Warner Bros Studio Tour: Hogwarts Express and Platform 9 3/4


In just a few days, the Warner Bros Studio Tour opens its first major expansion: Platform 9 3/4 complete with the original Hogwarts Express. To my complete surprise and utter delight, I was invited to come along to a preview of the new additions and be one of the very first to experience the magic of the platform! 

Of course, Leona came along. We'd had to rush through Hogwarts in the Snow back in February so we were delighted to have an opportunity to have four hours to explore the practically-empty studios. 

Our evening began with a talk from guest attendee Chris Rankin aka Percy Weasley, before we were shown to a drinks reception in the Great Hall, before we were free to explore the rest of the studios at our leisure.


You know how I said it was practically empty? Look at it! It was amazing to be able to see all the sets without crowds. I found I could get up really close to the props without being in anybody's way and spend as long as I liked at any one vantage point.
Once we'd had our fill of the first soundstage, we headed into the brand new expansion. I cannot even explain how excited and giddy we were and I can promise you, our expectations were well and truly met!
The Hogwarts Express is so beautiful! It's a 78-year-old British steam engine and so much detail has gone into decorating it to look authentically magical, including covering the British Rail logos with Hogwarts stickers (although some are falling off!)


One of the most exciting details is the steam that flows out, accompanied by that familiar whoo! call of the whistle. 
However, the unrivalled best part is that you can actually board the Hogwarts Express and walk all the way down. It's a very narrow walkway and, although each compartment displays props from a different film, it's difficult to stop and take photos because the people behind you can't get past. 

Never fear, though, because you have the opportunity to sit inside an open-front compartment as if travelling towards the school. On the mirror on the wall, you can see how the British Rail logo is showing through the Hogwarts sticker.





Also on the platform is the wonderful Railway Shop, where you can buy all sorts of Hogwarts Express merchandise not found in the main store. I'll definitely be picking up the Platform 9 3/4 Christmas decoration next time!

On the way out of the platform, which leads directly into the Backlot Cafe, you can find the cabinet filled with all the graphic design-based props. This pleased me immensely as it's one of my favourite parts of the tour and I'd assumed the display had been taken down when I couldn't see it for my past few trips. 


I don't want to alarm anybody but Satan's been visiting Gringotts...




After a surreal experience in a completely deserted Diagon Alley, we had a good old nose at the wands in Ollivander's. The man in there, who admitted to us that he wasn't a "wand expert" had an insane amount of interesting information on the cast and crew featured on each box. He even helped us find Alan Rickman's box although he wasn't entirely sure where to find it so had to radio and ask "Where can I find Alan Rickman's wand?" which cracked me up! 



Finally, we visited the gift shop which was eerily empty (We may have been the last people to leave!) Since it was so quiet, we had time to really browse the shelves and I discovered that many of the storage and decorative items in there are original props from the film. For example, the bookcases that hold all the book and stationery souvenirs were originally used for filming in the library.
It was a truly wonderful experience. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will absolutely adore seeing the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9 3/4. A huge thank you to the Warner Bros Studio Tour and I daresay I'll be seeing you again soon!

31 comments:

  1. Fabulous post, I felt as if I was actually there! I've been on the studio tour once before a few years ago, but it's definitely on my list to go again :)

    Frankie x
    Crazyblondegal

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  2. Ahhhhh I NEED to go back! It's been too long and I want to see the Hogwarts Express.

    The first time I went there it was practically empty, the group we were with literally rushed around the studios so it was just my friend and I without anyone else there. It was great! Definitely the best way to experience the tour is to do it whilst it's empty haha.

    I doubt I'll get that lucky again, but eeep I really need to go back. I would want to take all the pictures of the train though, so good luck to anyone standing behind me. This Ravenclaw needs to capture EVERYTHING! :D

    Juyey xx

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  3. Boarding the Hogwarts Express has always been my dream! Oh how I envy you...

    Love, Dara
    Hola Darla

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  4. I can't even be jealous of you because thjs honestly looks like the most wonderful way to experience the tour - have been lucky to have gone twice, once after hours too but it's never been that empty! The new extension looks INCREDIBLE too. So well done, as expected! Xx

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  5. Wowwwww this looks amazing! So jealous-I want to go! :) a trip is defo in order for me!

