were shot at a set of sound stages hidden away in once-empty fields just outside London. When the seven productions wrapped up, their producers were smart enough to preserve everything and dedicate stages on the same lot to a museum-style exhibition of everything Hogwarts.
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The World of Harry Potter is now a popular UK tourist attraction bringing in Muggles from around the world to see and (in some cases) touch the world of England’s most famous wizard. (Merlin is upset about losing that title, but no one is visiting The World of Merlin anywhere.)
From the Hogwarts Great Hall and Dumbledore’s office to The Weasley’s Kitchen and Diagon Alley, fans can disappear into their favorite fictional world.
While it’s not as if the visiting wand lovers get to stand on each other’s shoulders and try on Hagrid’s costume, there are opportunities at the exhibit to touch props, interact with scenery and admire the exceptional craftsmanship required to make many of the thousands of items created for the movies.
The show’s designers were brilliant to make the big payoff of the entire experience the massive Hogwarts model. First of all, bless the Potter crew for deciding to build a real scale create of the fictitious castle. There’s no doubt a CGI model somewhere, but building a “flesh and blood” incarnation some 30 feet across allowed for better lighting and real world cinematography.
Individual tickets are £30 now through July, and £31 afterward. If you want to preview a little more of the exhibit before putting your money down, check out the magical gallery here.
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