Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024

Review: Harry Potter Studio Tour Hogwarts in the Snow

The thrilling behind the scenes experience of filming the seven blockbuster Harry Potter movies at the expansive film lot of Leavesden Studios, in Watford, in Herts, has thrilled visitors since first opening its doors on March 31, 2012.

Now wannabe witches and wizards can feel what it’s like to spend the festive holidays at Hogwarts Castle just like their hero Harry, as the Studio Tour opens its Christmas-themed attraction.

Entering the Great Hall, bedecked in the glittering gold decorations from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, fans will find a mouth-watering banquet of roast potatoes, peas, turkeys, and puddings set aflame just as it was to celebrate the end-of-term feast at Hogwarts.

The set is complete with Christmas trees topped by flying witches and inviting fireplaces adorned with festive holly, mistletoe and wreaths.

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Snow blankets the trees and woodlands in the Forbidden Forest, as well as Hagrid’s Hut, and on the outdoor sets in the Studio Tour’s Backlot – while Diagon Alley’s shop fronts and cobbled stones have been given a snowy makeover complete with frosted shop windows.

There is even a snowmaking station for visitors to get stuck in and learn the filmmaking magic behind fire that doesn’t burn and snow that doesn’t melt, the magical materials used on-set to create snow that crunches underfoot and glistens like ice on-screen.

From the Gryffindor boys’ dormitory to the house common rooms, fans of magic are invited to discover how their favourite sets were dressed for Christmas scenes in the film series.

From handmade Christmas cards made by the crew during filming decorating the sets to Christmas trees decorated with glittering skulls.

And that’s strictly not all as dance fans can learn the steps Neville Longbottom studied in his dormitory, ahead of the wizarding Yule Ball as seen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

And when it comes to hunting Harry Potter-themed Yuletide stocking fillers, there is always the Christmas shop, where visitors can snap up exclusive festive souvenirs and gifts for their loved ones.

The Studio Tour ends with a walk around the snowy Hogwarts Castle model transformed by filmmakers who dust it with a layer of snow from above, like icing a cake.

And if you look really closely, fans can find tiny snowman figures hidden somewhere in the famous Scottish castle school’s grounds.

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But for those looking for a more exclusive experience they can actually enjoy ‘Dinner in the Great Hall’, a special VIP after-hours access to the Studio Tour set where they enjoy drinks and canapes in the lobby, followed by a festive two-course seated meal in the actual Great Hall.

Then as they have a late-night look around the sets they are treated to a misting drink by the Potions Classroom followed by another drinks and dessert served on Platform 9 ¾, and a refreshing Butterbeer in the Backlot Café.

Each guest will pick out a souvenir gift from the Christmas shop and the magical evening will end with a disco in the lobby under the belly of the Studio Tour’s Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon.

* The Studio Tour’s Hogwarts in the Snow feature runs from Saturday November 11 2023 to Sunday January 14 2024 and Dinner in the Great Hall takes place on Tuesday December 12 and Wednesday December 13. Book tickets at www.wbstudiotour.co.uk or by calling the Studio Tour’s Visitor Services Team on 0800 640 4550.

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