Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Warner Bros Studio Tour - Hogwarts in the Snow

Hi there everyone

Welcome to Life of Pottering for 2018

It has actually been three weeks since I last posted, which isn't really that long, but feels like an absolute age.

We are trying, not that successfully I must add, to get into the swing of the 2018. Both Martin and I are feeling just a bit listless and not as excited and motivated about the New Year as we normally are at this point.

I am putting it down to our extended Christmas and New Year celebrations, which have lasted almost two months! We started off getting in the Christmas spirit back in November, when we went to Yorkshire for a week's break. I've still plenty to share with you from then, but you can read the first of my posts about our getting in the spirit here.

We really only just finished off our celebrations yesterday ... with a trip to Warner Brothers Studios where we were truly immersed into the magical world of Harry Potter.

Until 28 January you can get to see 'Hogwarts in the Snow' so, whilst I've got lots of posts backing up, I thought it would be good to share this one first.

Between us we took over 400 photos so I promise to slim them down dramatically and just share our favourites with you.

The Boring Stuff ...
Arrival at the studios was dead straightforward and there is loads of parking, we just had to show our booking confirmation and we were in.

It's recommended that you arrive at least 20 minutes before your tour time, to allow for ticket collection and security checks on the way in, which were reassuringly thorough.

Before you start the tour you have access to the gift shop, the cafe and toilets, so plenty to see if you are early.

We were about an hour before our time slot and were lucky enough to be able to start our tour early, though this is not always guaranteed.

A few sneaky tips ...
If we visited again I would make sure that when entering the first part of the tour I would exit that first room via the left hand door and then sit at the front. I won't spoil the surprise by saying anymore, but I think it would be worth it.

I think you would still enjoy the tour if you've not watched the Harry Potter films, but if you haven't, then personally I would recommend you try and watch some before you go. It somehow just makes everything seem a bit more real.

The Exciting Stuff ...
By the time the tour kicked off proper we were well excited and were eagerly anticipating what would happen next. We weren't disappointed, but I don't want to totally give the game away so will just go on to share our favourite parts with you ... in no particular order ...

There is so much to see at every stage of the tour, you just don't know where to look as there is something magical and fascinating in every direction.

It was fairly busy on our visit, but if you are patient it is all set up so that everyone can get to see everything and there are more than enough photo opportunities.

The Sets
Number 4 Privet Drive ...
Where it all begins ...

Platform 9 3/4 ...
Well, you all know how Martin loves anything trains and railways ...
 It had to be done ...

The Gryffindor Boys' Dormitory & Common Room ...
All decked out for the Christmas season ...


Dumbledore's Office ...
There is lots of detail here, as in all the sets, and its made me want to watch the films all over again ...

Hagrid's Cottage

The Forbidden Forest ...
Definitely not one for arachnophobes ...

Diagon Alley ...
Plenty of shopping opportunities ...

The Great Hall ...
This was truly spectacular and decorated as it was for that incredible Yule Ball. This is pretty much the only part of the tour where the time you can spend is limited, so I would recommend getting your camera out pretty swiftly.


and not forgetting ...

Hogwarts Castle ...
This was just stunning, from all angles ...

It's not just all about the sets, though they are amazing. Dotted amongst them there is plenty of other interesting stuff to catch your eye ...

The Costumes ...
There are costumes everywhere you look. In every set, of pretty much every character, as well as groups of costumes from specific events from the films. From the Yule Ball ... Hermione's dress is just to die for ...
And here, you can see just how 'pink' Dolores Umbridge becomes at her pottiest ...
There is plenty to be seen from a Quidditch point of view too ...


Lots of Props ...
Some more recognisable than others ...

And some bigger than others ...

There is also lots to see from a make up and wigs point of view as well as lots of information on animatronics and how things were made and how they work

All told we spent a good three hours on our tour. We did have a quick refreshment stop in the Backlot cafe, but didn't partake of any of the interactive activities that are available. If you were visiting with children and took part in all of these things, you could easily spend longer.

Our visit definitely did not disappoint. It was magical and a brilliant day out. We would definitely visit again, at a different time of year. If you get the chance to go then we would both definitely recommend it.

Even the joys of the M1 on the way home did not spoil our day ...

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