With a #FollowTheSpiders social media campaign and onstage announcement at Universal Orlando’s Celebration of Harry Potter, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London had confirmed that the new Forbidden Forest expansion to their Making of Harry Potter tour will open on March 31.
Home to an abundance of creatures, the Forbidden Forest offers shelter and protection to Hippogriffs and Acromantula among many others. It is also well known to beloved half-giant Hagrid in his role as Care of Magical Creatures professor. One of Rubeus Hagrid’s original costumes will be on display, lantern in hand, to welcome you through the Hogwarts Gates deep into the forest. Filled with 19 trees each with a diameter of over 12 feet, you will walk beneath the giant entwined roots on your journey and will even be able to control the weather using the same techniques created by filmmakers.
Amongst the imposing trees, you will encounter a full size model of Buckbeak, which is new to the tour, and have the opportunity to bow to the majestic creature. You will see up close the incredible detail and craftsmanship that went into creating the magnificent Hippogriff. Each feather had to be individually inserted and glued by the Creature Effects team who were busy adding feathers right up until the final moment Buckbeak was needed on set for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
As you venture deeper into the depths of the forest, you will come face-to-face with Aragog, the Acromantula. Emerging from his dark lair, the enormous spider will appear before you along with spiderlings from his family. Created by Nick Dudman, Creature and Make-Up Effects Designer, with help from Production Designer Stuart Craig, Aragog had a leg span of over 18 feet and was even able to crawl out of a hole and deliver dialogue in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Officially opening on Friday, March 31, the new expansion has been designed and built by many of the crew members who worked on the magical film series including Oscar and BAFTA winning Production Designer Stuart Craig, Construction Manager Paul Hayes, BAFTA winning Creature and Makeup Effects Designer Nick Dudman and BAFTA winning Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson.
The Forbidden Forest will open on Friday 31st March and entrance will be included in the ticket price. For more information about the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, visit wbstudiotour.co.uk, and watch our video of the Forbidden Forest announcement below: