A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to the opening of Number 4 Privet Drive, part of the Harry Potter Tour at Warner Bros Studios. Unfortunately with me being at the other end of the country and with only 4 days notice sadly I couldn’t attend. This is where fabulous friends step in!
The lovely Ann Freeman, who I have had the pleasure of knowing for years, is a die hard HP fan so I knew if someone was going to take my spot it would have to be her. Thankfully she is now my ‘London correspondent’ (tongue in cheek but it sounds good and we are milking it! lol) and will be reporting on events in the South that I wont be able to attend! So excited to share these fabulous experiences with a fabulous friend.
The following is all from Ann:
Welcome to the grand opening of 4 Privet Drive (10th May)
New items for viewing and experiencing at Warner Bros Studios Harry Potter Tour to celebrate the 15 year anniversary of the first film, when we were first introduced to Harry Potter living in the Cupboard beneath the stairs with the Dursley family at 4 Privet Drive.
Not open to the public until May 27th and only then for a limited time until June 6th – perfect to visit during the May spring break. It was a privilege to be among the first to see inside Privet Drive and enjoy a Butterbeer (or two!)
The studio already holds a raft of stage sets, props and costumes and showcases items glimpsed only for seconds in the films but which took designers many, many hours to create and is fascinating to visit for all ages.
Included items for this special Privet Drive exhibition are the Dursley family costumes, designed by Judianna Makovsky, demonstration of equipment designed by award winning Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson which shot the letters through the letterbox and entrance to 4 Privet Drive to see the many letters addressed to Harry designed by MinaLima, the graphic designers for all eight Harry Potter films.
If you haven’t been to the studios it is well worth the visit to enjoy all of the amazing features including the Great Hall, the Griffindor common room, the Hogwarts potions room, the Weasley kitchen, Malfoy Manner, Dumbledoors office and more.
You move through Hair & Makeup department, see costumes and props used on all 8 films, try your expertise on a broom with the green screen effects, step on board the Hogwarts express, have your photo taken at platform 9 3/4 before stepping through to the cafe for refreshments.
You cannot visit the studios without sampling a butterbeer and grabbing one of the souvenir cups. Here you then move to the outside where the night bus, Hogwarts bridge, Potter cottage, Chess pieces, and of course 4 Privet Drive are located.
The final section of the tour, which you can enjoy at your own pace, takes you through the creatures workshop and the animatronics department, into diagonally, through the art department (which is something else!) before ending at the great castle itself and then the wand room.
The opening night saw actress Fiona Shaw AKA Aunt Petunia open the house before specially invited guests were invited in via a red carpet. Other VIPs the special guests were able to meet included Rosie Goodwin, Set Director and MinaLima the graphic designers behind the letters to Harry and the amazing Marauders map.
Thank you so much Ann and it looks like it was amazing! The kids want to say a huge thank you too for sending us up a parcel of goodies from the night, the kids are dying for me to make some butterbeer ice cream for them to have in their cups!
It has certainly made me more determined to take the kids this summer.
Have you been to see the Harry Potter Tour yet? What did you think?