OK, this is HUGE!
Warner Brothers has purchased Leavesden Studios in London, where all of the Harry Potter movies were filmed, and has opened a Harry Potter Museum and Studio Tour on the site!
Several blogs announce, "Two new soundstages are being built to house movie memorabilia, including sets like Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, as well as personal memorabilia from the cast and crew."
According to "Jaunted.com," Rupert Grint, who plays Ron, said they even recreated things you wouldn't expect: "They are going to make replicas of our dressing rooms in the Harry Potter museum in London. It's kind of a weird thought but it's such a special place, because I spent more time there than in my own home and to know it's going to live on is really great!"
Here are just some of the things you can expect to see and do according to the official website:
- Step inside and discover the actual Great Hall.
- Explore Dumbledore’s office and discover never-before-seen treasures.
- Step onto the famous cobbles of Diagon Alley, featuring the shop fronts of Ollivanders wand shop, Flourish and Blotts, the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, Gringotts Wizarding Bank and Eeylops Owl Emporium.
- See iconic props from the films, including Harry’s Nimbus 2000 and Hagrid’s motorcycle.
- Learn how creatures were brought to life with green screen effects, animatronics and life-sized models.
- Rediscover other memorable sets from the film series, including the Gryffindor common room, the boys’ dormitory, Hagrid’s hut, Potion’s classroom and Professor Umbridge’s office at the Ministry of Magic.
Located just 20 miles from the heart of London at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, the very place where it all began and where all eight of the Harry Potter films were brought to life. The Studio Tour is accessible to everyone and promises to be a truly memorable experience - whether you’re an avid Harry Potter fan, an all-round movie buff or you just want to try something that’s a little bit different.
The tour is estimated to take approximately three hours, however, as the tour is mostly self guided, you are free to explore the attraction at your own pace. During this time you will be able to see many of the best-loved sets and exhibits from the films. Unique and precious items from the films will also be on display, alongside some exciting hands-on interactive exhibits that will make you feel like you’re actually there.
The Studio Cafe and other outlets offer a range of freshly prepared hot and cold refreshments, which are available all day every day. The magic also continues in the Gift Shop, which is full of exciting souvenirs and official merchandise, designed to create an everlasting memory of your day at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.
Are you hungry for more details?
In the iconic and breathtaking Great Hall, you will walk on the actual solid York stone floor laid 11 years ago, and see the solid oak and pine house tables that were built for the films and aged with axes and chains. (I can just imagine those set decorators getting out their aggression with chains and axes! LOL!) You will discover the graffiti carved into the tables by Hogwarts pupils (which production designer Stuart Craig encouraged, as this would happen at all schools!). You can also learn about the unique house points bead system that was said to have caused a national bead shortage when it was first installed back in 2000. (I LOVE that!)
Beyond the Great Hall, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter continues with a tour of some of the largest, most detailed sets ever produced in the UK. In Dumbledore's office, you can see the authentic Sword of Gryffindor, the Sorting Hat and the Hogwarts headmaster portraits.
You will discover how green-screen technology helped create many iconic sequences for the films, including the spectacular Quidditch matches. You will see Harry's Nimbus 2000 and Draco Malfoy's Nimbus 2001, plus Harry's treasured Firebolt, given to him by his godfather Sirius Black.
As you walk through the tour, you will witness never-before-seen video pieces featuring interviews with the cast and crew, revealing secrets from the making of the films. (OK, it's worth it just for THAT!) You will discover the spectacular detail and imagination behind the Creature Effects Workshop, showcasing the animatronics, exquisite make-up designs and iconic creatures from the films. You will come face-to-face with Buckbeak the Hippogriff, the giant and terrifying spider Aragog, Fawkes the phoenix and the giant head of the Basilisk.
In the Weasley kitchen, you will learn about the amazing craftsmanship of real life special effects props like Molly Weasley's self-washing frying pan, knitting needles and chopping knives. And you can explore Hagrid's hut, see his famous motorcycle and learn how his larger-than-life character was realised on screen.
As you walk around the spectacular Magic is Might statue, designed by Stuart Craig to evoke the style of Soviet sculptures from the 1930s, (INCREDIBLE!) you will step into the Ministry of Magic, best remembered from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows™ - Part 1. From there you can return to the house where the magic began, at 4 Privet Drive.
The Gryffindor common room, one of the films' oldest and most beloved sets, sits alongside the Gryffindor boys' dormitory, including the original beds made for Harry, Ron, Seamus, Neville and Dean for the first film. Learn how the filmmakers had to adapt and find unique camera angles as the years went by, hiding the fact that the cast had clearly outgrown the beds.
There are many more Hogwarts sets you’ll discover, including Snape's lair, the mysterious Potion’s classroom, and Professor Umbridge's office, which is radiant in its fluffy pink magnificence, with her amazingly detailed cat porcelain plates, created especially for the films.
The Hogwarts bridge, last seen collapsing in flames after Neville and the Death Eaters' chase in Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsTM – Part 2, is just one more part of this incredible tour.
WHAT ARE THE HOURS OF OPERATION?
The studio is open at 10am every day of the week, with the exception of Christmas and Boxing day. Tours begin at 10am, and when you purchase your ticket, you are purchasing a set time of day. You want to be at the studio AT LEAST 20 minutes before your scheduled time.
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE TICKET PRICE IS NOT YOUR ONLY 'INVESTMENT' IN YOUR TOUR IF YOU WANT TO MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME HERE!
You will want to purchase the Digital Guide:
The handheld audio-visual guides bring the Studio Tour to life in a completely new way. It contains fascinating facts about the sets, costumes and props, as well as newly produced interviews with filmmakers and never before seen behind-the-scenes footage. It is available in eight languages and can be pre-booked with your tickets. This is available to hire for just £4.95.
The Souvenir Guidebook will help you to remember this magical experience forever. It’s full of in-depth information about the Harry Potter films, including many behind-the-scenes secrets and fabulous photography. Pre-order when you buy your tickets, or pick one up before your tour, for just £9.95.
For the ultimate film buffs and Harry Potter fans, buy your Studio Tour entrance ticket, Digital Guide and Souvenir Guidebook for one special price. Only available when ordered in advance, either online or via our call centre. Choose this option when purchasing your tickets and collect at the attraction.
OK, now, THIS IS IMPORTANT...
YOU HAVE TO PRE-PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS BEFORE YOU GET THERE! YOU CANNOT PURCHASE THEM AT THE DOOR!!!
There are discounted prices for groups. If the links below do not work, then you can click on:
If you cannot make it all the way to London for the Studio Tour, then there's always, 'The Wizarding World of Harry Potter' in Florida! I had the priviledge of going there last November and it was WONDERFUL! When I get a chance, I fully intend to blog on it...
There's nothing quite like a 'Butter Beer!!' Like English Shortbread in a glass!! YUM!
AND, they will be opening a WWofHP in Los Angeles at Universal Hollywood! How cool is that, Los Angeleans?
So, how many of you are going to make a special trip to the UK in 2012 to see the Studio Tour? I have a feeling 2012 will be the year I finally get back over to my beloved London!!! (After the London Olympics, of course!)
Click here to see the official trailer by Warner Brothers:
The Tour https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/en/tour/tour
Special thanks to the WB studio tour FACEBOOK PAGE for the photos on this post!
You can follow them here: https://www.facebook.com/wbstudiotourlondon