Harry Potter Goblet of Fire at WB Studio Tour

The Warner Bros Studio Tour recently invited us along to witness the new additional special feature to the Making of Harry Potter. The tour has launched behind the scenes secrets to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the special feature is dedicated entirely to the fourth instalment of the film.

The Goblet of Fire has not been in the Great Hall since 2010, when the filming of the magical film finished, it has now returned to it rightful place and will be there for everyone to witness from now until Sunday 23rd September 2018.

Harry Potter has always been a huge thing for me, reading all the books and then watching the films. I remember thinking how I couldn’t wait to read the books to my first-born 15 years ago and hopefully share the excitement and love I had for the characters. Harry potter is one of those books that you can read again and again. Both my eldest and middle boy have read all of the books and, along with me, have been drawn into the exciting world Of Harry Potter.

As you first arrive into Warner Brothers tour you will see the Triwizard Cup on display, just as you are queuing up to enter.

 

When you first buy your ticket to the tour you can choose the time to enter. Everyone gathers around the entrance and you are all taken into a room with tvs mounted on the walls all around you. Here you get to watch short clips of how Pottermania began and the history of the making of the films. An interactor – a member of staff who knows a hell of a lot about Harry Potter- gives a short talk about what to expect to see throughout the tour, they also get you all into the mood by asking what house everyone belongs to. Everyone cheers when your house is called. Once this is over, you are all moved along into a cinema screening room where you watch another short clip where the actors share some of their memories of making the films. Once this is finished the screen is pulled up and behind it a big curtain is drawn open and the lights go on to reveal a huge impressive door. People whose birthday it is are shared to open the great big door. As soon as that door opens, everyone’s mouths are agape as this is the start of something special. You enter into the Great Hall, and Great it is! It is amazing and such a dramatic entrance. You quickly realise what magical, truly magnificence you are about to see.

The Great Hall was where the students and teachers dine and congregate is was also the place where the announcement of the Triwizard tournament took place.

Standing at the end of this impressive room was the Goblet of Fire, along with the age line and the twins on the floor.

Here we got see a live Special Effects demonstration on how the Triwizard Champions’ parchments were expelled from the Goblet. We watched as the Goblet spat out Harry’s name on a piece of burning parchment as the fourth champion in the triwizard tournament.

We was all told to stand around the age line drawn on the floor, obviously there is always one person who tries their luck. Just like the Weasley twins, my Oliver attempted to cross the line but I caught him just in time.

You are in the Great Hall for a short time but this is where you can head of on your own and go at your own speed throughout the rest of the tour. As you leave the Great Hall and head on into the first backlot you can grab a souvenir parchment to keep for yourself.

The first backlot is full of props and costumes from the set. Here we got to see the sculpture from the Yule Ball

along with the iconic taps from the Prefect Bathroom. On the advice from Cedric Diggory, Harry took a trip here in order to complete the first challenge. These taps have 53 spouts, cast in real bronze for strength and durability, they expel a rainbow of coloured water just as they did in the film.

They really are mesmerizing, we stood for a while just watching the water spurt out of the taps.

Every part of this tour is breath-taking, from the golden eggs to the costumes and props from the films.

It’s hard to know what was new for the tour and what was there previously. There are so many things to look at that I am sure we missed so many items. By the time the production of Harry Potter had finished in 2011, five warehouses had been filled with thousands of props that had been used by the actors and as set decoration. Thousands of props were either made specifically for the films or bought in from speciality shops, including 5000 pieces of furniture, 12000 books and 40000 Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes products. Most of these can be seen in the tour.

The sets in the tour feel so real, It’s like you have been transported into the film yourself.

Tom Riddles grave is now in the studio tour just before the Forbidden Forest entrance in order for everyone to get a 360 tour of it. The sculpture was created before the details of Voldemort’s lineage were known meaning the dates had to be changed in post production.

One of my favourite places to see was Dumbledores office. Here we got to see Dumbledores fascination with the universe and the skies, tucked away in the upper chamber is his largest telescope.

We also got to see the Memory cabinet and the pensieve in action. Because it carries powerful and complex enchantments only the most advanced wizards can use it. obviously, that includes us!

Before we headed on into the Forbidden Forest we thought it would be best if the boys received some basic wand training. They were taken through step by step by a video of Paul Harris, the choreographer of the battle scenes in the film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

They were now ready to face any mystical creature that we come across in the Dark Forest. As we headed through the towering trees we came across Buckbeak and Aragog

I am pleased to announce that we made it through the forest unscathed and ready to jump on to the Hogwarts Express

We had so much fun here. Most of the scenes that took place on Platform 9 3/4 were actually shot on location at Kings Cross Station in London.

