Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Tour at WB Studios

We were invited to Leavesden to visit the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire tour at WB Studios. It was our third visit, H and I eagerly going along as proper Harry Potter fans. Shaun joined us knowing that it’s quite good fun and interesting, having surrendered to everything several years ago!

The Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire tour at WB Studios runs until September 2018. There are a whole load of new things to see while you’re there.

Hogwarts Bridge section at WB Studio Tour

We found it was a good idea to watch the movie beforehand. It’s not often that a movie has its own exhibition which makes remembering and spotting things a lot easier. The thing I’ve found with the WB Studio tour is you see things you’ve missed on prior visits all the time. There’s always something new there.

The biggest change is the entrance – the large building (which we were told will be a Fantastic Beasts extension back in December) is well on the way. Nobody would confirm this on our visit, though it makes perfect sense, got to store the Nifflers somewhere, right?

Magical Menagerie Diagon Alley signs

Passport in hand, we entered the building making sure to stay on the left hand side of the room to get front row seats in the auditorium.

Large Goblet of Fire at WB Studio Tour Leavesden

It’s all about the Great Hall though, those doors,

Entrance to the Great Hall

the statues…

Statues by the Great Hall

The first thing you’ll spot on the right hand side in the Hufflepuff section is Cedric Diggory’s jumper as worn for the Triwizard Tournament.

Hufflepuff Cedric Diggory Robes

At the end of the Great Hall the Goblet of Fire was on display with a demonstration how it works, plus an additional ring around it so nobody can take some polyjuice potion and try and swing the result. It’s a nice touch having the Fred and George mannequins either side of the goblet!

Ring around the Goblet of Fire

You get souvenir parchment at this part too.

Once you clear the Great Hall you can do the tour in your own time. This means in H’s case you have to read every – single – thing. Again. Which is okay but the staff were closing areas behind us as we had a 6.45pm slot.

Prefects bathroom taps Harry Potter

Other things on display include the taps from the prefects’ bathroom – so tiny in real life.

Golden Egg Triwizard Tournament

There’s a golden egg from the Triwizard tournament plus how they created it.

Fleur Delacour's costume

In the costume area you can see Fleur Delacour’s costume which she wore to Hogwarts for the Triwizard Tournament.

Inside Dumbledore’s office you can look into the pensieve which was fun.

Pensieve at WB Studio Tour London

One of the most fun parts of the WB Studio Tour is the photographs. Within the broomstick area you can have two different photos (and a video) – one family shot…

Or maybe just a little bit of broomstick training.

Later on as we got to Platform Nine and three Quarters we got a family shot on the train carriage. [all photos were provided to us for free]

Tom Riddle's grave

Tom Riddle’s grave is on the main floor and is the centrepiece of the area by the Forbidden Forest (it was on a ledge higher up in December). Obviously you need your photo taking with it…

H and Buckbeak

The Forbidden Forest has plenty of sound and visual effects as well as the creatures who live there – particularly Buckbeak.

From there you’re into Hogwarts Express land…

Butterbeer Ice Cream

With the Backlot Cafe the next stop on the tour. We stopped for a quick bite to eat and of course the obligatory Butterbeer. This time we all opted for ice creams and as a slightly dehydrated old lady, mine went down a treat in about ten seconds flat.

Inside the Knight Bus

Once you’re at the Backlot Cafe you’re just over half way. You can sit and relax or just wander around outside taking in the Knight Bus (peeping at the beds inside), Privet Drive and Godric’s Hollow.

Godrics Hollow at WB Studio Tour

There’s also the only section of Hogwarts Bridge made (the rest was special effects) which is fun to wander down, plus the motorbike and sidecar as favoured by Hagrid.

motorbike and sidecar WB Studio Tour

There’s also the Ford Anglia as driven by the Weasleys. Top tip – when photographing the Ford Anglia make sure you’re not too far to the right hand side.

The next area holds the special effects where H tried to get Dobby to do the Macarena again (he wasn’t playing ball) and dabbing (he did that). You’re soon at Diagon Alley and the tour is getting closer to the end.

Durmstrang Institute ship Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

A model of the Durmstrang ship which the Durmstrang Institute used to get to the Triwizard Tournament is on display. Of course, the final part is the giant Hogwarts Castle. At the front is a small model of the Beauxbatons carriage entering Hogwarts – keep an eye out!

Beauxbatons carriage Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

As you enter the wand room you’re at the end. We spent ages looking for friends who worked on the films but only found Jarvis Cocker. It’s an impressive room with a wand for all the castmembers and people who were involved.

Oh, and right there, at the very end is the Triwizard Cup. One of several made for the films, it’s in a glass case and looks mighty splendid.

Triwizard cup

It’s also the point you’re about to enter the merchandise area. We spent a lot of money there in December so skipped this part, but for anything Hogwarts this is the place to spend your hard-earned cash.

The additions to the tour certainly do the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire book and film justice. It feels like there is they’ve included everything.

The WB Studio tour has the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire exhibition until the 23rd September 2018 – tickets are available now. We’d recommend going for early slots to get maximum Hogwarts time there!

We were given tickets to see the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire exhibition at the WB Studio Tour. We also received photo passes, our butterbeer, food and a chocolate frog. We’ve visited twice before, so this didn’t affect our opinion in any way.

Other bloggers who were there include :
Kippers and Curtains
The Stage Mommy
Hippie in Lippy

Hogwarts in the Snow

It’s New Year’s Eve and what are you going to do? Sit at home, relax, have a lie in, right? Or go to Hogwarts in the Snow at 9am that morning? Well of course we did the latter.

