Finally, the day came that we got to see the Harry Potter set! It took us a while to get from our hotel at High Street Kensington to Watford, where the Warner Bros. Studio is at. (Fun fact: I panicked big time because we took a train without using our Oyster cards! Basically, we were “riding for free”, because I didn’t know we had to tap our cards at a separate reader. There weren’t any gantries too, so we could just walk to the platform and board the train!)
(Our tickets against the backdrop of the entrance to “The Making of Harry Potter”!)
(The photo area before the long walk into the main part of the studio tour.)
As we made our way into the exhibition, we passed by the legendary staircase which Harry Potter stay under, while at the Dursleys’.
Next, we proceeded into “The Great Hall” where we saw just how epic in scale and grandeur the set was, with towering ceilings, stretched-out tables and intricate designs. Shown alongside the set and props, were the costumes worn by every significant individual in the movies.
(If you couldn’t already make it out, we’ve got ,from left to right, Professor McGonagall, Headmaster Dumbledore and Professor Snape! Oh and the nice little golden owl stand with the real, melted wax candles!)
Past that, we were able to slowly marvel at the magnificently styled and designed dresses that Cho, Hermione and Krum wore to the Yule Ball!
(Here they are in all their understated glamour! I especially love Hermione’s dress!)
Moving on, the last few significant costumes we got to see were the ones that the trio (Harry, Ron and Hermione) wore near the tail end of the franchise!
(I love how ragged and worn the costumes look, they really give you a sense of how much the trio of characters had endured up till then!)
Now that we’re done with all the costumes, it’s back to the sets, with the ones immediately after being Dumbledore’s office!
(If you squint and look really closely, you can make out the telescope. Or if you want another challenge, try to spot the first Dumbledore’s outfit!)
Some ways after that, we caught a glimpse of Hagrid’s Hut. There’s even a small titbit in the caption below!
(Hagrid looks normal sized in this set. Any idea why? Well, they built two different sets to showcase Hagrid’s sheer size! One would be shrunken down, with the other one of typical dimensions!)
Let’s get serious note, because it’s going to get a little dark for a while. “Why?”, you might ask. Well the next photo shows Tom Riddle’s tombstone (AKA The One Who Shall Not Be Named or simply Voldemort)! Not only that, what lay after that was the Forbidden Forest
(The Grave of Tom Riddle.)
(Now you might be puzzled as to what this is. Let me fill you in, because it’s really interesting! This is how the patronus was created! These LED lights were placed on a real Scottish Deerhound and combined with special effects to produce the realistic effect on screen!)
For our pit stop, we looked at the candies on sale and bought Butterbeer and Butterbeer-flavoured ice cream!
(Fizzing Wizzbees, Bertie Botts and Peppermint Toads!)
(More candy: Exploding Bonbons!)
(Though the Butterbeer was in a much smaller cup than the ones they have at Universal Studios Japan, the Butterbeer-flavoured ice cream was really nice and creamy!)
The open area after that houses Privet Lane, the Knight Bus and the ricktey bridge leading into Hogwarts!
(Part of Privet Lane!)
(The other part of Privet Lane!)
(A quick snap at the rickety bridge! They only built this short portion and finished up the rest using computer effects!)
(The now iconic Knight Bus!)
The penultimate part of the tour was the Hogwarts Express! Some might not know that it is an actual train which was in service before the movie was filmed!
(Still can’t believe I actually saw the Hogwarts Express with my own eyes!)
(One of the seating areas in the train, filled with sweets!)
(The sweets cart! Hint hint: the cart lady plays a key role in the Cursed Child play!)
Oh I nearly forgot! Here’s what Diagon Alley looks like!
(It’s surprisingly small!)
Now for the crème de la crème of the whole exhibition, the 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts!
(It’s so huge! For reference, look to the right side of the photo to see how a human looks in comparison!)
To cap off an already magnificent experience at the Warner Bros Studio Tour, we caught”Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”, still the only major Harry Potter story that hasn’t/isn’t going to hit the silver screen anytime soon! We booked our tickets three months in advance, but even then, we couldn’t find adjoining seats, so we had to sit separately. Well, at least now I know to buy them much earlier!
(We caught it at the Palace Theatre near Tottenham Court Road Station!)
(The souvenirs on sale at the Palace Theatre!)
Now, I said that I would reveal which of the desserts in the photo I ate, well, here it is! We ate it at the same place, L’ETO SOHO!
(A Violet Macaron Cake! It tasted as sweet as it looks!)
To end off this article, here’s a photo of the view I had of the stage from my seat!
(A surprisingly good view, considering the price I paid! Only around £15! Productions shown in Singapore really should learn to temper their high prices.)