Harry Christmas!

Just before Christmas, Boo and I met up at the Harry Potter Studios for a special event. Hogwarts in the Snow!

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Hogwarts in the Snow

Call us big kids, but we just couldn’t resist an evening of Potter related fun, with added festive touches AND snow.

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Festive Fun

And we were not disappointed!

If you read my blog regularly, you will know that the Husband and Little Chick went to Hogwarts in August so the place should be very familiar. However, quite a lot of it wasn’t. The reason behind this, was that it had been moved around a bit, and new displays brought out. Oh and lots of baubles and trees and even a sneaky bit of Mistletoe.

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Wreaths and Shields

The event was actually purchased through Groupon, who had bought out the Studio for the night. Included in our ticket price was a large souvenir book, a light snack, drink and a collectible flagon of Butterbeer. We had been warned that there may be a few special extras in store too….

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Icicles on display

We donned our finest Harry Potter influenced clothing. I was a Hufflepuff Student, Boo a Ravenclaw and we joined a large group of fans for our slot at 5.30pm eagerly waiting to enter the Magical World.

So, we entered the Great Hall and what a sight to behold!

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All set for Christmas Dinner

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It all looked so real

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Cute Christmas Cake

Christmas Dinner was all laid out on the huge tables, Turkey, Ham, Potatoes, Christmas Puds; you name it, it was there. We were told that all the food was fake, apart from one thing. We were challenged to guess which item is was. It was harder than you think, as it all looked so realistic.

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Christmas Pud

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Hufflepuff Crackers

At the end of the Great Hall was a magical invisible orchestra, conducted by Professor Flitwick. All of the instruments were silver and exactly like real instruments.

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The invisible Orchestra

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Fiddlers Fiddling

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Bassoons Bassooning?!?!

To one side was a beautiful glass domed palace. Surrounded by hundreds of glass bottles with coloured liquid in them. This was originally used for the Yule Ball in the film and was just so beautiful.

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Just gloriously stunning

We took all the photographs that we could, then moved into the first part of the tour. So much had changed, even in four months so it was lovely to see new exhibits and displays. There was even some special demonstrations where crew members showed how they made the different kinds of snow used on set. It was fascinating!

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Outfits for the Yule Ball

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Harry Potter and Cho Chang’s Yule Ball clothing

One of the great things about the Studio is that you wander around at your own pace, reading all the display information, looking at everything that is on display. There isn’t any rush to move from one place to another which is just fantastic.

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Cake!

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Gryffindor Bedroom

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Common Room

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The Burrow

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I so would wear these!! All belonging to Dolores Umbridge

Eventually we ended up near one of the newest sections, The Forbidden Forest. Now I had been through this is August, but it was a first for Boo. I have to admit to not liking it any more the second time around, but you really can’t miss it out, simply for the effects used.

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The entrance to Prof. Dumbledore’s office

We entered the Forest like we were walking onto a yacht. Then we felt the spongy bouncy floor and then the thunder and lightening started.

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Entry to The Forbidden Forest

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Doesn’t bode well!

Walking a little more gingerly, we came across Buckbeak the Hippogriff and of course, being a proud creature we had to bow to him. Thankfully he accepted our genuflection and didn’t attack!

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Buckbeak

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We had to have a Hippogriff Selfie

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Arrrgh!

One of the surprises of the evening was a Death Eater wandering amongst us Muggles. To be honest, even though I know it isn’t real, the mask was quite malevolent, and as she was totally silent whilst giving you a death stare, it was quite disconcerting. Either way, we had to get some photographs with her for posterity and she was quite gracious about it; if you can call threatening us with a wand as gracious.

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Deadly Death Eater

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She had a right attitude, that one! (said the Death eater)

Walking through the displays, we walked into the next section, which again was new to Boo; The Hogwarts Express.

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There she is! The Hogwarts Express

A full sized red Steam train. In the middle of a building. It really is a sight to behold. Everything gleams and shines, and you can even walk inside looking into the same carriages that were used on the film. There is even a fully stocked Honeydukes sweet trolley. It simply is spectacular.

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On the train

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Handprint on the Window…..

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What a display!

Of course, there are the Luggage trollies embedded in the wall of Platform 9 3/4 and you just can’t go past without having a photograph with them.

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We are off!

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Off to Hogwarts

We were now half way round the Studios and got to the Backlot Cafe. This is where we were able to get a snack and drink (included in the price) before continuing around the displays.

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Butterbeer!

Boo went for the Pasta and Fanta, I had a hot dog and a beer. We also got our special flagons of Butterbeer. It was nice to sit down for 20 minutes before continuing on. The hot dog was pretty good, and so was the beer that went with it! The Butterbeer, well let’s just say I would happily give that one a miss.

The next part of the tour is outside. Privet Drive, The Knight bus and more.

Sadly, we had gone for fashion over comfort in order to show off our amazing Hogwarts fashions. This necessitated leaving our coats in the car. And it was the middle of December. And freezing!

Sad to say, we didn’t spend any more time outside than we needed to. Even so, we went into the next section shivering. It literally was that cold.

The next part of the tour was one of my favourites. The area where you can see how the special effects are designed and made, how the buildings are constructed and lots of prosthetics.

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So realistic

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Greyback

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I love the fierceness of JK Rowling’s Merpeople!