Hogwarts in the Snow

Hogwarts in the Snow is on at the moment at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in Leavesden. We visited a year and a half ago and I felt like this was a big enough gap between visits. H has now seen all the films, with the Cursed Child play being the thing we haven’t seen.

Hogwarts in the Snow runs until late January and has the set decorated to look festive. There is also a chance to feel the different kinds of snow that was used when it was needed – as well as how fire and ice was made.

Hogwarts in the Snow Fire and Ice stall

This consisted of boxes of the three different types of snow used in the films, the special effects used for ice, and how to recreate fire (which was slightly hot but not fire-hot). One type of snow was like grains of sand, whereas the more gloopy kind was the sort which you could make snowballs from. It’s another one of those things you wouldn’t think about when watching a film. A small part of Diagon Alley also had snow on it, showing some disappearing footprints.

Hogwarts in the Snow, Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express
Diagon Alley – Gringotts footprints in the snow (which disappear), Shaun and H chatting, and the Hogwarts Express

For the first time, the set of the Main Hall is decorated like the Yule Ball, complete with Professor Flitwick and an orchestra.

The great thing about the Warner Brothers Studio Tour is how things change. The sets have been moved around to accommodate the Forbidden Forest since we last visited. It wouldn’t surprise me if things are changed around regularly, and indeed on chatting with a staffmember at the end, he confirmed that items from the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movies will be joining the Potter Universe. There’s an extension being built which will house it.

Newt & Porpentia costumes - Warner Brothers Studio Tour
In the main ticket area there’s a Fantastic Beasts area – soon to be part of the main studio tour – hurrah! Here’s Newt and Porpentia.

Let’s stop for a minute here. The last film was completed in 2011. Okay, so that’s only seven years ago – but everyone there was enjoying being there. Even Shaun! There is so much to take in that it’s impossible in one visit. There ware different exhibitions and features being added all the time.

The fact that something finished so long ago that still lives on, finding new fans all the time, well, that’s a great achievement.

I noticed changes from the last time we visited – just little tweaks but changes. H read absolutely everything again. Which took a long time – again! I’d love it if there was a guide you could buy at the end with all the information in there.

Hufflepuff in action at Warner Brothers Studio Tour

There were queues, but we were prepared for it after our last visit. I’d say we got through quicker in some areas too. We stopped for lunch at the Backlot Cafe whose only vegetarian burger option was a mushroom one (sob, not all vegetarians like mushrooms!). Fortunately there are sandwiches too.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour Night Bus, JK Rowling Quote and around a table
The Knight Bus, us around a table and a JK Rowling quote.

As before, H got her passport to look for Golden Snitches and stamp each page when she had spotted them, and even though they were in the same places it still took a while to find them (another good reason to leave a gap between visits!).

The Forbidden Forest was great – and a welcome addition to the tour. Inside is a moving Hippogriff (of course) and several moving Acromantula. Not one for arachnophobics – fortunately we’re not!

Forbidden Forest at WB Studios Tour
One of the smaller spiders in the Forbidden Forest and Buckbeak – a brand new model which moves too!

Over in the second part of the studio tour was a section where it showed the different stages where Dobby was animated. I don’t remember from last time – and it was brilliant. Cue loads of happy kids getting Dobby to Dab. Try saying that quickly…

Dabbing with Dobby at the Warner Brothers Studio tour
There was an interactive Dobby section where you could control him. Cue lots of kids making Dobby Dab.

H got Dobby to do the Macarena. Or maybe it’s the locomotion. I have no idea which song was in her head at the time…

We managed to spend six hours at Hogwarts in the Snow in the end. The model of Hogwarts at the end all decorated in one of the types of snow used in the films was as ever, impressive.

Two Dumbledores at the WB Harry Potter Studio Tour. Will there be three soon?
Two Dumbledores at the WB Harry Potter Studio Tour. Will there be three when Fantastic Beasts joins the Harry Potter world?

If you plan to visit and haven’t been for a while, then I think you’ll get a lot from seeing Hogwarts in the Snow. I know we’ll be visiting again once the Fantastic Beasts ephemera has been added, and I can’t wait to see it!

Hogwarts in the Snow Great Hall and Gryffindor common room

Everything, at Once

This year has been so busy. It has flown by, and I can’t quite believe it is October tomorrow. How did that happen?

The days, weeks, months are flying by and I’d really like to hit the pause button for a short while, catch my breath and keep on. I guess that’s why we sleep, right?

For H we have a new school year, Year 4. She’s cross about home learning being an extra five minutes long while still finishing it in five. So far spelling tests are within her ability so she isn’t doing extra work. We’re not talking easy words here – last week was adding suffixes to verbs – I had trouble explaining their rules. She has started doing Young Voices with school which is the first choir she has ever been involved in – and she loves it.

Young Voices 2018

Add to that swimming, football and Brownies and that’s a busy week.

She’s also really proud to have earned her first Blue Peter badge!

H earns her first Blue Peter badge

I’m still doing my leadership training for GirlGuiding, and I’m getting closer to finishing. It’s just finding the time! This term we’re about to start work on a Harry Potter themed badge which will be good fun.

This blog takes up a chunk of time, my PTA responsibilities do from time to time, add in my dayjob and it can feel like four different jobs, especially at the moment!

Shaun is happy as we’ve finally bought a new car. A Skoda Fabia, a bit smaller than our old Vauxhall Astra but much needed. After our previous carbon monoxide incident I’ve felt like our old car needed to go. We have had leaky filters in there – I’ve been paranoid enough to take a CO alarm in the car with me and while it didn’t go off, a new car will be better for my nerves. I know the signs too well.

We just need to find the time to drive it now…

One big change this year, we’re not going to see Father Christmas. I’ve managed to convince H that going to Hogwarts in the Snow would be a far better Festive thing to do!