We boarded the train and took our seat in one of the carriages ready to embark on a journey

During the making of the films, the windows of the carriages were replaced with moving backdrops and special effects like hopping frogs and flying dementors.

When the glass goes all icy you just know what is going to happen next.

Oh dear! My poor little wizard was very scared!

After all that excitement it was time for a spot of refreshments next to the Backlot. After eating our food the boys were treated to a Butterbear

I must admit this wasn’t very nice. I know many people who have enjoyed this beverage but we found it way too sweet for our taste buds.

The next part of the tour took us past the Knight Bus, Privet Drive, Hogwarts Bridge and any other buildings and items that were used in the outside scenes of the films.

Only one section of the Hogwarts Bridge was very built; using computer generated effects the rest of the bridge was created.

As we exited the Backlot and entered another studio this is where we came learnt all about the magical creatures, special effects, make up and prosthetics. It was lovely to see how Dobby was created and you even get to control him by moving your own limbs.

Pass through special effects area and you enter Diagon Alley.

The original design of the street was inspired from the streets described in the works of Charles Dickens. Diagon Alley constantly changed throughout the films, moving shops fronts and walls in order to create the perfect setting and was even redressed for use in the village of Hogsmeade.

We even spotted a dementor hiding down one of the alleys ready to jump out on us, lucky for us we had our wands with us and sent them packing.

We were nearing the end of our tour and didn’t think our smiles could get any bigger but as we entered the last room we were completely in awe at the majestic model of Hogwarts Castle. The intricately detailed model was built for the first film, every part of the model was filmed and then enhanced with digital effects to create the realistic views of the school.

This place is amazing! I could just sit and stare all day long at this model, it is a magnificent piece of art work. Detail is second to none, which is what we thought throughout the tour on every singe item we saw.

The castle has a new addition just for the Goblet of Fire exhibit; a scale version of the Beauxbatons carriage complete with winged horses poised to land on the Hogwarts grounds for the first time ahead of the Triwizard championship.

There are interactive screens around that give you more information on the building of the model.

Exiting the Hogwarts Castle you enter the wand room and gift shop. This is where we saw the triwizard cup.

We had an awesome time and could go back again and again as I do believe there are so many more incredible things to look at. We definitely did pursue an adventure.

We were invited along to a special preview of the Goblet of Fire exhibit. We were provided with tickets, food and had a photo opportunity. No payment has been received.

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A London Harry Potter Tour #NewThings

The boys and I have been invited along with a selection of other bloggers to become New Things Ambassadors, a project run by CSMA. Over the next coming month we have been asked to help inspire other families in trying something new.

Read all about the NewThings project here This week the challenge is to visit a New Place.

This week we visited London. Ok, it’s not a new city for us to visit as we are up there at least once a month but it was the fact that we visited lots of new places in London that we have never been to before. London has a vast amount of hidden treasures that we may pass every day and not know they are there.

The boys and myself are huge Harry Potter fans, like many we have read the books and watched the films, we even have a few Harry potter toys lying around the house but we have never been to the Harry Potter studio tours, as It is slightly too expensive for us to go to as a family. So we took to the internet and found a perfect website to help us out with our OWN tour of London, visiting many of the locations that Harry Potter movies were filmed.

First up we caught the underground train to Leicester Square, we exited onto Charing Cross Road.

This is where the opening scene of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was filmed when the Death Eaters swoop down over Trafalgar Square, heading down Charing Cross Road leading a trail of destruction behind.

leicester square station

Next we made our way along Cranbourne Street, taking a right at the end onto St Martin’s Lane. Go left onto New Row and a little along the road we saw Hardy’s Original Sweet Shop

hardy sweet shop

Just like Honeyduke’s sweets shop in Harry Potter, Once inside this shop you are instantly surrounded by shelves that are stacked to the brim of all types of sweets. We bought a bag made up of Harry Potter themed sweets, costing £10 – not bad considering one of the packs cost 3.99 on its own! Inside is a long jelly basilisk, a chocolate wizard, a pack of liquorice wands, a pack of sherbet lemon sweets, a chocolate frog, a packet of popping candy and very famous every flavour beans.

will it be dirt, vomit or even booger flavour?
will it be dirt, vomit or even booger flavour?

