Wow, what a wonderful day we had at the HP Tour. Its £29 for a single adult ticket, plus options to hire the audio guide (recommended) and a souvenir book. Money VERY well spent! We have been to other attractions that charge more for single tickets and offer a whole lot less. Easy to find, well sign posted. Plenty of parking.
We arrived earlier than our tour time since roadworks and traffic congestion was less heavy than expected, but no problem, they were happy for us to join the tour earlier. We looked round the shop first and then joined the queue for the next group. We waited maybe 15 minutes, not too bad compared to some places we've been, and then it was a smooth progression through the first two parts of the tour. After that you enter the great hall set, where staff give you a lot more interesting information and you are then at leisure to move on to the rest of the studio.
The tour covers two studios with a break in between for refreshments and seeing the outdoor sets. There are seats in the studios, at regular intervals, if you need them. Disabled access is not a problem and their website gives plenty of information on facilities. At all times the staff were helpful, courteous and very friendly. They make the point that after seeing the great hall, you are at leisure to take your time viewing all the props and sets etc. You are not rushed through and can spend as long as you choose, till closing time, if you have the energy!
The sets are amazing, the level of detail that went into the props is also staggering. There was little left to chance on the making of the HP films, everything was created meticulously by the most skilled craftsmen and it is jaw-dropping to see the smallest little items made to perfection, even if they only featured in the background of the film, for a few seconds. The animatronics display was fascinating, (beware the spell book), and who knew that Hagrid was more than he seemed?
Diagon Alley is brilliant, and then the model of Hogworts, takes the breath away. The final room, the interior of the wand shop, holds about 7000 wand boxes with names on them; each person who worked on those 8 films is named there, and deservedly so.
This is a magical day out, whether you're child or adult there is something for everyone to enjoy and marvel at. You may not be a HP fan, but you'll still find it fascinating to see how sets are designed and built, props are created, make up and costumes are tailored to the actors and lighting used overall to give the various effects. You can ride on a broomstick in front of the green screen, or take a lesson in spell casting. The Christmas setting on offer at present makes the tour even more special and we didn't hear anyone say they were disappointed.
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