On Saturday 31 March, the Warner Bros. Harry Potter studio tour
opens to the public. That means after eight awesome films, you - and Harry Potter fans all over the world - will be able to see the real magic went into creating the movie series.
What you can see?
What can't you see? That's the question. What's so special about this studio tour is that every little detail from the films have been accounted for. You name it (however bizarre it is), you'll find it in this studio - not one snitch, Gryffindor robe or wig hasn't been included. Even the Tri-Wizard cup sits there on show for all to see.
When you walk into the studio, you're greeted by an introductory film hosted by the stars of the movies - Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. They explain what to expect from your impending experience - and they warn you that there will be secrets revealed. "You'll never look at Quidditch in the same way again," comments Daniel. And then it starts...
And boy does it start - you can wonder down the centre of the great hall, admiring every plate and cup (waiting for pumpkin juice). You can take a look into Hagrid's hut, wince at the pinkness of Professor Umbridge's office and marvel at the scale of the Ministry Of Magic's atrium. There's even the Gryffindor tower to be explored. Dumbledore's office is open to everyone's eyes.
Of course there are the little things too - spot the 'Harry Potter: Number 1 Undesirable' poster while also marvelling at the Weasley's clever house clock, the making of Dobbie the Elf and the mechanics behind Phoenix, Dumbledore's trusty bird. Did you know that the huge 'Magic Is Might' statue that stands in the Ministry is actually made out of polystyrene? Well, it is - and there are more amazing secrets like that to be revealed!
And just when you think it can't get any more detailed. You step into the backlot and astound yourself at the sight of the Bridge to Hogwarts. The detail that goes into it is incredible - the work must have taken months. You can even stand in front of number 4 Privot Drive and the Potter house that Voldermort destroyed at Godric's Hollow. The Knight Bus is quite the eye opener!
Every mask, every mechanical device, every wig and even an entire wand shop sits waiting for all the Potter fans out there. But do you know what the best bit is? Walking down Diagon Alley. That's right, you can actually walk
down Diagon Alley yourself - with Olivanders Wand Shop just a few steps away.
Additional highlights include the Butterbeer stall (yes, you can try your very own Butterbeer for just £2.95) and if you're feeling adventurous, you can discover the wonders of a 'green screen' while flying on a broomstick!
But it's the big finale which will really
blow you away - and I won't spoil that for you! You will gasp though - it's stunning.
All in all, this is a brilliant insight into one of the finest film series of the century. But not only that - this is a tribute to some of the most impressive creative talents of our country. It's a very special place.
Be proud, be giddy and enjoy every moment - and for those few hours when you visit, you'll be able to exist in a truly magical world.
The finer details
You can find this Harry Potter world in Leavesden, just 20 miles north-west of London, with easy access by road, train and shuttle bus. The full address is:
Studio Tour Drive
The Warner Bros: 'Making Of Harry Potter' studio tour opens on Saturday 31 March. You can book your tickets here: http://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/