About Harry Potter Studio Tours
Harry Potter Studio Tours
Experience the Wizarding Wonders of the Potterverse with the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour, London. Located in Leavesden, the Warner Bros Studio is one of the largest film studios in the UK. A fully operating film studio, the Warner studio lot has been the backdrop of countless iconic films, with films like the entire Harry Potter series, some Star Wars, Batman and the Mission: Impossible films having been shot here.
Home to the only permanent filmmaking exhibit of its magnitude in the world, the studio’s Making of Harry Potter tour has consistently ranked as its highest-rated attraction worldwide since it first opened in 2012. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to this award-winning attraction each year.
Rub shoulders with Dobby, Buckbeak, Mad-Eye Moody, test your wand-waving skills, take a peek at Professor Dumbledore’s Office, hop aboard the Hogwarts Express and face your fears and get up close with death eaters, the Basilisk and loads more. Immerse yourself in the fascinating intricacies of the Potterverse, with hundreds of thousands of props, iconic costumes, and souvenirs from the sets of the beloved franchise on the Harry Potter studio tour, London.
Harry Potter Studios: History
Opened to the public in 2012, the Warner Bros. Studio, Leavesden was home to the filming of all of the Harry Potter films, right from 2001’s ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone’ to ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2’ in 2010. The tour received a royal opening, being inaugurated by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2013.
Since the books were still being written at the time of filming the initial films, many of the props and set pieces were preserved for later use. These props, set pieces and costumes were intricately crafted by hundreds of artists, technicians, designers and production crew to bring alive the magic of the Wizarding world.
Attractions at Harry Potter Studios
The Great Hall was among the first sets to be built for the filming of the Harry Potter series. Filming began in September of 2000 and the set played host to some of the most iconic scenes in the film. The majestic and formidably constructed set can seat over 400 persons and is featured in 7 of the 8 films in the series. The Great Hall includes several wall-mounted flaming torches representing the Hogwarts houses - Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.
Fun Fact: As many of the lead actors were under ten years old during the making of the first installment, they had to get casts of their teeth made just in case they lost one during the course of shooting.
The Making of Harry Potter: Studio Tour features Dumbledore’s office from the second installment of the film series. The office houses a library that consists of large leather-bound books which are telephone directories! The character ‘Dobby’ also first appeared in this film and although he was largely created using CGI, art directors created a realistic model for the actors on set to react to. This model can be viewed on the tour.
Fun Fact: 14 Ford Anglias were destroyed during the filming of the Whomping Willow sequence.
Hop aboard the Knight Bus, which was first created for this film. As one of the most complicated set pieces, the Knight Bus was specially built using components from double-decker buses to turn it into a triple-decker bus. The bus was driven through London and the route had to be carefully mapped out considering the height of the bus.
Fun Fact: Harry Melling, the actor who played Dudley Dursley, lost so much weight between the filming of the second and third installments that the filmmakers considered recasting him. Instead, they made him wear a fat suit for all his scenes in the movie.
Witness some of the most exciting aspects of the Triwizard Tournament with the giant water tank built to film the underwater scenes in the film. The film was also the first to feature the Hungarian Horntail dragon, which was largely created using CGI. However, the special effects team built a fully functioning model equipped with a 35-ft flamethrower that can be viewed on the tour.
Fun Fact: Emma Watson tripped and fell down the stairs in the first take of her Yule Ball ‘Cinderella moment’.
Step onto the Ministry of Magic set which was first constructed during the making of this film. The largest set created for any of the films in the series, it is big enough to fit over 50 London buses! Featuring a design that is heavily inspired by Victorian architecture, the set took over 22 weeks to build. The intricate tiles may look authentic, but were actually constructed using MDF!
Fun Fact: The filmmakers deviated from the novels and chose to color Tonks’ hair purple instead of pink, as they wanted the color pink to be associated with Professor Umbridge.
A model of The Burrow from this film can be found on the studio tour. Although The Burrow was partially set ablaze and destroyed in the film, the entire set was reconstructed and redressed for the subsequent films. The charred walls were given a quick do-over and the set retained the original Weasley design.
Fun Fact: The actor who played the young Tom Riddle (Voldemort) is actually the nephew of Ralph Fiennes, who played Voldemort.
Since Parts 1 and 2 were filmed back to back, the films feature many of the same sets. Over five 32-ton trucks filled with polystyrene were required to recreate the destruction of the Hogwarts castle in the final moments of part 2.
Fun Fact: Daniel Radcliffe went through over 160 pairs of glasses by the end of filming the series.