The Studio Tour showcases authentic sets, props and costumes from the Harry Potter film series, offering visitors the opportunity to discover behind-the-scenes secrets from 10 years of filming. It’s the only place in the world where you can walk into Hogwarts Great Hall, stroll down the Diagon Alley set that was used during filming and climb aboard the original Hogwarts Express.
You may already know that the Studio Tour is based at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, the production home of all eight Harry Potter films, but here’s a list of 9 ¾ secrets you might not be so familiar with...
1. Most of the film series’ props had multiple copies to cater for stunt doubles, breakages and different scenes (for example, 160 versions of Harry’s iconic round glasses were made across 10 years). One of the few exceptions is The Mirror of Erised that can be seen at the Studio Tour – only ONE was ever created.
2. The Hagrid’s hut set is one of TWO versions that were built during production; the hut at the Studio Tour was used to make characters visiting Hagrid look smaller than they actually were. Filmmakers also created a scaled-down version so that Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid, would look like he was a half-giant.
3. The THREE giant chess pieces that stand outside the entrance may look like they’re carved from stone but they’re actually made of fibreglass and weigh just over 200kg. During filming for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, some of the pieces were actually radio-controlled by members of the crew as they moved along the chessboard.
4. In the Great Hall, you can spot the House Points Counter; an intricate mechanism that contains thousands of Indian glass beads representing each of the FOUR Hogwarts houses – rumour has it that when it was made for the first film, it caused a national shortage of beads!
Did you know?
Eight Christmas trees line the Great Hall set during our Hogwarts in the Snow feature (taking place this year from Friday 13th November – Sunday 31st January 2016).
5. You can collect FIVE different Famous Witches and Wizards Cards from packets of Chocolate Frogs; these are available in our Studio Shop and our online shop.
6. Children can pick up a free activity passport on arrival and collect SIX stamps at stations located throughout the Studio Tour.
7. The number SEVEN plays a key part in the Harry Potter film series (there are seven players in a Quidditch team, seven Horcruxes and seven Weasley siblings). The Studio Tour reveals that it was an important number behind-the-scenes too; seven different colours of paint were used on the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes set, seven versions of Hagrid’s motorbike were created and the original version of the Hogwarts castle model took seven months build.
8. EIGHT Christmas trees line the Great Hall set during Hogwarts in the Snow. Taking place this year from Friday 13th November – Sunday 31st January 2016, the festive feature also includes the addition of decorations in the Gryffindor common room, special effects ‘fire’ in the grates and, of course, lots of filmmaking ‘snow’.
9. Our Digital Guides feature an exclusive clip from Daniel Radcliffe’s first audition and are available in NINE languages (Parseltongue, however, is not one of them!).
9 ¾. Platform 9 ¾ opened earlier this year and features the original Hogwarts Express locomotive; together, the steam engine and coal tender weigh an impressive 122 tonnes.