Once stocked with some Harry Potter themed goodies, we headed on over to the other side of the road where we went right into Bedfordbury. Just along on the right hand side there is a passageway tucked away called Goodwins Court. This wasn’t in the Film but it has a magical feel to it with the lamps above the doorways. We must have passed this alleyway many times before but had no idea what was down it, until now!

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So Pretty!

At the end of Goodwins Court, cross over St Martins lane, veering left and head down Cecil Court. The court has such a magical, mysterious feel to it, not used in the HP Films but believed that Cecil Court was the influence of Diagon Alley. With curious antique and book shops, there is plenty to look at, most of the shops even have Harry Potter items on display for sale.

book store

Magic Money
Magic Money

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Next we headed on over to Leicester Square, where we walked towards Shaftesbury Avenue. This is where Ron, Hermione and Harry apparate to in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and nearly get run over by a number 19 bus.

Number 19 bus
Number 19 bus

As you walk along Shaftesbury Avenue you are taking the exact route that Harry, Hermione and Ron took in the film when discussing the Theatres. A little along the road you will see an arcade with large globe lights over head

arcade

The same route that the young wizards took as they discuss about missing Harry’s birthday.

From here we made our way towards Nelson Column at Trafalgar Square, this is where the Death Eaters launch an attack on London from the air in the opening sequences of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. 

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Looking at Trafalgar Square in a different way and trying to remember clips of the film, made it feel quite real for us.

Next we headed on over to The Entrance of Ministry Of Magic which is actually on Great Scotland Yard and on the corner of Scotland Place.

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In the Order of the Phoenix, Harry and Mr Weasley enter through the ‘visitors entrance’ which was in a red telephone box located to the left of the brown door. The telephone box was a prop that was lowered down onto set and removed once the filming had finished, there are many telephone boxes scattered around London we found some great ones on Parliament Street to have a photo taken in.

On the other corner of Scotland Place, it was used in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part one , where the young wizards drink the polyjuice potion to get into the Ministry of Magic.

If you head along towards Horse Guards Parade towards Horse Guards Avenue, standing with your back towards the Spencer Comptons statue, you will notice that this is where the Staff entrance into the Ministry of Magic was. The entrance was in fact a ‘gentleman’s Toilet’ and was only a prop that was placed in the middle of the road.

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About to enter the Ministry of Magic
About to enter the Ministry of Magic

 

On the next part of the tour we headed to the Train Station to catch a train to Temple. Exiting the station we walked up the steps to the left and turned right. At the end of the road turn left into Milford Lane and walk up the steep flight of steps ahead along to Essex Street. At the top of the street you will find that you are on the Strand, turn left and ahead on the right hand side you will see Austraila House: Gringotts Bank. Look inside and see the magnificent crystal chandelier and the glorious marble floor. the boys said it really was Gringotts Bank!

We made our way back to Temple Station where we caught the underground train to Monument, here we headed up Fish Street Hill, crossing over Eastcheap and turning left along Gracechurch Street. Keep on walking along over Fenchurch Street and turning right into Bull’s Head Passage.

Here we found a blue optician doorway which was used in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as the entrance into The leaky cauldron.

leaky couldronKeeping ahead and walking into the Victorian Leadenhall Market, this was used in the films for the exterior shots of Diagon Alley.

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On the last part of our NewPlaces tour was to head to Kings Cross Station, where we was going to see if we could enter through Platform 9 3/4 to catch the Hogwarts Express to Hogwarts. We caught the Northern Line train from Bank to Kings Cross and headed to KIngs Cross St.Pancras. There was no way we could have missed where the Platform was as there was a queue of people waiting to photograph the famous Platform 9 3/4 sign. There is even a luggage cart placed against the wall, where you can pose for photo.

jak kingscross

joseph kingscross

oliver kingscross

 

Kings Cross station was in every Harry Potter Film as it was the location where young wizards caught the Hogwarts Express from to journey to Hogwarts.

We had a fabulous day in London visiting places that we never knew were there, London really is the City with hidden treasures. We saw London with open eyes and noticed how beautiful buildings were and how magical and mysterious the City really is. We had fun as a family and I enjoyed being with the children in such a wonderful City. If you’re looking for ideas on days out then why not take a look at CSMA 10 Cheap things to do with the kids.

We found all of the locations with the help of downloading the guide from www.the-magician.co.uk

We would like you to join in and share your experiences with us too, they don’t have to be the same as our challenge, they could be trying new clothes on, visiting a new country or playing a new sport for the first time, join in with the linky or just use the hashtag #NewThings

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