Harry Potter Studios Tour: Part 3

You can read parts one and two of my on-going Harry Potter Studios Tour here and here.

As with both of last two posts regarding the Harry Potter Studios Tour: there will be lost of pictures, and spoilers, so read ahead at your own peril!

After we were done taking pictures in the flying car, the tour moved back inside where got to see how they made the different creatures that were used in the movies!

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It also included some prosthetic worn by the cast, as well as the process that went into making those prosthetics!

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It’s Fawkes, the phoenix!

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It’s Kreature!

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The next room housed all the body doubles for the cast. It was a little eerie since they are very life like.

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The room also had the pieces that cast members wore to turn them into other things. In the picture below, you can see the Dementor costume pieces and the dragon head!

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They had screens set up around the room with videos playing that explained some of the mechanics that went into making some of the “magical” aspects work. This video was showing how they made the Mandrakes in movie 2.

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Poor Doby!

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One of the really cool things that we learned on the tour was that Hagrid was made large through special effects. They made a mechanical mask of Robbie Coltrane’s, the actor who played Hagrid, face and mechanized it to move. They then had Coltrane do all the voice acting for the role, then found a large man to wear the mechanical Hagrid mask, and be the body of Hagrid while Coltrane did the voice. It was so cool to learn that. I always assumed it was a CGI effect, so to learn how they actually did it was very special!

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They actually had this Hagrid head moving, which was a little freaky!

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it’s Voldemort! They actually had it wiggling and blinking, which was super creepy!

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Many of the things in this room would move, showing you the mechanics that made them work. I thought this would ruin some of the movie magic, but it really didn’t. I have so much more appreciation for the effort and meticulous detail that went into making this film series!

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It’s baby Fawkes!

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The next room housed some of the really big animals from the movie! The spider about gave me a stroke!

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It’s BuckBeak. They actually had him still working, so he would move his head, his wings, his beak, and blink. It was so cool to see him “living” and moving like that!

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After you were done in the room with all the mechanics, you got back to set pieces. The next room housed all the set pieces for Diagon Alley and it was magical!

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Me in Diagon Alley (and I’m not sure who that kid in the picture is?)!

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It’s Fred and George’s store! They had the arm on the top still moving the hat! It was magical!

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After exploring Diagon Alley, you get to see the sketches of the movies before filming started. These mostly included the layout of rooms and buildings, and some of the conceptual pieces from the movies!

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It’s the concept for Hogsmeade! 

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It’s the Hogwarts Express concept art!

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It’s Hogwarts!

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So, this room ended with a hallway that took a really sharp turn. As you come around the hallway, the room opens up and there in the middle is…

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freaking Hogwarts! And I burst into tears again! It was amazing to see the real life Hogwarts just there before me. And they were playing songs from the movies and I just cried (still not ashamed to admit it!)! This model is actually a scale model and the one they used to film all exterior shots of the castle!

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They had the lights change in the room, from a daylight yellow, to a night-time blue. When the lights in the room got dark, lights in the castle turned on! It was incredible to see!

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They had the castle on a platform in the middle with a descending ramp around it so you could see it from all angles!

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If they had had benches in that room, I probably would have just sat there watching the castle, and listening to the music (and crying) until they kicked me out! It was something so special to see! It’s probably the highlight of my whole trip to London!

After you leave the room with the Hogwarts model, you come into a room filled with wand boxes. It was actually about three rooms. On each wand box is the name of a cast or crew member who worked in any of the movies!

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It was the perfect way to end the tour. It reminds you of the scale and scope of these movies, and of all the people who put their blood, sweat, and tears into them to bring them to the screen. As you exit the room with all the wand boxes, there was a quote by J.K. Rowling that perfectly summed up the whole day!

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Once we finished our tour, and I stopped crying, we headed to the gift-shop. This is, I think, the biggest gift-shop I have ever seen. There was so much packed in there. I spent way more money than I should have, and I’m not upset about it!

Once we were done spending three small fortunes in the gift-shop, we hopped the shuttle bus (we found it this time) to the train station, hopped the train to the tube station, rode the tube back to our hostel, and all immediately fell into bed. The roommates from hell were there at this point, but that’s a story for another day. Stay tuned!

 

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