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  6. aww I want to go too! Might be this summer once I'm done with school :P

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  7. I need to go!! It has been on my list of places to visit for a while and with every blogger putting up more and more photos, it just makes me want to go even more. I'm so glad they've made a platform 9 3/4, these photos are utterly magical. xx

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  8. OH MY GOSH! This has excited me so much, I cannot wait to go back and experience the Hogwarts Express <3

    Tamsyn-Elizabeth

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  9. I do believe I need to go to this. I need to go on the actual studio tour too, as I'm yet to go...don't really want to go on my lonesome.

    This looks so awesome!
    (And yes, I'd also chuckle at the man asking for Alan Rickman's wand...)


    http://meg-siobhan.blogspot.co.uk/

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  10. Ahh I'm so looking forwards to going in September now, I haven't been yet at all and this addition is just adding to the magic of it all! Gorgeous photos too :)

    little miss fii || Fii x

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  11. Oh it looks AMAZING, so so cool! I want to go, I want to go! x

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  12. I swear that, during the writing of this comment, I was trying not to be eaten by jealousy, but it was really hard because HAVE YOU SEEN WHERE YOU WENT? The pictures look amazing and your description of it just makes me want to go visit it myself... And maybe move there?

    Much love,
    Catarina // ohkori.blogspot.com

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  13. OH MY GOODNESS! This looks so amazing! Ill have to plan another trip now! I'm so jealous it looks so good! Thankyou! :) ️xx

    http://daisysmiler.blogspot.co.uk

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  14. I'm going 2 Fridays from now and I am so excited!

    Aisling | aisybee.

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  15. This post made me insanely giddy - the new platform looks absolutely incredible! I cannot wait to go see for myself. I think this extension is their most exciting by far, and the fact that you get to board the train and check it out inside too - amazing! Thanks for sharing xo

    Sharan | essehearts.com

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  16. That tour looks so cool. Love HP!

    www.blogsbygabrielle.blogspot.com

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  17. I'm going at the beginning of April, so glad I waited now! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

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  18. I'm so jealous! This sounds amazing!
    My family and I wanted to go a few weeks ago but there were no tickets at a time when we could go!
    Emily
    xx
    http://emilyattemptslife.blogspot.com/

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  19. That looks go good! I am heading there in June and I cannot wait already.

    joyfullantidotes.wordpress.com

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  20. See, this is why I've been putting off visiting, I always think it'll be too busy to properly see everything and enjoy the experience. It looks like you had a fab time, I love all the photos! :)

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  21. How AMAZING! I'm so glad that it will be opened in time for my visit to the UK!

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  22. Awesome! I loved visiting the studios a few years ago, but really want to go back to get on the Hogwarts Express :-)

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  23. This looks so cool! I went to Harry Potter Studios a couple of years back but I am itching to go back and see the Hogwarts Express. I had no idea you could go on the train, I'm even more excited now. I MUST go on the Hogwarts Express.

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  24. I've just come back from the tour gutted i was there before the hogwarts express officially opened but i adored every minute just the same it's just incredible
    AliceMegan

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  25. OMG! I didn't know they were adding this. I have to go again now!
    Reinventing Neesha ♥

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  26. Omg I'm so jealous! It looks so amazing. I went in January to see the snow, and I'm kind of wishing I'd waited until this was announced and booked later! Just means I'll have to go again this year ;)

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  27. Wow, I am so unbelievably jealous you had a chance to visit the studios when it was so quiet! It looks so magical I'd love to visit it one day.

    Roxie ♥
    http://thebeautifulbluebird.blogspot.co.uk/

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  28. Omg. Really want to go back to see the Hogwarts Express. I've been before and it was amazing but it looks even better with the Hogwarts Express. x

    www.peepintokslife.blogspot.co.uk

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  29. Ahhh I need to go back! This looks incredible, I'm so excited about 9 and 3/4 although I'm interested to see what it's like when it's busy and open to the public. I'll just have to go and see!

    www.jessicainyourear.com
    xx

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  30. I cannot contain my excitement about this! Me and my boyfriend have plans to head over there possibly next month, EEEEEEEEE! I hope he's ready to see me lose it over everything, he is yet to know about just how much I LOVE Harry Potter! Just need to get him to agree to come to the Sherlock Holmes museum now so I can stare at the coat Benedict Cumberbatch wore...

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  31. Oh my goodness!!!!! I am incredibly jealous!! :p My sisters and I have been twice, but with living in KY, we are being as patient as we possibly can to figure out time off work to travel back home so we can go and see the Hogwarts Express. It looks beyond amazing and I just HAVE to sit on the train!!! Love your pictures! :) xx

    Lucy x |~ SweetIsAlwaysInStyle || Lifestyle Blog ~

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