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What’s on London attends VIP Launch of Hogwarts Express at Warner Bros Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter

| Cinema, Kids, Things to do | 24/03/2015

James and Oliver Phelps relaxing in the train carriage at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter

Mark Williams, Warwick Davis, and Oliver and James Phelps enjoy sitting in the Hogwarts Express train carriage on Platform 9 3/4, at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Mark Williams, Warwick Davis, and Oliver and James Phelps enjoy sitting in the Hogwarts Express train carriage on Platform 9 3/4, at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

 

This week What’s on London attended the VIP Launch of Warner Bros Studio tour: The Making of Harry Potter’s first permanent expansion. The new section of the tour has been designed to recreate the infamous Platform 9 ¾, complete with the bright red Hogwarts Express train which students board in order to get to Hogwarts.

James and Oliver Phelps take their first look at the Hogwarts Express steam train and Platform 3/4 at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

James and Oliver Phelps take their first look at the Hogwarts Express steam train and Platform 3/4 at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Walking into the new area, you literally feel as if you’ve stepped through the wall between Platforms 9 and 10 at King’s Cross station. The whole area has been built to replicate the train station, from its yellow bricks and arched roof, to the posters advertising South West train service. There are a number of trolleys on the one side of the room, offering fans the chance to pretend they’re passing through onto the platform – just like Harry and friends. You have the option to take your own photographs while doing this, although there is the opportunity to buy a professionally taken photograph of the moment also.

Mark Williams meets the animal actors in the luggage area, on Platform 9 3/4 at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Mark Williams meets the animal actors in the luggage area, on Platform 9 3/4 at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

The Hogwarts Express itself is magnificent to behold – and this is the actual train used throughout the film series. Not only can you admire the 78 year old train from the outside, but fans also have the opportunity to climb aboard, walking through the same narrow corridors we’ve grown to know and love. Each compartment is set up to replicate a famous Hogwarts Express scene – such as the Harry, Ron and Hermione’s first meeting in the Philosopher’s Stone, the Dementor attack in Prisoner of Azkaban or Lavender Brown’s drawing of a heart in the condensation on the compartment door in the Half Blood Prince.

Warwick Davis chats to Alex Zane whilst sitting in the Hogwarts Express train carriage at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Warwick Davis chats to Alex Zane whilst sitting in the Hogwarts Express train carriage at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Dotted around the station are various props and fans are invited to test their knowledge and guess which character each of the luggage carts and personal items belong to. Although you’re unable to sit in the compartments aboard the train, there are some specially recreated compartments situated further up the platform where fans can sit and enjoy the rolling Scottish hills as they journey to Hogwarts – it really does feel like you’re aboard the Hogwarts Express. There is also a souvenir shop, packed with Platform 9 ¾ and Hogwarts Express items.

 James Phelps, Mark Williams and Oliver Phelps pushes the luggage trolley on Platform 9 3/4 at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

James Phelps, Mark Williams and Oliver Phelps pushes the luggage trolley on Platform 9 3/4 at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

The VIP launch included some very familiar faces from the Harry Potter series with Mark Williams (Mr Weasley), Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick and Griphook) and James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley) all seen admiring the train. Harry Potter producer David Heyman, Production Designer Stuart Craig and HP 5-8 director David Yates were also in attendance for the grand unveiling. A number of the animal actors including Crookshanks – Hermione’s beloved cat, Hedwig – Harry’s trust familiar and the Weasley’s owl Errol were also in attendance at the event.

Warwick Davis meets the animal actors in the luggage area, on Platform 9 3/4 at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Warwick Davis meets the animal actors in the luggage area, on Platform 9 3/4 at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

All in all this latest expansion from the WB Studio Tour gives fans an incredible and unique opportunity to delve further inside the world of Harry Potter. I’m already looking forward to my next trip and hope that this expansion will be the first of many.

Tickets to the Studio Tour must be booked in advance and are available to purchase here.

HE1

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