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Thestrals

There are interactive displays with this such as the Voldemort “puppet” by pressing buttons the mannequin  and breathes. It really is very freaky and actually looks as if it is a real live creatures. It really gives  me the shivers.

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This all moves and breathes… freaks me totally out!

One of  funniest displays is the Mandrake plants, which pops out of its pot and starts squealing,  like it does in the film. Just Brilliant!

The next section of the studio is the fantastic Diagon Alley. For most people, seeing the shops and  the contents is the best part. For me, it is actually the huge display of hats and headwear, all designed by Philip Treacy.  I STILL need one of those Beauxbatons hats!

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Santa… I really want a Beauxbatons Hat!!

One of the new displays is the footprints in the snow which shows you the technical contraption  that was designed to make footprints without disturbing any other snow. Genius!

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Footprints in the Snow

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Weasleys Wizarding Wheezes

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Look at all those wands!

We wandered through Diagon Alley before moving into a display that appeals to the technical lover of the films.

Moving along you start to notice paintings and sketches on the walls. Again these are made with the intention of seeing how a scene will look and how the characters need to be directed in order to convey what JK Rowling was describing.

These were done by many artists and you can see which ones were taken through to final production.

My favourite is Dobby as it portrays him perfectly.

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Artwork for scene designs

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Scene designs

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My favourite piece of art

Models made to scale are all on display. Made from paper, cardboard and wood, items are designed on paper first, then made into the scale models so the look can be seen and tweaked if needed, before they are built.

Some of the exhibits on display include The prefects bathroom, the owlery and the galleon that the Durmstrang visitors arrived in.

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Scale models of the sets made from paper, card and thin wood

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The Owlery

They are miniature works of art in themselves and they absolute fascinate me.

All too soon we were at the end of the tour. The piece de resistance. The scale model of Hogwarts Castle in the snow.

There simply isn’t a lot I can say about it apart from it is huge AND amazing.

I will let the photographs do the talking.

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To scale size – Hogwarts in the Snow

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Different Angles – Even as a scale model it is HUGE!

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Sublime

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Just amazing and SO precise

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Just the best night!

There was only one thing left to visit and that was the shop. Now, this is a sight in its own right. There are more products in there than I have ever seen. I literally could have spent a fortune! Of course we had to have photographs holding our favourite wands.

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Boo and her wand

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Wingardium Leviosa

We spent a good 40 minutes wandering around,  deciding what we wanted.

Of course I had to get a couple of bits for Little Chicks Christmas presents which I know she will love.

As for me, I got a fabulous Hufflepuff badge which was too cute to resist.

Sadly it was now time to leave,  so with a few last minute photographs together, we gave hugs and went our separate ways.

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The Hogwarts decorations

Well…… Until our next adventure together!!

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Hogwarts Selfie

Leave a comment

  • Bex Smith

    This sounds like such an amazing event! I really should visit one day, it is only up the road from me

  • Becky Brown

    I love the photos of us in our hogwart house outfits!

  • It looks great and like you had a good time. I’m not a big Harry Potter fan but I would like to visit and do the tour x

  • Joanna

    It looks so magical in the snow. We went a few years ago to the studio but not for this event. Would definitely go back to see it in the snow as We enjoyed it there.

  • We’ve never seen Hogwarts in the snow, though have been several times at other times of the year. Your post has made me realise it’s definitely something to put on our to do list though x

  • Oh my goodness how beautiful does it look at Christmas, I would absolutely love to go at some point and I think I might have to mark it off to be near Christmas as it seems somewhat extra magical?”

  • I live in Watford about a 10 minute drive from here but I’ve never been at Christmas, looks magical x

  • Melanie

    I have been to Harry Potter Studios and loved it. It looks even more magical at Christmas and the decor looks lovely – makes me want to get back x

  • FussFreeJen

    So lovely to see all the Christmas themed stuff alongside the Potter stuff. Looks so exciting. I’d love to visit all this stuff, some amazing things to see and so interesting.

  • Kara

    I love the Warner Bros studio tour but have never seen it at christmas. I will get there next year!!

  • Oh wow, what brilliant pictures. I’m determined to get my daughters more into HP this year so we can go on this tour. I would love to visit Privet Drive most of all!

  • Amy Deverson

    I wen to Hogwarts In The Snow last year and thought it was amazing! The Great Hall looks so magical and Christmassy! x

  • Laura Dove

    Wow that looks like so much fun! My eldest has been with his grandparents, Im not a Harry Potter fan and think it would be lost on me!! It looks like a great day though!

  • Jenna E Morley

    I haven’t been to the Harry Potter studios for a couple of years, but wow! I would so love to visit at Christmas…amazing pics!

  • Healthy & Psyched

    OMG. This looks incredible!! I love that cake as well- SO CUTE

  • Lauretta

    This looks super! Everything looked awesome. I like Harry Potter, I got excited seeing those pictures.

  • lisa prince

    i swer i am so envious of you right now this looks like an amzing experience , just wow

  • Ashton Gibbs

    It sounds like you had an amazing time! I adore the Harry Potter Studios, though haven’t been in a couple of years! Definitely need to go back as I know they’ve added loadssss since then. 🙂

  • Hannah Latoya Bond

    This looks amazing. Ive been on the tour twice but not at Christmas. Would love to see it at that time of year