Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour

Published: 06/30/15 12:00 PM in Europe, Merevin Wedding, Travel.
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It all started with a Christmas gift. I was 11 years old at the time with an avid love for books and had just begun discovering my particular appreciation for the more fantastical of stories. I had already devoured some of the more typical books for my age; Dr. Dolittle, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Phantom Tollbooth, etc. (Although I never could get into the Goosebumps craze, too scary for my young mind). However it wasn’t until my mother presented me with a Christmas gift that I found a series that would define my adolescents and still have a tangible effect on my adult life.

The gift was a book and the book was ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ by J.K. Rowling.

Upon opening the present, I didn’t feel any out of the ordinary joy besides that which comes to any 11 year old receiving a gift. I was excited to receive a new book, but didn’t know too much beyond that. I proceeded to put the book on my dresser and not think too much of it as I enjoyed the other gifts I had received. It wasn’t until I joined my mother to run some errands that I picked that book off my dresser and began to read it.

And that was it. From that day on I was hooked. Book after book, movie after movie. I reveled in attending every midnight book release party and standing in every line for each midnight movie release. When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened as part of Islands of Adventure, I felt extremely lucky that I lived close enough to visit multiple times including during my cousin’s theme park bachelorette party.

However when the Warner Brother’s Studio Tour London opened The Making of Harry Potter I knew I had to get there. So as soon as we began planning our honeymoon in England, we began working out how we could incorporate a day for the Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour.

The entrance to the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour London in Leavesden.

Inside the Great Hall in the Harry Potter London Studio Tour in Leavesden.

Gryffindor uniforms for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on display at the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London.

The icy drink table featured at the Yule Ball during the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter.

The Gryffindor Common Room at the Harry Potter studio tour in London, England.


Traveling to the Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour

Getting to the Warner Brother’s Studio Tour London ended up being quite simple despite the initial intimidation. After one 30 minute commuter train out of central London, you arrive in Leavesden, Hertfordshire. From the train station, there is a double decker bus (wrapped in a large Harry Potter poster from roof to tires) that will take you out to the studio and back for 2 pounds each.

As you arrive at the entrance of the Harry Potter Leavesden Studio, the iconic music from the movies drifts over and immediately incites excitement. If you have ever geeked out over anything Harry Potter related, now would be the time to rekindle those feelings. You have finally arrived! And now that you have made it, it is time to explore and enjoy the magic behind the world of Harry Potter.


A close up of Ronald Weasley's bed in the Gryffindor boys dormitory at the Harry Potter studio tour.

The set for Dumbledore's office used throughout the Harry Potter movies at the Harry Potter Leavesden studio tour.

Smaller, detailed props used throughout the Harry Potter movies including the Remembrall, Deluminator, Snitch, and Time Turner.

The set for the Burrow, the home of the Weasley family in Harry Potter, seen on the Harry Potter Studio Tour.

Kevin Banogon and Meredith Lambert Banogon pose in front of the Knight Bus on their honeymoon trip to the Harry Potter studio tour in London.


Experiencing the Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour

Your tour begins as you walk through the iconic doors of the Great Hall of Hogwarts. The space is large and incredibly detailed, but it is just a taste of the details you will see throughout the exhibits. Throughout the great hall mannequins are set up wearing uniforms from each of the Hogwarts houses. However the most amazing thing about these uniforms is that they are the actual pieces worn by the actors throughout the movies.

As you exit the Great Hall, you enter an exceedingly large room that leads you though display after display showcasing different parts of the movie making magic behind Harry Potter. Throughout these displays you will see the sets for the Burrow, the potions classroom, the Gryffindor boys dormitory and common room, Hagrid’s Hut, and so many more. The attention to detail that went into every aspect of these sets is absolutely amazing and beautifully executed.

My advice, take your time looking through this area. There may be an overwhelming amount to see, but it is the tiniest details that are the most impressive. For example, the Goblet of Fire used in the fourth film to select the Triwizard Champions is an absolute work of art as the entire thing is hand carved out of one solid tree trunk. This is just one example of the love that went into creating this world we all know by heart.


The office of Dolores Umbridge as seen in the Harry Potter movies and in the studio tour in London England.

A detail shot of the traveling trunk belonging to Remus Lupin on the Harry Potter Studio Tour.

Butterbeer served at the Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour outside of London.

Meredith Lambert Banogon and Kevin Banogon stand on the bridge to the outer region of Hogwarts used in the Harry Potter movies.

The head of a mermaid in the Harry Potter films within the special effects department in the studio tour.

Kevin Banogon and Meredith Lambert Banogon ride a vintage motorcycle in the back lot of the Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour.

Kevin banogon stands in front of the Weasley Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley at the Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour.

The storefront of Flourish and Blotts in Diagon Alley at the Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour.

Meredith Lambert Banogon happily stands in the middle of Diagon Alley at the Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour.


The Architecture behind Harry Potter

The attention to detail definitely didn’t stop with the prop design. As you enter the second part of the tour, the mechanical work that went into the movies becomes the main focus. It quickly becomes apparent that working on these movies must have been a designers dream! The architectural work that went into making this world feel not only real, but as if it has existed through centuries of progress, was extremely thorough and imaginative. Walking through the rooms of design schematics and scale models of fictional locations that I know so well was awe-inspiring.

Then you get to the crown jewel of the exhibit; the full scale model of the entire Hogwarts Castle. This amazing piece of art is stunningly large and extremely detailed. The castle has been used in the filming of every movie and has evolved throughout that time. In fact, before every movie they would hand paint every brick to ensure the castle retained the aged and detailed quality that makes it such a fixture in time.

The love for these films can be keenly felt throughout the Leavesden Studio Tour. And the magic of Harry Potter is still very much alive throughout it.


The beautiful schematic designs behind the world of Harry Potter seen during the studio tour.

A scaled model of the Whomping Willow and other icon Harry Potter movie elements.

The amazing model of Hogwarts at the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, England.

Meredith Lambert Banogon visits Hogwarts during her tour of the Harry Potter Leavesden Studio in north London.


Enjoy a Short Video of Our Honeymoon in England


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2 Comments on "Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour"

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Guest
3 years 1 month ago

This looks like such a blast. I bet you were nerding out so hard!

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Merevin
3 years 1 month ago

It was amazing! I was definitely nerding out the whole time, it was actually pretty exhausting!