Since the last book’s release, the theatrical release of the two films, and their dvd releases, HP fans have had little to look forward to except the potential to save for a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the wretched environs of Florida, or 2016 when the Universal Studios Hollywood, CA theme park has their own version of it.
For the rest of us still having trouble coping with Post-Harry-partum Depression, the existence of a Harry Potter theme park no longer satiates our needs. Now you can walk the literal halls of Hogwarts yourself! Warner Brothers has opened up the original Leavesden Studio (converted from a military aircraft hanger just outside of London) that the Harry Potter productions called home. According to Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), who was present at the red carpet Grand Opening (broadcast earlier today as a livestream from the WB website), what is great about this tour is that you get to see the works of a feature film production that fans usually never get to see. “You will feel like a first year arriving at Hogwarts,” she said. Rupert Grint went even further,
“I found it quite moving, actually, coming back… I sometimes had to remind myself that we weren’t doing a scene, because it’s so authentic… This is a special place for me. I basically grew up here, went to school here. It’s just nice to be able to share it with everyone.”
According to the studio the tour is:
“a behind-the-scenes walking tour which immerses guests into the world of film-making, featuring authentic sets, costumes and props, created at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden. The Studio Tour will initially focus on the Harry Potter film series, which has made the Studios its home for over 10 years.”
Many of the actors from the films were also in attendance, including Warwick Davis, Evanna Lynch, Tom Felton, and Helen McCrory (who seemed really excited about the opportunity to ride a broomstick as one of the attractions of the tour).
In addition to flying around on broomstick, you can also catch explanations of how these sets and special effects were created, making this a treasure trove for film and Potter lovers alike. Like all tourist attractions the prices seem a tad excessive (approximately $45 for adults and $34 for children). But for those who love these books and valued the communal enjoyment that translated across so many borders, it may seem fair for a chance to experience a bit of magic… the kind that comes from a real encounter with the elements that went into producing these films (such as traipsing the real Diagon Alley!)
You can bet as soon as I recover from selling one of my kidneys I will be in London to see this! And maybe check out the Olympics while I’m there.
Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers