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Harry Potter studio tour

Andrew C

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I recently did the Warner Bros studio tour. We took 4 kids, ranging 10-21 for a day out not expecting very much, but some entertainment.


Prior to the visit I thought film sets and props would be a bit like theatre stuff; good enough to be viewed at the distance the audience would be. Some very detailed, for close-ups, but most "a bit shonkey". Not a bit of it. The quality of workmanship is stunning. The stone walls in the big dining hall look, up close, like stone. The floor IS York stone (they decided to do that for longevity, knowing it would be used in all 8 films)


I'll not give away too much, particularly of the penultimate room (insert jaw dropping emoticon) but here are a some pics.









Well worth a visit if you have any interest in props, set building or wardrobe. Or indeed the films! Allow at least 3 hours, more if you want to look at everything. They advise arriving 30 mins ahead of your "tour time". You will still need to queue for 15mins or so to get in, but once through the introduction and Great Hall you can proceed at your own pace. It is well managed, with lots of attentive, knowledgeable guides around.


Watch out if you take "House Apes"; the gift shop is full of expensive things. High quality, non-generic tat things, for sure, but they are properly expensive!

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We too went as a family, the excuse being my oldest daughters 18th birthday. We all had a great time, tons to see and read. It was great to see it done for 'real' and not rendered in a server farm..


We took hundreds of photos, most of mine were looking at the non camera sides to see how it's done.. Lots of flattage hung on ali scaff, RC controlled servos, pneumatics, hydraulics, etc

Some of the detailed mechanical things are incredible - the door covered in the intricate lock mechanism for instance... I always thought that was done digitally...


Worth the entrance fee, take sandwiches and avoid the shop...



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The stone walls in the big dining hall look, up close, like stone.


There was one of the Pirates of the Caribbean sets that I saw where even up close (turns out the set was quite short, and being 6ft3 this meant it was at eye level like 10cm away), wooden beams on the ceiling looked like real wood rather than just fake stuff stuck onto a scaff pole. Thoroughly stunning the amount of detail that these sets have which you will likely never see up close to realise.

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