The 'Harry Potter' Studio Tour Officially OpensJacob Hall |
If enthusiastic fanbases can be considered a kind of religion, think of this as a Mecca for magic-loving Muggles the world over: Warner Bros. has opened the 'Harry Potter' studio tour twenty miles outside of London, letting visitors explore the sets and costumes seen in the epically popular film series.
Unlike Universal Studios Florida's Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which painstakingly recreates locations seen in the films in a dramatic, immersive fashion, the Harry Potter studio tour looks to be a far more educational experience, letting fans take a behind-the-scenes look at the technology and the craftsmanship that made the films work in the first place. The self-guided tour will take guests through iconic locations like Diagon Alley, Hogwarts' Great Hall, Dumbledore's office, the Ministry of Magic, the Gryffindor common room, Hagrid's hut and many more, letting guests "Touch the Magic!" (That's not the official tagline for this whole enterprise, but it's yours if you want it, Warner Bros). However, the "marquee attraction" of the entire experience is the 50-foot long 1:24 model of Hogwarts Castle built for the various aerial shots seen throughout the series.
Also on hand? A selection of the glasses worn and the wands wielded by Daniel Radcliffe, many of the flying broomsticks featured in the film, the Knight Bus and a menagerie of magical beasts (including Buckbeak the Hippogriff, Aragog the spider and Fawkes the phoenix). Props specific to certain locations will be on display in their respective sets.
Tickets for the tour must be booked in advance. The rates vary by age and group, but a lone Potter fan over the age of 16 will have to drop £28.00 for admission (that's about $45 to the Yanks in the audience). That's a pretty standard price for a studio tour of any kind and if you've already dropped hundreds of bucks on Harry Potter books, movie tickets, DVDs and fabric to build your own wizard robes, it's just a drop in the bucket...or pensieve, if you want to get all nerdy about it.