Monthly Archives: March 2012

Expecto Excitiatum!

Ask anyone under 25 to list five things they associate with Great Britain and a sizable majority will say “Harry Potter”.  At $7.7 billion, the eight films are the highest grossing series of all time.  The books and movies have enchanted a generation of fans, all of whom are eager to see any sights associated with the books and movies.

Fortunately there are many places in the country immediately recognizable as Harry Potter film locations.  London and Oxford between them can offer more than enough to fill a day.  And now there is a powerful new attraction in the Potter universe.

Magic and wizardry at HogwartsOn March 31st, Warner Brothers will unveil “Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter”.  Based at their studios in Leavesden, where all eight films were actually made, it is a huge collection of authentic sets, costumes, models and props which will have Potter devotees captivated.  Walk through Dumbledore’s office, the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room, the Weasley kitchen and more.  Green Screen technology will allow you to compete in a game of Quidditch, after which you can quench your thirst with a tankard of Butterbeer.

What strikes you most about Studio Tour London is just how much effort has gone into creating this world of wizardry and magic.  Every last detail, from the triple-decker Knight Bus to Dumbledore’s Deluminator, is vividly realised and presented.  You begin to understand just how much talent and work is required for even a few seconds of film.

As studio attractions go, this is one of the best I’ve seen.  Don’t expect a theme park full of white-knuckle rides and simulators.  Warner Bros: Studio Tour London is aimed at the real Potter connoisseur and it is true to the world created by the books and the movies.  It is not cheap: at £28 for an adult it ranks  with Madame Tussauds on price.  But it far exceeds Tussauds in quality.

Please note that you cannot buy tickets at the entrance.  All visits must be pre-booked and you should allow three hours for a full tour.  Be sure to visit before you do anything.   After that, just enjoy!