Last month I visited the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London for the fifth time. Yes, the fifth time, and I plan to go again in the future. However, this time I was celebrating a special event: it was my thirtieth.
This visit was the second time I had celebrated my birthday at the Studio Tour, and it was a brilliant way to celebrate my birthday because if it’s your birthday when you visit the Studio Tour, you open the doors to the Great Hall. The first time I had the chance to open the doors, my mom had to push me forward, but I didn’t need to be pushed this time. When the tour guide asked if anyone had a birthday, my hand shot up in the air, and I shouted, ‘Me!’ I then walked, or possibly skipped, to the doors. I then whipped out my phone and took a selfie by the door – it was a great feeling.
The Dark Arts New Features
As well as it being my birthday, the Dark Arts event was also on at the Studios. The Dark Arts event starts 1st October and ends 12th November. During these weeks visitors to the studios can explore the darker side of the Harry Potter series. And this year there were some new features added to the Tour.
The Great Hall was decorated with floating pumpkins, and the tables were set up for the Halloween feast. In the Big Room, there were two new costume displays. The first was Professor Umbridge’s dirt covered and burnt costume, which showed off the costume’s smoke effect. The second was the Death Eater’s costumes. There was also a ‘Snot, Drool, and Blood’ display where you could see a demonstration of how they made troll snot, unicorn blood, and Fluffy’s drool.
The Forbidden Forest
The new Forbidden Forest feature was one of the main reasons why I wanted to revisit the Warner Bros Studio Tour. While I’ve imagined the forest in my mind while reading the books, and I have seen the forest in the films, I was excited to be able to step inside the forest and experience it for myself.
I expected the forest to be a small feature, but like with the Hogwarts Express, the Forbidden Forest was bigger than I had anticipated. While it wasn’t huge, it was big enough to allow you to forget that you were in the Studio. Hagrid stood with a lamp at the entrance to the forest to welcome all the victims (I mean visitors). Giant and finely crafted trees lined the path, and mist covered your feet as you walked deeper into the forest. There are plenty of chances to interact with the forest. For example, you can interact with Buckbeak and change the type of mist from day to night, plus much more. And of course, I mustn’t forget the spiders. You can meet Aragog and his family, and if you’re lucky, you’ll live to tell the tale (evil laugh).
The Forbidden Forest is a brilliant addition to the Studio Tour, and I would love to go again. Oh, and if you do bow to Buckbeak, he won’t peck you in the head as I previously feared lol.
Once we finished exploring the Forbidden Forest, we then continued the rest of the tour. Again, I was impressed with the Hogwarts Express. I can’t help but be amazed every time I see the train. And of course, I can’t forget the Hogwarts castle. Wow, is the word I use every time I see the castle at the end of the tour.
The Gift Shop
After finishing my tour of the studios, I visited the gift shop. Every time I visit the gift shop, there’s something new. This year, they were also selling some Fantastic Beasts merchandise. Now, I must again warn you all that you can easily spend hours in the gift shop. It’s like a magical paradise that encourages money to leave your purse.
With it being my birthday, I decided to treat myself, so I bought a unicorn. I’ve not chosen a name for my unicorn yet, so I’m open to suggestions. I also bought some Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans for my writing group. I thought it would be a great sense exercise for my writing group to try all of the flavours especially the nasty ones. We are writers, after all, and no experience is a bad experience. I also wanted to see their faces when they tried one of the nasty ones. I also bought a Hufflepuff charm for my charm bracelet and a Hufflepuff keyring because I’m a Hufflepuff and proud.
As always, I had a great time, and it was a perfect way to mark my thirtieth. If I make it, I would love to celebrate my fortieth at the Studio Tour, and again open the doors to the Great Hall.
I say this every time, but it’s amazing how all of this has come from a writer’s imagination. We really are magicians.
Have you ever been to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London? If you have, then I would love to hear about your experiences, so feel free to comment below.
Keep writing, folks!
‘Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.’ – J.K. Rowling