Celebrities including Mary Berry, Amanda Holden, Simon Pegg, Jonathan Ross, Kirstie Allsopp, Conor Maynard, Jake Wood, Charlie Brooks and Gaby Roslin came out to celebrate the launch of a new section devoted to the Dark Arts, encompassing Horcruxes and other sinister wizarding artefacts, in what is Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter’s first permanent addition since opening.
On the night celebrities were invited to a reception at the Studio Tour, where they walked the green carpet, before being greeted with a glass of celebratory bubbles. Following the spooky reception guests were invited into the Studio Tour for the official reveal of the new Dark Arts sets.
After walking through the Great Hall where the pumpkin-filled Hallowe’en feast was on display, celebrities including Amanda Holden, Charlie Brooks and Conor Maynard were treated to Dark Arts themed drinks, including a special bubbling cauldron cocktail, more bubbles and Butterbeer. Canapés and snacks served on tombstone slates were also on offer for celebrities to enjoy.
The new area includes the full Malfoy Manor set which became the headquarters of Lord Voldemort’s followers, the Death Eaters, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. Celebrities including Jonathan Ross and Simon Pegg were able to peer into the drawing room that features ornate chandeliers, an imposing fireplace and the long, grand table around which Bellatrix Lestrange, the Malfoy family, the Death Eaters and Voldemort sat. Jonathan Ross, Amanda Holden, Conor Maynard, Gaby Roslin even took a seat at the iconic table.
Celebrities also marvelled at the mannequin of captured Muggle Studies teacher Charity Burbage who is suspended above the set. In addition, the life-like model of Voldemort’s loyal 20-foot snake Nagini who sits on the mahogany table, was joined by a special guest as the real snake, who was studied by the Visual Effects Department as a basis for some of Voldemort’s snake Nagini’s, was on hand for the night to meet and greet the guests. Celebrities including Amanda Holden, Jonathan Ross, Kirstie Allsopp and Jake Wood even stepped up to the mark on the night and got up close and personal with the snake on the Borgin and Burkes set.
On the night there were also special appearances by the Death Eaters who were roaming around the Studio Tour and challenging celebrities to wand duels. Guests also had the chance to enjoy a variety of never-before-seen artefacts and props from Borgin and Burkes, the Knockturn Alley shop Harry accidentally stumbles into in Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets. In addition, a section of Dolores Umbridge’s Ministry of Magic office, including her garish kitten plates, perfectly putrid pink costumes and desk, were on show for guests. Mary Berry was even seen inspecting the china in Umbridge’s office.
This October, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter will unveil a new section devoted to the Dark Arts, encompassing Horcruxes and other sinister wizarding artefacts, in what is the Studio Tour’s first permanent addition since opening.
The new permanent Dark Arts section will be launched with a two-week event highlighting the Dark Arts from Friday 17th October – Monday 3rd November and all extra activities are included in the ticket price.
Launch images courtesy of the Dark Arts Launch at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, open now.
When we were invited along to the launch of the Dark Arts Tour, we knew exactly who to send along. Here’s what Victoria Stone had to say…
“When Frankie asked if I would like to go, in place of her, to the Warner Brother Studios for the new Dark Arts pieces put out, I already had my Quidditch jumper on and was ready to go before I had even said yes. I’m not ashamed to admit that Harry Potter gives me a hard on! I love anything and everything to do with it and getting the chance to go back to the studios and see some never before seen pieces was beyond exciting.
When I arrived I noticed they had put out a green carpet, obviously referring to Syltherin. Now, normally when you enter the first room of the studios it’s dark and you wait for it to fill up before you are shown a short film of how the books became a global sensation. But tonight it was very different. You still walked into the first room only there were drinks being served and Death Eaters standing around giving you the evil eye! It was utterly superb. They didn’t show the normal video and lead us straight to the cinema, where we took our seats and the magic began
Now I’m not going to tell you the secrets of the tour, what happens in the cinema stays in the cinema.
So let’s hop straight to the Great Hall. It truly is something incredible, to walk through it really does feel as though you are in Hogwarts. It’s magical, it’s so cliché but just so damn true! Within the hall is the fireplaces, the tables set out for Halloween and the teachers table. This is the only part of the tour that is guided and the guides are always very polite and fun.
After you leave the Great Hall you are then free to wander at your own leasure and admire/geek right out at all the props used throughout the movies. They are laid out to perfection. You have The Burrow, The dorms, Dumbledore’s office, Hagrid’s hut and Snape’s office exactly as seen in the films.
Not only are these set up, in between each set were walls and sides and glass filled with props, from the door to the Chamber of Secrets to all the wands used and pictures on the walls of Hogwarts.
You also have a chance to go on a simulated broom and Mr Weasleys flying car, where you can have your picture taken as a souvenir. As well as all that you can even have a go at swishing your wand correctly!
But now for what we came here for, The Dark Arts. It was absolutely amazing! They now have Malfory Manor set out in that famous scene with The Dark Lord (boo hiss) sitting at the table with his fellow Death Eaters, Nagini (the snake) and Charity Burbage suspended from the celing. It’s was AMAZING and just so detailed. To the side of the scene was a man holding a huge python that he was allowing people to stroke and answering many questions. In this area they had moved the statue saying “magic is might” to make way for Borin and Burkes, which was FILLED with Dark artefacts from skulls to the statue used in The Room of Requirement to practice spells on by Dumbledore’s Army!
Outside is where you will find the Knight Bus, Privet Drive, the house in which Harry’s Parents died, the bridge used in many of the films. There is also Hagrid’s motorbike and again the blue car in which you can sit on!
You get to go back inside again and now you will find more statues of characters, Aragog, Buckbeak, the head used for Hagrid, the masks used by the goblins. And then you WALK INTO DIAGON ALLEY. It’s like you are actually walking through it the shops either side and the windows FILLED with exquisite detail. After this you walk through corridors filled with artwork and cardboard replicas of buildings within the movies. At last you enter the most breathtaking part of all. Hogwarts in all its glory. I’ve welled up EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It will blow you away, it’s so detailed and so perfect that with the gentle theme song it’s almost impossible not tear up!
Going back just for the Dart Arts – my husband thought it would be a waste of time, I didn’t want to admit that maybe he could be right. I’ve seen it all so many times would it really be worth going yet again? And the truth is YES, God yes! Seeing Malfoy manner set up in all its glory is just amazing and it will never get boring. I’m a Potterhead and proud and if I could live at the studios, you would find me sleeping in Ron’s bed – don’t judge!”