On show as of Saturday, the three-hour Making of Harry Potter tour that takes place on a famous soundstage in Abbots Langley that was once a Roll Royce factory is self-guided and totally behind-the-scenes.
Situated about 18 miles outside of Blighty's capital at Leavesden Studios, this extravagant event from Warner Bros. that is said to bring in 5,000 visitors a day is made up of exhibits containing everything the eight Harry Potter films required, including its sets, props, costumes, models and even special effects.
The movies were produced on the site where all the action happens, with the main attraction being an intricate 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts Castle that had been utilized for filming aerial photography as witnessed in the Harry Potter movies. And by intricate, we mean 2,500 lights, doors with working hinges, thriving live plants and little tiny birds in a grand retreat that goes from day to night every four minutes.
Movie sets on this must-see Harry Potter studio tour that is an ode to the hundreds of technicians and craftspeople who went about creating JK Rowling's beloved imaginings include The Great Hall, seen in all eight Harry Potter films. Study hard when you're there at the house tables and you'll discover each has been mutilated with graffiti courtesy of Hogwarts students.
Also on hand for the Making of Harry Potter studio tour are the cobbles of Diagon Alley. For those touring this magnificent operation, get set to come upon store fronts from Ollivander's wand shop to Flourish and Blotts, from Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes and Gringotts Wizarding Bank to Eeylops Owl Emporium.
In Dumbledore's office, the Sword of Gryffindor, the Sorting Hat, the Pensieve memory basin and past Hogwarts headmasters portraits are all on display while at The Gryffindor boys' dorm, beds slept in by Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Neville Longbottom and Seamus Finnigan are exhibited.
The pink office filled with all its requisite cat plates that was occupied by Professor Umbridge is there, too, as is Habrid's Hut which houses his notorious flying motorcycle.
The largest set--The Ministry of Magic--is part of this new tour too, as is Weasley's kitchen where a self-washing frying pan, self-knitting needles, and self-chopping knives work overtime.
Not only that, but through the magic of movie-making, The Hogwarts bridge has been brought back to life after succumbing to fire in the last Harry Potter movie. And The Dursleys' Privet Drive home is there too, including Harry's under-the-stairs cupboard.
As or Harry Potter props available for those who take this dazzling tour, expect the triple-decker Knight Bus, an array of flying broomsticks like Harry's Nimbus 2000, Draco Malfoy's Nimbus 2001, and Sirius Black's Firebolt; fine examples of the 70 magic wands and 160 pairs of glasses Daniel Radcliffe used and wore while acting in all eight movies; and lots of Butterbeer in the form of foaming tankards.
And if some of the special Harry Potter creatures are who you want to meet, get ready to experience Buckbeak the Hippogriff, Aragog the giant spider, Fawkes the phoenix, and the giant Basilisk snake through the magic of green screen technology and animatronics.
This feast for Harry Potter fans is hard to capture in a single article, so visitors who get there should report back on their favorite aspects of this behind the scene movie magic now on display at Leavesden Studios near London. Check in here for how to purchase tickets.
Image: Wikipedia Commons