Wednesday 15 November 2017

The Making of Harry Potter

So I finally got to go to the Warner Brothers Studios in London, to visit The Making of Harry Potter. Me and my mum had been desperate to visit since it opened, and everyone who we know who has visited had said it was amazing. We simply hadn't been before due to it being in London, which is not exactly on our doorstep. Anyway, back in July we finally got a date together and when Virgin Trains had a £10 train ticket sale we took the plunge and book some tickets. We decided we would be able to do it in an entire day, rather than stay over night due to my working schedule. We got the train from Manchester Piccadilly at 9am and got to London Euston at 11.20am. We then got a 20 minute train straight to Watford Junction. We had read before we went on their website that they offer a bus that goes from the train station straight to the studios. It worked out amazingly as, as soon as we came out of the station there was a bus there waiting. This is such a great service as the studios seem to be pretty much in the middle of no where, and it would be difficult to get there yourself on public transport without the provided buses.

We got there about 30 minutes before our allocated slot which was 1-1.30pm. We ate our dinner, and then got in the queue as it was pretty big. It took about 20 minutes to get to the front of the queue, as when you first go in you watch a short film so they have to count a certain amount of people in. Heads up, I am obviously going to mentioning lots of the things to see and do at the studios, so if you want everything to be a total surprise then don't read on as I think my pictures will spoil it for you. After watching to the film, you enter the grand hall which is the only bit of the studio they did not change throughout the ten years it took to film all of the movies.

We were then led into a huge room which took us over an hour to go round, it had all different displays from the different movies with little scenes and sets set up to look at. It was great as you learnt so much about behind the scenes, and there was TV's which you could watch with outtakes and extras showing how they made all of the backgrounds. I found it so interesting, and all I kept saying to my mum was how long it must have taken to make things as everything was done with such intricate detailing.

There was another section to this room, where they showed how they made all of the different mechanical devices. It was great as the cauldrons in the picture below, moved as they did in the film. It is also had a life size Buckbead, which was just stunning to see and it moved it's head side to side. There was also a dead girl over Malfoy's table which I always thought was real in the film, but it was actually a prosthetic. It also showed how they built all of the sculptures, as well as making the different characters masks such as all the goblins who work in Gringrots. 

The bit that my mum enjoyed the most was the railway setup. I did not realise that there was the actual train which you can go on to, it has the cabins set up as they are in all the different movies over the years. They also have the magic wall at Platform 9 and 3/4 where you can push through your suitcase, it was all so much fun.

There was then a section half way round where you could sit and get some dinner, and also get some Butterbeer which was such a fun idea. You were then led to an outside section where there was the knight bus, and you could go into 4 Privet Drive and see the Dudley household. The house looked so real I thought it was actual bricks, but it shows you how they built up the house using latex to make it look like real bricks. There was also the original Potter household cottage to look at, and the bridge were Harry and Voldemolt had a huge battle in the Deathly Hallows.

You then went into another section inside where they had created a street which you walked up, and it featured lots of the different shops including the Gringotts bank.

The final masterpiece before you get to the end is the huge life size Hogwarts castle. It was absolutely breathtaking, and it took them 8 weeks to put back together as they moved it to the studios after the movies had finished being filmed. It was so pretty, and it was just a great finishing touch to the whole experience.

After the castle you are lead into the huge shop, which to be fair could only be described as chaos. It was sooooooo busy, and I actually lost my mum at one point. The merchandise was all great, but also mega expensive. I left with a chocolate wand and Hedwig key ring, as I could not bear to pay the prices of anything else!

Overall I had such an amazing day and it was so worth the £39 the ticket cost. Me and my mum were both a bit dubious as to how good/not it was going to be, but it was better than I expected. I am so happy I went, and everyone I have seen since I have told that they need to go. The journey back to the studios was just as smooth as it was on the way with getting on the bus back to the station. We then treated ourselves to a meal at Gino De Campo's Italian restaurant in Euston station, and then headed back for the train to Manchester. We were so tired and both had a little nap on the train back, I am so glad that we decided to just take the plunge and do it all one day. If you are a Harry Potter fan no matter how big or small, then it is definitely worth taking a trip to the studios to see and experience for yourself where all the magic was made!


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