Earlier in the week the wife and I took the kids to the Warner Brothers Studio to tour the Harry Potter exhibition. We had wanted to visit this earlier in the year but we couldn't get tickets for the dates we wanted and had to book three months in advance to schedule this trip in for the start of the school holidays. We all thoroughly enjoyed the day spending over five hours inside the studio seeing some truly amazing props, costumes and sets. But a word of warning, it wasn't a cheap day out. Be prepared to sell a kidney to finance the day, especially if you have children!
Food and drink are not allowed inside the Studio - although I did see some people with their own drinks - and the only food venue available is horrendously expensive (five hot dogs and a drink each cost over £30). There are also the usual photo opportunities against green screens so you can fly a broomstick or ride in the flying car for instance but the pictures are very expensive and did seem overpriced given that you can take your own pictures in most areas of the tour. I shot a load (what a surprise!) and here's a few just to give you a taste of what it was like. As a gamer and modeller I particularly enjoyed all the concept models on display with one final huge model to take your breath away at the end...
|Entering the Great Hall. The set is semi-permanent being used in all ten films|
|A model of the Great Hall. The clear perspex roof section shows where the roof should be. In the films it was added in a visual effect.|
|A small scale but highly detailed model of the roof used for visual effects shots|
|The set of the Potions Lab|
|Me and the young Padawan by the door to the Chamber of Secrets|
|A Quiddich game board.|
|I get to play Haggrid in this shot! I wonder why?|
|A sentiment I can only agree with!|
|The Creature Shop was very interesting with prosthetic s and animatronic's galore|
|I'd like one of these mounted on the wall.|
|A White card model of Hogsmeade.|
|The ultimate model castle! Over thirty feet high and about 50 feet across it was HUGE and incredibly detailed.|
|My first thought on seeing this was "you could have one hell of a war-game on this!"|
|The level of detail is awesome|
We had a great day and I think if you are prepared to take your time and really look at the detail and craftsmanship on display you will enjoy it all the more. We spent over five hours in the studio and came out feeling like we had seen everything and 'got our moneys worth' of the tickets.
Be warned (again) while the entrance fee is high its the peripherals that make this a very expensive day. We spend over £50 in the gift shop but some people were spending over £500...not surprising when a replica wand will set you back £25 and a box of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans is £9...nine quid for a small bag of jelly beans!! Having said that you have to go to this sort of place with your eye's open and your bank balance healthy. There's little point taking kids along and not expecting to spend a fortune, and at the end of the day we had a really good day out that we will all remember.