United Kingdom: The Making of Harry Potter

Platform

Platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross Station, London

Ever since J.K Rowling brought Harry Potter to life, London has been Harry Potter headquarters. While I was in London I made the most of the “Harry Potter Experience” by seeing as many sites as I could related to Harry Potter. I went to Kings Cross Station to try to run through the platform, I walked around London looking for certain buildings used in the making of the series and I also saw numerous sites related to the actors lives outside of Harry Potter. The most exciting experience of all was when I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Leavesden, England (20 minutes north of London).

Studio Tour

Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour

The tour takes place in the actual studio that was used to film the movies for the entire 10 years. The actors and actresses used to come to this building everyday to film the magic we all saw on the screen. It was absolutely incredible to say that I have been there too. The studio was transformed into a museum for the sets and props used through out filming to give true Harry Potter fans a chance to keep the magic alive. Universal Studio’s Harry Potter World has nothing on this.

Flying Car

One of over 80 flying cars used in the making of the films.

In the tour you learn how the magic of Harry Potter was actually created! You get to see the real props that the actors and actresses used through out filming and learn about how they used special effects to make Hogwarts come to life.

Great Hall

Slytherin’s Table in the Great Hall

For the tour you are given an audio guide that explains all of the details of the magic of the series. The audio guide tells you so many fun facts and details about the sets and props that there is no possible way to remember them all.

WandsThese are the wands used by popular characters while filming. Each wand was made by the individual actor who used it.

In addition to seeing hundred of fascinating props we got to take a ride on a broom stick! We were not allowed to take any pictures but the studio had a green screen experience for the both flying car and broom stick. We got to wear a robe and everything!

Dumbledore's office

The set for Dumbledore’s office

Through out the tour we got to take a peak into miniature versions of some sets. In some of the sets the household objects were alive just like in the movie!

Potions Class

The set for the Potions Classroom

There was a part during the tour where we got to step outside and experience the “back lot”. The “back lot” is an outside space where they shot a few of the larger outdoor scenes. We got to see larger props and drink Butterbeer!

Night Bus

The Knight Bus

The tour ended on a spectacular note by showing us a large 3-D model of Hogwarts. While many people would love to believe that Hogwarts still exists (myself included), there was no large castle used in the filming of the movies. In each scene where they show an overhead view of the castle, the model was used! The module was absolutely incredible! The module even had working lights in every small window that would turn on and off as the lights in the room changes to show us the details.

Hogwarts

Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry

Having the opportunity to see the Harry Potter Studio Tour is one I will treasure for quite sometime. This experience truly helped me to learn how the Harry Potter magic was made both on and off the screen.

Leigh Anne Weaver
University of Westminster

London, England

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