Like Harry Potter? Really, really like Harry Potter? Then you’ll be pleased to know that you can soon get closer to the magic than ever before thanks to the Warner Brothers studio opening the set doors to the public for the very first time.
When we were first invited, we had visions of tip-toeing around a dark and dusty warehouse in hope of bumping into Daniel Radcliffe on the way to the Hogwarts canteen. However, our outing was more like a trip to Alton Towers with fewer KFCs, more broomsticks and far more interesting things to look at than splodges of vomit after the Nemesis ride.
Here, some never-before-seen artefacts and the fine detail of the props, costumes and sets finally get their chance to shine and are sure to satisfy the thirst of even the most enthused Potter fan.
The tour is a highly polished experience, enthusiastically guided by some mildly theatrical ushers who challenge you to ask them ANYTHING on the Harry Potter franchise. You get the feeling these people can’t quite believe their luck at landing this job and are happily being paid with kegs of Butterbeer and Harry Potter pyjamas.
Talking of Butterbeer, if you’ve ever fancied a taste, this is the only place to do it. We were treated to a pint of the ‘self-foaming’ gloopy drink which, although fascinating, was more novel than nice. Needless to say, it can’t get you drunk, but what it lacks in alcohol, it makes up for in visual delight and intoxicating sugar (we presume – apparently there are only three people in the world that know the secret recipe).
Something else you can try is flying a broomstick. Okay, so it’s done using CGI but it’s very fun and looks realistic providing you’re prepared to act. Hop on the mechanical broom and dip, dodge and dive over London’s scenery reeling in front of you on-screen. Watch it back and you’ll be impressed at how authentic it all looks. Then, of course, you can keep your memory forever by purchasing the evidence as a gift shop souvenir.
Activities aside, the magic of Harry Potter is beautifully captured by showcasing the tireless efforts and talents that go into making the films such a marvel. Mooch around the genuine film sets, see the mechanics behind the gnarly beasts and cute critters, and gaze at the gallery of original artworks and sketches that eventually manifested into what we know and love.
With Harry Potter now the most successful film series of all time, the only question we have for Warner Bros about their studio tour is this: what took them so long?