We are all huge fans of the Harry Potter films, with Tigger especially loving Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets mainly because of the scenes between the train and the flying car. I’m sure that he could recite the script word for word! So when a recent invitation popped into my inbox to visit the new Hogwarts Express exhibition at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London I knew that we would all love to see how the magic of Platform 9 ¾ had been recreated.
The Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling were brought to life in eight fantastic films, they have captured the hearts of millions of fans across the globe. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter has brought the magic of the films, the props, the costumes, the film sets to life by letting fans up close to all the things that made the films so truly magical.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – Platform 9 ¾
The instantly recognisable Platform 9 ¾ boasts a large walkway where you are able to take in the beauty of the life-size Hogwarts Express train, view the trunks waiting to be loaded, and push a trolley through the wall.
Platform 9 ¾ allows you to access the inside of the Hogwarts Express, buy memorabilia from the railway store and take your own special journey on a special effects train carriage.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – Hogwarts Express
“The Hogwarts Express was the setting for many iconic scenes, from Harry, Hermione and Ron’s first meeting in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to the moment the trio’s children embark on their first journey to school 26 years later. The wizarding world doesn’t have a need for modern technology so we knew a traditional steam engine would make the perfect school train. Before we began filming in 2000, we scoured the country and found ‘Olton Hall’ at a preservation centre in Lancashire; realising pretty quickly that it was exactly what we had been looking for.” – Stuart Craig, Production Designer on all eight Harry Potter films
The Hogwarts Express is an impressive sight to see as soon as you walk out onto Platform 9 ¾. The British steam train no. 5972, ‘Olton Hall’, was used as the Hogwarts Express. With steam blowing onto the platform as you walk around taking in the splendor that is the Hogwarts Express. Complete with carriages the Hogwarts Express transports you to Kings Cross station and lets you believe that you too could be heading off to Hogwarts.
Inside the Hogwarts Express
You are able to walk through one of the train carriages, allowing you to take a peek inside the different compartments and play guess who would sit in here with your family and friends. The walkway through the carriage quite narrow and I’m not sure how many people would be able to view the carriage at one time during busy times, however there is a staff member on the entrance to the carriage overseeing the queue and those within the carriage itself – so you might have to wait to get that all-important glimpse inside but it is certainly worth it.
The compartments each have something different inside them and the famous Lavender Brown love heart is on one of the windows as seen in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Hogwarts Express Interactive Carriage
Along the opposite side of Platform 9 ¾, there are several Hogwarts Express interactive carriages set up where you and up to five friends or family can sit and enjoy a green screen experience, from a chocolate frog jumping across the window to a dementor attack.
Platform 9 ¾ Store
One of the fabulous thing about visiting Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is the chance to visit their amazing Harry Potter store full of wands and memorabilia. Platform 9 ¾ boasts it’s very own store housing some wonderful items including a train drivers cap, miniature models of the Hogwarts Express alongside t-shirts, books, and lanyards.
Boo Roo and Tigger Too’s thoughts…
The addition of Platform 9 ¾ and the Hogwarts Express really does make the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London that little bit more exciting to us as a family and as fans of the Harry Potter books and films. The whole tour is one that you can take many, many times but spot something new each time and with the opening of the new indoor cafe area makes the tour more family friendly allowing you to stay longer, enjoy a Butterbeer and some food before checking more of the studio tour.
The new Platform 9 ¾ section, featuring the original Hogwarts Express, opens today! and entrance will be included in the standard ticket price, book your tickets here – www.wbstudiotour.co.uk
What are you waiting for, book your ticket for the Hogwarts Express today!
Disclosure: We were invited to a special preview event and given entry to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London FOC for the purpose of review.